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Scavenger Quartet


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They haven’t yet made a genre you can put The Scavenger Quartet into; the music is sophisticated and challenging, yet often child-like. The band’s setup looks like a yard sale exploded on stage- toy piano, music boxes and sirens augment what could appear to be a jazz combo: organ, doublebass, tenor sax and drums. The instrumentation is deceptive, however; this group has a singular sound that is its own.

Bandleader Frank Pahl scavenged three like-minded musicians from groups around the Detroit area and set them to the task of learning his latest batch of material. Joel Peterson, of Immigrant Suns, on bass; Tim Holmes, of Major Dents, on tenor sax; Pahl’s longtime band-mate from Only a Mother, Doug Gourlay, plays drums. In addition, Pahl and Holmes build automated musical instruments that sometimes accompany the group. The instrument parts come from small motors, Erector Sets, Lincoln Logs, rotisseries and other unlikely places.
The Scavenger Quartet’s debut CD, “Whistling For Leftovers” is out now on Phonetic Records (it’s released in Europe by Snowdonia). Its eleven tracks contain more musical ideas than most bands have in a career. All the compositions are by Frank Pahl, who has a steady stream of commissions for theater, dance and art performances. Some of the tracks on “Whistling For Leftovers” were originally commissioned works. If that all sounds high-brow, don’t worry-this band doesn’t have a stuffy conception of art. It’s sometimes funny, sometimes moody and always full of jittery energy.

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  • Grindfucked

    I kind of like this (as it is with most things I've heard where Frank Pahl is involved)

    1 Jul 2009 Reply

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