Even though Three. Stacks. Eliot announced its formal debut just six months ago with The Message Is Real, the (largely) instrumental jazz group has been making its mark in Milwaukee music since its 2013 outset. The band backed Klassik live, including a memorable set at last summer’s Burnhearts/Pabst Street Party. They had a monthly session at Riverwest’s Jazz Gallery. In 2014, they were joined by rapper Vonny Del Fresco—who has since changed his name to Von Alexander—for a living room session at the south side home of drummer Samuel Lewis.
Recently, Lewis was joined in the same living room by a different cast of musicians for the filming of a new song. With that NPR Tiny Desk concert, Three. Stacks. Eliot officially came to a close and Rhythm Changes was born. Along with Lewis (the last original Three. Stacks. Eliot member left) on drums, the makeup of Rhythm Changes consists of Cody Steinmann (guitar), Calvin Turner (bass), Curtis Crump (keys/sax), Kyndal J (vocals), and Fivy (vocals). Fivy could not be present for the Tiny desk Concert submission.
“With our new lineup and sound, it made sense to have the name explain the group as a whole more accurately,” Lewis tells Milwaukee Record. “We want to push what can be considered fun to listen to. When I listen to music with really talented players, I often laugh at specific things I hear them play because of how good it is. I want people to react that way to us.”
Listen to “Wake Up Call” and see how you react to Rhythm Changes.
Rhythm Changes will make its debut on Saturday, February 27 at Mad Planet, headlining a show that will also feature Cree Myles & B-Free (backed by Foreign Goods), and Queen Tut.