Heisenberg Uncertainty Players (HUP) is a Chicago-area jazz big band, playing only original compositions and arrangements from the members of the group. Formed in 2011, the band has been featured in venues like Martyrs’, Fitzgerald’s Nightclub, and the brand new Logan Center for the Arts, and they have also appeared live on WGN TV. They have arranged a wide variety of music, ranging from standards and showtunes to versions of songs by Radiohead, Arcade Fire, 50 Cent, and other pop/rock artists. "Emergency Postcards" is the band's debut CD, and it features seven of the band's original works. Whether you like your music to be cerebral or catchy, HUP is sure to have something you'll love.
"Emergency Postcards" was recorded over two weekends at Riverside-Brookfield High School's Large Auditorium. It was produced by John Dorhauer, and Travis Duffield at T. Duffield Productions did all of the tracking, mixing, and mastering. Album artwork and design were all done by Adam Dorhauer.
Here's a taste of what to expect with each track:
"Death & Taxes" - This infectious funk jam was originally written for Black Umbrella Brigade (a Chicago-based rock band) but has since be rewritten for jazz big band. The tune strikes a unique blend of being simultaneously catchy and angular, and it's sure to put a smile on your face and in your brain. Written by John Dorhauer; Solos by Tim Koelling (alto sax), Andrew Ecklund (trumpet), Dan Parker (electric bass), and Keith Brooks (drums).
"Stercorem pro Cerebro Habes (That is Definitely Food for Thought)" - A good latin chart deserves a good Latin title, and "Stercorem" delivers on both counts. Set to a slow-burning salsa groove, the track features two equally addictive melodies that square off in a climactic closing section. Written by John Dorhauer; Solos by Carl Kennedy (piano) and Luke Malewicz (trombone).
"#howthef***didigethere" - Hip-hop, jazz, and gorgeous chorales are all cohabitants of this sprawling soundscape. What starts as chasmy brass pads and a mellow hip-hop groove gradually blossoms to an epic climax that will give you chills. Written by Vinny Starble; Solos by Chris Parsons (guitar) and Vinny Starble (tenor sax).
"Cactus Fruit" - This burning swing tune packs quite a punch - at just over four minutes, it is a pure shot of big band id and adrenaline. It's brevity is misleading, though, as it is chock full of skilled soli playing by the horns and a dissonant fugue for its head. Written by John Dorhauer; Solos by Adam Frank (tenor sax) and Andrew Ecklund.
"Honey Badger" - Built off a simple yet dissonant motive (heard in full in the bass line used during the song's latter half), this track is as cunning, stealthy, and nearly as lethal as its namesake. "Badger" drifts between sound worlds of pressing ECM grooves and raucous New Orleans vaudeville, but despite its expansive journey, it ends up exactly where it starts. Written by John Dorhauer; Solos by Phil Arquette (trombone), Adam Frank (tenor sax), James Baum (baritone sax), and Carl Kennedy (piano).
"5 - e - & - a" - As the name implies, this deceptively catchy swing tune is also a diligent exercise in counting. Bars of five are sprinkled throughout like seasoning on a fine steak - just enough to keep things fresh without being cumbersome. Written by John Dorhauer; Solos by Vinny Starble (tenor sax), Luke Malewicz (trombone), Steve Duncan (bass trombone), and Chris Parsons (guitar).
"Lilacs on the Battlefield" - Written to emulate the idea of something peaceful and serene prevailing amongst violence, struggle, and turmoil, "Lilacs" transforms the jazz big band into a veritable orchestra. What starts as a docile folk tune morphs into a symphonic march, which in turn gives way to full-throttle rock. The surprise ending reveals that true peace and beauty can always prevail against any obstacle. Written by John Dorhauer; Solos by Tim Koelling (soprano sax), Dan Parker (acoustic bass), and Xavier Galdon (trombone).