December 09, 2013

MK Groove Orchestra: Live at Studio BPM, Vol 1

Band leader and sax player Michael Kammers updates the big band era playing space funk with his 15-piece MK Groove Orchestra. Founded in 2002 the Brooklyn based band has gone to tons of line-up changes, but they've always kept their sights on their main objective: reinvent jazz standards and throw in a bit of thoroughly disguised classic rock. On May 20th, 2012 they performed one of the final concerts at Studio BPM NYC, a loft space in Williamsburg. Five of those tracks are now being released on Live at Studio BPM, Vol 1.

The running order of this collection is a bit weird, kicking off with Donald Byrd/Duke Pearson/Coleridge Taylor-Perkinson classic Cristo Redentor, the final track of the show and ending with Shady Blues the last song of the first set. If they had edited out the banter, no one would have noticed. Those snafus aside, Live at Studio BPM, Vol 1 catches a band who are locked into a groove and are allowed to branch out. Great percussion kicks off Tomos Tenacious Trio of Masked Marauders (TTT), with nifty interplay between guitar and the brass section throughout. Singer Lisa Mcquade shines with her laid-back jazz take of the Heart classic Magic Man.

The best track by far is Bollywood Transfer from The Claustrophobic Noise EP. It is now firing on all cylinders, with tempo changes and a flute solo that could have been recorded in the early Seventies. The MK Groove Orchestra is a band that comes alive on stage. With his rather short live album, only 31 minutes, they've managed to capture the excitement on tape.

MK Groove Orchestra:
Alex Bender: trumpet
Joe Beaty: rombone
Mark Broschinsky: bass trombone
Nicolas Cowles: flute
Thomas Cumming: guitar
Bryan Davis: trumpet
Jenny Hill: alto sax
Michael Kammers: bari sax
Tomoaki Kanno: drums
Chris Kuklis: guitar
Lisa Mcquade: vocals
Aaron Shafer-Haiss: percussion
Mathew Silberman: tenor sax
Kevin Smith: bass
Clynton Wayne Yerkes: trumpet


Live at Studio BPM, Vol 1 is released on Ropeadope. Release date: December 17th.

  1. Cristo Redentor
  2. Tomos Tenacious Trio of Masked Marauders (TTT)
  3. Magic Man
  4. Bollywood Transfer
  5. Shady Blues
Live dates:
  • 01/18 The Cutting Room, New York, NY
  • 02/03 Kinser Jazz Festival, Casper, WY


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