Chicago-by-way-of-Philly trio The Jai-Alai Savant (pronounced hi-a-lie -sa-vant) is gearing up for a huge 2006. Having just released their debut EP via Gold Standard Labs, this genre-smashing outfit will warm up for a month-long November/December European tour with a hometown gig at Schubas on November 18 with labelmates GoGoGo Airheart. Then it's off to Germany, The Netherlands, Sweden and France, before wrapping up their overseas jaunt with two performances at the All Tomorrows Parties Festival in the UK.
Then, in early '06, the band will launch a six-week US tour that will take them down to Austin for SXSW and that will come in support of a second new EP and eventually, The Jai-Alai Savant's debut full length, Flight Of The Bass Delegate. Frontman Ralph Darden is also one of Chicago's best underground DJs and a very likable character who seems to know every touring band that comes to town, which is why it comes as no surprise that the band's full length will feature guest appearances from Ted Leo and Chris Wilson of The Pharmacists and Cedric Bixler and Omar Rodriguez of the Mars Volta, to name a few.
The Jai-Alai Savant create a genre-bending blend of reggae-slanted post-punk that has drawn comparisons to everyone from The Clash to The Police, Trenchmouth to Fugazi. The band has a vast amount of musical influences, which can be not only on their recently released Thunderstatement EP, but also at Ralph's DJ gigs, where genres are mashed up like potatoes on a regular basis.
Keep these guys on your radar.