Terrace Martin says his SFJazz gigs will go ‘to a place where we’ve never been’

Most of the concerts presented by SFJazz feature finely honed acts. Improvisation plays a central role in the music, and the spontaneity flows from a foundation of familiarity and shared experience on stage.

Terrace Martin has something else in mind. The Los Angeles multi-instrumentalist, rapper, actor and producer is a master of designing creative conflagrations, like bringing together many of the artists responsible for the sonic collage of Kendrick Lamar’s epochal 2015 album “To Pimp a Butterfly.”

Opening a four-night run at SFJazz on April 18, Martin has engineered an epic jazz/funk forum with the Virginia-based combo Butcher Brown, a rising quintet that thrives in the swirling rhythmic currents where jazz, funk and hip-hop converge. Miner Auditorium’s dance floor will be open every night.

“They’re an amazing collective of young musicians that I really admire,” says Martin, 40. “I’ve been them following for a long time, and I figure it’s in my best interest to develop with these cats. We’re going to take it to a place where we’ve never been.”

Featuring Marcus Tenney on trumpet and tenor sax, guitarist Morgan Burrs, keyboardist DJ Harrison, bassist Andrew Randazzo and drummer Corey Fonville, Butcher Brown has performed around the Bay Area in recent years, playing the Black Cat, Elbo Room, Café Van Kleef and other venues. It takes a considerable degree of moxie to bring them to the SFJazz Center’s big room for an initial encounter.

The rambunctious frisson generated by figuring it out on stage is what Martin is all about. He spends a good deal of his time in the studio and sounds positively raring to “take my living room on the road in a live atmosphere,” he says. “We’re on the stage, I may pull someone up. Make it what America’s supposed to be like, full on freedom. I’m tired of doing everything the regular way.”

He’ll be on the road this summer with Herbie Hancock and Kamasi Washington, in a tour that was announced last week.

Whatever other wild cards he might add into the mix, Martin has already invited a different guest artist to join the proceedings each night, starting Thursday with Nicholas Payton. The New Orleans trumpet maestro is an ideal choice, as he’s long championed Butcher Brown, even featuring the band on his 2014 album “Numbers” (Paytone Records).

Butcher Brown drummer Fonville was 19 when he met Payton as a student at the Brubeck Institute. “He came out as a special guest,

Source:: East Bay – Entertainment


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