The Jelly Jam
2
13/09/2004
What was a kind of outlet for creative surplus and started under the name Platypus a few years ago, has now established itself in the form a solid community. After the release of the records "When Pus Comes to Shove" and "Ice Cycles", and after the leaving of keyboarder Derek Sherinian, the remaining Platypus protagonists Ty Tabor, John Myung and Rod Morgenstein seeked new challenges under the banner of The Jelly Jam. In 2002 the debut album came out, and now, two years later, the successor “2“ is delivered to the shops.

As it is right and proper for serious musicians, The Jelly Jam are poaching in different stylistic genres and epochs of rock music of the past 40 years. “The 70s are permanently glimmering, but our latest album is more varied than the debut work, and the songs are more direct and compact,“ Ty Tabor is analysing the music. “Furthermore, I’m really satisfied with my singing this time.“ Nicely put, and it hits the nail on the head. Songs such as “Not Today“, “Coming Round“, “Drop The Gun“, “Allison“ or “Angel Or Devil“ are solid, simple rock songs, however, the songs gain meaning on a high level through the varied and complex playing of the trio, but never with demanding effects. In short: imagine a symbiosis of Black Sabbath, Beatles, and Jane's Addiction – this comes close to the sound of The Jelly Jam.

“Song lyrics and vocal lines were made up by myself. Rod permanently composes music, and John brings with in numerous cool and evil seventies riffs. At the end, I’m refining the songs, that we have worked out together, with Beatles harmonies,“ explains guitar player and singer Tabor, who is a fulltime member of King’s X. Although all three musicians are part of the international elite with their playing, the songs themselves are always most important. There is no freedom for ego trips – the result of the good chemistry between those three: “Every single suggestion is taken seriously. Openness and mutual respect are the main basis for our creative cooperation,“ says Tabor. “In this way the best songs are developing from ideas which, at first, seemed to be pretty abstruse.“

Many people don’t know that Dream Theater’s bassist John Myung was the driving force behind Platypus, and indirectly he also created The Jelly Jam. “John knew Rod und asked him whether he would like to make music with him. Only then John remembered me and we met for rehearsals. From the very beginning there was something like magic in the air, and today we are close friends.“ With “2“ the trio will probably get rid of the project image. Their music shows self-confidence. Initial concerns, The Jelly Jam could possibly be an obstacle for the “main bands“ of its protagonists turned out to be needless. Tabor: "With Dream Theater, John Myung very rarely writes material, Rod is a globetrotter who always feels like and wants to jam with friends. I’m maybe very busy with King’s X, but I want to make sensible use of those few free weeks each years. If there hadn’t been The Jelly Jam in the past, I would have looked for something else. It brings me to the next level to play with Rod and John, and this ultimately also helps King’s X to go on.“ Although The Jelly Jam shows stylistic similarities to King’s X, Tabor recognizes crucial differences: “We write, rehearse and produce within few days. This is an extremely spontaneous thing which we don’t know with our other main bands. Songs just sort of fit or don't, if you know what I mean. We surely sound more like King’s X than Dream Theater or Dixie Dregs, but to focus our strength creates a truly original style.”

Ty Tabor was born in Jackson, Mississippi, back in 1961. He admires the Beatles and John Lennon in particular. In 1980 he joined The Edge, a band playing cover versions of The Police, U2 and of those Fab Four until they renamed the band King’s X. Tabor released two solo albums, he worked with Jughead and had guest appearances with Carmine Appice, Gregg Bissonette, and Munetaka Higuchi.

John Myung got his first bass after he had heard Chris Squire of Yes, Steve Harris of Iron Maiden, and Geddy Lee of Rush playing. At the Berklee School of Music in Boston he met John Petrucci and Mike Portnoy with whom he founded the band Majesty. Later on this group had enormous success as Dream Theater. And the educational video "Progressive Bass Concepts" is on him too.