Too Many Zooz is a funk band from NYC that plays self-styled brass house, getting its start busking in the subways of the city. The sound is a mix of dance beats and jazzy horns that sounds bigger than the three pieces featured.
Leo Pellegrino (baritone saxophone), Matt “Doe” Muirhead (trumpet), and David “King of Sludge” Parks (drums) churn out a house sound with an incessant drum beat that sounds synthesized but is organic. Dave Parks beats the bass drum that hangs from his chest, marching band style, and gets a workout doing it. His kit is accessorized with a high hat, a cowbell, and a couple other implements that I could not identify – yet produced varying percussive sounds that added to the rhythmic deluge. Pellegrino dances with his baritone sax… the sweet sounds that come out make it clear that he is one with his instrument. He also kicks out some nasty dance moves while he’s playing which is doubly impressive. Muirhead plays a jazzy trumpet and also manipulates a drum machine to turn out synthesized sounds.
The combination produced by these three energetic impresarios is catchy and groovy – the crowd can’t help but dance. Last weekend the Zooz played the Electric Forest festival and made a special trip here to Buffalo for a mid-week set. They are set to return to Rothbury for the second weekend to play for more of their dance, and groove loving fans. Their appearance here last night was supported by up and coming hometown rockers Witty Tarbox.
I’ve written previously about Witty Tarbox, but this might have been their most high-profile set so far. These guys just seem to keep getting better and this opening spot for a nationally touring band was a big step for them in getting to play in front of bigger crowds.
Witty Tarbox recently released their debut EP titled “The Adventures of Schmitty Issue #1 v RARE” which features a number of catchy tunes. Instead of sticking to the ‘album’ versions of the songs last night, the guys went on an improvisational jam adventure and treated the Iron Works crowd to a deep dive into their style. They brought a friend on stage to provide a saxophone accompaniment which jived well, and provided a primer to the Zooz’ jazzy sound. Khoury and Williams feed off each other, syncopating their guitars, trading the lead and rhythm parts and vocals, while Tarbox lays down smooth bass riffs that allow the two guitar men to creatively jam.
My buddy at the show remarked while they were jamming that it was the second time he had seen them but that they were quickly becoming his favorite local band and I have to say, I am getting there too. I won’t start ranking bands because we all have our own tastes and preferences relating to sound and style, but Witty Tarbox is right up there at the top of what we’ve got going on in the local rock scene right now.
Cheers to Buffalo Iron Works for giving our local bands a great venue at which to play.