The Lagniappe Sessions :: Sunwatchers

Lagniappe (la ·gniappe) noun ‘lan-ˌyap,’ — 1. An extra or unexpected gift or benefit. 2. Something given or obtained as a gratuity or bonus.

The return of Sunwatchers. Simply entitled II, the group return next month with an incendiary follow up to their 2016 debut. Sonically, the quartet continues to defy adequate description, incorporating elements of free jazz, psychedelia, punk, Ethiopian and Thai music into a dizzy, invigorating sound. Always ones to wear and share their influences widely, the band discuss their selections below. A heady, intoxicating brew.

Sunwatchers :: Ancestor (Arthur Doyle)

Three Sunwatchers – Jeff, Jim and Jason – had the distinct and profound privilege of collaborating with the late, great Arthur Doyle, pioneering blaster and esteemed composer of FREE-JAZZ-SOUL. Not enough room to fully expound, but suffice to say: for us, it was heavy.  The music we got to make with him was released on Amish Records in late 2016 as  Arthur Doyle & His New Quiet Screamers “First House”.   Dig it.

While preparing for the release-show of that LP, Jeff arranged into a  Tony Allen-influenced groover an Arthur tune from one of his purely solo efforts,  The Songwriter  – some of the loneliest and most urgent music ever released.  “Ancestor”  finds Arthur two-chord vamping on a melody, sax-wise and vocally and naming the names of his sonic, spiritual and psychic forbears:  Sun Ra, Miles, Muhammad Ali and more.   We did not play this song with Arthur, but simply put: without our collaboration with Arthur there is no Sunwatchers. We name no names but perform with only one in our hearts, minds and hands, and we consider ourselves forever changed to have been part of Arthur’s process in transmogrifying that intense solitude and high vision into a communal exercise of improvisation.

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