The Ictus project first began in the early 90's with John Betts and Keith Brown wanting to write the kind of music they liked listening to. A high energy fusion of jazz, funk and rock with the freedom to go where they wanted and try to bridge the spaces between styles. The themes for Escape Velocity largely began as jams in the practice room and discussions with this in mind. Betts began working at Gonzaga University with Professor Robert Spittal and with bassist Ramiro Vijarro in previous bands and brought them in to the mix to form the band Pressure Groove in the early 2000's. Years later, after many different bands, John and Keith felt it was time to capture those ideas and make an album. The current project brings this evolution, along with a few new songs to the market with the release of Escape Velocity under the name of Ictus.
The original idea for this recording was to have some horn section parts on a couple of tracks and a few tenor solos. In the preparation for these session dates, John brought in the heavy hitters Michael Lenke and Craig Landron to fill these roles. He had worked with them before and knew they would knock these parts out, no problem. However, it was clear to all that this addition really made the group sing and it needed more. The die was recast and brought the power of horn parts to bear on the whole project and inspired more to be written to accommodate the new instrumentation. The final piece came together in bringing Dr. Spittal back to the mix with his wellspring of knowledge and talent to find new places for all the pieces to go.
The sound of Ictus is a blend of the old and the new, grown from an appreciation of the all the diversity that music has to offer.
The Ictus studio recording 'Escape Velocity' is now available online at CDBaby, buy it today!
Photo by Lyndia Danielson