This week, Jazz Is Phsh announced a number of new tour dates, spanning from mid-June into the beginning of July. For those unfamiliar, the all-star jazz tribute to Phish was conceptualized and is fronted by brothers Adam and Matt Chase. The band has become a staple tribute act to the beloved Vermont quartet, reimagining classic Phish tunes in an jazzy, instrumental way while keeping each song’s original spirit grounded in improvisation at the forefront. Featuring a rotating crew of musicians, for Jazz Is Phsh’s upcoming tour, the Chase Brothers will be joined by teenage prodigy DOMi, Rob Compa of Dopapod, bass royalty Felix Pastorius, and members of Snarky Puppy and The Giant Country Horns.
Live For Live Music had the chance to chat with Jazz Is Phsh drummer and co-founder Adam Chase to talk about the upcoming tour. Check out the conversation below!
Live For Live Music: What’s your favorite thing about Jazz Is Phsh?
Adam Chase: Hearing how musicians who are not familiar with the music of Phish interpret the tunes is a truly amazing thing, especially as a big Phish fan.
“Carini” – Brooklyn Bowl – 2/16/2017
[Video: JAZZ IS PHSH]
L4LM: Is there something people might not know about the band?
AC: The cool thing about Jazz Is Phsh is that you don’t have to know or even necessarily have to like the music of Phish to enjoy what we are doing with the tunes.
L4LM: Has rearranging the music of Phish been hard to do?
AC: Phish’s music is really fun to rearrange because the melodic content is so strong. It really lends itself to theme and variation. I think the main challenge is, for me personally, having preconceived notions about what Phish songs sound like, being that I’m a “phan.” But that’s also why I like bringing in musicians that are not necessarily familiar with Phish’s music.
L4LM: We noticed a lot of the new arrangements you’ve done are getting further from the original versions. Where do you draw your inspiration for your arrangements?
AC: A lot of the inspiration comes from the amazing musicians that we are fortunate to collaborate with. We also have been pulling a lot of inspiration from old jazz records, doing more mashups with jazz greats like Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Charles Mingus, and others.
Mini-Doc On Jazz Is Phsh’s Mash-Up Of “Maze” & Miles Davis’ “What I Say”
[Video: JAZZ IS PHSH]
L4LM: What’s your favorite song to play with Jazz Is Phsh?
AC: I can’t really narrow it down to one song, but I will say, we recently did a mashup of “Yamar”—which is actually not a Phish original, though it’s a quintessential “Phish” song—with a Wayne Shorter song that he performed with Miles Davis. The cool thing about this arrangement is that the Wayne Shorter song had been redone by several musicians, and then those versions were sampled, which ended up being the backbone of a Q-Tip song from A Tribe Called Quest with a different backbeat. We took elements from the original Wayne Shorter song, the remixed version from the Q-Tip song, and the melodies of “Yamar”. It’s very funky and fun!
L4LM: Are there any surprises for the upcoming tour?
AC: If I answered that, it wouldn’t be a surprise. [laughs] But I can say that if anyone hasn’t seen DOMi play keys before, you are in for a surprise. She is a teenage prodigy from France studying at Berklee College of Music and recently got to tour with Ghost Note and MonoNeon. She also recently performed with Thundercat. With her and Felix Pastorius in the rhythm section, it’s gonna get a bit crazy in the best of ways!
You can check out Jazz Is Phsh’s newly announced tour dates below. For more information on the band or to purchase tickets, head to the band’s website here.