Jazz is Phish Returns to Gypsy Sally’s With A Quintessential Jazz Performance [Photo/Audio]

By Jason Herman / December 6, 2017
Jazz is Phish performs at Gypsy Sally's

Jazz is Phish came to Gypsy Sally's in Washington DC on November 30, 2017. Since its inception in 2015, Jazz is Phish has been performing to sold- out venues, filled with passionate fans of both Phish and jazz. This evening’s performance achieved two things simultaneously – playing the very best quintessential jazz, filled with free-flowing expression and improvisation, and pure Phish "Hose". 

Jazz is Phish contains a rotating cast of exceptionally talented musicians. Some are a more permanent fixture, while others only play for a show or two. This performance's lineup included the Chase brothers, Matthew (guitar), and Adam (drum), Josh Thomas(keys), Mark Ingraham (trumpet), and featured Chris Bullock (saxophone - Snarky Puppy), and Felix Pastorious (bass,and son of legendary bassist Jaco Pastorius - Jeff Coffins & the Mu’tet).

Each night, the Jazz is Phish musicians carry out their book of songs, with their sheets of music telling them what to play. However, the song books were rarely referred to, as the performance contained so much interpretive, group exploratory, and free-flowing jazz moments, that the notes on the pages were used as mere checkpoints , rather than a step-by-step instruction manual . The concert showcased true musical and jazz mastery by all the artists assembled and included the brilliant blending of all instruments, eloquently fused and intertwined. A notable moment in the concert occurred during the song, “Lawn Boy”. The song began with all five performers. and at some point four of the six musicians left the stage, leaving concert goers to witness Matthew Chase and Felix Pastorious sharing a brief moment shining alone together on stage, having an intimate temporary jam session on stage. When the duet was finished, the rest of band joined them back on stage to finish the song.

Phish “Hose,” a term which many Phish fans use to describe an exceptional and standout fluid improvisation moment during a Phish performance. The exact term is attributed to Carlos Santana who described his reaction to Phish's performance with a crowd - “When you guys were playing, I was picturing the audience as the sea of flowers, the music was water, and you guys were the hose”. Trey Anastasio further described it as “The concept of music going through you, that you're not actually creating it, that what you're doing is - the best thing that you can do is get out of the way. So, when you are in a room full of people, there's this kind of group vibe that seems to get rolling sometimes."  [via - phish.net 'Hose' FAQ]

This evening's performance achieved both, quintessential exploratory jazz and Phish's Hose experience. Late in the evening,before the musicians regained the stage for their encore, several audience members could not hold back and chanted, “It's Still Early! It's Still Early!” True to Phish, Jazz is Phish returned to the stage and played “Tweezer Reprise” to bookend the previous appearance of “Tweezer”.

Jazz is Phish, jazz and Phish, this evening was just musical bliss.

Upcoming Appearance: If you would like to see Jazz is Phish, they will be appearing on Friday, December 8th at The 8x10 in Baltimore, MD.  Click here for tickets.

For additional tour dates please see Jazz is Phish's website.

Click here to see the setlist for Jazz is Phish at Gypsy Sally's on November 30th, 2017

Enjoy the audio recording of this show taper and audio technician extraordinaire Will Urquhart

Make sure to subscribe to our DC Scene-in-Review Podcast.  In our November Podcast we interview Matthew Chase of Jazz is Phish after this performance. 

Photographs from photographers Josh Brick and Jason Herman.

About the author

Jason Herman

A 24x7 member and Photo Editor of DC Music Review. Jason has been passionate about music since his earliest days and is especially excited about the music scene around his adopted hometown, Washington DC. With over 35 Grateful Dead and 80+ Phish shows, and countless music festivals under his belt, you can find him at concerts around the country but especially in his adopted hometown of Washington, D.C. Before turning his lens to music, Jason followed professional cyclists around the U.S. Domestic Circuit to the tallest mountains in Europe.