While Gospel music to most probably represents tradition and preservation, there is also a strong undercurrent of experimentation and the avant garde. Among faith-filled artists are John Coltrane’s divinely-inspired free jazz, classical composers pushing the envelope of what music should be (Bach, for instance), heck even the first rock and roller (arguably) was essentially a Gospel singer/guitarist who just cranked things up a little louder. I mean, of course, Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Add to the list Orlando Greenhill.
Greenhill is probably most known for his upright bass playing in Havalina Rail Co. The California-based band experimented with jazz, swing, ska, Americana/folk, spy/surf and much else. But that’s an article for another day. He’s also played with Create(!), a free jazz ensemble featuring guitarist Chris Schlarb, as well as noise outfit White Trash Inc. Orchestra with Burnt Toast Vinyl owner Scott Hatch. Add to all that the fact that Orlando is also a music teacher, encouraging kids and young people to tap into their inner experimentalist.
One of his most interesting projects is the fascinating jazz-grindcore act Disturbulenced. They only released one project for wider consumption, entitled EXpose(d). In fact, I’m cheating a little here for the Song of the Day. The whole EP is only 9 songs and clocks in at just over 7 minutes, so I’m linking the whole thing. But in those 7 glorious minutes we have funk, jazz, noise, grindcore, and fusions of all of the above. It’s a shame this didn’t get wider distribution. (I think someone needs to re-press this on 7″ or 10″ vinyl!)
Next time someone tells you Gospel music is safe, stale, or preserves the status quo, just play this this little EP.