In this RTV episode, Fay Victor reflects on her recent work with her avant-garde ‘dance’ group SoundNoiseFUNK and the album release of their record WE’VE HAD ENOUGH! presented at Roulette on February 11th 2021. The group’s most ambitious collection of work to date, the album continues its avant-garde groove while developing a more integrated sound between voice, electric guitar, sax, and percussion — with political protest at the core of its expression.
Leading up to the album, the idea of developing an avant-garde ‘dance’ group has been on vocalist/composer Victor’s mind for some time. She started SoundNoise with drummer/percussionist Reggie Nicholson and soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome in 2015 as an open exploration that has hit hard from their very beginning. As SoundNoise developed, Victor thought about how best to pursue keeping improvisation at the core of the group while keeping a connection to music that was organic and alive. With the addition of guitarist Joe Morris, what you have is SoundNoiseFUNK, a free improvisational unit of master musicians with a penchant for exploring this and more sonic terrain within the sound world they create while keeping the groove going.
Fay Victor: bandleader, voice, compositions, texts
Joe Morris: electric guitar
Sam Newsome: soprano saxophone
Reggie Nicholson: drums
SoundNoiseFUNK, a quartet led by vocalist/composer Fay Victor and includes Sam Newsome (soprano saxophone), Joe Morris (guitar) and Reggie Nicholson (drums) is an improvisational unit of master musicians and composers exploring vast sonic terrain within the sound worlds they create while the groove keeps going. “This record stands out from the usual free jazz gestures and credit belongs to Victor. It’s not just that this is her band, but her unique singing concept leads the way. She has a familiar toolbox of vocal sounds, but it’s the way she uses her notes that matter—she has exceptional intonation and it sounds like it comes effortlessly, so she improvises with pitches and melodically logical and coherent tonal phrases. On top of that, she manages the challenging high-wire act of improvising text while always keeping it interesting and fresh. It’s a measure of a first-rate intelligence— take that F. Scott Fitzgerald.” – The New York City Jazz Record
Highlighted appearances for SoundNoiseFUNK: Vision Festival, Dartmouth College, The Earshot Jazz Festival, WinterJazzFest 2018, Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares – to name a few.
“She’s essentially invented her own hybrid of song and spoken word, a scat style for today’s avant-garde.”-Giovanni Russonello, The New York Times
Fay Victor is a sound artist that uses performance, improvisation and composition to examine representations of modern life and blackness. Based in Brooklyn, NY, Victor’s ‘everything is everything’ aesthetic permeates her work in performance, composition and improvisation. Victor’s released eleven critically acclaimed albums as a leader and performed with luminaries such as Randy Weston, Archie Schepp, Gary Bartz, Nicole Mitchell, Marc Ribot, Misha Mengelberg and Tyshawn Sorey to name just a few. Victor is currently on the faculty of the New School of Jazz & Contemporary Music in New York City, NY. Victor’s latest release, “WE’VE HAD ENOUGH!” with her improvising quartet SoundNoiseFUNK (ESP-Disk) was released in October 2020. Nate Chinen at WBGO Jazz had this to say about one of the compositions on the new album, “What’s Gone Wrong” is an impassioned lament that finds Victor repeating its title phrase, along with a secondary clause (“…with the world?”). There is despair in her rhetorical question, which doesn’t seem to expect an answer — but there’s also clear determination in the way Victor and her improvising partners work through their development. Without putting words in their mouth, I’d suggest that their cohesive oneness is one answer to another open question: what’s going right?”