The birth of the Botanists started by our saxophonist, Frank Vitolo, when he moved to Seattle and was scouting potential botanists at various jam sessions including: Mo Jam Mondays, Capital Cider Brazilian Sessions, Own N Thistle Jazz Jam, Love City Love. Each member shared a unique musical chemistry and strong ability communicate through their instruments. This six piece super group is made up of some Seattle's finest musicians. Frank Vitolo (sax), Colin Pulkrabeck (trombone), Andy Short (guitar), Rob Homan (keyboards/synth), Marina Christopher (bass), and Heather Thomas (drums) who are all critically acclaimed musicians from University of Washington, Central Washington University and Western Washington University. Their diversified styles show extended knowledge of both modern popular music, 90's hip-hop, R&B, Seattle grunge, to multiple eras of jazz, bebop and soul. Bypassing the borders of genres and pushing the boundaries of harmonic progression.
"Bad News Botanists will find fans among the modern “jam band” scene sparked by followers of the Grateful Dead, but their music is more akin to the funky soul born by James Brown and his progeny. Add in the spacey production and shimmer of the 21st Century, a love of cross-genre experimentation, and a youthful sense of urgency and you have the garden of grooves found on Venomous Nightshade." - Abe Beeson KNKX 88.5FM
Their debut album, Venomous Nightshade, will be available for streaming Nov. 9th on Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Google Play, and Youtube. Recorded at the historic (and haunted) mansion, Robert Lang Studio in Edmonds, WA. Though Bad News Botanists is cataloged as Jazz, this album sows the seeds of millennial music right into their sound. Fans have compared their music to such bands like: Lettuce, Polyrhythmics, Karl Denson Tiny Universe, Skerik, McTuff, Delvon Lamar Organ Trio and Badbadnotgood.
After the release, they received from all corners of the Seattle community, including two nominations from Earshot Jazz Magazine for NW Recording of the Year and Alternative Jazz Group of the Year. - Whitney Mongé