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Yuganaut

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Stephen Rush (Keyboards, Toys, Euphonium & more);
Tom Abbs (Bass, Violin, Tuba & Didjeridoo);
Geoff Mann (Drums, Cornet, Mandolin & Vibes).

Calling the three members of Yuganaut “multi-instrumentalists” is a little too easy. What is needed is some kind of word that would connote being multiple bands. Between them they could be a small brass group, an electric chamber ensemble or a straight-ahead jazz trio. But such formal confines may not leave room for the moments of playfulness or the passages of spacey psychedelia that sneak in between their evocative and highly original sounds. Drawing from the traditions of Sun Ra, the Art Ensemble of Chicago as well as Miles Davis in his ’60s and ’70s electric period, multi-instrumentalists Steve Rush, Tom Abbs and Geoff Mann expand the trio format to new heights. From frenzied free-for-alls to delicate compositions, Yuganaut take the music out into outer space and back.

More important than the listing of implements is the fact that the three gentlemen of Yuganaut are more than conscientious about leaving room in the music, not just for each other but to let the music grow. Between them they can boast of Reggie Workman’s tutelage, performance with the Warsaw National Symphony and membership in the Fela-inspired Antibalas Afrobeat Orchestra. Which is to say there is tradition, formalism, groove and a sense of fun at play. They are at core, perhaps, a jazz band; but being a jazz band means (or should mean) that anything is possible.

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