Crack Sabbath

24
Oct.
2020
2:30 AM
Crack Sabbath

"Hardening of the categories leads to Art Disease." - John Medeski Decade upon decade, Skerik remains the tireless steward for one of modern music's most diverse, adventurous & passionate bodies of work. Skerik's world is one where dialogue flows freely between wildly disparate strains of musical thought... where no borders exist between jazz & sludge metal, where elements of Congolese soukous dialect might find their way onto the million-selling records of an alternative rock band, where an avant-garde electronic translation of Ornette Coleman's deepest & darkest fantasies (shared with a select few listeners in a small club) easily attains the same level of satisfaction & meaning as an exuberant explosion of jazz/funk catharsis (shared with hordes of sweaty festival crowds all over the world). It is a world where all sounds may communicate freely with each other, so long as they all originate from true inspiration & good faith. They may encounter friction & chaos along the way, eventually emerging in a shared harmonious understanding... or perhaps they might remain in friction & chaos, screaming in musical hellfire until the next chapter begins. Safety is never guaranteed in these woods, but boredom will never rear its head. That's a promise. It all began in Seattle when a precocious young man took his first few steps on tenor & baritone saxophone, inspired in equal measure by his love for jazz (as inherited from his father), the grittier side of funk/r&b and the experimental corners of rock. An apprenticeship spent working in a wide variety of bands in London, Paris & the South Pacific further expanded his ears & ambitions, and he returned home in the late 1980s armed with a full set of 10,000 hours and an insatiable work ethic that continues unabated to this day. Back in Seattle, Skerik "accidentally" found himself joining the amazing rock duo SadHappy in 1990 (recording two studio albums & embarking on countless live adventures with the band), and the following year saw the first of many such honors when he won "Best Horns" from the Northwest Music Awards in 1991. Ever restless, Skerik teamed up with Matt Chamberlain in 1993 to form the singular Critters Buggin, alongside luminaries such as Brad Houser & John Bush (later to be joined by Mike Dillon). Critters' blend of rock, funk, jazz, industrial & African influences established an utterly unique presence in the explosion of improvisation-focused music that emerged in the 90s, and Skerik's pioneering incorporation of harsh & abrasive electronic elements ensured that the band's output was distinguished by a confrontational edge that wasn't often encountered among the mellow hippie friendliness of the day. By way of Critters' rapidly expanding notoriety (along with the flurry of attention resulting from his appearances with Seattle supergroup Mad Season, with whom he featured on both their sole album "Above" and their legendary "Live At The Moore" video release), Skerik's workload soon grew to include a plethora of new projects that were as stupefying in terms of diversity as they were in sheer numbers. A very short list would include Garage A Trois (alongside Stanton Moore & Charlie Hunter, later to be joined by Mike Dillon & Marco Benevento), Stanton Moore's solo work, Les Claypool's Fearless Flying Frog Brigade & Fancy Band, Tuatara (alongside Peter Buck, Barrett Martin, Steve Berlin, Justin Harwood & a rotating cast of Seattle's most renowned rock & jazz musicians), Ponga, Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet, Crack Sabbath, Omaha Diner & The Dead Kenny Gs. Over the years, it has been Skerik's enormous honor to tour with Roger Waters, Fred Wesley, Les Claypool, Critters Buggin, Sadhappy, Beta Popes, Skerik's Syncopated Taint Septet, Garage a Trois, Stanton Moore, Mike Clark, Headhunters, Robert Walter, Ponga, Wayne Horvitz 4+1 ensemble, Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk, Bobby Previte's Coalition of the Willing, New York Composer's Orchestra, Galactic, Tuatara, Mark Eitzel, Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, The Dead Kenny G's, Black Frames, Maelstrom Trio, Illuminasti Trio, Master Musicians of Bukkake, True Loves, McTuff, Master Musicians of Jajouka & so many more. In addition, his good fortune has included performances and/or recordings alongside Mad Season, Medeski Martin & Wood, Primus, REM, Bonnie Raitt, Pearl Jam, Ween, Ani DiFranco, Stewart Copeland, Screaming Trees, Charlie Hunter, Larry Coryell, John Scofield, Warren Haynes, Nels Cline, Buckethead, Bernie Worrell, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Shock G, The Coup, PBS, G. Calvin Weston, Josh Roseman, Shazhad Ismaily, Clyde Stubblefield, Kenny Drew Jr, Melvin Gibbs, Sex Mob, Crack Sabbath, Blotallika, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Johnny Vidocovich, George Porter Jr, Funky Meters, Kenny Wolleson, Benevento/Russo Duo, Leo Nocentelli, Earl Harvin Trio, Jon Brion, My Name, Kirk Joseph, Big Sam, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, The Word, North Mississippi Allstars, James Singleton, Somo-Somo, Remy Ongala, Freestyle Candela, Bheki Mseleku, Aubrey Oaki, Mino Cinelu, Bob Stewart, Bill Ware, Brain, Ralph Carney, M.I.R.V., Stone Gossard, Lonnie Marshall, DJ Logic, Jeff Parker, Get It Gurl, Ruth Brown, Howard Tate, Maxi Priest, Steve Berlin, David Hidalgo, Cory Henry, MonoNeon, Steve Kimock, Corrosion of Conformity, Hella, DJ Olive, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, Ozomatli, Wolves in the Throne Room, Kayo Dot, SUNN O)))), Master Musicians of Bukkake, DJ Riz, Todd Sickafoose, Scott Amendola, Doze Green, Ernest Ranglin, Dave Ellis, Yoshida Brothers, Gene Ween, Peter Apfelbaum, Jennifer Hartswick, Zigaboo Modeliste, Soulive, DRKWAV, Worship My Organ, Lettuce, Allen Stone, Algiers, Wil Blades, Scott Amendola, Sound Cipher, Lorbo & so many more. Skerik was inducted into the "Seattle Jazz Hall Of Fame" by Earshot Jazz in 2017, and he is the recipient of numerous awards including "Best Horns" (1991 Northwest Music Awards), "Northwest Jazz Instrumentalist Of The Year" (2003 Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards) and "Northwest Alternative Jazz Group Of The Year" (2012 Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards, as bestowed upon his group Bandalabra). All totaled, Skerik has contributed to more than 200 records as a saxophonist and/or keyboardist, and his music has seen worldwide placement in feature films, independent films, TV shows, theater & dance pieces. He continues to make Seattle his primary home (now owning & operating his own studio in the city), and regularly embarks on tours around the world with his ever-expanding cast of collaborators & new things to do. Boredom remains absent, categories remain useless.