|"This music never sinks to rhetoric; the ingenious, intriguing writing insists that each of these excellent musicians search for fresh approaches to playing in the moment. This challenge is answered boldly. I strongly suggest you listen." --Steve Swallow
A Bi-Coastal (Atlantic Ocean and the Mississipi River) ensemble made up of these talented musicians:
Chris Merz (Saxes/Woodwinds) Director of Jazz Studies at the University of Northern Iowa.
Jonathan Mele (Drums/Cymbals/Percussion) New York City based drummer, percussionist and composer.
David Dunn (Basses) Director of Instrumental Music at Highland College in Freeport, IL.
Brent Sandy (Trumpet/Flugelhorn) Jazz Instructor at the University of Iowa and in-demand session player.
Merz, Mele, and Dunn met while attending UMASS Amherst in the late 1980's where they formed the Downbeat award winning ensemble Full Contact. Fast-forward to the mid-1990's when Mr. Merz returned to Amherst from a teaching position at the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa. He and Mr. Mele teamed up again to record with the X-tet, a 12 piece small big band of Merz's own compositions. When Merz was hired by the University of Northern Iowa Jazz Department, they finally had a base of operations!
Dunn, Mele, and Merz spent more and more time together, playing in the midwest region, adding trumpet sensation Brent Sandy to the ensemble, which finally culminated in the performance at the Iowa City Jazz Festival and the recording of their new CD: "Also Not Pictured."
The musicians in Equilateral have shared the stage with: Steve Swallow, Carla Bley, Sheila Jordan, Lyle Mays, Kurt Ellenberger, Phil Mattson, Randy Sabien, Billy Taylor, Max Roach, Dave Brubeck, Darius Brubeck, etc.