Elements of improvisation 

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EN2, Grasshoppah
The Patio
Thursday, Jan. 13

Less than two years old, Indianapolis-based trio EN2 has already proven to be both sophisticated enough to perform at Indy Jazz Fest and funky enough to open for Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe. EN2 employs elements from a plethora of styles and appeals to a variety of listeners. Bohemians, ravers and jazz enthusiasts can all enjoy this versatile and spontaneous sound that defies categorization but can accurately be described as clever, imaginative, vivacious and highly danceable.

EN2 was born during the summer of 2003. Just days old, they took their first steps before Phish fans at Verizon Wireless Music Center campground. Band members agree the following night was their best performance, in which five entirely improvised hours of music lasted until sunrise. Guitarist/composer Robert Coates stated, “After rehearsing once and playing that show with no idea what to play, I felt like it was the most amazing experience of my life … it will be hard to surpass the magic of that night, but I will try …”

Unfortunately, the effort will be made without drummer Vincent Jackson, who has resigned to tour with The Greyhounds. This leaves an opening for percussion in an already scheduled East Coast tour. At press time, NUVO did not know who EN2’s drummer was going to be.

Crabtree makes positively funky noise on a collection of five keyboards and has studied music theater in New York City. Also formally educated, Coates holds a master’s degree in music from University of Michigan. He values his education for the challenge and inspiration: “Sometimes people focus so much on the technical side of art that it loses its fire. We have to remember that art is about expression. That should be the dominating force in music and art.

“Even in a song that is composed there are elements of improvisation. And, we always start a show by making something up. It’s more interesting that way.”

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