Live at the Royal Room
Charlie Don't Like It
Skerik, the enduringly saxophonic, punk jazz iconoclast, debuts his latest project Bandalabra. Joining him are three of his fellow Seattle hometown’s most revered players: Andy Coe on electric guitar, Evan Flory Barnes on upright bass and Dvonne Lewis on drums. In Skerik’s words, Bandalabra is intended to conjure the sounds of “Fela Kuti meeting Steve Reich in rock’s backyard.” A bold assertion, but one for which the music bears witness. Together, the quartet syncopates and snakes, floats free and snaps tight with hypnotic afrobeat rhythms, minimalist canons and improvised harmonics. There’s a duality that demands listeners both dance communally and get lost in sound. Throughout the six improvisations on Live At The Royal Room, the band heads into the deep unknown, creating music in the moment for over 60 minutes straight. Halfway through the evening, they hit upon the illest of psych grooves, appropriately dubbed “Beast Crusher.” Here the visceral and cerebral become one and Skerik’s Bandalabra are born a fully realized vision.