August DownBeat was nice to me

The August 2013 issue of DownBeat Magazine was a good issue for my press clippings. For the third year, I was honored to be mentioned in the Rising Star Trombone category of the Critics Poll, and the Instigation Quartet CD got a 4 star review.

Let the CD sales, and festival bookings come rolling in…

Totm db review

Clip from Rising Star section of Critics Poll results:

2013 critics poll db

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Faculty position in Music Industry Studies at Loyola University New Orleans

We are hiring a faculty member to teach music industry related internet technologies at Loyola University New Orleans.

Primary responsibilities include teaching in the areas of Internet technologies and web development within the context of Music Industry Studies. Must be able to teach usage of HTML 5, CSS, and PHP or other dynamic languages. Emphasis on marketing using social media and other platforms required. Secondary duties may include teaching in other areas of music industry technology including smartphone/tablet apps, new approaches to content delivery, and related areas of expertise, potential for the development of distance learning programs, work in a collaborative manner and fulfill various roles in college and university activities, serve as an academic advisor and mentor to students, assist with departmental websites and student workers, and other duties as assigned.

Other specifics can be found here: The full consideration date is June 15, 2013 and the gig starts in August. If you or someone you know want to live in New Orleans and teach aspiring young musicians and entrepreneurs, in a setting with a good bunch of colleagues, please apply. I’d be happy to answer any questions as well.

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2 cent cell phone fee riles governor; House ignores Jindal’s plea to kill bill | The Lens

I really have no intention of turning this into a political blog, but maybe that is what is happening.

2 cent cell phone fee riles governor; House ignores Jindal’s plea to kill bill | The Lens:

“‘There’s no question that it was an important statement that the speaker made with that vote about doing the right thing rather than how it’s going to be scored by some outside group,’ Robideaux said in an interview Wednesday.

Jindal’s administration warned lawmakers that Americans for Tax Reform, a Washington, D.C.-based group headed by Grover Norquist, would flag it as a tax increase, lawmakers said.”

I agree with Rep. Robideaux. Who cares what Grover Norquist thinks. Do what is right for the people of Louisiana. Good job fellas.

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Warning: Political Post – How time has changed the 2nd Amendment

I don’t usually do non-arts-related political posts here, but here comes one, so click away if that doesn’t interest you.

The thing that I haven’t heard any one say in the gun control debate is that the advances in military technology have negated the reason for the existence of the Second Amendment. The Second Amendment guaranteed that we (The People of the United States) could bear arms so that we would be able to defend ourselves against oppressive government. Like we did when we fought for our independence from Britain. This made perfect sense when the government-supported-military used the same weapons that citizens used.

This is no longer the case. Hand guns, or even assault rifles and machine guns, will do us no good against drones, B1 bombers, and F16s. We as individual citizens are technologically incapable of defending ourselves against our own military, therefore the argument that we must have the right to buy a gun over the internet or at a gun show without a background check because we need to be able to defend ourselves from the possibility of our government going bad is a fallacious argument.

What we need to do to defend ourselves from our government going bad is to quit electing self-serving, egotistical idiots who value a rating from a lobbying group more than the wishes of their constituents. We need to quit electing people who value staying in office more than doing the right thing.

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Dusted Reviews: Jeff Albert’s Instigation Quartet – The Tree on the Mound

A nice review from Derek Taylor in Dusted.

Dusted Reviews: Jeff Albert’s Instigation Quartet – The Tree on the Mound:

“By the time the four align on the first of Albert’s four ‘Instigation’ pieces (inexplicably out of numerical sequence and missing two in the order), everybody sounds as if they’re more comfortably on the same page. The last three tracks in particular find the group really hitting a galvanizing stride and crafting a series of bracing contrapuntal passages. ‘Instigation Quartet #6’ unfolds as a succession of duets, the first an explosive dialogue between Jordan and Abrams, the next a slow burn from Albert and Drake before moving on to an invigorating ensemble section and roof-raising solo by Jordan. Tenor and trombone converse and cavort in ornate arcs with a level of close confluence complemented by bass and drums. It’s a consensus that carries over into the closer, a collective leap through the indelible finger-snapping groove of Anderson’s ‘The Strut.’”

Since this is my blog, I will explain the inexplicable. The numbers on the IQ pieces are just a way to identify each one. I could have just as well called them Sue, John, Paul, George, and Ringo. They aren’t a suite meant to be played in order, just a collection of similar pieces. They are out of numerical order because that order made a better CD, and they aren’t all there because some of the recordings didn’t make the CD. Just like if they were five improvisations that had non-similar abstract names.

Interestingly, in an attempt to give the pieces names that created no baggage, expectations were still created. There may eventually be a longer post based on that dilemma.

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The Tree on The Mound

The Tree on the Mound is the new CD by Jeff Albert’s Instigation Quartet featuring Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, and Joshua Abrams, released by the Paris based RogueArt Label.

Totm cover

Get more information on the label website. Ordering direct from the label will give the most support to the people who work hard and take risks to release good music. Order here, especially if you are in Europe.

The CD is also available in finer stores and online outlets like JazzLoft, Dusty Groove, Downtown Music Gallery, and Squidco among others.

Thanks for listening.

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Free Jazz on Treme

The third season of the HBO series Treme is airing now. I usually DVR it on Sunday and end up watching it sometime later in the week. In case you haven’t seen it, you should know that the music and musicians of New Orleans feature prominently in the show. There was quite a bit of buzz about it in the broader music/jazz community in the first season. I have always enjoyed watching it, if for nothing else, to see my friends on TV, because the producers do a great job of featuring New Orleans musicians, both prominent and obscure.

People often ask me when I will be on the show, and I usually chuckle and respond that the show doesn’t have “my kind of music.” I say this partly tongue in cheek, but it is true that the show focuses on the aspects of New Orleans music that are generally perceived as specifically representative. My regular musical/professional/social circles are largely tangential to those of the featured musicians in the show. I’m cool with that. I still like watching the show, and a track that I played on was the closing credits for one show in the first season, so I have gotten a little taste of the Treme gravy train.

I guess I should add here, that if I made the show, I wouldn’t have any Open Ears/New Orleans improv community scenes. It does’t fit with the story, and it isn’t very mainstream music. BUT, this past week we did get a little second order mention. The character LaDonna said, “They ain’t gonna shut me down like they did King Bolden’s!” (or something to that effect).

That line acknowledges the genesis of the Open Ears Music Series. King Bolden’s was a club on Rampart St. They only did jazz on Tuesdays (they had DJs and other music on other nights), and it was usually left of center jazz. Mario, the owner, seemed to like me and my band, because he called once a month and asked what night I wanted to play. When that club got shut down, my regular easy gig went away, and I needed a new place to play. That was the catalyst that led to the founding of the Open Ears Music Series, which is now 5 years old and has presented nearly every great New Orleans improviser, and many of the world’s great improvisers. So, you won’t see or hear any of the New Orleans improvised music community on Treme, but there was an inside reference to one of the clubs that features prominently in our history.

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