Collect All Five
Tired of having to go to three or four different shows to see jazz, funk, rock and klezmer music? Well, you’re in luck.
Collect All Five is a five-piece instrumental group from Austin, Texas, playing an eclectic blend of jazz, funk and various other styles, though better than that description might indicate. Made up of drummer Matt Coleman, saxophonist Jason Frey, pianist Nicholas Litterski, bassist Joshua Mouton and guitarist/vibraphonist Mark Poitras, Collect All Five delivers its songs with a high level of musicianship and a sense of humor.
The group has released one CD, Live 2004, which is, as the title indicates, a CD of live recordings. From 2004. The disc is mostly original material, with a few covers—compositions by Sonny Rollins, Freddie Hubbard and Gene Harris.
During the current tour, Collect All Five plans to put together a CD of recordings on the road, says Frey. This upcoming CD, though it will be recorded “on the road,” will not be live. Instead, during the course of the tour, the band intends to make stops at various recording studios, including one in Long Beach, Calif. (where the band will be in April), and later assemble the recordings into a CD.
Though the tour was just getting underway, Frey, speaking from Colorado, said that the band has gotten great reactions from audiences so far. “It’s spring break up here right now, so people are getting crazy,” he added, presumably surrounded by snowboarders doing beer bongs.
Collect All Five began its tour at the beginning of March, starting in Texas and working through Colorado, Wyoming and Idaho. After two shows in Nevada—one at the Zephyr Lounge and one at Blue Angel Café in Sparks—they have several dates in California before turning around and heading back toward Texas. The tour spans thousands of miles and nearly two months. That should keep anyone busy enough, but while on the road, Collect All Five has additionally been writing new material, which bandmembers are already incorporating into sets.
“Most of our writing comes from a collaborative effort,” Frey says, explaining that the group tends to be happiest with the compositions they all contribute to. That they compose collaboratively makes it all the more surprising that their music rarely degenerates into formless noodling or tedious grooving. Unlike many “jam” bands, their tunes actually go somewhere.
Exactly where they go can be pretty surprising. Collect All Five manages to cover a lot of ground, often in a single tune, moving between styles with apparent ease. “Dubbopya” starts out (as the name implies) as a slow, spacey dub tune. A third of the way in, the band switches into double time and starts playing in a straight-ahead jazz style, switching back into slow dub mode for the last three minutes of the song. The following track, “Spinach Melody,” is an up-tempo klezmer composition with heavily distorted electric guitar. “Funk for Jesus” is a funk jam that turns into a Gospel rave-up. “Poon Pakin” is a blush-inducing recreation of classic porno-soundtrack music. Surprisingly, the title is less obscene than the bass intro.
All this and you can dance to them (sometimes), too.
See them. Shake your booty. Pretend it’s spring break.