Electro-swing band plays benefit show
The Seattle six-piece band’s smoking hot sound has its roots in the speakeasy days of the early 1920s, the era during which the OK Theatre was opened, but there’s a twist — Good Co. adds elements of electronica, creating their own, signature flavor.
Bandleader Carey Rayburn brought this talented jazz band together shortly after being introduced to the jazz-electronica combo taking off in Europe. The University of Washington Trumpet performance graduate calls himself “a real jazz history nerd” who loves 20s and 30s vintage jazz from the Prohibition Era.
“It’s all about drinking and dancing and getting into trouble,” Rayburn said. “I like my music with a little bit of dirt on it.”
It was through “electro-swing” nights in local clubs that Rayburn said he first heard the genre started by DJs mixing early jazz with electronic dance tunes.
“Its roots are similar to the hip hop samples of soul and funk,” Rayburn said. “Eventually enough people were really loving this sampling of the early stuff it was codified into a genre.”
Perhaps a codified genre in Europe, but no other American band had adopted the style until Good Co. formed in 2013.
“I was in love with the sound and surprised no one else was doing it,” Rayburn said. “Electro-swing is a really cool genre with a wide variety of sounds coming out of it — depending on the country, band or DJ.”
For instance, he said, Good Co. is more heavily into improvisation and live instrumentals while the German style is more electronic. Ultimately all the flavors of electro-swing are dance and party music. For a sample go to www.youtube.com/user/goodcomusic.
Rayburn said he was introduced to jazz as a teen poring over his parents’ record collection.
“My parents have a massive amount of music and there was always music playing in my house. In junior, high I played in a jazz band and I dug out their Louis Armstrong albums,” Rayburn said.
Of the different styles he said he connected to the improvisation of early jazz that allows the individual voice to come out over the big band ensemble sound of the 40s and 50s. His love of music led him to the University of Washington where Rayburn said he received excellent private instruction. He said David Gordon, the principal trumpet for the Seattle Symphony and UW professor of trumpet performance, was particularly helpful.
“He was not afraid to tell me if I sounded bad, which is most important for instrumentalists,” Rayburn said.
Rayburn was introduced to electro-swing as a “bum musician in Seattle” paying off student debt by performing in salsa and funk bands, doing studio work and teaching. The sound was gaining traction in Seattle dance clubs when he said he decided to do a project of his own. With a total of 18 different performers he recorded an album.
“I got a good response,” Rayburn said. “People asked ‘When’s the band going to play?’”
The “band” had been a collection of Seattle musicians, but Rayburn said he couldn’t put 18 people on a stage. He carefully selected six musicians from the treasure trove of Seattle’s finest — vocalist Sasha Nollman, Rayburn on trumpet, Dune Butler on bass, Michael Conklin on sax, Joe Eck on drums and Jake Sele on trombone and keyboards.
Today, Good Co. stays busy playing venues all over the country and in Europe. Ahead of their OK Theatre appearance, Wallowa Land Trust executive director Kathleen Ackley said Good Co. will be doing an outreach program for Wallowa County youth.
“I’m from a rural area, and I like being able to get a community involved,” Rayburn said. “It makes for a great show for everybody and gets the community excited about the concert.”
Good Co. will hold a concert for Wallowa County students, followed by a talk about the music and jazz history with time for questions.
Good Co. appears at the OK Theatre in Enterprise at 7 p.m. Nov. 2. Tickets are available at www.eventbrite.com, M. Crow and Company in Lostine, Dollar Stretcher in Enterprise, Joseph Hardware in Joseph and at the Wallowa Land Trust office, 116 South River St., Enterprise.