Connecticut Music Awards 2013: BEST JAZZ

9:00 AM EDT, September 18, 2013


Isaac Young Quartet

"We kind of do the jam-band circuit as well as the jazz circuit," explains Isaac Young, whose group took the Best Jazz spot at the CT Music Awards last year and has been "riding that wave of momentum" ever since. "We've been trying to blur the line for people between straight-ahead jazz, bebop, swing and everything, and the jam-band scene, like funk and danceable music and things of that nature," he says. The band never repeats a show and never plays a song the same way twice. Instead of just trading off solos like typical jazz bands, they have moments of collective improvisation in which the music takes on a life of its own. In addition to performing, everyone in the band teaches in the West Hartford / Hartford area where they're based. The group originally formed in 2006 with a different lineup, and kept mutating until they discovered the lineup and sound they've currently got. Since 2011 the core group has been: Isaac Young on sax and piano, Jesse Combs on guitar, John Dostou on bass and Steve Cusano on drums. "This is very much a collective effort," says Young. "Those three guys are some of the most talented musicians I've ever met in my life." —Mike Sembos