The Bogie Band featuring Joe Russo is a new collaboration between old friends. Stuart Bogie’s fiery arrangements meet Russo’s dynamic drumming with a ten-piece ensemble utilizing only wind and percussion instruments. On their debut studio album, The Prophets In The City, Bogie and Russo are joined by a cadre of players whose resumes run through some of New York City’s most beloved bands, including Antibalas, The Dap-Kings, Red Barat, Budos Band, St. Vincent and David Byrne’s American Utopia. The resulting nine track collection is riotous and jubilant, pushing the boundaries of wind music.
“The music we’ve created here revels in the human mysteries that unfold in New York City, basking in its connections, ironies, and myths,” explains Bogie. “Through observing its humanity, we hope to invoke the underlying world of the spirits.”
Indeed, The Prophets In The City presents a soundtrack to life in NYC that is at once ancient and immediate. The music paints images of crowded streets, joy and fury together on the sidewalk, golden light shining through scaffolding, and characters that carry mysteries and truths in their hearts. The dynamic arrangements are built on the propulsion of Russo’s drumming, alternating through transcendental minimalism, raucous humor and revelatory wonder; passages of bold gleaming brass ring back and forth in overtone rich harmonies, conjuring new melody in the listener’s imagination.
“These are deep, thoughtful, beautiful and powerful compositions that could have only come from the mind and heart of Stuart Bogie,” says Russo. “I’m so proud of this record and can’t wait to share it with the world.”
The group debuted at Winter Jazzfest in 2020, shelving the possibilities for live appearance until the summer of 2021 when they performed at their most beloved club, NuBlu for a sold out warm-up show for The Newport Jazz Festival. In a review of their performance, JazzTimes wrote, “…it was simply incredible. Mesmerizing waves of harmony and rhythm overlapped each other, like a mashup of Fela Kuti, Sun Ra, and King Crimson with (more) tuba! And (sometimes) multiple flutes.”
Stuart Bogie has worked with artists such as Arcade Fire, TV On The Radio and Iron & Wine, though he’s best known for his time as member/conductor of Antibalas. He wrote the score for the Oscar nominated film, How to Survive a Plague. Russo’s career has included performing and recording with Furthur, Gene Ween Band and Benevento/Russo Duo. He also leads his own group, the highly-regarded Joe Russo’s Almost Dead (JRAD).