Atlanticus is a unique transatlantic band, with founding members Terry Seabrook (organ) and Peter Fraize (tenor sax) originating from opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean. The band has since grown with the addition of Jack Kendon (trumpet & flumpet) and Milo Fell (drums). Their debut album, Blue Haven, and their latest release, Upstream, both feature aquatic themes. Atlanticus is currently premiering their new 5-part multimedia suite ‘Oceanic’ during their summer tour, with a focus on earth’s oceans and environmental conservation.
Working Together as a Transatlantic Group
Despite the geographical distance, Seabrook and Fraize maintain their creative connection through a common vision and complementary styles. They compose and arrange pieces with the band in mind, even when they are not together physically.
When it comes to recording albums, Atlanticus typically records in a single day at the end of a tour. This approach captures the energy and groove of the group’s live performances.
Inspired by the United Nations’ Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), the Oceanic suite is a multimedia project that combines jazz compositions with video to showcase the beauty and diversity of the oceans, as well as the human impact on these ecosystems.
Upstream: Album Overview
Upstream is a continuation of the band’s sound, developed through their four tours together. The album features a mix of tunes that bring the Hammond organ tradition to a modern sensibility, with a wide range of grooves.
- “Upstream”: Conveys a sense of pushing against the current, with edgy rhythms and diminished scales in the A section while providing relief with more suspended harmony and rhythm in the B section.
- “Underway”: Represents a joyful journey by sea, using a Brazilian choro rhythm to suggest forward motion.
- “Triple Decker”: Combines three distinct blues riffs in three different keys played simultaneously, with the solo form cycling through the three keys across instruments.
- “Rhythm Schtick”: Incorporates the Go-Go groove of Washington DC, featuring a droning dissonance and colliding horn lines that evoke the sound of street musicians and the bustle of downtown.
Live Performances and Future Plans
Audiences can expect an energetic and spirited live performance from Atlanticus, with the hope that the ‘Oceanic’ suite resonates with people’s concerns for the future of Planet Earth. The band is planning a reverse trip across the Atlantic for gigs in Washington DC, further UK and European tours, and more recorded material to be released.