Textiles feat. Pete Wall 12.7.12

Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge
Denver, CO

Words & Photos By Brad Yeakel

Odds are, if you live in the Denver area and you like funk, you've likely seen Pete Wall guesting with any number of bands from Particle or The Recovery Act to Polytoxic's Last Waltz... Wall is a fixture on sax in the Denver clubs. Much like Warren Haynes, he loves to play and does so any time he can. I went to see Pete's project, Textiles, who was playing at Dazzle, a jazz club with cool lighting, nice ambience and upscale fare. As I made my way inside, I was greeted by soft, colorful lights (some in funky psychedelic fixtures) and the soothing sound of jazz. I was immediately aware that this club was a perfect venue for the music that was being played. The kind of place where a hippie might feel comfortable wearing a tie. The music had a sophistication, a swagger and a looseness that translated well to the room.

There were several things that made this outfit unique. For starters, Pete Wall... This guy plays sax with excellent tone, swift dexterity, fierce intensity and jazzy tension and he does it with an ease that reminds me of Ron Burgundy wooing Veronica Corningstone. He is extremely comfortable performing... And I'm guessing has a touch more humor than you'd find in a typical jazzman. He and his bandmates joked with each other often between songs, not for our entertainment, mostly for their own and that made the vibe lighter. The second thing that makes them one of a kind, is that they had no guitar. The lineup was drums, bass, piano/keys, producer/sound sculptor and sax. Whoa, whoa, whoa... producer/ sound sculptor?!? In a jazz band?! What? Yes... The next thing that makes them unique is their producer, who laid down subtle beat tracks, jazz hooks and funk riffs, within the context of their groove. It's cool because you almost miss it at first and then you start to hear that subtle difference that is an update to yesterday's jazz. He has also created his own instrument, which looked like a Moog Voyager mated with an Atari. Not only is it one of the most unusual instruments I've seen, but he played it in a way that was a step up from Futureman's synth-ax-drum-itar.

The funk element definitely leans in on Textiles sound as well and some of their lounge style occasionally gets a little dancey. When I ran into Pete at setbreak, I told him I had seen him often with other bands. He told me that sitting in with bands is usually straight "raging" and that the Textiles provide a opportunity for him to play music that "breathes" more. I can appreciate that... I really enjoyed their fresh blend of music and thought that Dazzle for Textiles was a really hip place to take a lady. Classy joint, stylish band and excellent atmosphere. Get your collared shirt, hippie. This isn't Cervantes...

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