The Evolutionary Jass Band formed around 2001, with key members of the band having been longtime members of the seminal out-rock ensemble with the notoriously large membership, Jackie-O-Motherfucker.With a steadier (and smaller) lineup and a jazz language as the focus, the Jefrey Brown-led ensemble slowly but steadily became one of Portland’s most unusual live bands- absolutely dedicated to a working-band family atmosphere, their unity and focused sonic vocabulary is astonishing and immediately accessible to their audiences. Early EJB music (the band then going as The Steele Street Revolutionary Jass Band) revolved around crescendoes of modal, looping riffs, recalling Ethiopian jazz-funk as well as the ecstatic vibe of 1970s afrocentric jazz visionaries like Sunny Murray. Now, the band has incorporated even more stylistic map-points, allowing them to manipulate a highly charged jazz language with confidence and ease. Combining their aforementioned influences with bebop compositional balance, Jarmuschian cinematic moodiness, torch song, New Orleans proto-jazz, and American band music, the band is quickly forging a powerful, brave, and singular musical voice. With a now-steady bandlineup assembled from some of Portland’s busiest musicians (guitarist Marisa Anderson and violinist/vocalist Daphna Kohn are talented songwriters in their own right), the band is recording new, ecstatic compositions for future release on Community Library, the Jass Band family label Jaffe Records, as well as a special limited LP project slated for release on Portland’s excellent Mississippi Records label.

upper photo: Anna Shelton / Lower photo: dead air fresheners


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