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Spafford Shares New All-Improv Release, “Abaculus: An Improvisational Experience” [Stream]

Today, Arizona-based jam quartet Spafford released their newest project, Abaculus: An Improvisational Experience. Recorded in a single take at The Pound in Phoenix, AZ, this hour-long cut was entirely improvised, putting on wax what it means to be completely immersed in the moment, without expectation of what will come next. In the words of the band, “As a singular musician, one can only do so much. When we all come together, remove the ego, listen to each other, relax, and have fun, the end result knows no bounds.”

Abaculus started on the hottest day of the summer in Phoenix, AZ. For Spafford, this summer has been a tireless grind, and after several uninspired rehearsals, the band took a day to themselves. What did they do on that day? As bassist Jordan Fairless shares, “We loaded up, went to the waterpark, and spent the day riding every possible ride in the park. It was a day of chili cheese dogs, lazy rivers, and a whole lot of laughter. It was the most fun we had been allowed all summer.”

Spafford Tears Up Their Phish Late-Night At B.B. King [Video/Photo]

At a loss for a direction to head in at their next rehearsal, Spafford took a step back and decided to go back to their roots. They held this particular rehearsal as a jam session, which is something they’ve done before; one person starts with a simple phrase or melody and everyone else is required to listen and find their part. No verbal or visual communication is allowed. After a game of “Nose Goes,” it was decided that guitarist Brian Moss would begin, and what came out of that day is now known as Abaculus.

After an hour of improvisation among band members—with alternating leads, melodies and movements—the music came to a natural end. They all knew something special had just transpired, and Fairless felt compelled to mix and master the recording.

“Abaculus” is defined as, “a small tile of glass, marble, or other substance, of various colors, used in making ornamental patterns in mosaic pavements.” Inn other words, a single “abaculus” is a single part of a much bigger work of art. The session resulting in Abaculus is an example of four musicians–Fairless, Moss, Red Johnson and Cameron Laforest—coming together and contributing their individual pieces to a much larger work of art.

Beginning today, Abaculus is available digitally via AppleMusic and Spotify. You can listen to the full hour-long improvisational odyssey that is Abaculus below:

You can check out a full list of upcoming Spafford tour dates below. For more information about the band or any of their upcoming shows, head to Spafford.net.

Upcoming Spafford Tour Dates:

8/10 – 8/13 – Scranton, PA – Peach Music Festival
9/2 – Chicago, IL – North Coast Music Festival
9/9 – Bellvue, CO – Canyon Jam
9/21 – 9/23 – Thornville, OH – Resonance Music Festival
9/27 – Charlottesville, VA – The Southern
9/28 – Baltimore, MD – The 8X10
9/29 – Philadelphia, PA – The Foundry @ The Fillmore
9/30 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Bowl
10/1 – Ithaca, NY – The Haunt
10/3 – South Burlington, VT – Higher Ground Showcase Lounge
10/4 – Hamden, CT – The Ballroom at The Outer Space
10/5 – Northampton, MA – Iron Horse Music Hall
10/6 – Cambridge, MA – The Sinclair
10/7 – Portland, ME – Port City Music Hall
10/8 – Albany, NY – Lucky Strike Social
10/11 – State College, PA – State Theatre
10/12 – Columbus, OH – A&R Music Bar +
10/13 – Bloomington, IN – Bluebird Nightclub +
10/14 – Ann Arbor, MI – Blind Pig +
10/15 – Grand Rapids, MI – The Pyramid Scheme +
10/17 – Madison, WI – Majestic Theatre +
10/19 – Columbia, MO – Rose Music Hall
10/20 – Nashville, TN – Mercy Lounge
10/21 & 10/22 – Asheville, NC – Asheville Music Hall
10/24 – Charlotte, NC – Visulite Theatre
10/25 – Athens, GA – 40 Watt Club
10/27 – 10/29 – Live Oak, FL – Suwannee Hulaween
10/31 – New Orleans, LA – Parish @ House of Blues
11/2 – Baton Rouge, LA – Spanish Moon
11/3 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall Upstairs
11/4 – Austin, TX – Antone’s Night Club
11/5 – Dallas, TX – HoB Cambridge Room
11/7 – Lawrence, KS – The Bottleneck
11/8 – Omaha, NE – The Waiting Room
11/9 – Denver – CO – Ogden Theatre
11/11 – Denver, CO – Globe Hall *
11/14 – Seattle, WA – Crocodile Cafe
11/15 – Portland, OR – Doug Fir Lounge
11/16 – San Francisco, CA – The Independent
11/17 – Los Angeles, CA – Teragram Ballroom
11/18 – Flagstaff, AZ – Orpheum Theater
12/1 – 12/5 – Punta Cana, DR – Dominican Holidaze

+ notes dates just announced, on-sale later this week
* notes special VIP “All In” date, tickets not available separately

[Cover photo via Chad Smith]