Drawing on bebop, punk rock, shoegaze, hip-hop and electronic music, experimental jazz act High Pulp have announced the forthcoming release of Pursuit Of Ends, their first full-length album for ANTI- Records. The first song to be released from it is the frenetic All Roads Lead To Los Angeles, which hints at the breakbeats of Louis Cole as it reflects the constant barrage of stimuli that define our modern lives. An equally compelling video directed by Sara Jade Alfaro and starring Zaahira Joseph is also available now.
The music of High Pulp music is simultaneously vintage and futuristic, hinting at everything from Miles Davis and Duke Ellington to Aphex Twin and My Bloody Valentine. The songs on Pursuit Of Ends balance meticulous composition with visceral spontaneity, while the performances are nothing short of virtuosic, fueled by raw, ecstatic horn runs ducking and weaving their way around thick bass lines and dizzying percussion.
While the Seattle-based collective is centred around a crew of six core members, the album also makes judicious use of a broad network of collaborators – including turns from special guests such as sax star Jaleel Shaw (Roy Haynes, Mingus Big Band), harpist Brandee Younger (Ravi Coltrane, The Roots), GRAMMY-nominated trumpeter Theo Coker and keyboardist Jacob Mann (Rufus Wainwright, Louis Cole) – to stretch the boundaries of their expansive sonic universe even further. The result is a lush, cinematic collection that is as unpredictable as it is engrossing and an urgent, exhilarating instrumental album that manages to speak to the moment without uttering a single word.
Music has been far more than just medicine for High Pulp in recent years; it has also been a source of community and meaning. Born out of a loose, weekly jam session hosted at Seattle’s historic Royal Room, the band came together the way a good heist crew might. There was keyboardist Antoine Martel, a mad scientist with a wall of modular synths and a passion for film scores and abstract soundscapes; fellow keyboard player Rob Homan, whose innate ability to process, deconstruct and reassemble material on the fly bordered on the scary; bassist Scott Rixon, a convert from the metal and hardcore world with impeccable pop sensibilities and a selfless ability to serve the song; tenor saxophonist Victory Ngyuen, a Pharoah Sanders acolyte with an ear for urgent, entrancing solos of the highest order; alto saxophonist Andrew Morrill, whose bold tones and fearless harmonic sensibilities earned him a reputation for pushing the old school into the 21st century; and last but not least, Bobby Granfelt, whose hip-hop and bebop-inspired drumming laid the foundation for the entire project.
“We’re a bunch of outsiders who refused to be kept out,” states Granfelt. “We’ve never had an academic approach to jazz as most of us grew up playing in DIY bands, so it was the rawness and the energy and the absolute freedom of the music that called to us in the first place.”
Pursuit Of Ends
- All Roads Lead To Los Angeles (feat Jaleel Shaw)
- Blaming Mercury
- Window To A Shimmering World
- Chemical X
- A Ring On Each Finger
- Kamishinjo (feat Jacob Mann)
- Inner Crooner
- Wax Hands (feat Brandee Younger)
- You’ve Got To Pull It Up From The Ground (feat Theo Croker)
(left to right above)
Antoine Martel – keyboards
Trevor Eulau – guitar
Kaeli Earle – bass
Andrew Morrill – saxophone
Bobby Granfelt – drums & percussion
Rob Homan – keyboards
Victory Nguyen – saxophone, flute & trumpet
HIGH PULP online: