Having performed at local hotspots such as Pearl Street and the Iron Horse in Northampton, The Shape is partaking in this weekend’s Paper Jam. The three-piece improvisation and jazz band consists of all current and former University of Massachusetts students. Senior Matt Ely plays guitar and is The Shape’s lead vocalist while sophomore Mark Goodwin mans the drums. Bass player Andrew Jaquith has already graduated, but that hasn’t stopped the band from working on their debut album.
After having only been together for one year, The Shape is releasing a self-titled album by the end of May. They also just hired a booking manager for the summer, and Goodwin hopes to play a few festivals and book a few opening spots. The Shape has already performed locally and at venues in Boston, so Goodwin’s goals shouldn’t be too difficult.
“We’re all in it to win it,” said Goodwin. The percussionist elaborated, “We’re all pretty serious about it, and intend to play in this group for the rest of the future.”
The band’s heavy jazz influence can be attributed to Ely and Goodwin’s majors. Both students are jazz majors and were put in the same jazz combo.
Goodwin summarized the contemporary, noisy rock band as something along the lines of, “Radiohead meets Phish.”
As for the somewhat ambiguous name, The Shape is partially influenced by Talking Heads lyrics about shapes. The other basis for the title stems from the Boston-based jazz group The Fringe. Goodwin used to take lessons with the band and admired their broad name.
“We wanted a name that would be cool and weird, but at the same time a really common word,” reflected Goodwin.“There was no eureka moment; it just kind of happened.”
The Shape can be found online on Facebook, Myspace and as of moments ago, through their official website, Theshapeisreal.com. A recording is available on the website for viewers to check out The Shape’s style.
The improvisation jazz band will be performing from around 3:50 p.m. to almost 5 p.m. at the Paper Jam on Saturday on The Hill.
Kate Evans can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.