The Motet Comes to Brooklyn Bowl
Fun, funky, exciting, live, dancy, energizing, electronic, wild, sweaty, jazz, scat, soul…
What do all these words have in common? They all describe The Motet at Brooklyn Bowl Friday night! The Motet originated in Colorado and have been serving their high-quality live funk and jamtronica since 2002. The band has recently been hailed by Source Audio as possibly “the best live band right now,” and a quick scan of their Facebook page shows plenty of comments such as, “You guys were amazing last night! You made a fan for life!” and, “You guys KILLED IT last night. Holy crap what an awesome time…” Their act features tight and challenging transitions, and a ton of energy and smiles from everyone in the group.
Jans Ingber is clearly the ringleader in the group. Donning blue New Balance sneakers, he jumps around the stage like mad. The only time he stops moving is when he’s sitting down to play on hand drums, during which time he’s still got a wide grin and his hands are moving so fast they’re a blur to the naked eye. At one point near the end of the second set, as Matt Pitts ripped through an intense solo on the sax, Ingber danced wildly right in front of Pitt’s face. Trumpet player Gabe Mervine was fixated in awe, watching Pitt play, not seeming to notice Ingber’s dancing.
The band works hard to keep the ’70s alive in their music. Their 7th and most recent album, the self-titled The Motet, demonstrates their commitment to this classic funk style: “The band has also decided to take an analog approach in the making of the album by using tape, tubes and transistors. This gives the music a warm, rich, and organic tone with the crunch and bite of a classic ‘70s funk record.” A great example of this is Joey Porter on keys, whose funky synth jams, synth pop runs, and use of a talk box all wow the audience and bring them back to the good ol’ days.
On bass guitar was Garrett Sayers, who was slapping at it like mad throughout the show. During the second set he performed a jazzy solo that even had the trumpet player turning to the crowd to go “Oooooohhhh!” Likewise, Ryan Jalbert hosted a soulful guitar solo, during which the emotion on his face showed his deep connection to the music; his eyes were shut tight with feeling.
Overall, the band held it all very together, despite challenging transitions and a range of styles and genres. The music flowed among jazz, soul, funk, and more, and we were impressed with the versatility and skill of all of the band members. I remember at one point someone busting out some scat singing, and I thought, “Wow! This band does it all!” Ending the night with an encore of Jamiroquai’s “The Heat,” the room was bouncing and sweat was palpable in the air. According to their website, “The Motet has proven time and again that they can rock a dance party with a beautiful blend of live instrumentation and electronics,” and this is exactly right.