One with the Plan
Drummer Andrés Márquez is the conceptual mastermind behind One with the Plan. The group generally performs as a quartet, with Scott Kapelman on bass, Eyal Hai on saxophone, and Javier Escudero on guitar, and also features the numerous and distinctive vocal talents of Ganavya Doraiswamy and Hannah Juliano. The music is rooted in jazz traditions, but draws from Márquez’s early experiences performing in Latin American indigenous dancing and percussion groups and, later, with electronic experimentation. Márquez also credits much of his inspiration to protest music and culture from around the world; his drumming style draws from Max Roach, who was also a noted civil rights activist, and a dig through his Soundcloud profile turns up an ode to the Palestinian poet and activist Rafeef Ziadah.
These talents create an avant-garde fusion that doesn’t quite add up on paper but flows flawlessly when heard. The group has been performing at venues throughout the city—Silvana’s, Friends and Lovers, and ShapeShifter Lab—for the better part of a year. Kapelman is known to deliver spoken-word that is both heartfelt and humorous. Escudero affords us a rare listen to a classically-trained guitarist who revels in experimenting with effects pedals. On occasion, the quartet’s live set will feature projection mapping of urban geographies and stellar scenes, which fits well with its cerebral sounds.
A debut album, due to come out later this year, is full of songs that play with a form of homage—whether it be to Coltrane or to the emotion of fear. “Ocean Between,” the homage to Coltrane, is gritty on guitar, with a slight electronic feel, and is complemented by drumming that mirrors bebop and New Orleans jazz with a freed beat—it’s also a real earworm. “Rise” brings Hannah Juliano’s polyphonic vocal stacking to the fore. In “Homage to Fear,” Doraiswamy features prominently in a harmonious battle between her ferocious Eastern-style singing and Márquez’s equally powerful drums.
Art as the expression of a community and as a way of opening and creating community spaces is politically interesting, and that’s one thing this group represents. In form and in content, they are a hodgepodge community of musicians creating sounds in which almost any audience can find solace, identity, and adventure.
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The Foundation Movement
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ANDREA GORDILLO is a writer based in New York City.