Distants, the third studio album from Koplant No. Comprised of talented musicians trained in the UI Jazz department, Koplant No continues to shatter musical boundaries by unleashing jazz chops in combination with electronica and progressive rock. The horn harmonies of saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden and trumpeter Brian Lewis Smith conjure images of Miles Davis' second great quintet, while bassist Drew Morton and drummer Rob Baner propel the band forward with throbbing sub-bass grooves, ambient textures, and drum machine loops. This band is nothing like traditional jazz groups; this band is truly unique. The maturity of their compositions, the depth of their improvisations, and the strange twists present in Koplant No's music places the band on the top shelf. Smith, who does much of the writing for the group, explains, "With Koplant No, I'm really just interested in creating fun music that we as artists can connect with and would want to listen to. Music that intrigues us, challenges us, and helps us grow. Music that we are proud of."
The band has been developing its unique sound throughout the Midwest since 2008 and first recorded for saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden's debut album Complete Life on the Mize Music label in 2009. The album, referred to as "one of the best jazz-rock records to be released in years" (Chris Cooke, KIOS 91.5FM, Omaha), was also selected as CD of the Month for August 2009 on Jazz 88.3 KCCK (Cedar Rapids, IA). The quartet went on to release their self-titled album prior to a headlining performance at the 2010 Iowa City Jazz Festival, and released the more electronic/ambient "Transit" EP in March of 2012.
Kent Williams of Little Village Magazine says about Koplant No: "I'm impressed with how organically perfect the fractally dubbed-out abstract electronic textures fit with the trumpet and saxophone as lead instruments. It seems seductive, inevitable and necessary when Koplant No does it," Glenn Astarita from AllAboutJazz.com
, writing about the "wide open world" of Koplant No's self-titled release, states, "Engineered with depth, space and mood-eliciting soundscapes, the quartet generates an oscillating jazz-fusion electronica schema, treated with melodic choruses, drifting motifs and beguiling storylines."
released October 22, 2012
Brian Lewis Smith – trumpet, laptop, keys
Drew Morton – bass, synth, vibraphone, vocals
Rob Baner – drums, samples, vibraphone
Joel Vanderheyden - saxophone
Recorded June 23-24, 2012 at The Terrarium, Minneapolis, MN by Jason Orris and Rob Oesterlin.
Mastered by Huntley Miller.
Cover photo by Robert Wagner
Album Design by Drew Morton
Thanks to Andrea Canter, Jason Orris, Rob Oesterlin, Huntley Miller, George Hufnagl, Leslie Zeglin, Justin LeDuc, Sarah, Ella, Lucy, and Jack.