One of the beauties of modern jazz is that it freely draws inspiration from an amalgam of other genres. Popular these days are neo soul, indie rock or hip hop, yet not as often witnessed is post-rock and grunge. This is the challenge set out by bassist and composer Adam Hopkins on his debut album Crickets, coming October 19th to his brand new artist-run Brooklyn-based label Out Of Your Head Records.
Originally from Baltimore, Hopkins has been an active figure on the New York City scene since moving to Brooklyn in 2011, touring across Europe and North America with John Hollenbeck’s Claudia Quintet and Ideal Bread, and partaking in recent NYC performances with Henry Threadgill. In 2014, he formed his own group, Crickets, inspired by the guitar-driven bands he loved as a teenager in the 90’s, but drawing from jazz uniquely propulsed by the saxophone trio of Anna Webber, Ed Rosenberg and Josh Sinton and rounded out by Jonathan Goldberger on guitar and Devin Gray on drums. In Hopkins’ own words: “I drew on a lot of my earliest musical influences when I wrote the compositions for this band. The foundation for what is on the record comes from long before I had any interest in playing jazz–it is heavily rooted in the grunge, indie, and punk rock that I was listening to in high school. We’d write music, rehearse bands, and play shows all summer long in Baltimore clubs like the Small Intestine, Talking Head, and the old Ottobar. Crickets is just the sound of those summers as a teenager, but with a decade or two of musical development mixed in.”
“Mudball”, the first single from the album, is a sombre and riveting composition, driven by its entrancing bassline and emblazed by a multi-layered melody highlighting the restlessness and the brashness of the saxophone trio at the forefront. The piece meticulously builds, bobbing and weaving on a path to destruction, only to be dismantled and disassembled into the organized chaos and cacophony of an extended and abstract improvisation led by the horn of Webber. You can stream the song below. Pre-order Crickets now on Bandcamp.
Crickets, the debut album from bassist and composer Adam Hopkins is coming October 19 to Out Of Your Head Records.