Jazz Mafia Symphony

Brass, Bows and Beats

If you weren’t one of the lucky ones witnessing the incredible Brass, Bows and Beats performance of 40-plus-piece Bay Area ensemble Jazz Mafia Symphony in Laxson Auditorium Oct. 15, or even if you were, you ought to invest in this album. (I say this knowing that there is no substitute for the energy and effect of live performances.) Brass, Bows and Beats—as the name implies—is a musical fusion of jazz, symphonic music and hip-hop, featuring a wide range of some of the Bay Area’s hottest instrumentalists (violins, saxophones, a rhythm section, a turntablist, etc.) and singers, including Shotgun Wedding Quintet rapper Dublin. Brass, Bows and Beats is both the name of the album and of the innovative eight-movement piece by Jazz Mafia ringleader (and multi-instrumentalist) Adam Theis. The CD is a live recording, made last year, of the piece as performed at San Francisco’s Palace of Fine Arts. This is no forced mish-mash of conflicting styles; in coming up with Brass, Bows & Beats, Theis and the rest of the JM crew have gotten to the beautiful core of each style of music and melded them together into one very impressive, infectious musical experience.