Robert Anbian & the UFQ: The Unidentified Flying Quartet

by Rent Romus on April 20, 2007

“Avant poetry & jazz for time travelers in love”

From the San Francisco poetry underground comes the voice of Robert Anbian, backed by electronic percussionist E. “Doc” Smith and Bay Area sax legend Charles Unger, plus keyboardist Sam Peoples and bassist Mike Shea. UFQ makes its own magic inspired by the music of Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and Bobby Hutcherson, with infusions of Brian Eno, the Grateful Dead, and something else.  Notes Anbian:  “I call the post-fusion, world beat jazz these guys play ‘acid-bop’ – it’s got more possibilities for poetry than the typical verse-chorus cadences of popular music.”

Known for his lyrical-epic “WE” series, and such topical effronteries as “Haikus for the White House,” a timely and troubling song and video, Anbian has been described by fellow poet Richard Hack as “a passionate virtuoso steeped in these times and deep with tradition” [whose] “poetry crackles with currency – hiply linguistic turns of natural originality, rhythmically brimming with a tempestuous taste of ecstasy, reason, and love.” Dusty Dog Reviews declared him “a genius or a Venusian.”
E. Doctor Smith has played with Brian Eno, Madonna, and Warren Zevon, among others, and is the inventor of the electronic percussion instrument The Drummstick. The Unidentified Flying Quartet, an ever-expanding universe of concepts and players, is his brainchild.  Charles Unger leads the Charles Unger Experience, with Sam Peoples at the keyboard, and can be heard regularly at San Francisco’s Les Joulin’s Jazz Bistro and the Rasselas Jazz Club. Mike Shea has played bass for hip-hop groups Subterraneanz and Triple Ave.
Anbian and the UFQ join a jazz and poetry revival rooted in the ’50s jazz work of Rexroth, Patchen, Kerouac, and Ferlinghetti, and carried on more recently by Laurie Anderson, John Girono and William Burroughs. “And don’t forget ol’ Charles Cros,” says Anbian. “Rexroth cited Cros’ performances at Le Chat Noir cabaret in Paris in the 1880s as inspiration for his own performances at the Black Hawk in San Francisco.”
“Of course, we’re after something a little peculiar, our own mix for the re-mix century….”

Robert Anbian & the Unidentified Flying Quartet
featuring Saxophonist Charles Unger & Percussionist E. ‘Doc’ Smith
CD Release Show
Thursday April 26th, 8pm
Sheba Piano Lounge
1419 Fillmore St., San Francisco
$10 Cover (includes CD)
Doors 7pm w/food & drink service
Phone: 415-440-7414

Rent Romus is a musician, producer, and the mastermind behind Edgetone Records, an artist-run new music label and its umbrella organization the Ultra Independent Recording Coalition, an artist-owned and operated distribution portal for new music. Romus also curates the San Francisco-based Luggage Store Gallery New Music Series, the SIMM Series, and Outsound Presents…, an artist collective for live performance.

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