Local Tracks: Catching up with Cristian Basso of The Sessh
January 16, 2017
The Sessh, a funk music band with New Orleans influence, has been an entity for about five years in the Vail Valley as a go-to band for supporting touring funk artists in Colorado. The high-energy, roots-electro-funk-rock group is one of two projects organized by Eagle resident Cristian Basso.
While the group has graced, and continues to play, live music joints up and down the valley, The Sessh has recently pursued new opportunities to call Denver their home base.
"I still live up here and want to keep the music community diverse," Basso said. "There is a need for funk and New Orleans-inspired music throughout the state. Denver is really exploding in a lot of different ways. There are new venues and more people in town who love live music. Support for music is strong down there."
The group has also added two new members, Alana Dym on drums and Raulton Reichel on keyboard. Dym is a classically trained percussionist who studied at University of Miami's Frost School of Music under percussionist and composer Ney Rosauro. She also studied Afro-Cuban hand percussion with Grammy winner Richie Bravo.
Reichel is also a Florida transplant and joins The Sessh as a "sound architect" and plays clavinet, Hammond B-3 and Wurlitzer. Other band members include Trevor Jones on guitar and vocals and Basso on bass and vocals.
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"In my opinion, the addition of the new players brings a new organic approach to the music, whereas before, The Sessh was relying on technologies to have a larger sound," Basso said. "In some efforts, we will still utilize that (technology), but what we have now is a really enriching and saturating funk sound. Raulton is a great listener and a great player. Alana loves funk music and is a great fit. The patience she creates behind her instrument is really remarkable."
With these two new pieces of chemistry, The Sessh has gotten to work on a new album, which will be the band's third. The group has recorded the music in Basso's studio in Eagle, The Funk Bunker, and it is now being mixed in The Funk Bunker's sister studio in Las Vegas.
The album is a tip of the hat to the artists who have influenced The Sessh over the years, Basso said. This includes artists touring Colorado that they've played with, as well as those they've met and toured with in New Orleans.
"We are fortunate to have Terence Higgins who is touring with Ani DiFranco and John Gros from Papa Gros and CR Grover who is a fantastic musician based out of Denver," Basso said. "We should release the album in March or April. The band is planning to tour down to Jazz Fest in New Orleans in April, hopefully with the record in hand."
In the meantime, you can stream music by The Sessh on Spotify or by visiting Basso's website, http://www.contrabassomusic.com, where he also publishes the band's schedule for live performances. You can purchase The Sessh's previous albums on iTunes. The band's next local show will be Saturday, Jan. 28, supporting Analog Son at Agave.
Local Tracks is a monthly series highlighting Eagle County musicians and bands. Want to see your band featured in the High Life section? Email arts and entertainment editor Krista Driscoll at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
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