Posts Tagged ‘Mindtonic’

The E.Normus Trio Local Record Release Party
Thursday, August 2, 2012
with J.Ray Goes Beatnik!
Back Stage at the LAB (The Lexington Ave Brewery)
Asheville, NC

On Thursday, August 2nd, E.Normus Trio will celebrate the release of their first record “Love and Barbiturates” with a live concert and video taping at the LAB.  J.Ray Goes Beatnik opens the show.

Born of a weekly Sunday jam session at the now-closed Joli Rouge in Asheville, North Carolina, the E. Normus Trio has been a project of Jay Sanders and Steve Alford since they met playing “Rhapsody in Blue” in 2007. Contrary to speculation, the group is not named for its exotic instrumentation and the ranges they provide, but is instead the pedigreed namesake of Alford’s sizeable leonberger, Norman E. Normus. As a puppy, Norman was a regular listener at those Sunday sessions.

Originally taking an almost whimsical approach to the bare bones horn/bass/drums jazz trio concept, the sound of the group began a major transformation with Sanders’ switch from acoustic bass to the N/S Stick, an 8-string multi-mode instrument that covers the ranges of both a bass and a guitar. At the heart of the huge sound generated by the group is Sanders’ ability to take on two roles at once, covering what would normally be played separately by both a bassist and guitar player. This “one brain controlling two voices,” as Alford calls it, creates an eerie effect in the sound, and results in a symbiosis that is simply unachievable with bass and guitar played individually. This nucleus paired with Alford’s vocalized and primal lead voice, six octaves of sweeping clarinet range, creates a sonic palette unlike any other trio out there. To this mix, add Michael W. Davis, who brings incredible jazz sensitivity coupled with huge power generated not by volume, but with an utterly superhuman control of the time.

Compared to many studio projects these days, Love and Barbiturates was recorded with very little overdubbing. The contra-bass clarinet and alto clarinet on “The Long Boots of Age” are an obvious example of studio magic, but amazingly enough the album is recreated live by the group with very little variance in texture and layering. The debate is still ongoing as to whether this is a jazz, rock, or soul record, or something new altogether. As music genre labels are generally the product of hindsight, that debate will be discussed and determined by others.

E.Normus Trio. Photo By Josh Rhinehardt

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Jay Sanders has long been a staple in the Asheville music scene. One of the “go to” bass players in the area, Jay has toured extensively with Acoustic Syndicate, Donna The Buffalo, Snake Oil Medicine Show, and countless others.

Throughout the spring of 2010, Sanders lead the Mindtonic Music Series on Tuesday evenings at the Rocket Club in West Asheville. He brought together a dynamic edge of collaborative players, each performance resulting in a completely different sound than the week before. Groups were assembled to bridge various music scenes and to showcase the co-creations that form when unlikely musical companions of contrasting styles are set free in an open environment.

On Wednesday, November 3rd, the Best of the Mindtonic Music Series will be making a special appearance at The Grey Eagle in Asheville. The new combination of Jay Sanders, Bill Cardine and Andy Pond will be joined by special guest percussionist, River Guerguerian. The improvisational spirit of The E.Normus Trio opens the show. The show starts at 9pm. $8 Advance, $10 Door.

Collectively, Sanders, Cardine and Pond are three of the most celebrated talents in Western North Carolina. Dobro master Bill Cardine has long been a signature sound of the Biscuit Burners and was recently featured on Jerry Douglas’ tribute to Tut Taylor. Andy Pond is one of the banjo world’s best kept secret, making his sound known through the Snake Oil Medicine Show. The Porous Borders of Music was an experience that brought together the musical talents of Andy Pond and Bill Cardine and could easily describe their continued odyssey as they expand upon infinite creative horizons.

For a sneak peak at what they have to offer, check out these videos from their first show at Pisgah Brewing with Jeff Sipe sitting in: http://wp.me/pxjHY-HR.

Some of their music is also available to download at http://mindtonic.net/media/SCPS. Just right click on the link from the index page and you can save it to i-tunes.


Formed in 2007, The E.Normus Trio is an adventurous Jazz spirit comprised of Steve Alford on alto & bass clarinet, Billy Seawell on drums, and Jay Sanders on bass. Steve Alford is the director of the jazz program at Mars Hill College and a frequent participant in the Asheville Jazz Orchestra. One of the most expressive drummers you will ever see, Billy Seawell is best known for his work with the Snake Oil Medicine Show. The essence of creativity is emphasized in collective improvisations that traverse a wide musical spectrum. The E.Normus Trio has held residencies at the Jolie Rouge and The Rocket Club, making weekly performances the stuff of legendary exploration.

For more info visit: www./mindtonic.net

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Photo by Lewis Tezak Jr.

