This music is simply four musicians growing up together and finding their own solutions instead of the solutions handed to them. Not to say we have no background or influences. Simply to state that this is an effort to work through our teachers, our heroes, and our record collections and find our own voices. Combining all that has influenced us. The music we play is the past combined with our future. We have studied and been influenced by the jazz tradition, free improvisation, world music (Indonesia, West Africa, Cuba, Brazil, the Balkan region, etc.), electronic music and many other things. But that makes no mention of our backgrounds, our child hoods, where we live, what food we eat, or how we survive. All of this plays just as much a part in the music as the fact that Nathan grew up playing jazz in coffee shops, or that Josh loves Richard Davis' playing.
At the heart of it we are improvisers, and the flux of our music comes from the integration of notated music with improvisation. This includes everything we are interested in - playing time, not playing time, playing changes, not playing changes, extended structures/link structures, new harmonic concepts, asymmetrical forms and meters, free improvisation, changing instrumental roles, the inclusion of poetry and many other things. The musical language we use is by no means closed. We are still in many ways at the beginning of a life long journey.
Our repertoire consists mostly of Nathan Hubbard's originals, although we continue to play compositions by Wayne Shorter, John Coltrane, Charles Mingus, Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Anthony Braxton and Thelonious Monk, as well as traditional Klezmer/Balkan compositions. We continue to experiment with new harmonic, melodic, and form possibilities within the structure of compositions as well as spontaneously improvising compositions or improvising freely. Also, we work on the possibilities of graphic notation scores and indeterminate scores, both as aids to furthering our improvising skills as well as performing possibilities. In conjunction with this, we have been introducing both prepared and unprepared electronic tape pieces into our improvisations, as complete pieces as well as smaller parts of larger forms.
Much of our work has been in developing a sound language that extends the possibilities of a quartet of two saxophones, bass and drums. Extended techniques on all instruments, sound processors and electronics, text based music and use of voice, extended use of percussion, homemade instruments, and many other possibilities are used to form our music. Lee mainly focuses on alto and soprano saxophone, but also continues to experiment with a wide spectrum of woodwind instruments - from different saxophones, flutes, and clarinets to different game calls and traditional/homemade instruments. Ward mainly focuses on tenor saxophone and bass clarinet, but has also begun to incorporate various sound processors/electronic effects with acoustic improvisation, and is working with exploring various timbres of the extended woodwind family. Josh continues to mostly play upright bass, but has been experimenting with his electric upright bass as well as his electric bass in addition to various sound processors and effects. Nathan continues to play his hybrid drum set/percussion/vibraphone setup, and, as an out growth of his solo music, has been incorporating live electronics and found percussion into his arsenal of instruments.