The Joints write and play jazz. Not soul meets funk meets hip hop meets jazz. They’re bringing the straight stuff, and they’re doing it well. The five-piece band is made up of Denver and Boulder musicians: Brandon Sullivan on keys, Ryan Sullivan on trumpet, Jean-Luc Davis, Josh Moore on drums, and Danny Meyer on tenor sax. The Colorado Daily talked with Brandon Sullivan to find out just how cool jazz still is.
So you call your music “post jazz,” what exactly is that?
It’s tough because jazz obviously is kind of struggling to find its place in mainstream music. We don’t wanna like, purposefully try to get out of our scene, you know? But we also don’t want to be associated with people who don’t want to move to the future … Basically, all it means is finding that spot where your influences and your own personality come together, which is also why we call our group The Joints.
Who writes your music?
The book right now, as it stands, is all of my compositions, but it’s definitely something where we’re trying to get everyone’s work included. As far as writing goes, its definitely something where I find that people in general have the most success if you do it on a daily basis. Because if you can be OK with your writing not being so stellar every day of the week…when you come up with something awesome you’re way more motivated to keep it up … I just try to sit down and do something until I stumble across something that worth developing.
When I saw you at the Laughing Goat, you opened with a Radiohead song. Do you do your own arrangements of popular music?
We arrange stuff a lot for ourselves for a couple reasons. One, it’s to play stuff that people recognize … and it’s a great exercise as a group. We’ll take a song that we like and arrange it as a group.
What’s good right now on the Denver and Boulder jazz scenes?
[In] Boulder specifically, we really like Boulder just because we like the eclectic feel of the scene in Boulder. You can be a jazz musician or a folk musician in Boulder and there’s an underlying respect … But we honestly don’t get to play in Boulder as much as we do in Denver because they’re not always looking for jazz … Denver’s a good jazz scene, you know, especially if you’re in the community. We’re super lucky to have the guys we have playing in the band … In Denver, we really love playing at Dazzle and we really like playing at Herb’s. So those are our two spots in Denver that still advocate playing instrumental music.
Hear The Joints for yourself – their album is now available on their website.