It's difficult enough being a creative jazz trio in the 21st century -- finding time to practice, organizing gigs and tours, lining up studio time to record, all with an eye on the bottom line -- but if an ocean separates one bandmember from the other two, the hurdles must seem especially daunting. However, that hasn't stopped the Kandinsky Effect from charging ahead, even though tenor saxophonist Warren Walker and bassist Gaël Petrina live in Paris and drummer Caleb Dolister lives in New York City. Walker and Dolister have a common musical background before the Kandinsky Effect, however; they are both Californians who studied jazz and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno. Post-college, Walker crossed the pond to play in Italy's Faenza International Saxophone Festival, and must have taken a liking to the European scene, because he moved to Paris in early 2007 and has lived there ever since. Meanwhile, Dolister (son of bassist Joe Dolister) busied himself with various recording projects stateside, and also founded the independent SNP Records label.
As for bassist Petrina, he had a more peripatetic life from early on, living in Buenos Aires, Los Angeles, London, and Paris. He also started playing music in California -- in Los Angeles while still a teenager, to be exact -- but pursued a musical career in earnest with further studies in both Chichester, England, and Paris, the city where he eventually settled. Petrina and Walker hooked up in Paris and began playing as the Warren Walker Trio with Perpignan-born, Paris-based drummer Gautier Garrigue in 2007, soon changing the trio's name to the Kandinsky Effect -- named in homage to Russian painter and abstract art pioneer Wassily Kandinsky -- and releasing an eponymous debut CD (recorded in Basel, Switzerland) in 2010 on Dolister's SNP label. However, for the group's follow-up disc, Walker and Petrina tapped Walker's former UN-Reno college mate Dolister as a replacement for Garrigue, despite the presence of the Atlantic Ocean standing between the saxophonist and bassist and the trio's new drummer.
After touring in both Europe and North America, the Kandinsky Effect decided on a spot in neither France nor the United States to record their sophomore album, traveling to Iceland to record Synesthesia at Reykjavik's Syrland Studios in September 2011. Featuring Walker and Petrina on effects as well as their respective core instruments of saxophone and bass (Walker had also experimented with effects on the band's debut CD) and Dolister on laptop as well as drums, the album melded electronics with modern creative jazz. Synesthesia was released by the Cuneiform label in January 2013. In May of the following year, Walker, Petrina, and Dolister entered Videlles, France's Studio des Egreffins with engineer Nicolas Charlier to record their third album, Somnambulist. Another blend of cutting-edge electronics and avant jazz, Somnambulist was the second Kandinsky Effect album released by Cuneiform, and arrived in January 2015. ~ Dave Lynch