LIVE: Roger Noyes @ Albany Public Library, 2/25/15

March 2nd, 2015, 4:00 pm by Greg
Roger Noyes

Roger Noyes

Review and photographs by Rudy Lu

At the Albany Public Library, Ralph Ellison’s classic 1952 novel “Invisible Man” was brought to life through readings of the novel and original music inspired by the novel by composer-guitarist Roger Noyes and his band.

The library’s program Reading Music showcases new, original music inspired by great works of literature. In previous installments, M.R. Poulopoulos tackled the works of William Kennedy and Michael Eck and Matt Durfee wrote songs in the spirit of John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden,” but this was the first Reading Music program to feature jazz and a full band.

In addition to playing the Fats Waller composition, “Black and Blue,” which is seminal to the novel, Noyes & Co. also played three original compositions inspired by passages in the novel.

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A Few More Minutes With… Roger Noyes of the Arch Stanton Quartet

October 21st, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg
Roger Noyes

Roger Noyes

CD Review and interview by J Hunter
Photograph by Rudy Lu

Blues for Soli
(WEPA Records)

In hindsight, I may have done the Arch Stanton Quartet a disservice by referring to their stripped-out underground sound as “garage-band jazz.” All us grey-haired rockers can wax poetic about garage bands like the Music Explosion, the Count Five and – my favorite – the Standells serving up two minutes-and-change of nasty, uncultured excellence… but the Electric Prunes and the Count Five never had a chance to experience sophomore slump because they dropped out after the first semester! Well, the Arch Stanton Quartet is back with Blues For Soli, and there are two bits of good news: First, no sophomore slump here; and second, Greater Nippertown’s musical ambassadors are STILL as nasty as they want to be!

It was their short-but-intense tour of Egypt in 2013 that helped birth the disc’s first four tracks (also known as the “Lady Egypt Suite”), and there’s a definite intensity to the opening track “Kofta.” The introduction has this swirling, almost drunken quality to it that makes you wonder, “How bad will this trip be?” Then drummer Steven Partyka hits this sweet groove straight out of Freddie Hubbard’s “Red Clay,” and the ASQ is serving up the funk their way; that involves mixing whip-tight guitar from Roger Noyes with open, almost snarling trumpet from Terry Gordon (who is SO on his game throughout this date), while bassist Chris Macchia bows a counter that evokes Frankenstein skanking down the street while sipping from a bottle of schnapps.

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A Few Minutes With… Roger Noyes of the Arch Stanton Quartet

September 4th, 2013, 2:00 pm by Greg

Interview and story by J Hunter

Each year, hundreds of jazz groups scrabble round the world trying to get the first bit of attention that could lead to wider levels of discovery. I know, because all their CDs are scattered around my home office. What’s both sad and annoying is that only a few artists are brave enough to take the extra creative step that will separate them from the rest of the pack. That step could be as big as re-envisioning Ornette Coleman as a soul-jazz artist, or as little as trying to cover “On Green Dolphin Street” in some way not thought of by the last 50 bands who covered “On Green Dolphin Street.” In either case, a little thought can go a long way.

Happily, the Greater Nippertown jazz scene has more than a few players who have no problem thinking outside of the box, and the Arch Stanton Quartet is the latest example of that trend. While there’s plenty of hard bop and bebop in their ever-expanding catalog, the ASQ’s overall sound has a carbon-fiber core that lets them maintain the agility and flexibility of the 21st-century groups that have become darlings of the jam-band circuit. Using shorter words, they’re as nasty as they want to be without sacrificing the intelligence that makes their original compositions such a pleasure to listen to. And if we’re going to talk about separating yourself from the pack, how many groups are named after a minor (but important) character in “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” – the best Spaghetti Western ever made?

Area jazz fans were well aware of the vitality and creativity Terry Gordon could pump out long before he became part of the Stanton Quartet. But those same fans might not have been aware of Roger Noyes, whose fuzzed-up guitar shares space on the ASQ front line with Gordon’s arsenal of horns. That guitar brings a whip-snap sound to all the group’s tunes, even as it provides a real contrast to Gordon’s shining tone. As tough and ragged as the band can be, Gordon and Noyes have no problem taking it to the other extreme when the moment calls for it – which it does on “Estate,” the tender coda to the Stanton Quartet’s 2012 debut Along for the Ride. All these ingredients influenced Metroland readers to name the ASQ the Best Local Jazz Group for 2013.

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Five Firsts: Roger Noyes of the Arch Stanton Quartet, etc.

June 2nd, 2010, 1:01 pm by Greg

Roger NoyesNAME: Roger Noyes
BAND AFFILIATION: The Arch Stanton Quartet, Diego, efbom
INSTRUMENT: Guitar, bass, and (just recently) pedal steel guitar

1. THE FIRST ALBUM I EVER BOUGHT WAS … Unfortunately, like a lot of musicians from my generation, most of the first albums I bought would ultimately have negligible lasting or meaningful impact on my life/music. I remember buying a lot of ’80s hair-band rock early on, trying to find music that had energy to it, and where the guitar was featured prominently. Thankfully, I also had wise family members and others who exposed me to Led Zeppelin, Hendrix, Cream and, most importantly, Neil Young, whose music I became fanatical about as early as age 14 or 15. In fact, both of my uncles gave me Neil Young cassettes at that time, including “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere” and the “Decade” collection. As a beginner guitar player listening to Young, I had never before heard rock music where the rhythm-guitar playing was as complex as the lead-guitar playing, and where the guitar solos were rooted as much in melodic lines as in blues-based figures. (Previously, I had only been familiar with the Clapton/Page/Hendrix blues-based sound, which I also loved.) From “Everybody Knows This is Nowhere,” especially, I learned that a guitar solo can gurgle violently like a pot of boiling water one second, then splash like mist the next. Young’s sound is as mercurial as his ever-changing choice of genres.

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