“Black Coffee” starts off slow before quickly ramping up to the high energy, frenetic kind of jazz-influenced chaos Brunswick has been perfecting since their start about five years ago.
“It’s the Richmond jazz sound. It’s so far from the normal idea of jazz that a lot of people will got to see a ‘jazz’ show and be completely blindsided, not expecting to be moved in the same why they might expect,” said John Hulley, the bandleader, composer, arranger and one of three trombone players in the group.
“I was watching Twin Peaks super hard,” he said explaining where the track title, “Black Coffee,” comes from. For the uniformed, Agent Cooper loved black coffee. Thematically, Hulley said the show’s opening credit’s melody has some similarities to this new release as well.
Brunswick started with Hulley penning tunes in VCU’s Jazz program and has since evolved into a massive force offering the big band sounds Richmond has been know for for sometime. It should then be no surprise that he is also a member of No BS! Brass Band, headed by Reggie Pace. The duo swap roles in Brunswick as Hulley leads and Pace plays auxiliary percussion. Hulley and Pace have also gone on tour as members of Sufjan Stevens’ backing band, one of his long time inspirations.
“I grew up really like the indie music from the early/mid 00s, and then I went to college for jazz music and got into that,” he said of what to expect on the new record, appropriately titled “Five Years” as a nod to the time he’s spent crafting the record. “So when I got out, I wondered what if I stopped making music in the pocket of jazz as much,”
Hulley also traces famed Richmond big/jazz band legends Fight the Big Bull as a massive inspiration. You’ll hear them most clearly in some of the more freaked-out solos on this track.
As for the album, they finished tracking last summer with Adrian Olsen at Montrose Studios. Olsen also helped with the mastering and the final product is a clean, crisp slice of a band that finally captures the talent and energy on display during their live shows.
And as if that wasn’t enough of a reason to get to the gig, that evening is also a fundraiser for Art 180, an art outreach program for Richmond’s youth.
“Art 180 has been doing awesome stuff,” Hulley said. “I loved when they did the monument project and that doofus made them take them down. But then the people who lived on Monument put them in their yards anyway. How can you not love art outreach to the kids with a message like that.”
Joining Brunswick on the bill are The Wimps, Minor Poet and Hannah Goad, coming together to create an diverse sampling of Richmond’s indie and DIY scenes.
So stop reading and head over to the Broadberry’s site for tickets here!