OHMphrey, the brainchild of three members of the Chicago-based jam-band Umphrey's McGee (keyboardist Joel Cummins, guitarist Jake Cinninger and drummer Kris Myers) and OHM guitarist Chris Poland, a legendary player who's perhaps best known for work with head banging pioneers Megadeth, and bassist Robertino Pagliari (a.k.a. "Pag"), unleashes their improv-heavy self-titled debut – a record that assimilates not only disparate musical genres but the individual playing styles of everyone involved.
Gathering so much talent under one band banner, much less in one room, is historic. Then again, so often super groups fail miserably and fall pitifully short of their potential. Fortunately for OHMphrey (and the rest of us), this project cuts against the grain in so many ways, not the least of which is by eschewing the pitfalls of modern production techniques in favor of a straight-ahead live recording setting.
"We wanted to make a good old fashioned fusion statement," says Cinninger, who cites John McLaughlin and Al DiMeola as influences on his guitar style. "It was all about just getting the right vibe in the room and hitting the record button."
Having jammed on stage at Martyrs' Restaurant and Pub in Umphrey's McGee's hometown of Chicago, the OHMphrey outfit formed a kind of mutual admiration society amongst themselves. When the opportunity arose to record in a band setting, the five titans needed little convincing to descend upon Poland's downtown L.A. studio to rekindle the musical hell raising they'd stirred up months earlier.