Music News

The Motet

Funky, jazzy, tribal, swampy. While it's difficult to hang a tag on the Motet, one thing is clear: The band is enthusiastic. Recorded during a 2002 spring tour, Live begins the same way many of the Motet's shows kick off, with wow drums and a percussion jam that would feel right at home in the belly of the Dark Continent. Talented skinsman Dave Watts (perhaps better known from his rhythm work with the Theory of Everything) drives the Motet, swatting the eclectic act through 75 minutes of fusion-like forays into multiple musical styles. From Afro-pop keyboard (check out "Sandunga") to blues- and funk-inspired guitar work, the Motet strips its music to rudimentary forms and builds it back up again, serving up everything from New Orleans-style blues to authentic-sounding African vocals and Latin rhythms.

One might wonder if the Motet even knows what it is. The music generally provides a powerful tonic against such scrutiny, however. While the band's personality is split between drum circle and jam band, these personas co-exist like Jekyll and Hyde on three cups of good Kenyan blend.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nick Hutchinson writes about music for Westword and enjoys playing his guitar when not on deadline.
Contact: Nick Hutchinson