ORENDA RECORDS ALbums:
"If this isn’t where jazz is headed, then it’s probably going in the wrong direction." —S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
“With unswerving focus and expansive vision…Dr. Mint present a thoroughly modern view of jazz.” —Troy Collins, All About Jazz
VOICES IN THE VOID (2017)
With Voices in the Void, DR.MiNT presents their futuristic approach to powerful rhythms, warped electronics, roaring horns, and infectious spontaneity with a sci-fi cinematic aesthetic that’s as innovative as it is fun.
Voices in the Void, the fifth release by LA/NYC electronic jazz-rock outfit DR. MiNT presents the band’s most evolved and exciting work to date. Each tune is spontaneously conceived, as the band employs a potent combination of skeletal composition, extensive improvisation, and rhythmic themes from a multitude of genres; improvisation, electronica, and heavy rock influences lay the foundation for the horns to shape winding melodies and dynamic solos. As a whole, the album’s arc weaves a rich musical-tapestry born of the band’s decade-long association and collective musical experience.
DR.MiNT formed in 2007 when Los Angeles musicians Daniel Rosenboom (trumpets), Gavin Templeton (saxophones), and Alexander Noice (guitar and electronics), joined New York City rhythm section Sam Minaie (bass and electronics) and Caleb Dolister (drums). They instantly forged a signature sound through their collective synergy towards pure long-form improvisation. In fact, their first album, Visions and Nightmares (pfMentum), was recorded in two complete, unedited takes just moments after Rosenboom and Noice were introduced to Dolister, a long time friend of Templeton and Minaie. A few short months later, the band quickly followed up with 2008’s A New Symphony (SNP Records), recorded as a single, continuous improvisation in a five-movement symphonic form.
The project later evolved with their next release, Ritual (ORENDA), as frontmen Daniel Rosenboom and Gavin Templeton integrated a series of hand cues and started writing melodic material in real time while performing and recording. This new strategy opened up an unexpected gateway to produce a much more intelligent recording as new and repeating thematic ideas propelled the music.
With their 2013 follow-up, Kingsize Sessions (ORENDA), the band experimented for the first time with short-form improvisations. It was also the first album that the band did not record in a live concert setting, opting instead to discover a different kind of creativity in a studio environment.
And with 2017’s Voices in the Void (ORENDA), DR.MiNT has evolved yet again.
“I think it was a turning point for the band when we decided to build Voices in the Void by focusing on the overall "arc" of both the tunes and the album through a process we’re now calling “archistration,” (arc + orchestration). We knew that we wanted to create something more exciting and engaging than we had before, and embracing this process allowed us to to do that while still maintaining our dedication to spontaneous conception.” —Daniel Rosenboom
Since recording the album, DR. MiNT has adopted this term, “archistration,” to describe their method of improvising compositional structures in real time. It’s a multi-faceted process that allows the line between improvisation and composition to remain blurred while creating cohesive, thematic musical experience. Or as Jay Batzner of Sequenza 21 wrote, “[DR. MiNT creates] a wonderful trajectory…that almost denies the idea of it being completely improvised.”
Voices in the Void features a series of both long and short pieces, but for the first time DR.MiNT also embraced the idea of writing skeletal compositions and layering multiple tracks. The result is an album that often voyages between structure and exploration. For instance, the opening track “Kingdom in the Middle” builds cyclically on a short seven bar piece sketched just moments before hitting record, while the second track, “spacerobot[dance],” showcases the band’s classic and furious approach to spontaneous composition, with grooves funky enough to literally make a robot dance.
For drummer Caleb Dolister, Voices in the Void also represents something more. “I think the depth and growth that we have all experienced over the years is really apparent in this album. We’re all involved in so many different projects, but I think it’s safe to say that DR.MiNT is the only one where we show up and literally record the musical conversation as it happens. What ends up coming out is a direct reflection of who we are and how we’ve changed and adapted to different directions in influences. It’s an honest representation of our collective experiences.”
Each member of DR.MiNT is an accomplished bandleader, improviser and composer in their own right, and it’s precisely this depth that allows the band to create off-the-cuff music that constantly evolves, twists back on itself, breaks into new directions, and seamlessly resolves. One could say that Voices in the Void is an experiment in musical architecture, where DR.MiNT leads the curious listener towards rewarding discoveries , overflowing with intricate details expertly woven through familiar structures. The music can get pretty wild, but the band always maintains a subconscious connection to the joy, wonder, and adventurous spirit at the root of our human love for music.
