by Ayanna Jacobs-El
Brasshouse trio Too Many Zooz is reinventing dance music. The group is made up of Leo Pellegrino (baritone saxophone), Matt Doe (trumpet), and David “King of Sludge” Parks (drums). I discovered the group on Facebook in 2014 through their viral NYC subway busking video. After watching a few of their other busking videos, I was drawn to their Soundcloud page and listened to their three EP’s F NOTE, Fanimals, and Brasshouse Volume 1: Survival of the Flyest. Their high-energy performance style, fun and upbeat songs, and top notch playing instantly made me a fan.
Last year, the group released their first full album called Subway Gawdz, which utilized more production than their previous EP’s and also featured guest artists. Listening to their fantastic new album reignited my desire to see the group live, but at the time, they mainly performed in the New York area and other parts of the East Coast. Finally, in February 2017, the band announced that they world be doing their first show in Boston at The Sinclair! The show was going to happen during Berklee’s final exam week, which was a risk, but the group was so good that I knew I just had to go!
The concert had a good turnout and the audience was filled with people of all ages and races. Everyone seemed really excited about seeing the group, but we had to wait a little while for the show to start. The opening act was a DJ who played a mix of Dancehall and pop music. A few people danced to the DJ’s mellow mix, but mostly the audience chatted and bobbed their heads to the beat.
After about an hour and a half of the DJ’s set, David “King of Sludge” Parks came on stage and pounded out a signature Too Many Zooz beat. The audience went wild and started dancing frantically. Next, Leo P came out and laid out a funky bassline on the baritone sax. Throughout the set, he would fatten up his bari sax sound by activating a pedal that added the lower octave. Lastly, Matt Doe casually made his way to the stage with a beer in hand. He managed to play piercing and rapid trumpet lines with his other hand, all while holding, and during breaks, sipping the beer. With the whole group assembled on stage, they wasted no time getting into their lively set.
Throughout the night the energy level rarely dipped and I loved how Leo P danced along with his bari playing by doing turns, jumps, hip thrusts, and everything in between. The group achieved a huge sound and had the audience grooving the entire show. I would say their energetic style of playing and EDM (electronic dance music) inspired songs draw some similarities to the two saxophone and drum set trio Moon Hooch. In this digital age, it is refreshing to see live musicians playing music that has the ability to pack venues and get crowds dancing just like a DJ could.
The future looks really bright for Too Many Zooz. They backed Beyoncé and the Dixie Chicks at the 2016 Country Music Awards and were featured on Beyoncé’s Lemonade in “Daddy Lessons” (Doe also played trumpet on “Formation”). Be sure to check out the group’s upcoming tour dates to see if they will be coming to a city near you. A Too Many Zooz show is definitely something you don’t want to miss!
HAVE YOU HEARD OF TOO MANY ZOOZ? IF NOT CHECK OUT THEIR YOUTUBE CHANNEL!