Mind Behind Closed Eyes
Concessions will be available beginning at 6pm! Kingdom Kakes will be set up with a lovely spread including Turkey Meatball Sliders on Brioche Bun and Spinach and Gruyere Cheese Quiche!
A uniquely Philadelphian ten-piece band, the Fresh Cut Orchestra is co-led by trumpeter Josh Lawrence, bassist Jason Fraticelli and drummer Anwar Marshall. They return to Ropeadope Records in August 2016 with Mind Behind Closed Eyes, a highly varied collection of pieces from the three composers.
The core trio of Lawrence, Fraticelli and Marshall were initially put together by Painted Bride curator Lenny Seidman. Seidman decided to pick three emerging composer-performers from the area to form a larger ensemble. The three co-leaders clicked as a trio who love playing bebop, and they found a special democratic balance. “Josh brings a sophistication and practicality to the band, and I’m always super excited,” says Fraticelli. “We balance each other out in making decisions. Anwar is a completely supportive spirit – any idea you come up with, he understands.”
This album marks the recorded début of Fraticelli on cuatro, a Puerto Rican stringed instrument similar to the Cuban tres. The album was recorded entirely live – all the electronic processing done in-the-moment in Ableton, and where Fraticelli plays cuatro, guitarist Tim Conley switches to bass.
The cuatro is one of the first sounds of the record, opening the aptly titled bolero miniature “My Summer in Puerto Rico,” which gives way to Fraticelli’s title track, propelled by a breakbeat from Marshall and live electronics from Conley. As Lawrence says, “We wanted people to be surprised by every track, to not know what would come next.”
FCO roots itself in Philly’s rhythmic tradition. Jazz visionaries such as Art Blakey and Miles Davis would often scout the city for its musicians. As Marshall states, “I believe Philly musicians have a certain conception of rhythm that we all agree upon, a rhythmic dialogue that we all understand. That language is very hard swinging, but it’s timing is laid back and relaxed.” Lawrence concurs, “There’s nothing like drummers from Philly! And us trumpet players are best friends with drummers, because we have to be!” In Marshall’s two tunes, “Indecision” and “New Expectations,” the continuum of Philly pulse can be heard completely.
Where the FCO’s first album, From The Vine, was more of a narrative effort centered around Fraticelli’s “Mother’s Suite,” Mind Behind Closed Eyes is more open to the listener’s interpretation and more evenly split among the three compositional voices. As the title suggests, the emphasis is letting one’s imagination run free while listening to the record with eyes closed. As Lawrence says, “For this album, we want people to come up with their own stories for the music.”