If there is one thing you can say about bass player, Jay Sanders, it is that he has never stopped following the path his heart leads him through music. With over twenty years in the saddle, he is still touring and recording with folk rock band, Acoustic Syndicate. He played four years with Americana roots rock legends Donna The Buffalo. Jay was one of the original members of the Snake Oil Medicine Show, CX-1, and one of the primary forces behind AVAS (The Acoustic Vibration Appreciation Society). He also currently leads the jazz band, The E.Normus Trio.

As a bass player, what characterizes Jay’s music is an overwhelming sense of space, time and genre. His compositions tend towards the melodic and sublime while improvisations can go from the most peaceful melody to full-scale free jazz and noise music. His attention to styles and versatility are the hallmark of his playing. Sanders can either be the “rock,” holding the steady rhythmic heartbeat of a song, or take you down a sensitive melodic road of adventurous organic experimentation. The element of creativity that he admires most is collective collaboration with keen awareness.

This spring, Sanders commenced the weekly “Mindtonic Music Series” on Tuesday evenings at the Rocket Club in Asheville; he brings together various collaborative players including Andy Pond and Billy Seawell from Snake Oil Medicine show, Billy Cardine (Biscuit Burners), Mark Van Allen (Blueground Undergrass), Vic Stafford (Donna the Buffalo), Jeff Sipe, Cyril Lance, Jason Krekel (Mad Tea Party), Jason Flournoy (Larry Keel and Natural Bridge), Aaron Woody Wood and David Gans amonst many others. Each week’s collaboration results in a completely different sound than the week before, always keeping a dynamic edge. Groups are assembled in order to bridge various music scenes and to showcase the co-creations that form when unlikely musical companions of contrasting styles are set free in an open environment.

Throughout his career Sanders has had the opportunity to play with many of his heroes including Ornette Coleman, Bela Fleck, Sam Bush, Paul Barrere and Fred Tackett of Little Feat, Bernie Worrel, Kirk Joseph, Vassar Clements, Jim Lauderdale, Tim O’Brien, Larry Keel, Hank Roberts and many more. He has studied with Reggie Wooten, E. Michael Harrington, Jerry Coker and countless inspiring individual talents over the years.

Over the years, Jay Sanders has become a sought after bass player for his versatility and attentiveness. “Anyone can play the bass, but it takes keen intuition and a good ear to become a great bass player,” he says. With so many projects in the works, it will be exciting to see what shape his next musical adventure will take.

Find out more at mindtonic.net

Mindtonic Music Series April Schedule:

April 6 – The Sufi Brothers

Jay Sanders, Woody Wood, Jason Krekel, and Mike Rhodes

The combination of Jason Krekel, Mike Rhodes and Aaron Woody Wood is a powerful force.  The Sufi Brothers used to play in Boone and Asheville years ago – leading to many legendary performances and bar dances.  This band contains the kind of chemistry that Oppenheimer couldn’t have dreamed of.

April 13 –  The Dog Talkers

Jay Sanders, Jeff Sipe, Dave McCrackin, and Cyril Lance, with special guest Ben Hovey

What can you say about the living legend that is Jeff Sipe? Long a hero with the Aquarium Rescue Unit and Leftover Salmon, it is a true honor to play with the dynamic typhoon of rhythmic drive. Whenever Jeff plays the drums, the music transcends time and space into a beautiful cosmic reality of groove. Cyril Lance is an amazing songwriter and guitarist from the Chapel Hill area who has been known for spectacular performances. What you may not know is that he is an expert in the Earth’s magnetic field, designed the new Moog Taurus pedals and can talk to dogs. David McCracken is a rare and singular musical presence, his prowess with his organ is know far and wide. These days you can find him projecting light with Donna The Buffalo when not cruising the parkway in his vintage VW bus Madame Norbert. Joining the band as a special guest is trumpeter and keyboardist Ben Hovey. Ben has been making waves with Yo Mama’s Big Fat Booty Band and the Vertigo Jazz Project funkin’ it up in Asheville for a couple years now.

April 20 –

Jay Sanders, Sean Mason, and others tba

Sean Mason is the rhythmic mastermind behind the Vertigo Jazz Project.  He is also part of the glue that has been holding the Wednseday night jazz explorations at MoDaddy’s.  They will be joined by several surprise guests.  Fear not if you leave with a dizzying feeling of motion when one is stationary, it might not just be the stools.

April 27 – David Gans & Friends

Jay Sanders, David Gans, Bobby Miller, Billy Cardine, and more tba

You know him as the world’s most listened to Deadhead as the host of the Grateful Dead Hour, but did you know that David Gans is also an incredible tunesmith?  David will be supported by Virginia Dare Devils’ maestro Bobby Miller on Mandolin and handstands.  Billy Cardine will also be joining the group on the dobro.  More musicians will be announced as the day gets closer.

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