Fractal Quintet
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Fractal Quintet

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2002

Portland, Oregon, United States
Established on Jan, 2002
Band Jazz Indie


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Roach on Record (by Rob Cullivan)"

Roach on record

For more than a decade, guitarist, vocalist and composer Libby Roach has led Portland’s Fractal Quintet, creating long-form jazz pieces, many of which are propelled by samba rhythms. The FQ’s debut album “Precipieces” mixes Latin, soul and fusion in an intoxicating mix of modern jazz that would appeal to fans of everyone from Pat Metheny to Primus, Bjork to “Porgy and Bess.”

The band features keyboardist Andrew Oliver, reed player Lee Elderton, trumpeter Katy Presley, bass player Eric Gruber and drummer Whityn Owen. Prior to Owen’s arrival, the late Kipp Crawford held the drum chair in Fractal Quintet, but was tragically killed in an accident in 2009. “Precipieces” includes two pieces that feature Kipp’s drumming and production work.

In Crawford’s honor, the Ashland Schools Foundation has established the Kipp Crawford Memorial Endowment Fund for jazz students. To learn more or donate to the fund, visit

Fractal Quintet, Trio Subtonic, 9 p.m. Thursday, May 22, Alberta Street Pub, 1036 N.E. Alberta St. $10. Info:, - Portland Tribune

"Album Review: Fractal Quintet (by Brett Campbell)"

[JAZZ FUSION] The Portland Jazz Composers’ Ensemble’s record label continues to refresh the city’s jazz discography with a diverse range of monthly releases that usually veer beyond straight-ahead classic sounds. That open-mindedness explains the varied influences peppering its newest album. Fractal Quintet is the decade-old project of guitarist-composer Libby Roach, who in the ’90s fronted the punkish Ashland trio Smidgen. (Biggest claim to fame: It once opened for Primus.) Precipieces, the band’s long-delayed debut, features some rockish guitar shredding and backbeats, Latin rhythms, odd meters worthy of Frank Zappa or Mr. Bungle, and other non-standard angularities, along with more familiar jazz improvisation and grooves.

Yet the offbeat combinations never feel forced or self-consciously avant-garde. Somehow, a surprisingly fresh cover of Gershwin’s perennial “Summertime”—which, along with “Sideways,” showcases Roach’s distinctive vocals—fits snugly, too. While Fractal has long been Roach’s vehicle for more complex compositions, even the instrumental cuts bear attractive traces of her other band’s avant-pop sensibility.

Precipieces bountifully blends a diverse band of Portland jazzers-—including chameleonic pianist Andrew Oliver (who, having moved to London, will be replaced at the CD-release concert by Clay Giberson), funk drummer Whityn Owen (who replaced the late, longtime fixture Kipp Crawford), saxophonist Lee Elderton, trumpeter Kate Presley, bassist Eric Gruber and guests—into a tight, wide-ranging ensemble that can snag listeners across the jazz-rock spectrum with its singular groove. - Willamette Week


"Its jazz, man," succinctly states Fractals bio. But dont be so humble-Fractal is also one of the Rose Citys finest jazz-fusion outfits. Led by guitarist Libby Roach and bassist Nathanial Shortz, the groups rotating collaborators allow its songs to veer into various realms, from traditional be-bop to 70s fusion. DAVE CLIFFORD. [Jazz] - Willamette Week


From your days of hardcore math, you might remember that a fractal is an infinitely repeating pattern that may produce shapes, forms and surfaces that don't fit into normal geometry. Fractal is a modern-jazz outfit applying this to nightclub bebop. (RS) [Jazz] - Willamette Week


Fractal Quintet

We have had some airplay on the local Jazz station, KMHD.



It's Jazz-ish!  But you might actually like it!

Band Members