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MP3 Seven Year Tango - Hot Tub

A four piece band from Portland, Oregon that plays funky, soulful jazz-rock originals in a style that integrates the syncopated New Orleans sounds of the Meters with the improvisational approach of the 1970s electric Miles Davis.

9 MP3 Songs
JAZZ: Jazz Fusion, JAZZ: Acid Jazz

Seven Year Tango is not a tango band. It''s just a name. I didn''t come up with the name. None of the people currently in the band had anything to do with the name. Back in 1996 or so, while I was studying philosophy at the University of Portland, I started jamming with a couple of guys including drummer Dan Brown. We formed a band that went through a couple of really bad names such as Mama''s Most Magnificent Madhatterhorns and the Wingflingers. During the 1996-97 school year I went to Salzburg, Austria to study the liberal arts and drink a lot of beer. When I returned to Portland and rejoined the band, Dan had renamed it Seven Year Tango. The name stuck and to this day I have yet to think of a better name--although I have come up with a long list of worse names. So what is a Seven Year Tango? I don''t know. No one in the band knows. It could be construed as a kind of metaphor, or a variation on the phrase "seven year itch," but really nothing is meant by it. At least not by us. Sorry for the confusion. And, again, we do not play tango music.

So what is Seven Year Tango? We are a collective of musicians united by an understanding of the power of music and by an desire to express ourselves through the improvisational medium of jazz and funk. What I mean is that we play music that is influenced by the jazz, funk, and fusion idioms of the 1960s and 1970s. We are also influenced by some contemporary music; especially music that is descended from 1970s funk (such as hip hop). We play mostly instrumental music, and we tend to eschew rehersed routines in favor of impromptu musical creation. Our musical goals are, I think, fundamentally selfish; we do not intend to appeal to the masses as does pop music. We also do not intend to create music that can be neatly packaged in bite-sized pieces and then bought and sold. Rather, we play for our own enjoyment and for the purpose of developing our abilities for individual and collective expression.

Seven Year Tango is a live band. We love performing live because we believe that every moment presents a new opportunity for musical creation and discovery. A recording of music, in contrast, is a static entity; and while the listener may have an opportunity on each listening to make a discovery about the music, the music itself does not change and there can be no real interaction between the listener and the musicians. We are something of a throwback to the days when recorded music was seen as a poor imitation of and second-best substitute for a live performance. We believe that live, real-time creation is the essence of jazz. Nowadays, due to great advances in recording technology, it seems that recorded music is prime; it is no longer meant as an imitation but is the thing itself--it is itself a work of art rather than a utilitarian workaround; and the live performance attempts to imitate the recording. Seven Year Tango appreciates the live moment, and perhaps it is for this reason that we attract a young, intelligent, passionate, and loyal crowd who enjoy the danceable rhythms of our music and our energy, spontaneity, and humor. Moreover, our music also seems to appeal to those folks who can remember listening to our ''60s and ''70s influences "back in the day."

Over the years we have played a variety of venues and engagements around Portland. Most recently we have played regular shows at medium-sized clubs such as the Blue Monk, the Goodfoot, the Buffalo Gap, the Bitter End, and the Mt. Tabor Pub; we have also performed in quieter, more intimate restaurant settings at the Saffire Hotel, the Bethany Village Grill, and Pessaro''s. We have performed at benefits for the City Repair Project and we have played the Water in the Ditch festival in Idaho now three years in a row. Seven Year Tango has shared the bill with artists such as Triclops, The Sham, Three Fifths Compromise, and Bachelors of Science.

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