4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Bop Moderno sells out the Museum of Making Music

This was the third gig for Bop Moderno, consisting of Peter and Tripp Sprague, Gilbert Castellanos, Gunnar Biggs and Duncan Moore.

Saturday, Feb. 16, the Museum of Making Music presented the San Diego debut performance of Bop Moderno a newly formed unit featuring Peter Sprague on guitar, Gilbert Castellanos on trumpet, Tripp Sprague on reeds Gunnar Biggs on bass and Duncan Moore on drums.

Expectations for a group with such stellar personnel were high, and as a result, the venue was sold-out several days in advance.

There is something magical about hearing the brothers Sprague perform together. Much of what I know about jazz was absorbed from hearing their band Dance of the Universe when they had a three-night-a-week residency for months at Elario's in La Jolla, some 30 years ago.

Including trumpet virtuoso Castellanos into the mix seemed like an inspired choice--borne out by the band's two sets of blistering, intricate post-bop expressions.

Opening with the episodic "Moot Point," which had more moods than a schizophrenic on acid, tenor sax and trumpet combined with tight unisons over the pinpoint guitar comping, throbbing bass and roiling percussion as brother Tripp staked out full-bodied storytelling and Castellanos strung laces of tart smears.

The surprisingly old-time feel of "Would You Like To Dance," featured a muted Castellanos, squeezing a sweet warbled vibrato as saxophonist Sprague lit into a warm Coleman Hawkins-ish solo. The guitarist began with a pure, distilled swing, activating a wonderful mix of sublime chords with waves of single-note ideas.

Sprague reached back to his first album to set the hard-bopping early Coltrane-flavored "Avenues," into motion, drawing bravura trumpet and saxophone statements before launching into an intense duet with Moore, the intensity ratcheting into a glorious free-exchange where the confines of the form began to disappear into waves of kinetic energy.

Gently rolling guitar arpeggios set the stage for the laid-back, gospel feel of "Calling Me Home," which drew a quavering, deeply felt bass solo from Biggs. Castellanos blew complex arabesques on another tune from the '80s, "Namaste," fueled by Moore's serenade of clacking rim-shots. Everyone but the drummer dropped out for the tenor solo-- a wild dance of breakneck ideas and yelping altissimo.

Castellanos led off "Joe Farrell," with a kaleidoscopic a cappella feature of extended trumpet/plunger mute technique-- conjuring burlesque overtones with growls, purrs, and squeals. The band entered, taking it into a surge of super freebop ecstasy, all gliding on the protean walking of Biggs and the intricate ride cymbals machinations of Moore.

I'm hoping to hear much more from these guys.

Peter Sprague by Barbara Wise

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Pig: Nicolas Cage’s purloined pal

Don’t look for an explanation that isn’t there. Just go with it.
Next Article

An ocean of Konnichiwa Sushi

Options abound at colorful La Mesa Village spot

Saturday, Feb. 16, the Museum of Making Music presented the San Diego debut performance of Bop Moderno a newly formed unit featuring Peter Sprague on guitar, Gilbert Castellanos on trumpet, Tripp Sprague on reeds Gunnar Biggs on bass and Duncan Moore on drums.

Expectations for a group with such stellar personnel were high, and as a result, the venue was sold-out several days in advance.

There is something magical about hearing the brothers Sprague perform together. Much of what I know about jazz was absorbed from hearing their band Dance of the Universe when they had a three-night-a-week residency for months at Elario's in La Jolla, some 30 years ago.

Including trumpet virtuoso Castellanos into the mix seemed like an inspired choice--borne out by the band's two sets of blistering, intricate post-bop expressions.

Opening with the episodic "Moot Point," which had more moods than a schizophrenic on acid, tenor sax and trumpet combined with tight unisons over the pinpoint guitar comping, throbbing bass and roiling percussion as brother Tripp staked out full-bodied storytelling and Castellanos strung laces of tart smears.

The surprisingly old-time feel of "Would You Like To Dance," featured a muted Castellanos, squeezing a sweet warbled vibrato as saxophonist Sprague lit into a warm Coleman Hawkins-ish solo. The guitarist began with a pure, distilled swing, activating a wonderful mix of sublime chords with waves of single-note ideas.

Sprague reached back to his first album to set the hard-bopping early Coltrane-flavored "Avenues," into motion, drawing bravura trumpet and saxophone statements before launching into an intense duet with Moore, the intensity ratcheting into a glorious free-exchange where the confines of the form began to disappear into waves of kinetic energy.

Gently rolling guitar arpeggios set the stage for the laid-back, gospel feel of "Calling Me Home," which drew a quavering, deeply felt bass solo from Biggs. Castellanos blew complex arabesques on another tune from the '80s, "Namaste," fueled by Moore's serenade of clacking rim-shots. Everyone but the drummer dropped out for the tenor solo-- a wild dance of breakneck ideas and yelping altissimo.

Castellanos led off "Joe Farrell," with a kaleidoscopic a cappella feature of extended trumpet/plunger mute technique-- conjuring burlesque overtones with growls, purrs, and squeals. The band entered, taking it into a surge of super freebop ecstasy, all gliding on the protean walking of Biggs and the intricate ride cymbals machinations of Moore.

I'm hoping to hear much more from these guys.

Peter Sprague by Barbara Wise

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
1

This was a sensational night of music from people who have been giving us great jazz for decades. Someone should do a Reader story on Peter, a major San Diego treasure. Gilbert too, actually.

Feb. 19, 2013

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close