CavityFang was dreamed into creation by keyboardist/composer Michael Coleman. While onstage at the Hollywood Bowl backing the experimental pop group tUnE-yArDs along with three exceptional drummers, Jordan Glenn, Hamir Atwal, and Sam Ospovat, Coleman had a revelation. He saw that by combining the musical power of these three he could create a truly demented jazz sound never before heard by human ears. Upon returning to Oakland, Coleman locked himself in the studio and composed the CavityFang suite. The pieces were conceived in the order they are played and take the listener on a sonic journey exploring the multifarious functions of the drumset and an array of musical traditions. If you listen carefully, you will hear the influence of Free Jazz, Captain Beefheart, Haitian carnival music, Jimi Hendrix, and Ligeti as well as Coleman’s own distinct musical language developed through work with his trio, Beep, and his quartet, Arts & Sciences.
Along with Coleman (on vintage synthesizers and organs), Glenn, Atwal, and Ospovat (on vibraphone, drums, and percussion), the group is rounded out by virtuosic guitarist Ava Mendoza and the inimitable Cory Wright on baritone saxophone. Their debut album, “Urban Problems,” was recorded and mixed by Bay Area legend Eli Crews (tUnE-yArDs, Deerhoof, Ben Goldberg) at Tiny Telephone and New, Improved Recording. The members of CavityFang are all active in the Bay Area music scene, both leading groups and performing as sidemen. Collectively, they’ve played and toured with Fred Frith, Angelica Sanchez, Greg Osby, Vinny Golia, Mike Watt, Nels Cline, and Chris Cohen.
When Urban Problems is all done playing, I’m left wondering what I just listened to. That’s because of the need to put music into the neat little, clearly labeled boxes. Cavity Fang rebels against that. While my mind goes about trying to fit those square pegs into round holes, my ears don’t mind at all: it’s too busy enjoying all these alien sounds. – S. Victor Aaron, Something Else! Reviews