“Damn, if you missed Friends of Gravity last night, you should be kicking yourself right now. They were totally amazing. Citizen Doug was out and he can vouch for the monster that Simon Lott was on drums. Roy from Shake Kabibo was there with his crew, in awe with the rest of us, of Tommy Sciple's chops. Louis Weyrick was there and marveled at the unbelievable musicality of Andy Bourgeois's organ playing. These guys are so tight and energetic, every head in the room was bobbing and there were roaring cheers after every tune. They'll be back again in April (at the Rhythm Room) and May (The Last Concert Café) so make sure you check them out next time they are in town.” Jambase.com

From the Greater New Orleans and Baton Rouge area, Andy Bourgeois (Keyboard instruments and Tenor Sax), Tommy Sciple (Acoustic and Electric Basses) and Simon Lott (Drums, Percussion, and Sampler) make up the funky, rocking, improvisational trio Friends of Gravity. The group had their beginnings as an acoustic piano trio, but after playing at jazz and rock clubs alike (most not possessing a piano), the group's sound began to drift from the acoustic tradition. The piano was replaced by B3 organ, Fender Rhodes, Wurlitzer, various Synths, and Melodica, the acoustic bass was augmented by an electric six-string bass and effects pedals, the drummer added a sampler to his arsenal of percussion instruments and the band was reborn. The new format was a revelation for the group. It became apparent that with the use of electronic instruments and effects, each instrument was capable of an endless array of texture, alternate sounds and shifting sonic character. It was at this point, the music took form. The band's current mission is to take their unique blend of music all over the country in support of their just released c.d. “Thankful” which includes guest performances by Rex Richardson and Scott Bourgeois.

The group pulls influences from many genres of music, as diverse as Herbie Hancock, Ornette Coleman, Radio Head, the Meters, Jimi Hendrix, Quasimoto, Bill Laswell and Fred McDowell. Bourgeois and Sciple have been making music together in various projects since 1995 and when the addition of Lott took place in 2000, a special kinship was born. When talking to the three of them, it becomes apparent that the affection they share for each other as musicians, as well as human beings, will keep them making music together for a long time. Tommy puts it, “the key for us is to keep growing and not stagnate, to keep the music fresh by combining unique compositions with completely improvised music, and to maintain complete honesty in our music. We never want to go through the motions. We want to be totally engaged in the moment at all times.”

The three members of the group have played with many different musicians, but all acknowledge that their musical relationship and solidarity is unique. Simon Lott, being heralded by George Porter Jr.(the Meters) as an up and coming drummer deserving wider recognition, brings a fresh and visually engaging approach to the music. He has performed with many notable artists such as George Porter Jr., Brian Seeger, John Ellis, Wess Anderson, Skerik, Mike Dillon, Dave Easley, Tim Green, Mahfouz, Jason Marsalis, Roland Guerin, David Torkanowsky, Joe Stark, Brice Winston (Terence Blanchard), Sonny Fortune (Miles Davis) and Theresa Andersson. Tommy Sciple's bass work ranges from the completely funky to ethereal textural palettes (ala. Bill Frissell). He has worked with Bobby Previte, Rick Margitza (Miles Davis alumni), Stanton Moore (Galactic), Johnny Vidacovich (New Orleans jazz drumming legend), Steve Masakowski (Astral Project), Wess Anderson (Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra), Mahfouz, Brian Prunka, Quintology, Brian Seeger, Tim Green, Ellis Marsalis, Carlos Washington and the Amazing Giant People, Irvin Mayfield, and Have Soul will Travel. Andy Bourgeois has performed and recorded with Terence Higgins (Dirty Dozen Brass Band), Stanton Moore, Wess Anderson and Alvin Batiste.

copyright fog / illage productions 04/05