A Next Level In Busking - Too Many Zooz
I usually ascribe to the belief that the less time I spend clicking around on Facebook, the better off I'll be. How often do you find something on Facebook that actually had a positive impact on your life?
(The irony of me posting this on Facebook is not lost on me, don't worry.)
In spite of that belief and my reticence to spend time watching multiple Youtube videos at a time, I was introduced to a band called Too Many Zooz through clicking around on Facebook and proceeded to spend 30+ minutes checking them out, which I recommend you do as well if you haven't already (in researching for this post, I realized I'm a couple years late to the party).
Picture via Too Many Zooz Facebook page
They call their sound "brasshouse" which is perfectly apt when you hear it. For a trio consisting of a trumpet, baritone sax, and numerous percussive items mounted on what looks like a kick drum, these guys make a lot of noise and a lot of noises you may not expect from those instruments. They recently put out a new album, available on their Bandcamp page, and have a plethora of videos online from their subway performances which is what pulled me - and tons of others - into them and they've now done a TEDx performance and are playing all over the place.
I love to see people getting sounds out of their instruments that are out of the ordinary and all three of these guys do that in an awesome way. Having spent my fair share of time around trumpets, bari saxes, and percussion equipment, I was still surprised to hear the way they bring the sounds out of their instruments that they do. Not to mention the fact that I've seen some people struggle to stand up with a baritone sax and yet this guy is absolutely getting down whenever he's playing.
They build out their sound for their studio recordings with some additional elements and vocals at times, but it always stays very complementary and true to the sound that they put together as three guys killing it in subway stations in New York. Given their busking origin, I was curious to see if some of their luster might be lost when set in a studio or more traditional show environment, but if there's any change in their act when they get into different kinds of space, it's an enhancement.
Having generally acquainted myself with their sound through videos of those subway performances, it was really interesting to go through their latest recordings and hear the tracks with featured rappers, slightly different percussion sounds, what occasionally sounds like some electric guitar, etc. The additions and changes in the studio material are enough to differentiate from the live stuff, but the energy is the same and it's a very clear path from one to the other.
If you happen to have an opportunity to catch these guys performing, I can't exhort you enough to check it out because I wouldn't miss the chance.