In demand sideman, bassist/composer Noah Garabedian, who has worked with the likes of Ravi Coltrane, Josh Roseman, Ralph Alessi, Andrew D'Angelo, Myron Walden, Nir Felder, Julian Waterfall Pollack and The Amigos Band, recently released his debut recording as a leader, Big Butter And The Egg Men, on Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records, featuring his sextet of the same name. Garabedian now leads the band, featuring Noah Garabedian (bass), Kenny Warren (trumpet), Anna Webber (tenor saxophone and flute), Kyle Wilson (tenor saxophone), Raffi Garabedian (tenor saxophone), Curtis Macdonald (alto saxophone) and Alex Ritz (drums), at Bay Area CD Release Celebrations, February 12 at Duende in Oakland, and February 13 at the Center for New Music in San Francisco.
The instrumentation of Garabedian's band was inspired by a prolonged Louis Armstrong phase, coupled with the bassist listening extensively to Henry Threadgill's bands Zooid, and Very Very Circus (several of the tracks on the album also reveal Garabedian's love for Bach, and Baroque music in general). He elaborated, "I wanted to create a band where the musicians could all comp for each other, without a traditional chordal instrument, and having a band that can potentially go from being an entire sextet improvising together, to a small duo or trio, was a very exciting prospect for me." Garabedian aimed to compose music that provide a spring board for the improvisers, and that would have a more natural transition between the composed passages and the improvised sections. He explains, "rather than writing in a conventional jazz structures (such as the blues, or AABA forms, etc), I wanted to experiment with several different melodies in a piece, different improvising sections throughout the composition, and a variety of textures within each song."
The Big Butter And the Egg Men Sextet, featuring Garabedian on bass with Kyle Wilson (tenor sax), Anna Webber (tenor sax), Curtis MacDonald (alto sax), Kenny Warren (trumpet) and Evan Hughes (drums), is made up of musicians who are also friends who have been making music together for a long time. Just to cite one example, Garabedian, now based in Brooklyn, and drummer Evan Hughes (both from Berkeley, CA) have known each other since they were teenagers. "Having that band quality is very important to me, especially in an age where so few steady working bands exist. The trust I have in the musicians is something that I value greatly; not only can I rely on them to perform my music at a high level, but I also welcome their input while we are work-shopping new compositions," said Garabedian.