Highlights from 75 Dollar Bill's performance at Roulette on March 27, 2017.
Minimalist duo 75 Dollar Bill performed arrangements for large ensemble, recreating densely layered tracks of their records while also adapting duo materials for an expanded group. Drawing on the loose, improvisatory structure of the music, the performance emphasized the individual contributions and personalities of the band members.
75 Dollar Bill was formed in 2012 by percussionist Rick Brown and guitarist Che Chen. Brown’s earthy, elemental rhythms, played on a deeply resonant plywood crate, are both the foundation and foil for Chen’s searchingly abstract guitar playing. Often using a custom quarter-tone guitar, Chen’s improvisations are forays into a modal, microtonal sound world. The duo’s electric, richly patterned music can shapeshift from ecstatic dance tunes to slowly changing polyrhythmic trance minimalism, an uncategorizable hybrid which draws on early electric blues, the modal traditions of West Africa, India and the Middle East, Sun Ra’s space chords and the minimalist and No Wave histories of their hometown. The band’s second album, Wood / Metal / Plastic / Pattern / Rhythm / Rock, was released in 2016 on Thin Wrist Recordings to wide critical acclaim. While Brown and Chen are always at the band’s core, the duo frequently expands into other configurations live, from trio with saxophone to 25-piece marching band.
"Trailer" for the upcoming 75 Dollar Bill album "WOOD/METAL/PLASTIC/PATTERN/RHYTHM/ROCK" which will be available June 2, 2016 from Thin Wrist Recordings. http://www.thinwrist.com/
Video shot and edited by Steve Maing