Interview

Micromassé fuses together Afrobeat, jazz, and funk

The organ trio Micromassé has just released their new In What Remains, in which the group impressively fuses together their jazz, funk, and Afrobeat influences. Organist Pete Dugan discussed the beginnings of the band.

Q: Your music with Micromassé is wildly eclectic. How did it all come about?

A: I've always loved the sound of the Hammond Organ and I think the organ trio has such a rich variety of sounds and potential. I always thought it sounded like a bigger band than trio. We've always loved the energy and vibe of Afrobeat music - it's so accessible and groove centered. The beauty of jazz has always been to marry the harmony of Europe with the groove of Africa and what a fun challenge to try to create music inspired by Afrobeat and jazz through the medium of the organ trio.

Q: What was your introduction to music? How old were you, and how did it affect you?

A: I grew up listening to a lot of jazz and classic rock from my older brother and sisters' record collections.

Q: Did you grow up in a musical environment?

A: I remember being a toddler and loving the sound of my brother practicing drums so much, and I would lay down with my head inside his bass drum.

Q: What styles of music had the greatest impact on you creatively?

A: Jazz, rock, soukous, son, and classical.

Q: In terms of musical style, how would you categorize Micromassé?

A: A mix of jazz, afrobeat and funk performed in the confines of an organ trio.

Q: What was the first song you ever wrote?

A: "Ruelle des Ursulines" a straight-up jazz waltz from our first recording project.

Q: What artists influenced you the most growing up?

A: I love all the old organ guys from Jimmy Smith to Joey DeFrancesco, of course, but those guys are all so scary good. I also loved the organ sound from classic-rock bands like Santana, Tower of Power, and Billy Preston. Tons of other pop stuff that didn't use organ. Heavy dose of classical music. I guess the short answer is whatever I could get my hands on.

Q: How have you evolved creatively?

A: I think the first couple records had a lot more straight ahead jazz playing on it. With this last record we wanted to try to create a longer piece that was more through composed and arranged which led us to this 40-minute suite of music.

Q: Who are in 

Q: Your music with Micromassé is wildly eclectic. How did it all come about?

A: I've always loved the sound of the Hammond Organ and I think the organ trio has such a rich variety of sounds and potential. I always thought it sounded like a bigger band than trio. We've always loved the energy and vibe of Afrobeat music - it's so accessible and groove centered. The beauty of jazz has always been to marry the harmony of Europe with the groove of Africa and what a fun challenge to try to create music inspired by Afrobeat and jazz through the medium of the organ trio.

Q: Who is in the group and how did you form?

A: We are Chris Sweet (drums), Max Cantlin (guitar), and me Peter Dugas (organ). Max and I have known each other for over 10 years. I had this idea for a different take on the organ trio and approached him, and he brought Chris in right away because of his love of Afrobeat music.

Website:

https://www.micromasse.com