Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
Megaphone Man Public Relations Information
Megaphone Man Selected as Critics' Choice: Best Jazz Band
Leaving behind a quantity of high caliber instrumental ensembles in the metro Atlanta area, Megaphone Man took top honors in the Critics' Choice: Best Jazz Band category of Creative Loafing's annual awards issue. For many, the choice comes as no surprise. In their relatively short tenure, the trio of bassist Neal Fountain, saxophonist Bryan Lopes, and drummer Jeff Reilly--collectively known as Megaphone Man--has been turning heads with their individual approach to group improvisation.
Megaphone Man has a style all their own, states Jazziz writer James Rozzi. The manner in which these accomplished musicians approach a particular tune will drastically change from one performance to the next. In an effort to maintain their own interests, they create an abundance of spontaneous, razor-sharp musical maneuvers for their audience. One concert with these guys is like a lesson in improvisational wit and daring. With Megaphone Man's turn-on-a-dime approach, one particular song will metamorphose numerous times--harmonically and rhythmically--before coming to a close. The end result is an exciting foray with enough depth to please an audience of hard-core jazz fans--or the more laid back patrons of the jam band circuit.
Megaphone Man is the brainchild of Neal Fountain and Bryan Lopes who, while on tour with the short-lived band , The Apartment Projects, found themselves composing spontaneously during sound checks. Neal would make up a progression, says Lopes, or I'd come up with a melody--often at the same time. When we're playing together, it's a very tight, nearly telepathic thing. Neal can usually tell within two notes where I'm going, and I can usually tell within a beat or so where he wants to go. It's either follow, lead, or get left in the dust. Jeff is right there with us, or he'll be the one initiating a tack by laying down a solid groove.
Megaphone Man is… Neal Fountain, a native of Georgia who began playing bass at age nine. He is also proficient on guitar, drums, banjo, piano, and saxophone. Fountain enrolled in the Berklee College of Music in 1993, but the road beckoned. Soon, his associations ran up a long list with numerous aggregations, including those of Bruce Hampton, John Medeski, Andy Senesi,
Mark O'Conner, and Steve Morse. Without the support of guitar or piano, Fountain's bass maneuvers through harmonic changes with ease--and amazing technique to spare.
Bryan Lopes was born and raised in New Bedford, Massachusetts, and began playing saxophone (reeds) at an early age. In high school, Lopes was awarded numerous kudos, including membership in the All-State and All-Eastern Jazz Ensembles. A scholarship to Berklee found him studying with some of the finest saxophonists in the country, including George Garzone and Billy Pierce. He has recorded with Aquarium Rescue Unit, Dan Wall, Phil Smith, Bill Anschell, Sonny Emory, and others. His robust, aggressive style and thorough knowledge of his horn induces high-energy performances from all members of Megaphone Man.
Jeff Reilly began playing drums (and bass) in eighth grade in his hometown of Lincoln Park, New Jersey. Finding himself in Manhattan throughout his formative years opened his ears to a wealth of new music and inspirations. He absorbed his lessons well. Following stints with Chuck Leavell, Roger Glover, Widespread Panic, and Al MacDowell, Reilly is now much in-demand as a sideman with maturity, taste, and chops. He lends a vital, propulsive energy to the music of Megaphone man.
Describing the music of Megaphone Man is difficult. Although all members shy away from calling themselves a jazz trio, their music contains full elements of jazz--and then some. We all have wide varieties of music in our backgrounds, states Fountain, so I think it best not to call ourselves a 'jazz band' per se. Whether it's hard-bop, funk, free-form, R&B, R&R, country…you name it and Megaphone Man has it in the mix somewhere. As Lopes (whose inspirations include Coltrane and Joe Lovano) is quick to inform, Hey, if I want to quote Led Zeppelin, I'm going to quote Led Zeppelin!
One thing is for certain: Megaphone Man is a band well worth many a discriminating listen. The trio of bassist Neal Fountain, saxophonist Bryan Lopes, and drummer Jeff Reilly is genuinely articulate, highly artistic, intellectually stimulating, and perhaps best of all, full of surprises. They are poised for greatness. Their successful endeavors fill a musical void appreciable by all.
For booking information, contact JEFF REILLY (706)202-1413 email email@example.com