Music fans will know John Molo from his many years as the original drummer in the Bruce Hornsby band, along with his more recent tours with Phil Lesh and Friends. Bobby Read is a longtime horn player in the current Bruce Hornsby band as well as a prolific producer and engineer at his Virginia studio, and an accomplished jazz performer. Tim Kobza teaches guitar at USC and fills out his year as an in-demand freelance guitarist in LA. and a producer of TV and film music in his L.A. studio. Holding down the low end is the phenomenal young East-coast bassist Dan Conway. Modereko shows also include live animated computer projection montages by Johnathan Singer and Graphic Fantasees. Modereko also features keyboardist J.T. Thomas, a current member of the Bruce Hornsby band as well, and a producer of TV and film music in his L.A. studio. Holding down the low end is the phenomenal young East-coast bassist Dan Conway. Modereko shows also include live animated computer projection montages by Johnathan Singer and Graphic Fantasees.
Modereko’s first album, self-titled and released on Verve/Blue Thumb records, won rave reviews from writers, jam-band websites and fan mail from around the country. Solar Igniter, their latest offering, picks up where the first record left off and shows the growth of an already formidable musical force. Solar Igniter is an epic groove-travelogue through imagistic landscapes and cityscapes featuring vocals by the band and guest vocals by Keller Williams.
Modereko songs borrow from bebop jazz, do homage to Jerry Garcia, rework orchestral masterpieces, and leave the door wide open to every vagabond musical message that wants to join the party. A sampling of Solar Igniter yields the likes of “Getaway Float,” a driving, horn-heavy tune featuring lyrics improvised in the studio by Keller Williams about a gambler gone south. Or “35 Rooms,” a uniquely Modereko take on Edvard Grieg’s “Hall of the Mountain King” and Grofe’s “Grand Canyon Suite” with lyrics by John Molo.
Not content to play a few chords and then solo, Modereko fills Solar Igniter with rich detail and food for hungry ears. It’s no surprise the wide-ranging sounds that come through Modereko’s music, as it was founded by three seasoned musicians, John Molo, Bobby Read and Tim Kobza. Gaining recognition in the jam-band scene, Modereko and John Molo were recognized and nominated by jam-bands.com for two “Jammys” this year.
“We were looking for a bigger musical sandbox to play in, and we found it,” muses Molo, who met Read while playing with Bruce Hornsby, where the inspiration for Modereko came together. During after-hours jams on the bus from gig to gig, Molo and Read talked about having a band that would be groove-oriented, creating all-inclusive music that was both composed and improvised. Meanwhile, back in L.A., Molo and Kobza were working on the early skeleton of what would become Modereko’s first album. Sending their tracks on a trip through Read’s Virginia studio yielded the birth of Modereko.