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Chromatropic. Courtesy photo.




Chromatropic

When: Friday, Feb. 20, 9 p.m.
Where: Penuche’s, 96 Hanover St., Manchester
More: chromatropicmusic.com




Disciplined jamming
Chromatropic’s jazz, funk and fusion mix

02/19/15
By Michael Witthaus music@hippopress.com



Brooklyn-based quartet Chromatropic cites Phish and Grateful Dead as influences, but the way it cooks up its funky musical stew has more in common with Pat Metheny and Herbie Hancock than a typical jam band. 

“We spend a lot of time writing,” said drummer Mark Potter, as the group gathered for a recent phone interview. “We keep asking, ‘Is it ready to go out and be played on the stage?’ Most of the time, it’s almost ready. … We just have to take the plunge and try it out.”
A Feb. 20 show at Penuche’s will be its fifth in the city. 
Potter and keyboard player Danny Caridi formed Chromatropic in 2010; Moses Margel replaced the original bassist a year later. After Andrew Carton answered a cryptic Craigslist ad and took over on guitar in mid-2012, Chromatropic became an all-instrumental band.  
“The essence of Chromatropic … distilled [then],” said Margel. “We started to think a lot in the realm of jazz.”
Each member adds a unique color to the Chromatropic palette. The rave and electronica scene in his home country of England informs Potter’s style; Carton studied jazz in college. 
“Danny had this Dave Matthews thing going as a kid, and Moses has a love for the heavier side of things,”  Potter said. “We could have quite easily become a hodgepodge [but] the challenge and fun and goal of it has been to find a small unique piece of that scene we can all focus on.”
The band’s intricately stitched jazz-funk fusion is anchored by the rock-solid rhythm duo of Margel and Potter, as Carton’s fluid fretwork soars above. All the while, Caridi works a bank of keyboards that includes a Roland sampler and a recently acquired Little Phatty Moog synthesizer. 
“That’s the latest addition to the rig, which has been a fun one,” said Caridi. “It’s a constant learning process but it’s been a lot of fun. I feel it’s shaped our style in a positive way in almost a little more of the electronic direction, which is great.”
Another evolving element of the band’s stage presentation is a concert-class light show. 
“We’ve been building a new professionally DMX-controlled light rig with more moving heads,” said Potter. “We’re firm believers in the whole audiovisual experience [and] to play with the big boys, you’ve got to bring that stuff along.”
Potter’s last statement was a reference to the caliber of gigs Chromatropic is booking. They are busy on the festival circuit; sharing stages with Dopapod, Consider the Source, Stick Men and other veteran bands. This fall, they’re locked in for the Catskill Chill Music Festival at Camp Miglewood in upstate New York. The group also appears frequently at storied NYC venues like The Bitter End, Brooklyn Bowl and Sullivan Hall.
As its New Hampshire date nears, the band is looking forward to it’s return to Penuche’s. 
“We love coming back; the crowds are always so receptive and energetically appreciative,” said Caridi. 
 
As seen in the February 19, 2015 issue of the Hippo.





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