Since 2010, this Signal Problems has been my main outlet as a composer/bandleader. For its entire history, this group has had the same lineup: myself on trumpet, Eric Trudel on Tenor Saxophone, Adam Hopkins on Bass, Nathan Ellman-Bell on Drums. The four of us have a long history playing together in various configurations going back to 2006 as members of a community of young improvisers centered around Baltimore, Maryland. This group had its first rehearsal one week before I moved to NYC. A year later, the rest of the band moved and we shared an apartment in Bushwick from Sept 2011 to Aug 2012, rehearsing in the basement (some band members still live there). We do not use substitutes when a band member can’t make a performance, instead opting to play short-handed and rename the group depending on who’s missing: e.g., “Problem Solved” (no Eric), “Not a Problem” (no Adam).
As Nathan once put it (paraphrasing), “I like playing in this band, because no matter what I’m feeling that day, I can just put it into the music and it will work”.