Fay Victor – voice, texts, compositions
Sam Newsome – soprano saxophone, toys
Joe Morris – guitar
Reggie Nicholson – drums
The idea of developing an avant-garde ‘dance’ group has been a vision for sound artist Fay Victor’s for some time. Victor started SoundNoise with drummer/percussionist Reggie Nicholson and soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome in 2015 as an open exploration that hit hard their first time out. As SoundNoise developed, Victor thought about how best to pursue improvisation at the core while keeping a pulse in the music that was organic and alive. With the addition of guitarist Joe Morris, what you have is SoundNoiseFUNK, a free improvisational unit of master musicians with a penchant for exploring sonic terrain while keeping the groove going.
SoundNoiseFUNK released Wet Robots to great critical acclaim in 2018, with 4.5 stars in DownBeat Magazine and taking 4th place for Best Vocal Album of 2018 in the NPR Jazz Critics Poll. SoundNoise & SoundNoiseFUNK has performed at Roulette, the Vision Festival, The Earshot Jazz Festival, The EdgeFest Jazz Festival, Capital Bop (Wash. DC), Constellation (Chicago), The Harlem Jazz Series, and the WinterJazzFest where Downbeat magazine had this to say about the group’s performance in 2018:
“…while Morris astounded with his staccato runs, sounding at times like a cross between Johnny Smith and James “Blood” Ulmer, and Newsome showcased his expansive vocabulary, alternately making his straight horn sound like a digeridoo, a duck call, a fuzz guitar, it was Victor’s finesse, ferocity and freestyle abandon that led the way.”-Bill Milkowski, Downbeat Magazine
In October 2020, in the midst of a global pandemic, SoundNoiseFUNK released their sophomore release We’ve Had Enough! (ESP-Disk), a live date from late 2019, adding composed pieces to the SoundNoiseFUNK mix. Nate Chinen had this to say about What’s Gone Wrong, one of the compositions on We’ve Had Enough! that was part of Chinen’s Take Five blog for WBGO Jazz:
“In her working ensemble SoundNoiseFUNK, she engages fully with an outright all-star team: soprano saxophonist Sam Newsome, guitarist Joe Morris and drummer Reggie Nicholson. Their second album, just out on ESP-Disk is plainly titled We’ve Had Enough. “What’s Gone Wrong” is an impassioned lament that finds Victor repeating its title phrase, along with a secondary clause (“…with the world?”). There is despair in her rhetorical question, which doesn’t seem to expect an answer — but there’s also clear determination in the way Victor and her improvising partners work through their development. Without putting words in their mouth, I’d suggest that their cohesive oneness is one answer to another open question: what’s going right?
PRESS for We’ve Had Enough by SoundNoiseFUNK (Esp-Disk)
“Despite being recorded prior to the coronavirus pandemic, vocalist Fay Victor’s We’ve Had Enough!, an album consisting primarily of live improvisations, speaks directly to our times.” – Joshua Myers, Downbeat
“The second installment of Fay Victor’s SoundNoiseFunk We’ve had enough! is exactly that. It is Fay Victor with her artistic vocal capacity in the center of… yes, sound and noise and all that on a rather funky base.” – Daniel Böker, Free Jazz Blog
“The genius of this date is that so much in it is filled with joy in the face of outrage. Fay and her band are always light on their feet, playing with each other — really playing . Victor improvises lyrics as well as notes, often addressing politics, but even when she is singing “no air” in a song about climate destruction you are drawn in by the artful play of the band.” – Will Layman, PopMatters