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Episode 561

Artist: The Aldermaniacs

About the Episode:

The Aldermaniacs began with guitarist Drew Pompano looking to explore his bebop and swing jazz roots by playing standards with a cellist and singer. Classically trained cellist and vocalist Alex Gilewicz provided soaring cello lines and powerful alto vocals to the sound, but the duo eventually found themselves more inspired to compose original music.

The resulting sound is clearly informed by the partners' study of jazz, classical, and roots music, but the songs have developed an emergent, contemporary sound. Rather than rely on effects and digital tools, Gilewicz and Pompano allow the natural sound of their instruments add nuance and detail, giving subtlety an important role in the music. Their experiences before joining up as the Aldermaniacs included notable Chicago groups such as Jenny Dragon, Brian Sharpe and the Associates, and award-winning a cappella group, Voices in Your Head. The time spent with such tight-knit ensembles influenced Pompano and Gilewicz to craft tunes with a careful attention to arrangement and texture. The interplay between the voices and instruments evokes the deep listening and reactive creativity most commonly associated with jazz combos and chamber ensembles, clearly a result of the duo's respective backgrounds. The tunes are catchy, for sure. But there's so much more underneath.

Actively gigging around the Chicago area begining in May of 2013, the Aldermaniacs have continually developed the elegance of their arrangements and their intuitive musical connection. The songbook has also continued to grow and the duo finally brought their skills to the studio in January 2014. Working with local songwriting luminary Brian Sharpe at the production helm, the Aldermaniacs completed tracking for their debut album, to be released within the first quarter of 2014. Stay tuned and we'll keep you up to date on soon-to-be-announced gigs to promote the record and eventually, the release itself.


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