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Making it smooth

Wren Wertin, Eagle County Correspondent

KEYSTONE – If music is a puzzle, Ryan Krieger is the missing piece.

He came with rhythm and soul and an ear for the collective moment. The drummer is the newest member of Global Funk, and the group is cooking now. It plays tonight at The Goat in Keystone.

“The drummer is absolutely fundamental,” said Jonathan Scoyanoff, bassist. “That’s what people groove to; that’s what makes people move. You can do all these incredible things on top of it, but if they don’t hear that, they won’t get on the dance floor.”

It’s a good moment in time for the musicians, who’ve evolved significantly over the past 18 months. Most groups wheel through the days, becoming tighter as a unit. Global Funk has, too. But it also has changed its approach.

“We’ve got a bigger emphasis on new composition,” he said. “In pop music, you start at point A and end up back at point A. Though we start at point A, we’ll end up at point Z – and we’ve done all the letters in between.”

Fresh out of the studio, the musicians are looking forward to the release of their album, “Bogo.”

“Yeah, there’s a story behind the name,” Scoyanoff said. “But we want people to figure that out on their own.”

And how does it sound?

“It’s good,” he said, laughing. “Like g-u-u-d. No, really, it’s something we’ve been waiting for. But we needed the right performers, the right band members.”

Krieger, the drummer, came on a recommendation of some friends. He went from studying with jazz drummer Karl Latham to a three-year stint touring with the hardcore group The Cro-Mags. Recently he’s worked with Dr. Didg, though Global Funk is his main project now.

“We were desperate to make this album,” Scoyanoff said. “We needed a product that was reflecting what we were doing.”

What they’re doing is crossing the lines, again and again. Genre bending is nothing new – the term has become a tired buzz word on the live music scene.

What touring band with a penchant for improvisation doesn’t cross into a slew of musical styles, be it in a single latent riff or as the basis for a whole song?

But some bands pick and choose carefully – not simply throwing it out there because it’s different, but because that’s the sound they want.

“If we’re doing Latin, we don’t want to sound like a band coming out of South America,” said Scoyanoff. “That would be too canned. That’s something we have over other bands. A lot of them do a lot of different styles, but they don’t necessarily pull it off.”

That said, Global Funk has quite a list of influences and explorations: reggae, bluegrass, short funk jazz, Latin and more.

“The chemistry of the band is such that we’re able to take more chances,” he added.

Global Funk, the band formerly known as Global Funk Council, began as the vision of Anthony Smith (keys, vocals). The former music director of Carlos Washington and the Giant People, he wanted a musical project that was groove-oriented and danceable, yet still musically stimulating.

Though the music has changed over time, the goal is still the same: a collective musical moment.

“Live music is one of the few art forms that only exists in the moment,” Scoyanoff said. “In this scene – and the jazz scene – you’re going to see something that you’re never going to see again, and that’s a pretty incredible thing. As an audience member, you come, you give your energy to the group. And if the group is receptive to that, then you have a measure of creative control. The separation between the performers and the audience becomes nonexistent.”

So everybody can be part of the scene – all it takes is showing up.

For more information on the music and the musicians, visit the group’s Web site at http://www.globalfunkcouncil.com.


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