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There Has Never Been a Better Time: Red Fox Tails

Ron Bocian (it rhymes with ocean) is the only person I know who is actually from Treme, a place I once thought existed only in a television writer's imagination. My own ignorance: Treme is in fact a real place, a neighborhood in New Orleans.

"The essence of jazz is down there," he says. "You can almost taste it."

Post Katrina, the drummer migrated to San Diego and helped co-found a couple of bands: Euphoria Brass, a big traditional NOLA Second Line outfit, and an Oceanside-based trio called the Red Fox Tails. In June, RFT will preview their first full-length album at Dizzy's Old Town location.

"We did an EP last year," he says by phone from Los Angeles. "A seven-song record. We've honed the sound a lot since then and figured out what we like in the way of tones and arrangements and how to actually capture the songs." The EP was recorded in ex-Paladins bassist Thomas Yearsley's studio. But for the recording of the full-length Aloha, the band set up shop in Bocian's Oceanside house. "For some of the songs, we just turned everything on and let it rip."

The songs on Aloha have a jazz feel, but popularized, even simplified in the same way that a movie or television theme can be simple but memorable. "A huge influence? Henry Mancini," Bocian says. "That's our man." He says they also listen to a varied mix of styles including Calexico, Bill Frizzell, the Big Lazy, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood.

And, Grant Green, a modern jazz guitarist from the '60s and '70s who likewise figures in RFT guitarist Felipe Benavides's own sound. His chord voicings are both exotic and curious, not unlike Green's or even Wes Montgomery's.

"The way he pokes around for a melody, it's like he's using a divining rod."

But are the Red Fox Tails jazz? "I don't know. Labels are kind of confining." Bocian says the members, which include bassist Jay Reilly, embrace improvising. Their web site claims surf-soul-jazz. "And, our arrangements are never the same." He says the songwriting is collaborative.

"We probably have over 50 originals," written during creative bursts of energy when the three members were neighbors. "I could have thrown a rock and hit both Felipe's home and Jay's photography studio."

The next step is planning a tour. "I don't see us getting in a van and flailing around the country. We're trying to develop a fan base in Brazil, and Jay's a frank-o-phile. He's got a lot of connections in France." The Bay area, too, he says. "We've got good connections up there." When I point out that all of the tour destinations he's mentioned thus far are known for their hospitality and fine dining, Bocian laughs.

"Food," he says. "Yeah, we like the food."

The Red Fox Tails with guests Reina Mystique and JP Balmat: Cosmopolitan Hotel, Sat June 16. 619- 297-1874 9p.m. $15 all ages

Mattson 2 also perform

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Ron Bocian (it rhymes with ocean) is the only person I know who is actually from Treme, a place I once thought existed only in a television writer's imagination. My own ignorance: Treme is in fact a real place, a neighborhood in New Orleans.

"The essence of jazz is down there," he says. "You can almost taste it."

Post Katrina, the drummer migrated to San Diego and helped co-found a couple of bands: Euphoria Brass, a big traditional NOLA Second Line outfit, and an Oceanside-based trio called the Red Fox Tails. In June, RFT will preview their first full-length album at Dizzy's Old Town location.

"We did an EP last year," he says by phone from Los Angeles. "A seven-song record. We've honed the sound a lot since then and figured out what we like in the way of tones and arrangements and how to actually capture the songs." The EP was recorded in ex-Paladins bassist Thomas Yearsley's studio. But for the recording of the full-length Aloha, the band set up shop in Bocian's Oceanside house. "For some of the songs, we just turned everything on and let it rip."

The songs on Aloha have a jazz feel, but popularized, even simplified in the same way that a movie or television theme can be simple but memorable. "A huge influence? Henry Mancini," Bocian says. "That's our man." He says they also listen to a varied mix of styles including Calexico, Bill Frizzell, the Big Lazy, and Medeski, Martin, and Wood.

And, Grant Green, a modern jazz guitarist from the '60s and '70s who likewise figures in RFT guitarist Felipe Benavides's own sound. His chord voicings are both exotic and curious, not unlike Green's or even Wes Montgomery's.

"The way he pokes around for a melody, it's like he's using a divining rod."

But are the Red Fox Tails jazz? "I don't know. Labels are kind of confining." Bocian says the members, which include bassist Jay Reilly, embrace improvising. Their web site claims surf-soul-jazz. "And, our arrangements are never the same." He says the songwriting is collaborative.

"We probably have over 50 originals," written during creative bursts of energy when the three members were neighbors. "I could have thrown a rock and hit both Felipe's home and Jay's photography studio."

The next step is planning a tour. "I don't see us getting in a van and flailing around the country. We're trying to develop a fan base in Brazil, and Jay's a frank-o-phile. He's got a lot of connections in France." The Bay area, too, he says. "We've got good connections up there." When I point out that all of the tour destinations he's mentioned thus far are known for their hospitality and fine dining, Bocian laughs.

"Food," he says. "Yeah, we like the food."

The Red Fox Tails with guests Reina Mystique and JP Balmat: Cosmopolitan Hotel, Sat June 16. 619- 297-1874 9p.m. $15 all ages

Mattson 2 also perform

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Comments
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Feel free to listen to the album here:

link text

June 7, 2012

thx fpb71....the music is terrific!!!

June 7, 2012

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