The Infrared Band, featuring local musicians Kelly Roberge (tenor saxophone), Sean Farias (bass) and Miki Matsuki (drums), is Hofbauer’s primary outlet for his whimsical yet sophisticated original compositions. The BBC’s Colin Buttimer called the band’s most recent release, LEVEL (Creative Nation Music), “an impressive contemporary jazz record full of space and fierce intelligence.”
AllAboutJazz.com’s Nic Jones adds, “Like Thelonious Monk, Herbie Nichols and Andrew Hill, guitarist Eric Hofbauer’s music benefits enormously from having the right musicians to bring it to fruition, and in this instance he’s blessed…with the extraordinary depth of empathetic interplay that clearly comes quite naturally to these players…a band with no agenda other than making highly distinctive music.”
Guitarist/composer Michael Musillami’s decade-old flagship trio with bassist Joe Fonda and drummer George Schuller (a Newton native and graduate of New England Conservatory) is one of the most respected working bands in the industry. Critics have called its music “truly original” (Michael G. Nastos, AllMusic.com), “challenging and adventurous” (Bill Beuttler, Boston Globe), “scintillating and provocative” (Bill Milkowski, The Absolute Sound) and “honest, frequently surprising and consistently exciting” (Ron Wynn, JazzTimes).
“Comfortable in the large territory stretching all the way from hard bop to avant-garde,” writes the Rochester City Paper‘s Ron Netsky, “Musillami is especially effective when surrounded by the kindred spirits in his trio. Drummer George Schuller and bassist Joe Fonda are so tuned in to Musillami’s wavelength that when the group really gets going, it functions as a single living organism.”