When it comes to playing and listening to jazz, it’s no secret that Aron Magner has deep roots. Fans of The Disco Biscuits have seen it shine through the band’s music since the beginning. So, when the Biscuits keyboardist announced that he started a jazz trio called SPAGA with two phenomenal musicians from his home city of Philadelphia, many people were immediately interested and excited to see what it’d sound like.
Upright bassist Jason Fraticelli and drummer Matt Scarano are both immensely talented players and truly bring out the best in Aron. The first single released by the band, “Creed“, allowed listeners to peek behind the curtain to see what Magner had been working on. Once they released the full EP, any skeptics were quickly sold. This trio offers an incredibly fresh take on jazz that is both authentic and tasteful. Whether you’re well-versed in the genre or you’ve never listened to it, you’ll be blown away by SPAGA.
The band couldn’t have picked a better venue for their New York City debut on Saturday, September 7th than le poisson rouge, a little jazz club in Greenwich Village. The club lent itself to the music in a way that was natural and, at times, hypnotizing. The audience was engaged from beginning to end. Nobody was trying to talk over the music, which allowed the band to bring the dynamics all the way down and sit there for extended periods of time—Aron even commented on how happy the undivided attention made him. There was a sense that he has become reinvigorated by this music, as if it’s unlocked a part of him that was temporarily covered in cobwebs. He showcased a youthful energy while talking about how grateful he was to play this music with these musicians. It was pure and refreshing.
The musicality of these compositions is complex without sacrificing its soul. Each song has purposeful technicality behind it. And for those who’d assume that this is the Aron Magner show, you couldn’t be more wrong—this is a true trio in every sense of the word. Each member carries their weight with passion and conviction. They’re auditory storytellers, spinning tales that are thought-provoking and heartfelt. Anybody that feels music deeply will be moved by these songs. Listen to “Four Angels” or “Marionette in the Snow” to hear for yourself. For those of you that aren’t familiar with jazz, keep in mind that the genre gave rise to musical improvisation on a widespread scale—So yes, they most definitely take risks and let the music lead the way on any given night.
SPAGA is a project that can be taken in a number of directions. They’re quite literally just getting started and the chemistry is already proving to be other-worldly. The support for this project is pouring in and the future is bright beyond belief. If you haven’t listened to their debut project yet, it’s on all streaming platforms. They’ll be coming to a jazz club near you soon enough, and when they do, buy a ticket and make sure you’re in attendance.
SPAGA – SPAGA – Full Album
You can check out some photos from SPAGA’s NYC debut below via Ross Citrin. For a list of upcoming SPAGA tour dates, head here.