Rock improvisers Gunnelpumpers discuss their progressive sounds and patient progress

April 30, 2012

Years ago, Gunnelpumpers cofounder Michael Hovnanian wrote of the band: "The personnel varies from one performance to the next, due to who can show up or not...usually we just show up, see who’s there and start playing. This week’s rehearsal was a first, and a slightly odd, un Gunnlepumper-like [sic] experience. However, we are going to try and record a CD in studio this Sunday so I suppose it helps to have a few things planned in advance."


That's an excerpt from a November 2006 blog post from Hovnanian. The original post isn't much longer; it's succinct, yet it kind of says it all. The improvisational 6-piece were already together for nearly 4 years at that point, and – despite Hovnanian’s claim of a pending CD recording – it would be another three and a half years before they'd release their debut album, Nth Wave.

And their songs can move along in melodic slow motion as the band crafts its way through numbers of epic length.  They’ve since released another recording, Symphonie Improvisé, and have their third out in early June, Tritonium.  Each of the songs on these recordings clock in around the 10-to 20-minute mark.

Gunnelpumpers join us on Eight Forty-Eight Monday to play some of their self-described “progressive, free improvisation" and talk about their slow burn songs and the world of improvised rock they live in.

The members of the band are John Meyer, David Keller, Douglas Johnson, Michael Hovnanian, Randy Farr and Bob Garrett. They perform this Thursday at 9pm at Reggie's Music Joint in Chicago, and again on June 9th at Gallery Cabaret in Chicago.