The Rainbow Ends to perform evening of jazz at Jozart

rainbowendsGenre breaking musical revolutions are difficult to find, given that big money is more easily attained with traditional pop forms, complete with predictable dance beats and vocalists tenaciously bent on demonstrating their penchant for vocal acrobatics. However, one need look no further than a 6 pm Saturday, February 13 date with The Rainbow Ends at Jozart Center for the Arts, 333 2nd Street in California, PA, to experience a revolution in the making.

The Rainbow Ends, comprised of Josh Carns on guitar, Kyle Greene on bass, and drummer Justin Landers, takes jazz from the realm of horns and piano to the world of electronica and hip-hop beats.

“It started with drummer Justin Landers,” Carns explained in an interview; “We played on projects, and he introduced me to a former Nashville player (Greene) who is into making electronic music, but it was with jazz, to maybe take it in a new direction.”

Using looping pedals, into which a musician can record riffs while playing live on stage, then have those sounds repeat, Carns said the focus is to emulate “sounds of electronica to produce organic sounds, rather than (loop) samples. It is a different way to improvise melody over chord progressions, then build the electronic sounds to a crescendo.”

For the Jozart Center for the Arts show, The Rainbow Ends will play the entirety of a groundbreaking jazz record in its own time, Miles Davis’ 4x multi-platinum “Kind of Blue.”

Released in 1959, “Kind of Blue” took bebop (a style of jazz) and unlinked its focus on frenetic, piano-driven chord changes – those sounds which help identify the musical direction of a song and its melodies – and moved it to modally based improvisational forms (modal jazz) – simply, notes, or even a single note in a musical scale degree – meaning the musicians could play as they wished without the constraints of clear-cut, 12 bar chord changes in pre-defined keys, for example.

In a like fashion, The Rainbow Ends plans on taking “Kind of Blue” into “different planes,” Carns said, relating “If we’re going to do a jazz show, let’s do this one record and move on…but it’s going to be different because we’re just guitar, bass, and drums.”

Combined with the band’s use of organic looping sounds, their performance should take off with the audience, exhibiting the kind of originality Davis himself might appreciate.

Carns notes that “Kind of Blue” is just one set planned for their Jozart performance, saying “a lot” of originals are on the set lists, meaning the audience is in for an evening of aural treats.

As Carns and crew from The Rainbow Ends continue composing their unique mix of jazz and electronica, perhaps starting their own revolution in the genre, he enjoys how the band sounds today, saying “I can see the overall sound being relevant right now. A lot of people have been playing standards so long, it’s good to come at it with a fresh perspective, using a lot of rhythms from hip-hop, which is prevalent today.”
Story by Keren Lee Dreyer for Pennsylvania Bridges