Evil Genius (Portland/Los Angeles) is a forward-marching experimental jazz trio formed in 2012. The band is made up of Max Kutner on guitars (Grandmothers of Invention, Magic Band, Alphonso Johnson), Stefan Kac on tuba (Milo Fine, Jon Armstong, Hammerstein) and Michael “Bonepocket” Lockwood on drums and percussion (Atomic Ape, Deradoorian, Matt Kivel). The band’s unique sound has drawn comparisons to groups as wide-ranging as the Minutemen, This Heat, and Captain Beefheart to jazz figures like John McLaughlin, Steve Lacy, Henry Threadgill and many more. They have received acclaim from the New York City Jazz Record, Bad Alchemy, Los Angeles Jazz Station, Downtown Music Gallery, El Intruso and more. In the words of Larry Koonse, “This band can do it all — whether its in your face rock, free wheeling open improvisation, 20th century classical music, or jazz — they can pull it off and upend all of your expectations.” Their debut album, “Bitter Human” was released in late 2015 and available through Orenda Records in Los Angeles.
Hound Dog Taylor’s Hand is Jeffery Taylor (guitar), John Seman (contrabass), and Mark Ostrowski (drums). Taking its name from the six-fingered blues slide guitarist, the group creates spontaneous compositions rooted in the language of the blues and free jazz. Taylor weaves guitar improvisations like themes through a sermon, fanning the flames of long-time Monktail rhythm section of Seman and Ostrowski. Reverence for the roots of improvised music meets an unbridled passion to push boundaries, making for a propulsive and unpredictable sound. Their first LP has just been released on Abduction Records.