‘Well-oiled’ Polyrhythmics deliver tunes to Tahoe

The Polyrhythmics’ musical mission this fall included a road trip which includes Appleton, Ore., Arcata, Calif, Crystal Bay, Nevada and San Diego in four days.

“That doesn’t leave a lot of room for rest but every day that we are not working is a day we’re wasting time,” trumpet player Scott Morning told Tahoe Onstage.

Here are images from the Nov. 14 show in the Crystal Bay Casino:

The band is like its touring 2010 Mercedes Grand Van: “It’s a well-oiled machine and we just want to keep in interesting and hopefully increase the quality as the years go by,” Morning said.

Formed in 2010, the eight-member group from Seattle has remained intact, and Morning said any lineup change is unlikely. He and the two players who started the band, Ben Bloom and Grand Schroff, together write most of the songs, including those on a recently recorded third album, “Octagon,” which is now being mixed.

Morning said “Octagon” will be the band’s best CD. It features only occasional solos.

“Everyone is like cog in a machine,” he said. “It’s more orchestral. Everyone’s a front man.”

The band, which also played last summer at Squaw Valley’s “Brews, Jazz and Funk” and the Crystal Bay Casino, felt legitimized during a 2013 tour that included New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz.

“I knew that we would do well down there,” Morning said. “We had been on the road for a while, it was a monthlong run for us. Then we get down there, and I live in Seattle, which is a magical place, like Lake Tahoe, but we get to New Orleans and it has so much history, and you walk down the street and everyone says, ‘Hello,’ like they know you.

“Then we start playing the clubs and the response was overwhelming. People had never heard of us and they were just falling over. It was a very simpatico relationship, right off the bat. It was a very good experience, one of the best in my life.”

Bloom, in an earlier interview with Tahoe Onstage, agreed.

“We realized that what we are doing is worth doing,” he said. “It has definitely changed us and made us more focused as a band.”

Here’s the Polyrhythmics lineup: Morning, trumpet; Bloom, guitar; Schroff, drums; Nathan Spicer, keys; Lalo Bello, percussion; Jason Gray, bass; Scott Morning, trumpet; Elijah Clark, trombone; and Art Brown, sax and flute.

Editor’s note: To see more images by Kurt E. Johnson, CLICK

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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