Sunday, January 5, 2014

New look: Altered Trio in special acoustic show

Newburyport guitarist Dan Searl will roll out an acoustic version of 
the Altered Trio this month at 17 State Street Cafe in Newburyport. 
Courtesy photo.
A new year, a new look — a couple of them, actually — for Dan Searl: The Port guitarist will roll out an altered version of The Altered Trio for a special all-acoustic show at 17 State Street Cafe. 

The Jan. 18 show will put the spotlight on Bossa Buena flutist Albert Lamar, who, like Searl, is a Berklee alum and instructor at the Musical Suite. Then, further south, Searl will bring out an altered version of his primary band, the Dan Searl Group, at Gulu-Gulu in Salem. This line-up will feature Searl and original DSG saxophonist Jared Yee,  playing with percussionist Yuriana Sobrino, who plays with Searl in Altered Trio, and Turkish bassist Yaman Akdogan, just a couple of weeks later.

Both shows will showcase original tunes and deconstructions and decompositions — arrangements of popular tunes that Searl has “done my own way,” he says. “re-harmonizing them and taking the tunes to a different place musically, while still preserving the message and vibe of the original versions. Some people may call them ‘jazzier’ versions, but I prefer to just say they are more rhythmically and harmonically developed,” he says.

These remaimagined tunes range from rockers like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ "Under the Bridge"  to more folk-oriented songs like John Prine's “Angel from Montgomery.”

The result is “something that I believe any music lover can appreciate,” says Searl,  a semifinalist in the 2012 Yamaha Six-String Theory guitar competition, who counts John Coltrane and Wes Montgomery among his influences. “The simple and songful melodies are there for the easy listener and there’s more complexity throughout the tunes for more of the modern music aficionado.”

Searl and Lamar have been working together a lot lately. “It is stimulating and exciting to see where our improvisations can go,” says the guitarist. “We have been playing everything from originals to jazz repertoire, and even more Latin- and South American-influenced music.”

Regardless of personnel, the Gulu gig will feature a groove-oriented, improvisational sound. You can call it fusion, nu jazz, whatever.  It can be fiery or furious, recalling that old-school ’70s vibe while remaining contemporary, in style and subject matter, and melodic.

The band, which released an EP last year,  is currently composing and rehearsing for a studio session to complete the full album, due out in late 2014.

JUST THE FACTS, MAN: The Altered Trio, featuring Port guitarist Dan Searl, will play an acoustic show at 7 p.m. Jan. 18 at 17 State Street Cafe, 17 State St., Newburyport — the former Fowle’s. The Dan Searl Group will perform at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at Gulu-Gulu Cafe , 247 Essex St., Salem, as part of its Sunday night jazz series.  

An 'altered' version of the Dan Searl Group plays at Gulu-Gulu Cafe in Salem next month.

1 comment:

  1. The harmony between the members of the Trio was magical. Dan's compositions are super creative music. Albert is a flute master and the way Yaman contributed to Dan's compositions with his rhythmic feeling was so strong and powerful.