TRUCKEE, Calif. — Jazz and electronic music might seem like strange bedfellows to the casual observer, but New York City’s Le Boeuf brothers find them to be complementary.
“It’s been really exciting adapting the music, because it’s kind of an electronic music crossover with jazz,” pianist Pascal Le Boeuf said. “We’ve been having fun incorporating the technology in such a way that it’s still improvisational.”
LeBoeuf and brother Remy (saxphone) will bring their multi-genre musical blend to Moody’s Bistro in Truckee on Friday, March 22, joined by Martin Nevin (bass) and Peter Kronreif (drums).
“We’re going to be playing some music from ‘In Praise of Shadows,’ which we put out in 2011,” saxophonist Remy Le Bouef said. “We’re also going to be playing some music from ‘Le Boeuf Brothers Remixed,’ which is basically taking pieces of ‘In Praise of Shadows’ and collage-ing them together to create completely new songs, and also collaborating with a series of different artists.”
The twin brothers grew up in Santa Cruz, Calif., where they established a reputation as talented young jazz musicians, playing around the area with a band while in high school. After graduating, they attended Manhattan School of Music in New York City to study jazz and composition.
Sharing both extensive backgrounds in jazz and a passion for electronica, the Le Boeufs have been blending the two styles for some time. They introduced elements of electronic music on their debut album, “In Praise of Shadows.”
“It’s somewhat present on ‘In Praise of Shadows’ from a production perspective, where we did a whole recording session and improvised and everything,” Pascal Le Boeuf said. “We combed through it afterward and shaped the sounds a little more, without taking away the improv in the moment.”
The brothers see the electronic component of their music as very similar to the acoustic side, merely another means to the same end; emotional expression via musical improvisation.
“The way you would use a range in an acoustic setting, like loud to soft, you have all this different stuff to mess with when you improvise,” Pascal Le Boeuf said. “So we can do the same thing every time we incorporate a new parameter electronically. It’s just another way of changing the sound. If we get to the point where we can express ourselves using these changes, it becomes kind of a free improvised expression of how we’re feeling and how we’re talking to each other.”
The complexity of their compositions and remixes can render the tunes difficult to play live, the brothers said. That said, the band modifies their stage show to best reproduce their music.
“When we play in Truckee I bring my keyboard, which basically imitates the funk keyboards of the 70’s,” Pascal Le Boeuf said. “I use that in combination with a number of effects. Sometimes we’ll compose and design sounds and textures that we’ll incorporate using triggered samples and things like that.”
No strangers to Moody’s or Truckee, the Le Boeuf brothers are looking forward to the upcoming show.
“This will be our fourth or fifth time at Moody’s,” Pascal Le Boeuf said. “We always have a really great time, we’re looking forward to getting back over there.”
“The personality of Truckee as a town is such a beautiful thing, I wish we could spend more time up there,” Remy Le Boeuf said. “We always have a great time there, we always have crazy adventures after we play, singing karaoke and meeting people. It’s really easy to make friends with people whenever we come there.”