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Published: 1999/01/15
by Mike Casper

New Groove: The Miracle Orchestra

In this wonderful new genre of bands that has come to be known as “jambands” there are constant additions to its roster. There are bands popping up all over the country that use improvisation as its driving force – and very few make it in the overwhelming music business. One small band from Boston, Massachusetts is climbing its way towards the top.

In September of nineteen ninety-six a group of young talented musicians came together to jam. They found a sound they liked and formed a group – The Miracle Orchestra. There have been many additions and subtractions from since that fall, but the band has now found a line-up that works. Bill Carbone, one of the bands talented drummers has been playing with guitarist Geoff Scott since the two were ten years old. Most members of the M/O go to the New England Conservatory, while a couple go to Berkley. Their ages range from twenty to twenty-four.

The M/O have a sound that is very unique. Scotts skillful guitar playing bring a funky sound, blending nicely with the experienced horns section. All horns players come from primarily a jazz background. Colin Fishers trumpet solos and Jared Sims smooth sax bring the jazz portion to life. Brian Sayers does percussion for the M/O, having much skill with hand drums he brings an important addition to the music. Garrett Sayers controls the stage with his bass. At one show he broke a string on his four-string bass. He then stepped up to the mic for an Oteil Burbridge style solo, showing off to the mesmerized crowd. that you can dance to it. This is not “sit down jazz”. Although the band did win Boston Magazines Best New Jazz Group award this year, they cater to many genres.

The two things that the M/O strive to accomplish with their music is improvisation and music that you can dance to. They can play a calm Sunday jazz brunch, and that night tear up a nightclub. Improvisation is very important to the M/O. “Improvisation,” say drummer Carbone, “is the spirit of the music. We are still young and we all have years to learn. A good night on stage has so much magic, mostly because of this jam all band members contribute to.”

You may have seen the M/O at the Lemonwheel. The M/O was asked to play at a wedding for Phish’s archivist and personal masseuse. They were asked to jam for four hours straight. All of Phish’s management attended and the M/O was booked for Phish’s side stage. “I grew up on Phish,” says Carbone.
The M/O released their debut CD early this summer. It is entitled “Coalescence” and represents the band very well. The first track, “Boob” starts with some funky guitar playing and blends into the M/Os signature groove. All nine tracks are original, although they have an impressive list of covers ranging from the Dead’s “Fire on the Mountain” to Miles Davis “All Blues”. Fisher “quotes” Miles in solos occasionally. The band still has almost enough original songs for another album. They have shared the stage with Dave Grippo, the Disco Biscuits, and members of Frank Zappa. The M/O has one of the most promising futures of any band that I have seen. I would highly suggest checking them out. ________________________________________

Since Mike interviewed me in September, we have undergone some changes. We are now a four piece band, consisting of Drums, Bass, Guitar, Sax and shared vocal duties. Colin Fisher (Trumpet), Jeremy Udden (Sax) and Brian Sayers (Perc) left the band due to different musical interests. If there is any way that you could update the article to include this, or even just add something at the end it would be great. It was a big move for us, and we feel that it was definitely for the best. Our music is taking a new turn- we feel that we can do much more with less.
Thank you again for your help,
Bill Carbone, Miracle Orchestra

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