KSDS hosts psychedelic jazz jam trio

Cristo De Guzman

Amid asking each other for a tube of toothpaste in the green room before their performance and finally finding a tube to brushing their teeth at the sink, the members of CAST-an acronym of the musicians’ last names (Coryell, Auger, Sample, and the “T” stands for Trio)-discuss their backgrounds , musical influences and the mixed blessing of the Internet.

“I started the bass when I was sixteen,” said Nick Sample, a self-confessed “LA boy” who grew up in Inglewood and Hollywood. The latter is where he attended the Musician’s Institute before moving to Boston to attend the Berklee College of Music.

“I have ’em all in cassette,” said co-Berklee College-alumnus Julian Coryell, referring to the recordings of jazz guitarists Scott Henderson, John Scoffield, and Pat Matheny. “I still have a cassette collection.”

As the twenty-somethings who trickled in just before the show can attest, Julian Coryell seems like a pacified and beatific version of the guitarist Slash of Guns ‘N Roses. On the raunchier songs the group performs later in the evening such as the funk-inspired “Coolidge Returns,” his Medusa ringlets steam as he fingers his guitar into masturbatory frenzy.

Having grown up with music, Coryell has seen many changes, among which are the role of the major labels, which he says are “relics of the past that have lost their power because of technology.”
The major labels’ domain was traditionally through radio and television. But the Internet has shifted the paradigm. Still, he says, the competition is tighter since there are more players on the field.

“It’s a mixed blessing. It’s hard to know who to listen to.”

“Internet has flooded the market with (so much) music that it’s daunting,” chimes in London-born Karma Auger, who didn’t start playing drums until he was twenty years old. He “didn’t want to jump straight into it,” because he wanted to have a carefree youth. “It’s a bit of a pendulum. But it’s been a gigantic help. Our parents would have dreamed of that.”

Most of the gray-haired attendees of Jazz 88.3’s evening presentation of the group CAST had a vague clue of what to expect.”I’m here in the interest of jazz and young jazz artists,” said Rick Vallese.

Those who had any clue only knew CAST’s fathers. “I have some of their fathers’ discs,” said Dave, an audience member, describing their fathers’ music as “screaming into the outer zones.”

“I’m very fond of Joe Sample,” said John Bruno, a “card-carrying member” of 88.3, noting that any performance by their offspring will be “a rejuvenation of what their parents did.”

Whatever the audience expected or didn’t, they were cheering and applauding and even laughing at Nick Sample’s one-liners towards the end of the evening.

To the paso doble trance of the quiet “The Spanish” to the pulsating chords of “Purple Panther” to the overamped sound of “Walk of the Dragon, “the last so highly acidic it could have upstaged Chernobyl by melting the brick walls of the Saville, CAST delivered.