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Triple Double slam dunks on new CD

The members of Triple Double - Preston Winter (from left), Tom Cracovaner, Alex Sandweiss and Jimi Cracovaner - say they rock both onstage and on the basketball court.

The members of Triple Double - Preston Winter (from left), Tom Cracovaner, Alex Sandweiss and Jimi Cracovaner - say they rock both onstage and on the basketball court.

Local funky-reggae-jazz band Triple Double get their name from a basketball term referring to an exceptionally versatile player who has double digits in three different stats. It is with this same versatility that Triple Double slam dunks on their new album, “Dot My Eighths.”

“Playing one specific type of music would get boring,” bassist Preston Winter says. “So if we can mix it up, do a little bit of this with a little bit of that, it’s never going to get boring. It’s fresh and exciting every time.”

Triple Double is so dedicated to this genre ambiguity that when asked what they would consider their predominant style, they respond with a well-rehearsed phrase that the members can recite from memory. Well, all of the members except the band’s new rookie player, Alex Sandweiss.

“It’s a funky reggae,” begins piano player Sandweiss, but he is quickly cut off by drummer Tom Cracovaner.

“No, it’s a soul-soothing funky, reggae, blues party! ” Cracovaner clarifies.

“I keep forgetting the ‘soul-soothing!’ ” Sandweiss says dejectedly as he mouths the phrase under his breath.

Triple Double was started in 2003 by brothers Jimi Cracovaner (guitar) and Tom Cracovaner (drums.) Together with Preston Winter on bass the band produced two albums.

About a year ago Sandweiss joined the team’s roster and the band began work on their new album, “Dot my Eighths.” The CD, the group says, is their best and most versatile, with much of the credit going to the addition of Sandweiss and his piano.

“We’re doing a lot more harmonies on the vocals and we have a piano now,” Tom Cracovaner says. “(Sandweiss) has been a driving force behind the music with us.”

“(Sandweiss) has been an integral part of this album,” Jimi Cracovaner adds.

One song where Sandweiss’ piano influence is especially evident is “Harmony Love Affair.” As the name suggests, the song showcases the band’s harmony and vocal range that are sometimes lost in the bands faster and louder songs. With just the piano driving much of the song, the vocals come across crystal clear.

The band will perform this song and other material from “Dot My Eighths” at a CD release party May 1 at Plush. Audience members will receive a free copy of the disc and get to see the group in action.

“The most unique thing about our band is our live performance,” Jimi Cracovaner says. “We try to not just create the music but an entire experience. We really bring a lot of joy and happiness to our shows. It’s passionate. We’re just all very passionate. We dance, we try get the audience involved and send people home with a smile.”

As for the future, Triple Double plan to launch a regional tour to promote the new album. They also hope to continue their evolution as musicians.

“I can’t tell you exactly where our music will go but that’s half the fun,” Jimi Cracovaner says. “It’s kinda like life – you don’t really know where it’s going to go and you don’t know what’s going to happen.”

The band also plans to get a little practice off the stage and on the basketball court. Triple Double claims that they are not only versatile musicians but also damn good basketball players.

“I think we would like to take on any local band in pickup basketball,” Sandweiss says.

“Open challenge, bring it,” taunts Winter.

“Direct them to our MySpace page,” adds Jimi Cracovaner. “We’ll set up a game.”

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This archive contains all the stories that appeared on the Tucson Citizen's website from mid-2006 to June 1, 2009.

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For all of the stories that were archived by the Tucson Citizen newspaper's library in a digital archive between 1993 and 2009, go to Morgue Part 2

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