Arson had a profound and far-reaching influence on both Chris Duarte and John Jordan's playing, as well as how they view musical ideas of structure and form. In 1988, keyboard player Bob Coleman founded the group Justus (photo at right) with Chris Duarte on guitar, John Jordan on bass, Chris Massey on drums (far right) and Alex Coke (center) on saxophone. The name Justus soon became Arson and Bob Coleman left the group and a second saxophone player, John Mills, joined on. Fueled by Chris Duarte's soaring guitar, backed up with two saxophones, and playing an eclectic mix of jazz, blues, Hendrix and original material, Arson blew away crowds with their intense, long jams. Arson was a musical experiment and a crucible of ideas that created some of the most intense music I have ever heard. Imagine the album "Only One" with two wonderful, cookin' jazz saxophone players added and you'll kind of get the idea of how powerful this band was. Arson lasted only a year, ending in 1989, but during that time won the Best Jazz Band category in the Austin Chronicle Readers Poll. To call it jazz is only in the ballpark as Arson also torched clubs with burning, stretched-out versions of Jimi Hendrix tunes and fusion-stoked jams that stand up to any and all of today's "jam" bands. Songs in Arson's arsenal included jazz such as "A Love Supreme" and "Giant Steps", original material like "Tropic Joy", "Scrawl" and "Take It To The Lord", interpretations of Hendrix a-la "Are You Experienced" and "Little Wing", "Catfish Blues" and "Killing Floor", and much, much more. Some of the most amazing playing I have ever heard Chris do was from his days in Arson, it was an amazing band! The twin saxes of Alex Coke and John Mills going head-to-head with Chris's sonic guitar punched holes in the sky. I roadtripped it to Nebraska to catch The John Jordan Trio and while I was there I interviewed John Jordan and Alex Coke, one of the two Arson saxophonists, about their days in the group Arson. Click below to see what these Arsonists had to say...

JOHN JORDAN

ALEX COKE

 

 

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