Vocalist/rhythm guitarist Greg Ormont was in musicals and plays while growing up in Port Washington, New York. He attended college in College Park, Maryland, where on the first day of school in 2006 he met and jammed with lead guitarist Jeremy Schon of Pikesville, Maryland. Schon introduced Ormont to Phish, the jam scene and funk. Ormont and Schon were still a duo when they named the band they did not yet have. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong was a phrase in their psychology textbook, referring to an experiment by behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner. The band is presently based in Baltimore and consists of Ormont, Schon, bassist Ben Carrey and drummer Alex Petropulos. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong has released one studio album, 2014's Psychology.
Headlining at the Gramercy Theatre tonight, Pigeons Playing Ping Pong combined electro funk grooves and extended psychedelic jams for a sound that would liven any party. Ormont's soulful vocals offered authenticity to the funk grooves, while Schon's fancy fretwork gave many songs a jazzy calling. Many of the songs featured complex arrangements, inclining towards progressive jazz, but once the jams got into high gear, the categories dissolved and all that was left was fine musical interplay with a hip-shaking rhythm. Pigeons Playing Ping Pong is still an underdog in the jam band arena, but look for word of mouth to increase the band's visibility.
Visit Pigeons Playing Ping Pong at www.pigeonsplayingpingpong.com.