The Key Studio Sessions: Vince Tampio Quintet

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Philly trumpeter Vince Tampio made a funny observation while we were setting up for his Quintet’s Key session: he’s recorded at WXPN studios so many times that his phone automatically connects to our wifi.

It’s true. In recent years alone, Tampio has sat in on sessions with Johnny Showcase, You Do You, Heyward Howkins and York Street Hustle. Outside of our walls, Tampio has performed onstage or on record with Allison Polans, OhBree, Impressionist, Red 40 and the Last Groovement and John Byrne Band. Basically he’s the go-to cross-genre horn-blowing utility man of the Philly scene, but this year he’s been revisiting his jazz roots.

In January, Tampio released a new album with his Quintet, Live at PAFA — an improvised concert recorded in October of 2016 in the rotunda of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. The resonant walls of the room gave the performance an atmospheric tinge as sounds and styles collided from the jazz world and beyond. I was so impressed by the record, I invited Tampio and the group in our studio to record.

As you see in the above video, the Key Session followed in the original performance’s improvised spirit, as well as its fearless fusion. Tampio’s trumpet playing bounced between classic jazz and a looser free jazz, while Jonathan Colvson’s bass provided a funky low end; Dan Finn’s synthesizer playing brought a sharply modern edge, recalling the tones and textures of 8-bit techno; and giving the performance a non-Western edge, Sarah Robertson plays the tanpura, an instrument similar to the sitar used in Indian Classical, while Ben Diamond works a variety of Eastern European and Middle Eastern percussion.

Below, you can listen to the entire performance — which also includes two pieces performed on Live at PAFA, the spectral magic of “Sphere” and the aggressively angular “Brainless.” Tampio is in the process of booking future gigs with the Quintet, but you can hear him blow his horn next at You Do You’s album release party at The Barbary on May 5th. Tickets and more information on the show can be found at the XPN Concert Calendar.

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Support for The Key Studio Sessions, from Dogfish Head
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