In physics, VELOCITY is defined as being the total displacement over a period of time divided by the time. DISPLACEMENT is the distance from where you started to where you are now. TIME is the measurable period during which an action, process, or condition exists or continues.
In music, VELOCITY is a Tacoma, Washington based quartet that draws its musical lineage from a variety of musical styles ranging from jazz, funk and fusion. The music combines hard hitting grooves and hook melodies with open improvisation. Many aspects of the physics definition of velocity is constantly weaved into the energetic original compositions, written by keyboardist Peter Adams. Common time is uncommon with Velocity. Elements of rhythmic hemiola and counterpoint melodies are commonly fluctuating in conjunction with another. However the music is always grooving and is fundamentally adventurous in its displacement.
The group was originally founded by a collaboration between keyboardist Peter Adams and drummer Brian Smith, whose fluidity of polyrhythms bind the songs to the laws of physics. After a time spent writing the original material, the duo teamed up with saxophonist Cliff Colón and bassist Rob Hutchinson to form the group Velocity in 2011. Since then, Velocity has been performing throughout the Seattle/Tacoma area and recorded their debut self-titled album in 2014. They have just recorded their second album, appropriately titled "Displacement Over Time", which will be available for sale and download in December 2015. All the tracks except for Generator (written by Rob Hutchinson) are composed by Peter Adams, with arrangements done by Peter Adams and Brian Smith.
As defined by physics, the direction of velocity is always the same as the direction of that displacement. The direction of the quartet VELOCITY mimics that of its definition. Time signatures are constantly evolving. Melodies are twisted and warped around each other. Solos are aggressive yet bind the compositions to a set of defined rules and formulas. But the musical direction is the same; hard hitting grooves of displacement over a period of time. This is the definition of the band, VELOCITY.
Peter Adams Peter Adams wanted to try piano as a kid after he had his left foot amputated due to a birth defect. It turned out to be a good decision. Originally from Puyallup Washington, his dedication to honing his craft led him to study jazz piano and composition with many top players in the greater Seattle area including Randy Halberstadt at Cornish College of the Arts, Kareem Kandi, and John Hanson. Adams has become well versed in a multitude of genres including jazz, funk, fusion, classical, gospel, R&B, and latin. He performs with many top bands around the Seattle scene, including Golden Ear Award winning vocalist Eugenie Jones and The Easy Street Big Band. He is the founder the of the fusion-jazz quartet Velocity, for which he composes all the material and arranges alongside drummer Brian Smith, who co-founded the band with him. Adams is also an in demand private instructor, teaching over 50 students a week.
Brian Smith Brian Smith, co-founder of the jazz-fusion quartet Velocity, first displayed an interest in playing drums in his early teens. He veered off the music course until his late-twenties when he once again became inspired to create and play music. With this decision he began his 7-year apprenticeship studying with master drummer and teacher Garey Williams. Under Garey’s tutelage, Brian became well versed in multiple music styles with a focus in Jazz and Contemporary music. Brian’s education and dedication to music has allowed him to play a vast variety of music genres around the Puget Sound area including top 40 tours, several Jazz Be-Bop combos, R&B groups, Country bands and original music projects. Brian’s solid grooves, feather-lite touch and interpretive style have made him a favorite with many local area musicians. Brian helped create Velocity to showcase his creative concepts in composition, arrangement, and music artistry. His collaborations with Peter Adams have produced a unique blend of music fusing together influences from contemporary Jazz, Funk, Latin, and progressive Rock styles. Brian continues to test his knowledge and skill set to further learn and master his craft.
Cliff Colòn In a Seattle area music community populated with remarkable saxophonists, Cliff Colón’s raw expressiveness and ability to channel the purest of emotions into each note, sets him apart from the pack. His proficiency, and unabashed expression, has aided him in becoming a definite leader, innovative soloist, and an in demand sideman and instructor. Originally based out of Tacoma, Washington, Colón has submerged himself in multiple genres of music including jazz, funk, fusion, R&B, gospel, drum N' bass, jungle, jam band and latin. He has performed with many of the top bands, of any genre, in the greater Seattle music scene including ContraBand, McTuff, D'Donne Lewis' Limited Edition, Doctor Funk, Greta Matassa and Josephine Howell. Colón has also performed with numerous national acts including Smokie Robinson, The Temptations, The Coasters, Benny Green, Jeff Coffin, DJ Sawka and Skerik.
Rob Hutchinson Rob Hutchinson has been Professor of Music at the University of Puget Sound since 2001. He received his PhD in Music Composition from the University of Oregon in 1998. Hutchinson has received commissions to compose works for symphony, string quartet, band, and chamber ensembles. His classical compositions have been performed throughout the United States and in Canada and Europe. As a jazz bassist and composer, he has led bands at the Bakersfield Jazz Festival and Pacific Lutheran University’s Jazz Under The Stars. Hutchinson has performed professionally on acoustic and electric bass in California, Arizona, Oregon, North Carolina, and the Seattle-Tacoma-Olympia area.
Photographer: Benjamin Fry - Emberlight Imagery
Musicians: Peter Adams, Brian Smith, Cliff Colòn, Rob Hutchinson