This is a new disc from some Chicago area friends/colleagues. Matt just laid a copy on me this past week, and I have been enjoying it greatly. More info/samples/purchasing info can be found here.

I’ll get to hear them live (and you can too) at the Ears and Eyes Festival in Chicago on December 9, 2007. They will perform right before BoX3 (which is a trio of trombone and electronics that i do with Dan Oestricher and Justin Peake).

Ethan Iverson on Bill McHenry

One of the best music writer lines I have read…ever… contained in this post:Do The Math : Bill McHenry

It’s sort of like Lester Young playing in a bar on Mars.

Ethan’s review of McHenry’s music was so moving that I had downloaded his new album from eMusic even before I got to the Pres line. (Ok, that’s not entirely true. I was trying to download the new album, but eMusic’s poorly administered and insanely frustrating download software was not cooperating. I finally sorted it out, and am now digging the McHenry as I write this.)

Ethan did something else that I respect in a music writer (or any human for that matter), which was be totally upfront about his motives, interests, and any conflicts thereof. Right on.

Our responsibility as performers

Yesterday I had a great hang with Thollem McDonas, who is in town to perform on the Open Ears Music Series tonight. The conversation turned to audience development at one point, and we were discussing ways to connect audiences and music that might not know they like each other yet. This led to thoughts about our responsibilities as performers, mainly the idea that we have the responsibility to always give honest and convicted performances. We can’t decry a lack of audience for our music, if we aren’t giving those audiences the real deal every time.

I am sure this isn’t anything we don’t already know, but it was on my mind…

Richard Kamins | See! Hear!: Music from Here and There

One of the beauties of the internet, and posting full show archives, is that your show can be reviewed by writers whose expense accounts likely won’t cover cab fare from Hartford to New Orleans. I got a nice email from Richard Kamins, who writes about music for the Hartford Courant, letting me know that he had reviewed the JAQ show at Open Ears, via the mp3 archive. Pretty cool, eh?

To make it even cooler, it is a great review. Click the link below and scroll down to read it.

Richard Kamins | See! Hear!: Music from Here and There

Chicken wire ?!?

When I was in college, one of our favorite past times, when we were too broke to go out and hear music, was watching the Blues Brothers (the real one, not that 2000 sacrilege). Many of my early gigs were with horn sections in cover bands, and Blues Brothers fare was a staple of our rep.

These days, I get to play a bit with the fabulous blues singer Luther Kent. It is a large band with 6 horns, and when the right rhythm section is there, they are bad enough to turn goat piss into gasoline. Imagine my delight last night, when Blue Lou Marini showed up and sat in for much of the second set. His presence lit an extra little fire under the band, and he seemed like a genuinely nice cat. It was lots of fun.

Time Out Chicago: Changing of the avant-garde

Time Out Chicago: Changing of the avant-garde

Time Out Chicago ran this nice article on the Chicago free jazz scene in general and Umbrella Music in particular, in advance of the Umbrella Music Festival this week. The article is a good layman’s introduction to that scene and a bit of its history.

Those guys have all been great to me whenever I have been in Chicago. The Lucky 7s have played most of their venues, and their organization serves as a loose model, and solid inspiration for the Open Ears Music Series that starts here in New Orleans next week.

How Educated Must an Artist Be?

How Educated Must an Artist Be? – ChronicleReview.com: “However, the first goal has yet to be achieved — can anyone name a great Ph.D. artist of our time? — and the second merely indicates what is wrong in academe, which is that it elevates credentials over everything else.”

This article is about art, but could be applied equally to music. I think part of the issue is that the university has replaced the aristocracy as the sponsor of the arts and artists. We can’t be on the court of the Arch-Duke any longer, so we are on the faculty at the local college.

I say all of this as I plan to start work on a DMA next fall…

(Via ArtsJournal.)