Jazz musicians have always found inspiration from a wide world of music, and Seattle-based quartet Hunter Gather continue that tradition in a time when consideration of genres is becoming passé.
Growing up as lovers of a wide variety of musical styles, Hunter Gather continues the jazz musicians' constant quest to find a personal sound. They've done that, with echoes of American folk music, indie-rock youthfulness, and less-obvious hints of progressive metal and punk rock.
Levi Gillis leads the group on tenor saxophone, Ronan DeLisle plays electric guitar with Alex Oliverio on electric baritone guitar, Evan Woodle keeps a colorful rhythm on drums.
The contrasting but complimentary interplay of the two guitars lay down a soundscape of chords with Gillis' saxophone providing most of the melodies, building from delicate notes to powerful flourishes. It's deliberate and emotional music, moving from intense to gentle in a single song.
They played two pieces from their wonderful debut album from last Fall, Getting to Know You, as heard on KNKX's Saturday afternoon modern jazz show The New Cool. We were also treated to a fantastic new song from guitarist Oliverio called "Bivouac" that featured exciting performances from all four players.
Oliverio has recently moved back to Arizona, but modern technology makes it easier for the band to keep him involved in Hunter Gather. That's good news, as the band says a new album is well underway.
Keep your eyes and ears open for the modern jazz possibilities explored by Hunter Gather and the many other groups that include these talented, forward-thinking musicians. Jazz continues to change in surprising new ways, and these young men are at the forefront in the Northwest.