With his signature blend of intelligence and whimsy, Boston-based guitarist/composer Eric Hofbauer's main working ensemble, The Infrared Band, explores his intermingling interests in wordplay, mythology and puzzles. The active quartet, currently featuring tenor saxophonist Kelly Roberge, bassist Sean Farias and drummer Miki Matsuki, released its debut CD, Myth Understanding (CNM 011) in June 2008, and its follow-up, Level, in expected in early 2011.

"If there's a single overarching ethos to the band it would be 'tell your story,'" Hofbauer explains. "All my compositions have a back story or theme and I encourage each player to add their own take on those stories and to play from personal experience. There's no role playing, I compose to each of their strengths, featuring everyone and challenging their limits."

"When musicians of this caliber explore their innermost selves," writes music journalist Ed Hazell in the Myth Understanding liner notes, "using Eric's composition as the starting point and improvisation as the methodology, you can bet profound things are discovered, always in a playful spirit, of course. But Eric has more to offer than his sense of humor. There's always a strong concept behind any of Eric's musical endeavors, whether it's a composition or a recording."

Check out the band performing three tunes from its debut on YouTube.