Artist: Fresh Cut Orchestra

Album: From The Vine

Release Date: 2015-02-17

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about the album

The band's debut release From the Vine, due Feb. 17 on Ropeadope Records, features nine original compositions and has a far-reaching, panoptic quality. The album dips into various soundscapes and grooves, deftly migrating from ephemeral to slicing, which bespeaks the bandleaders' range of experiences: Lawrence has performed with Erykah Badu, Boyz II Men and Orrin Evans; Fraticelli with Matisyahu, Taylor McFerrin and Mark Guiliana; and Marshall with Evans, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Dave Douglas.

about the artist

A uniquely Philadelphian ten-piece band, the Fresh Cut Orchestra is co-led by trumpeter Josh Lawrence, bassist Jason Fraticelli and drummer Anwar Marshall. They return to Ropeadope Records on August 26, 2016 with Mind Behind Closed Eyes, a highly varied collection of pieces from the three composers. The album also marks the recorded debut of Fraticelli on cuatro, a Puerto Rican stringed instrument similar to the Cuban tres. The album was recorded entirely live - all the electronic processing done in-the-moment in Ableton, and where Fraticelli plays cuatro, guitarist Tim Conley switches to bass.

The core trio of Lawrence, Fraticelli and Marshall were initially put together by Lenny Seidman of the Painted Bride Arts Center, home of the longest running jazz series in the city. Seidman decided to pick three emerging composer-performers from the area to form a larger ensemble. The three co-leaders clicked as a trio who love playing bebop, and they found a special democratic balance. "Josh brings a sophistication and practicality to the band, and I'm always super excited," says Fraticelli. "We balance each other out in making decisions. Anwar is a completely supportive spirit - any idea you come up with, he understands."

Fraticelli describes the band as a group of overlapping relationships. "Josh suggested we have four horns, and pulled from his experiences in many of Philly's jazz programs. Saxophonists Mike Cemprola and Mark Allen are best friends, but at the time I didn't know them.” Trombonist Brent White was familiar to all three co-leaders, as they had all passed through various Philly big bands. Fraticelli enlisted his best friend Tim Conley, then living in LA, and fleshed out the rhythm section with pianist Brian Marsella - known for his work with Cyro Baptista - and Cuban percussionist Francois Zayas, who has been a fixture in the city for over a decade. "We've been very fortunate for the commissions we've received from the Painted Bride and the Kimmel Center," Fraticelli says. "We've been very lucky and we've made the most of these opportunities in the best way possible. It creates art that wouldn't have otherwise happened. It's great for the local music scene and great for the city."