Brass House

Too Many Zooz – F Note

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on TickuTalk, but it took some time to really digest the music from these new artists. Let me begin this introduction to Too Many Zooz by stating that every once in a while, something really special comes along in the world of music.  Like a shooting star streaking across the sky, you can be waiting for it to come for a long time.  If you aren’t paying attention, you could miss it entirely.  But if you are lucky enough to see it, it’s brilliance is unmistakable.

That’s what hearing Too Many Zooz for the first time felt like. A former colleague of mine shared a brief snippet of one of their performances at a subway station in New York City and I became intrigued. By the time I heard their first their first EP, I was in love.  Below is a video of a live performance at Union Square station which contains a good portion of the music that would appear on their debut EP called “F Note”.

 

First of all, it’s impossible to not take note of the fancy footwork from Leo P (who plays the baritone sax) that starts at about the 2:10 mark.  Then just after the 2:30 mark, Matt Doe unleashes a quick succession of notes on the trumpet that that seemingly requires his tongue to move faster than is humanly possible.  It’s easy to move quickly between notes when they are different since you can just move your fingers and slur them together.  Playing the same note over and over again in that rapid fire manner and keeping them distinct requires you to stop the flow of air with your tongue.  I’m a bad enough trumpet player to know how hard it is to be as amazing as that guy.  I’m pretty sure I could practice my whole life and never be that good.  He is literally pouring his soul into that horn, and hitting notes I could never dream of hitting.  If that wasn’t enough, as soon as he finishes, Leo P begins to play his sax and makes it sound like a god damn didgeridoo!  Are you kidding me?  This could very well be the finest 30 seconds of musicianship I have ever seen.  And the whole time, in his own quiet way, the King of Sludge is hammering away unceasingly on his kit which is really the backbone of the performance.

Now there are a lot of great musicians out there, many of whom could be more technically skilled than these particular gentlemen.  Yet together, I think most people would agree they are more than the sum of their parts.  I don’t think I’ve ever seen another three piece band with this configuration (trumpet, baritone sax and drums) and their sound and style is fresh, brash and raw.  Their music can seem familiar, yet unique at the same time.  You can definitely hear the influences of Latin, Mediterranean, and Caribbean rhythms, just not in the way that you are used to.  Too Many Zooz calls their music brasshouse, going so far as to proclaim it a new genre (and I’m inclined to agree).    Don’t bother trying to google the term to find the definition of brasshouse, because it doesn’t exist in the broader consciousness of the musical world yet.  I predict all of that will change very soon though, so it’s pretty exciting to be able to hear this music in it’s nascent stages.  In a sane world, these guys should already be one of the biggest things in the world of music by now.  Alas, we live in a world where a song like “Gangam Style” has more than 2 billion views, while the most popular video from these supremely talented musicians has less than 2 million.  Hopefully, these guys are on the verge of blowing up because they deserve it.  To listen to the full EP in high quality, check out the Soundcloud link below:

 

 

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