Primary Instrument: Band/orchestra
There was a time when The Rat Pack ruled, Vegas had a vibe, Martinis were a lunch staple and jazz clubs were the place to be. Imagine that today...and you get NUTTY.
Nutty? Sure. Fun? Oh yeah. But what about the music?
Don't let the styles and smiles fool you. These cats play their asses off. Nutty artfully melds brilliant interpretations of Modern Standards (aka pop & rock classics) with timeless jazz. And when Sonny saunters up to croon, you might start to believe it's 1962. Why fight it? Order up a top-shelf cocktail and enjoy the ride. To simply describe Nutty's music as jazzy versions of classic rock songs doesn't really get the job done. It's so much more than that...
On stage, it's a Bachelor Pad vibe, right down to the black suits, skinny ties and irreverent humor. And when the fiddlers have fled, the songs stay in your head. Come for the funny, stay for the music.
For the jazz enthusiastor even the jazz puristthe arrangements are sharp and valid, as they pay homage to jazz greats like Brubeck, Dizzy, Coltrane, Miles, Duke, Cannonball and Monk. For those whose knowledge of jazz doesn't go beyond Take Five and So What, Nutty is an entertaining education into the classics.
To those who don't know how to spell jazz, it's a whole 'nother version of cool. After all, they've never heard The Beatles, Steppenwolf, The Who, Thin Lizzy, Black Sabbath or AC/DC sound quite like this. And, on top of that, the band throws in an occasional movie or TV theme just to see if you're payin' attention.
It's not odd for a fan who's heard Nutty play their favorite pop/rock tune to research the jazz references they've heard. Next thing you know, you've got a new jazz fan. Let it be said that Nutty doesn't make fun of jazz, rather they make jazz fun. And it's a gas!
Nutty has a rather oddball history. Briefly known as Chase Lounge And The Lazy Boys, the band was a loose jump blues group, with guitar, bass, drums and vocal. There were no horns, and there were no signs of jazz...yet.
Vocalist Sonny Moon (Joel Hile) was lured in under the condition that all he had to do was walk up to the mike and sing. But soon he took control, and began to veer the band's sound toward lounged-out classic rock songs. When bassist Guy Wonder (a.k.a. Mike Werner) joined the quartet, Sonny found a like-minded co-conspirator, and the band became nutty, and soon thereafter became Nutty.
Some songs were recorded, some horn players were brought in, and ideas flourished. Notable L.A. jazz scene standouts like Carl Saunders, Elliott Caine and DJ Bonebrake took an interest (as well as a little dough) and added their talents to the first CD. The cast expanded and diminished as personnel changes were made and Nutty searched for the perfect crew.
The Nutty lineup continued to evolve as the quality of the charts and the gigs improved. Guitar was replaced by vibes. There was a trombone for a month or two. The vibes were replaced by a baritone sax in order to round out a three-horned brass punch. Then came percussion to add to the Latin sounds and the beatnik vibe.
Soon Sonny and Guy were not only combining various forms of jazz with rock songs they felt nobody else would dare jazzify, but they were actually incorporating specific jazz songs into the rock arrangements. Although the US Office of Copyrights might not agree, Nutty's re-interpretations of these songs take them so far beyond where they began, that they could actually be considered quasi-original compositions.
As it stands, the current lineup, as shown above, is the Nutty A-Team. Solid players, hard swingers and gifted improvisers, the gentlemen of Nutty take you on a strange trip inside a musical time machine. Rock and roll puts on a new face, like a painting in mascara. Call it Jetsetter Jazz. Ring-a-ding-ding!
The forthcoming CD, tentatively titled Jetsetter Jazz: The Persuasive Sounds Of Nutty, features the music of The Police, Dizzy Gillespie, Jimi Hendrix, Henry Mancini, Lalo Schifrin, Jethro Tull, The Kinks, Charles Mingus, The Monkees, Thelonious Monk, Neil Young, Duke Ellington, Edgar Winter, The Moody Blues, Dave Brubeck, Aerosmith and Van Halen.
It's one helluva sonic cocktail. Drink responsively.
These cats are NUTTY: Sonny Moon - Voice Guy Wonder - Bass Dan Spector - Keys Edmund Velasco - Tenor/Alto Sax, Flute Mike Reznick - Baritone Sax, Flute Bijon Watson - Trumpet Matt Johnson - Drums