Convention, custom, tradition… It all exists as the criterion to reinvent and exceed. That’s basically what Spherical Agenda is out to do on their debut full-length album Arcane Wisdom. A jazz-rock fusion outfit out of Cincinnati, Ohio, the band is inspired a lot by many of today’s cutting edge fusion acts, but they also show great recognition for the power and energy of classic jazz fusion groups from the 1970s like The Tony Williams Lifetime, Mahavishnu Orchestra, and Return To Forever.
With Arcane Wisdom due out on November 19th, the band has dropped the album’s first single “Guts,” an emphatic, musical statement of where they stand musically, and the lofty heights they’re capable of reaching. The song forms a bridge between and the past and present of jazz fusion, with each band member having an opportunity to shine all on their own, within its nearly six-minute runtime.
Offering more context on the new single, guitarist Brandon Coleman explained, “‘Guts’ for us, is a cosmic exploration through a wide variety of our musical influences. When (keyboardist and composer) Ben (Tweedt) brought in the basic structure of the composition, the space-funk of Funkadelic provided the underpinning for the journey to come. We propel the listener into the upper atmosphere with a Headhunters-style probing keyboard solo, dodge asteroids, and space debris with a bombastic drum solo, and finally jettison off into deep space with a bright and airy guitar fanfare at the end. It takes a lot of guts to be an astronaut… we wanted to try and capture that feeling musically.”
Joining Tweedt and Coleman in Spherical Agenda are bassist Matt Wiles and drummer Devon Leigh. All four are highly recognized musicians within the American Midwest, renowned for their work within the jazz-rock fusion community. Their sound is characterized by unique chemistry that induces pure energy of infectious grooves, bold solos, and eclectic spirit. A very diverse set of songs, Arcane Wisdom is defined by its musical sharpness, progressive rhythmic explorations, and soul-infused grooves that help illustrate why this is a special stable of musicians.
The credits that all four members share are quite astounding, with some including performances with the Snarky Horns, The Drifters, Fareed Haque, Grammy-nominated Dan Pugach Nonet, and Sam Blakelsee Quintet, and work on the hit comic book TV series DC’s Legends of Tomorrow. When it comes to Spherical Agenda, it’s a lot more than just three chords and an attitude; it’s a musical conquest that’s out to redefine just what jazz-rock fusion is all about.
Arcane Wisdom Track Listing:
2. High Stakes
3. Rad Dads
4. Steak Jazz (feat. Walfredo Reyes Jr.)
6. Spherical Funk
7. Coleman’s Question(feat. Walfredo Reyes Jr.)
8. Arcane Wisdom