The quote in the subject comes to us courtesy of Jamie Masefield, of Jazz Mandolin Project, in a new interview on Jambands.com about the upcoming JMP tour (on which Fish is not playing).
For those unfamiliar with Masefield and JMP, both have a history with Phish that goes back more than 15 years. In 1994, Trey and Fish joined Masefield and bassist Stacey Starkweather to form Bad Hat, a jazz quartet that billed itself as “the quietest band in the world,” and toured twice that year. Their version of “Magilla” below is from a February 1 gig in Northampton. You can grab the full recording here, and a show from later that month on etree.
But that’s far from all. Fishman toured multiple times with JMP in the late ’90s and early ’00s. You can check out a bunch of those recordings on archive.org. Though none of the other Phish members were actually part of the band, their album Xenoblast, released in 2000, was recorded at Trey’s barn, and the album features Trey on the cut “Hang Ten.”
None of this sounds too much like Phish, but it’s a great reminder that, long after Phish dropped jazz standards like “Take the A-Train” from their repertoire, the guys had legitimate jazz chops.
JMP, for their part, are set to play four shows starting Friday in New York, with a lineup that also includes Trey Band alumnus Peter Apfelbaum. Tour dates are here.