Clearly DR. MiNT imagines a musical world with no boundaries, no unreachable horizons, and with Voices in the Void the band boldly supports their belief. It’s an ethos that is the very foundation of the Orenda Records, and we couldn’t be more proud to present their vision.
KINGSIZE SESSIONS (2013)
DR. MiNT is a veritable lightning rod for intuitive music. Their compositions are "100% spontaneously created," and their brand new album, Kingsize Sessions, captures everything the band has become known to channel. Often associated with heavier rock, metal, or electronic musical styles, it’s easy to forget that the music that is being played, is always being played for the first time.
The band has previously released three full-length concept albums: "Ritual" (2013), "A New Symphony" (2008), and "Vision and Nightmares" (2008). Based in both Los Angeles and New York, this bi-coastal experimental rock band embraced long-form, uncut, and unedited recording, often completing an album in a single take. With "Kingsize Sessions," DR. MiNT focuses their “spontaneous composition” ethos on short, punchy, and concise themes, bending soundscapes, twisting grooves, and exploring some dark territory.
The band is Daniel Rosenboom (trumpets), Gavin Templeton (saxophones), Alex Noice (electric guitar and FX), Sam Minaie (electric bass and FX), and Caleb Dolister (drums and laptop). DR. MiNT formed in the studio in 2007. Several band members even met for first time just moments before hitting record and capturing a purely improvised record. That first recording was later released as “Visions and Nightmares" (pfMENTUM CD049), and was intentionally left uncut, and unedited.
Initially, the group embraced pure long-form improvisation. But after two completely improvised albums, the idea of working out improvised composition came into play. The band began to start a performance with a blank sheet of music paper, notating melodies and themes in real-time, and then conducting various “composed-on-the-spot” melodies and sections. This allowed the group to collectively focus improvisation on thematic material in addition to abstract improvisations.
This is apparent on Kingsize Sessions, when you hear the horns playing synchronized melodies. Each melody was composed and notated on the spot, during the take.
DR. MiNT continues to maintain their dedication to spontaneity by leaving these short tunes unedited and essentially untouched. However, a few new experiments on Kingsize Sessions include "Kingsize Strut," which featured an immediate second pass of both drums and bass, and "Mirror," in which the whole band improvised a second pass against a previously recorded track played in reverse.
Kingsize Sessions is an album full of character and exploration. Even with all of it’s unique qualities, it fully embodies the evolutionary direction of a band that identifies itself with attitude, fire, abstraction, and ferocity in improvisation.
“Dr. Mint is true improvisational jazz/rock fusion, with trumpet and sax explosions as if Al Hirt and Charlie Parker rose from the grave and went insane.”
- A. Canales, Critical Review Service
MEMBERS OF DR. MINT ALSO APPEAR ON:
ORENDA 0038 - Heyo! | Sam Minaie (Sam Minaie)
ORENDA 0033 - Music Made With Voices | Alexander Noice (Alexander Noice)
ORENDA 0030 - Burning Ghosts | Burning Ghosts (Daniel Rosenboom)
ORENDA 0029 - Ballast | Gavin Templeton (Gavin Templeton)
ORENDA 0027 - Book of Storms | Daniel Rosenboom (Daniel Rosenboom)
ORENDA 0023 - Resonance | Daniel Rosenboom (Daniel Rosenboom)
ORENDA 0019 - Prisms, Cycles, Leaps | Derrick Spiva Jr. & Bridge To Everywhere (Daniel Rosenboom, Gavin Templeton)
ORENDA 0014 - Astral Transference & Seven Dreams | Daniel Rosenboom (Daniel Rosenboom, Gavin Templeton, Alexander Noice)
ORENDA 0013 - Inn Paradiso | Kubilay Üner (Daniel Rosenboom)
ORENDA 0009 - Some Spinning, Some At Rest | Gavin Templeton Trio (Gavin Templeton)
ORENDA 0008 - Farewell | Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra (Daniel Rosenboom, Gavin Templeton, Alexander Noice)
ORENDA 0002 - Boiling High Idol | Falsetto Teeth (Alexander Noice)
ORENDA 0001 - Fire Keeper | The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet (Daniel Rosenboom, Gavin Templeton, Alexander Noice)