Featured Artist: C R I S P

Featured Artist: C R I S P


As Artist Collective sifts through thousands of submissions to our music team, we never know what will be pumping through our speakers. Those first few beats are so important to drive a first impression. CRISP first tickled my ears with a quick bassline and some ambient synth. Then come the horns and intricate basslines making the room a whole lot jazzier. Then comes the incredible horn work and the instrumentation reminds us of a tactful Snarky Puppy. Then, out of nowhere, the song breaks down do nothing more than a bassline. As the progression rolls back around, they add snare, high hat, horns, and some perfect guitar riffs and a four on the floor beat. But CRISP doesn’t go with the typical aggressiveness at this point for most songwriters. No, they draw you in with ambient tones and masterful guitar riffs with a tone that most players would die for. We’re excited. We’re dancing in our chairs. And it’s only minute six of nine on their Soundcloud’s tune called “The Magic Marpet Ride”. Then as abruptly as it took control of my ear holes, they have the tightest, sneakiest outro I’ve heard in months. You can find the link below: www.soundcloud.com/crispband

So now the calendars are marked. Where are these cats playing, when? Who are they? Is this studio work? Can they do it live? The questions are rolling around. So we click around their sites. The music’s still playing in the background as Keep it Movin” sneaks up. Vocals ring out and we’re surprised. They’re gritty and half spoken like classic jazz, but they quickly turn full volume and raspy but funky with James Brown- esque falsetto licks ringing out. Then it’s back to some incredible horn work. Wow.


Turns out Crisp was started when Kevin McMahon brought his New Orleans influence back to Elburn, Illinois after a 5 years stint playing the scene there. Kevin wears many hats. He is a bass player, a band leader, a composer and arranger and he had only one thing on his mind. Finding some like-minded musicians willing to create some jazzy funky fusion tunes to compete against the new climate of nightlife where DJ’s and electronic music saturate the airwaves. He was successful with some help from his friends and colleagues and CRISP was born. Through various professional relationships and personal friendships, Kevin was honored to have secure the talents of Stewart Ream: Keyboards/Vocals, Constantine Alexander: Trumpet, Ian Letts: Saxophones,Andy Schlinder/Saxophones, Jerry Williams/Saxophones, Joel Ream: Guitar/Vocals, and Greg Essig: Drums, to our line up of sensational musicians.


Now, CRISP is happy to have released its debut album “How Many People Can You Bring”! They say it’s best described as “progressive funk with weird lyrics.” However, it’s much more than that. It’s driven by improvisation. It’s technically challenging. It’s rhythmic, danceable, and groovy. It constantly changes and develops and then drops unexpectedly. For music listeners of all levels, this band is an intricate blend of jazz, funk and happiness.

CRISP has found a legitimate new set of listeners in Artist Collective and we’re very happy to watch their fanbase skyrocket as the world finds out about just how funky these cats really are.

Read our other Artist Features here