Local Bands We Love: Build an Ark on MBE

Written by

Build an Ark made their Morning Becomes Eclectic debut this morning and you can check out the session here. They performed an instrumental cover of Van Morrison’s “Sweet Thing” and discussed how they create together as a group that sometimes contains up to 30 musicians!

KCRW DJ Jeremy Sole gave us a preview of this local collective:

At times urgent and passion-filled like a melodic sermon, other times smoky and lush like a mountain hike in warm fog, one constant adjective that can always be used to describe Los Angeles jazz collective BUILD AN ARK would be ‘spiritual’. Invoking spirits and creating love through their subtle yet majestic style, Build An Ark continue the devotional legacy of Alice Coltrane, Don Cherry, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders and others.

Carlos Nino by Grace Oh
Carlos Nino by Grace Oh (The original image is no longer available, please contact KCRW if you need access to the original image.)

The “Noah” of this particular ark is Carlos Nino; long-time music and event producer, host of KPFK’s “Spaceways” radio show, Dublab.com DJ and too many more projects to name. Only a veteran tastemaker like Carlos could pull together an outfit with a personnel of this caliber, from veterans like Phil Ranelin and Dwight Trible to contemporary prodigies like Damon Aaron and Miguel Atwood Ferguson, who lends his heart and talent to the project as lead arranger, occasional writer, and viola player.

The latest offering from Build An Ark is called “Love, pt.1” on Kindred Spirits. Sunny, wide arrangements and brilliant melody radiate through its 13 tracks. The whole album will soothe your heart muscle, but what particularly made MY soul smile here was the instrumental re-make of Van Morrison’s “Sweet Thing,” with full string arrangements impeccably arranged and executed by Miguel Atwood Ferguson.