The Supplicants

Featuring 4 (and more) of the Bay Area’s most innovative, talented and experienced musicians, impressively, everything in the music is improvised each time The Supplicants perform.  They preconceive nothing, except their collective approach to making music.  The music of The Supplicants is entirely accessible and rhythmically swinging. Although the ensemble does not have a designated leader, their musical explorations, passing from one musician to another and through the entire ensemble, develop ideas collectively and are expressed through group interplay, rather than only in the lead instrument.


The Supplicants, originally David Ewell (Bass), David Boyce (Sax), Sameer Gupta (Drums) since 1999, has grown to include Richard Howell (Sax), Prasant Radhakrishnan (Sax) and other talented Bay Area improvisers.

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Liner Notes for ‘Balance’

Here we are a couple years into the new millennium and its very clear that quite a few of us have gotten so far away from our soul matrix that we need words to help us listen and overstand music. We hear more with our intellect than with our hearts and that is very distressing to say the least. It means that some of us have list that vital connection to the spirit world of intuition, soul and grace. We have to remember that we are more than human, that our collective consciousness speaks of the enlightenment of the cosmos. WE are interstellar vibratory beings resonating with the essence of life, the sounds and frequencies of forces set into motion. Music will be our salvation and we mist choose to embrace its magic and healing properties. Cultures from all over the world view music in this light. One only has to consider the Ragas of North and South India, or the trance forms of the Gnawa people in Morocco to realize this, yet those of us in the west still de-value music by viewing it as a commodity, a material luxury. Perhaps we should reconsider this.

When Akhenaten became Pharaoh succeeding his father Amenhotep III he immediately declared Aten the Sun God to be the only god, introducing monotheism to the ancient world. He also elevated the arts to a status never before seen in Kemet (Egypt) and the surviving art from this period is magnificent. We can only speculate on the beauty and power of the music but it would not be a stretch to assume that musicians flourished during Akhenaten’s reign. They most definitely created a spiritual based on the irrationality of creativity, a music integrated into the very fiber of everyday life. It is in this notion that we need to return to. WE have forgotten the songs our ancestors sang 10,000 years ago even though they are embedded in our DNA. Fortunately, it won’t remain this way forever because the cosmos won’t allow it. Messages are being sent from beyond the sun to artists and musicians, those individuals who choose to be creators in a world of destruction and chaos. Their legacy will be the upliftment of human kind through beauty and sound.

This collection of celestial tones (and others like it) you hold in your hands will help to make this enlightenment possible.

The Supplicants believe wholeheartedly in the metaphysical spiritual qualities of music, specifically the body of sound known as jazz created and innovated by the black and brown men and women brought here in chains 400 years ago. Their music reflects the continuum of this music, from New Orleans polyphony to bebop’s virtuosic complexity to the funk and groove of hard bop to the bold experimentation and astral outlook of the New Thing/Free Jazz. It also reflects a global orientation, embracing the tones and textures of Africa, India, the Carribean and Eastern Europe. It is a music that’s firmly rooted in the past while pointing to the future using the moments of now to express what is truly happening. This is where jazz and the people of earth are headed. The only question is are you ready to go?

– David Boyce (2002)