‘Derailleur’ is the very first track on Stranger Convention’s very first and very last album, called, you guessed it, ‘Stranger Convention’. Commenting on this fine band, reverbnation.com says:
“Stranger Convention is an alternative modern jazz quintet from Pittsburgh who instinctively engage the definition of jazz by blending new with old, jazz with non-jazz, and acoustic with electronic to create an original sound while holding appreciation of the current diverse musical landscape. If The Bad Plus had a baby with Radiohead and taught it play modern jazz, that would be a Stranger Convention... Influences include Brad Mehldau, The Bad Plus, Dave Binney, Gretchen Parlato, Robert Glasper, Radiohead, Elliott Smith...”
Well at least I had heard of Radiohead.
It’s a little difficult to pin down Stranger Convention’s line up but it might include; Jeff Koenitzer, Alex Kikuchi, Pulsar Li, Chris Skelly and David Landes.
Stranger Convention possibly formed in 2011 and certainly disbanded in 2015. Their final gig was at the Thunderbird Cafe - across the 40th Street Bridge from my favourite place in Pittsburgh - St Nicholas Croatian Catholic Church, Millvale - home of the Maxo Vanka’s slightly unnerving and pleasingly un-American murals. It’s not everywhere in the Land of The Free that you can enter a Catholic church and find a mural entitled ‘Labor Sacrificed on the Altar of Greed’.