The electronic jazz ensemble–Elev8tor–combines elements of UK downtempo, acid jazz, and house music in a hybrid live/electronic performance. Consisting of drummer Sam Sharp (J Davis Trio), bassist Olin Langley (of Marvin Tate fame), guitarist Bryan Ford (Bryan Ford & Goulet), and keyboardist/producer Kevin Ford of Chicago Afrobeat Project, the group layers loops of Bhangra tabla, Afro-Cuban percussion, synthesizers, and movie soundtrack excerpts beneath a deep, urban jazz vibe.
Keyboardist Kevin Ford, guitarist Bryan Ford and drummer Sam Sharp have a musical history dating back to the mid 90′s when they performed in the 7 piece funk/rock band Isabelle Haze in Colorado. Even back then they collaborated in the ‘Trip Hop’ and electronic dimension of music. When they moved to Chicago in ’98, the group ‘Hari Kronik’ briefly graced a few stages, mostly at Windsor’s Lounge in the Palmer House Hotel in the loop — a strangely appropriate and equally inappropriate venue for dark urban sounds. Despite a fitting lounge atmosphere, classy hotel guests looking to sip a late night cocktail and expecting the usual starchy jazz standards were given a dose of avante-garde, psychedelic downtempo stuff instead. After branching out and being largely distracted by other groups (Kevin was co-forming Chicago Afrobeat Project, Sam and Bryan were touring with several different bands including J Davis Trio, Sister Machine Gun, Meg Lee Chin while Bryan was also launching Revolutionary Music), a series of ‘studio interactions’ took place between them once more, this time with bassist Olin Langley (Marvin Tate’s Desettlement et. al.)
Kevin Ford’s downtempo, breakbeat, house and techno electronic music production has been continuous over the years and resulted in releases on labels such as Fro Funk, Catalyst, Funk’d, Four Play Music, EsNtion and of course Revolutionary Music as K Ford, Acid O.G.’s, Lake Street Project and now Elev8tor.