Seattle Jazz Supergroup Burn List Trades in Spooky, Lynchian Noir

Burn List CD Release Show

Wednesday, May 14

When many people hear the word “jazz,” they grumble. As Spinal Tap’s David St. Hubbins said in a recent interview, “Jazz is mistakes. You’re playing a song, but you are playing it wrong . . . [It’s] an accident waiting to happen.” Hubbins’ expert analysis be damned, Seattle’s jazz musicians have been playing all the right wrong notes of late, pushing the genre into uncharted territory by mashing its traditional forms with far-flung influences. Table & Chairs, a local jazz label founded by grads of UW’s excellent School of Music, purposefully signs artists with academic jazz knowledge who willingly skewer their work with all sorts of left-field weirdness that might make the seemingly unapproachable genre more fun and palatable for rock fans.

Take Burn List, the latest Table & Chairs signees. Something of a jazz supergroup, it brings together influential and celebrated trumpeter Cuong Vu, who has played with Laurie Anderson and David Bowie; Aaron Otheim, a keyboardist who also cuts his chops in an “experimental” band named Uncle Pooch; Chris Icasiano, an incredible, fluid percussionist who lends his talents to Table & Chairs’ flagship drum-assault band King Tears Bat Trip; and saxophonist Greg Sinibaldi, who plays with local manic indie band Heatwarmer. The result is a spooky, Lynchian noir sound that swirls in movements alternating between smooth, crisp grooves and maniacal breakdowns—a self-described intersection of “Ligeti to Albert Ayler to Aphex Twin to Meshuggah.”

Tonight, Burn List celebrates the release of their debut album in the “cavernous” Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford, which promises all sorts of tasty natural reverb. Performing alongside the group is Anacortes mainstay Mount Eerie, who will up the jazz weirdness in an improvised set alongside Olympia’s favorite throat-singing spaz, Arrington de Dionyso. He’ll be playing his brand-new contrabass clarinet, a comically large version of your typical clarinet designed to reach all those gut-rumbling, farty low-end notes you would miss otherwise. This might be the best thing you ever experience inside a former chapel. With Mount Eerie. Good Shepherd Center, 4649 Sunnyside Ave. N., 679-6576. $10 ($20 with CD). 7:30 p.m. All ages.

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