Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Mughal Muesli performs this Sunday at Vermillion

Greetings, Racers!

This weekend, we greatly look forward to hosting Mughal Muesli, comprised of saxophonist Xavier Del Castillo, drummer Vicente Hansen, and bassist Mat Muntz. While grounded in the saxophone trio tradition of Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, and Henry Threadgill, Mughal Muesli is a band that seeks to expand and transcend the associations attached to their configuration. They draw on elements from early European polyphony, Hindustani classical music, and 20th/21st century microtonality to inform their unique take on the trio format. Their debut album, Imperial Cereal, features original compositions, deconstructed standards, and new interpretations of works by Ornette Coleman, Ivan Wyschnegradsky, and J.S. Bach.

Ensemble member and Seattle native, Xavier, has written an insightful blog post for us. Continue reading below, and you will also find future dates for their west coast tour! Hope to see you this Sunday at Vermillion, 8pm.


Mughal Muesli, c/o Francesco Moretti

Mughal Muesli, c/o Francesco Moretti

"Spontaneity and mobility are the basis of Mughal Muesli's approach to improvisation. While we first formed our musical identity playing the music of Ornette Coleman, we quickly realized our own predisposition to avoid committing to the abstract free-bop groove of the original recordings. Rather than meticulously mining the depths for hidden avenues of linearity and lyricism, we found ourselves turning on a dime, taking any surprising moment as a cue to abandon the current musical structure and establish a new one, that moment now a cornerstone. Thus we would draw a constellation of musical worlds like stars, their variable size and distance lending it figure.  This language of thematic establishment and departure, in a way, is an abstraction of Ornette's tonality as expressed in his interpretation of rhythm changes, where the chain of chords in the bridge throw one into orbit.

"Our repertoire has since expanded with the compositions of ourselves and others, filling the well of ideas to draw from. For us, improvisation has the dual function of exploring the particular possibilities of a piece, as well as forming a window for our omnipresent musical spirit to peek in. By reflecting the universal in the particular, we seek to make of a whole performance a coherent musical statement, a continuity belied by our eclectic collection of approaches and techniques. In this light, each individual must take great care, as every musical decision is an act of construction which determines and frames the choices of everyone. A sense of transparency is necessary to find a balance between development, imitation and contradiction.

"For the session to follow, consider the consequences of every musical action: What kind of space does it occupy? What possibilities does it open? How does an idea develop, imitate or contradict what already exists? What kind of a world does it construct?"

- Xavier Del Castillo


1/13 9pm Egan’s Ballard Jam House (Seattle)
1/15 7:30pm Alternative Library (Bellingham)
1/16 12:15pm KNKX (radio)
1/17 8pm Turn, Turn, Turn (Portland)
1/18 7:30pm The Jazz Station (Eugene)
1/19 7pm Crib Concerts (Arcata)
1/20 7:30pm Red Poppy Art House (San Francisco)
1/21 6pm Portland Street Sessions (LA)