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The New Cool: Fresh Grooves Triumph in Seattle

Seattle band The New Triumph.
Courtesy of The New Triumph.
Airport setting is no joke - The New Triumph is ready to take off!

The New Triumph has released their 2nd album Keep On Push'n, but their official CD release party is Friday night, August 11th at the Pono Ranch in Ballard.

The band first came to our attention through their drummer Adam Kessler, and it's safe to say rhythm is key to this band's musical character. Led by Camilo Estrada's relentless grooves on bass guitar, The New Triumph have traded in a blend of latin and african rhythms coated with a thick layer of funk for a half dozen years now. Kessler matches beats with percussionists Ahkeenu Musa and Ricardo Guity - the years of collaboration have made this rhythm section as tight as the proverbial drum.

For lesser bands, you could almost stop there and still keep an audience busy dancing the night away. The New Triumph adds sophisticated arrangements of catchy melodies, then let's their improvisational skills take over. The result, with Marc Hagar's keys, Arie Pytel's guitar and the horns of Ariel Chi-Linh Nguyen Loud (sax), Robby Beasley and Scott Morning (trumpets), is a compelling journey for the mind and body. These songs will have you dancing, and satisfy a headphone session as well.

Favorites from the album around the New Cool Control Center (Abe's desk) include the laid back title song (Morning's solo is especially fun!), the beach party vibes of "El Sapo De Culiacan", and most of all "Count Dracula's African Vacation". It's a wild soundtrack trip that doesn't need a movie - a popping Fela Kuti-inspired guitar rhythm with horns introduces us to the character, who seems like a nice enough guy. Three minutes in, the mood changes to spooky, slowing to a melodic phrase that pulls the curtain back on a bloodsucking freak with some funk in his trunk. Count Blacula, we're ready for another sequel!

You can listen to the entire release and buy a digital copy here, but you'll want to stop by Pono Ranch Friday to get the live feeling of The New Triumph (and maybe even shake your money maker) Friday night, with opener Kate Olson's Electric Ensemble and live painting (!) from Orion Misciagna.

If you miss that show, you can catch 'em at the Celebrate Shoreline festival in Cromwell Park at 5:30 on Saturday, August 19th, with shows in Oak Harbor and Kenmore ahead in September.

You can't hope to contain the power of The New Triumph, so you might as well join in!

The New Cool airs Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. The program is hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Wash.