Jazz is Phish
Sadly, I believe this is what most people think of when they think of jazz. A bunch of loud instruments trying to drive you mad through cacophony. This is unfortunate and the sentiment is misguided. Jazz, to me, is a concept about how music, especially “live” music, can be played. A concept that promotes a mostly unscripted, free flowing exchange of sounds and ideas. A formula that elevates originality over predictability. In other words, jazz is all about improvisation, spontaneity, and taking chances. Certainly, there are cases when the formula fails, but when the stars align, jazz can lead to most beautiful, meaningful, and redeeming music you will ever hear. It’s really an approach to music and spans a wide spectrum of the musical landscape, from bluegrass to rock n’ roll to the more textbook definition of jazz, including blues, bebop, and hardbop. Bands and artists – to name a few -that live or lived by this jazz ethos include Miles Davis, The Grateful Dead, John Coltrane, The Allman Brothers, Eric Clapton, Charlie Parker, Sonny Rollins, Steve Kimock, and Phish.
JAZZ IS PHSH is an instrumental tribute to Phish inspired by the popular tribute to The Grateful Dead, “Jazz is Dead”. JAZZ IS PHSH is a collective of prominent musicians from the Jazz and Jam scenes that have come together in their appreciation of Phish music to reimagine Phish in an instrumental, jazz fusion setting!
Phish has been my favorite band for the last 20 years. Since then, I have seen them 179 times. In addition, I have been a fan of jazz music since I was born. My grandfather was a jazz guitarist with Artie Shaw and a few other big bands in Philadelphia. Therefore, to say that I was excited to see two of my favorite genres (yes, I said Phish was a genre) of music collide and collaborate is a true understatement.