"Art After 5" presents The Jost Project

PHILADELPHIA - August 8, 2013

The Jost Project blends the improvisation and energy jazz fans love with something else. They apply the rules of jazz to rock standards, mostly from the 1960's. That "updates" jazz by 20 or 30 years and exposes the medium to a younger audience, one more familiar with the rock side.

The result is music that sounds like something you know well, yet interpreted in a whole new way. The performers hope their work in its present form will merge two audiences.

Lead vocalist Paul Jost is also a gifted musician and arranger. His love for jazz is evident and engaging. Vibraphonist Tony Miceli offers great versatility yet always stays true to his jazz roots.

He and bassist Kevin MacConnell pre-date Jost in the group, obviously renamed when the vocalist arrived,. MacConnell told Action News that there's a great deal of difference between a live performance and recording in a studio.

Performers always hope a live show goes perfectly, but, even if it does, there will be subtle differences. In the end, each show is what it is. In a studio, 21st-century technology means each performer can be isolated.

When the need arises, an individual's portion of a song can be edited if something needs to be fixed. Just this week, the band released their first album, "Can't Find My Way Home".

It's a collection of rock standards, mostly from the 1960's, presented as jazz. Miceli says the idea of improvising on these songs isn't as radical as some listeners might think.

He points back to '60's concerts by legends like Jimi Hendrix and Iron Butterfly, some of which featured improvisations lasting up to an hour in just one song.

There's a rollout party for the new CD Friday night at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Obviously, it'll be available there.

The venue is substantially larger than your typical jazz club, with unique acoustics. The performers and their engineer say they're up to the challenge.

The band is online. The CD is produced by New York-based Dot Time records. It's featured on their website, and is also available from online marketers like CD Universe and CD Baby, just to mention a couple.

The rollout party is this week's entertainment at the popular "Art After 5" program the Philadelphia Museum of Art features. There are two hour-long shows at 5:45 and 7:15pm. Either is free with your regular museum admission.

There's more about that at Philadelphia Museum of Art. By the way, The Jost Project does more than record and perform. Most of its members teach regularly at the University of the Arts.

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