NEW ENGLAND SOUNDS
The Dover Brickhouse
If you haven’t been to the Dover Brickhouse, you’re missing out on a great music experience. On October 8th, the Amorphous Band had the place rocking by the start of the second set. Unlike most outfits, this six-piece New Hampshire covers and originals group was on the stage before 9pm to a modest, seated crowd that was nonetheless appreciative. In this environment, Amorphous’ smooth jazz side jumped off the stage, foreshadowing what was to come.
Lead Vocalist Cindy Kaza’s sultry stage presence and timbre was entrancing from the opening note. Kaza poured her heart and soul into each melody while still maintaining the integrity of her smooth, precise voice. She is a fine performer as well, relying not on overzealous stage antics but on subtle movements while exuding joy, tenderly fingering the mic stand as she rocked back and forth. Fretless six-string bassist Keith Foley flourished in this environment, at times stretching out low, languid tones; at others, riding snugly in the pocket. As soon as the crowd started to pour in around 10pm, you could feel the momentum build. Drummer P. J. Donahue not only laid down funk and jazz, but also some very quick, very smooth techno beats over which keyboardist Dan Shure sprinkled atmohpheric sounds, having much success with his Moog musings. Energized by the inebriated audience, Foley morphed into an incarnation of Jaco Pastorius, playing many staccato notes without compromising the groove.
Guitarist Chris O’Neill was the conductor, making sure everyone was ready for the breaks and leads. His axe wielding is in the vein of John Scofield, hist tone like Trey Anastasio, and he is not shamed to lie back in the mix and let the other highly textured sounds pour through. Nor is he afraid to step to the front to deliver a gritty lead. On the subject of leads, Amorhphous Band was joined by Mark Paquin on sax, which gave their jazz/funk sound a lot of flavor-especially when he got the lead reigns and took the jam to the crescendo.
Amorphous Band borrows heavily not only from jazz and funk but old soul music and disco. They can even pull off hip-hop, as they did when Somthin MC (Greg Hoey from the Wize Crackaz) joined them for a crowd pleasing set. Overall, their sound is something akin to Groove Collective.
Log on to Amorphousmusic.com to find out more about the group and to order their album, Primeordia.