photo: jim newberry

mars williams - reeds
jim baker - piano/arp 2600 synthesizer
nathan mcbride - bass
frank rosaly - drums

named after the series of united states-led projects that industrialized puerto rico, bootstrap is a new quartet focusing on and inspired by music of rebellion from andrés jimenez to max roach.

over the last several years, i have been studying bomba and plena music of puerto rico as a means to further connect with my heritage. after the conception of another group of mine which focuses on integrating my experiences as an improvising experimental musician with the traditions of bomba, plena, jibaro and seis called ¡todos de pie! (everybody stand up!), i had compiled a lot of transcribed music from the island. bootstrap is a smaller group, and that will allow us to explore some of these melodies, rhythms and song forms (which i have abstracted) in a free-jazz informed setting. using these melodies/anthems as springboards for improvisations, these anthems also help regroup for the next improvisation.though much of the tunes are original compositions, the themes and anthems act as connective tissue throughout a set.

the band was conceived after having been asked to do a residency at the whistlers relax attack series in chicago, ill. beginning in june, 2012. thanks to jordan martins and the whistler for the opportunity.

here's some recent press:
a review from critic neil tesser

from peter margasak

an interview with alison cuddy on the world
from timeout chicago

from the whistler website