Recent good music hangs – Chicago and Porter’s Birthday

I have noticed that the amount of music I am making is inversely proportional to the amount of time I spend writing here. I guess it is good that I haven’t written much lately, because that means I have been playing a lot.

On December 9th, I spent a very eventful 18 hours in Chicago. BoX3 played the Ears and Eyes Festival, and it was a blast. The festival also provided me the opportunity to hear Zing! and Matt Ulery’s Loom. I have already commented on the Zing! CD, and I picked up a copy of the Matt Ulery’s Loom disc “Music Box Ballerina”, and the James Davis Quintet’s “Angles of Refraction” at the fest. There may be more comments on these CDs later.

Later that night I heard Aram Shelton at the Hungry Brain. The first set was solo Aram with alto sax and laptop. He did a nice job of integrating the two and having it make some sense, which can be very difficult. The second set was Aram with Josh Berman on cornet, Jeff Parker on guitar, Jason Roebke on bass, and Frank Rosaly on drums. They sounded great. I had had a long day and Dan was pouring quickly, so I can’t offer too many specifics, but it was an enjoyable listen, and good to see and hear some friends that I don’t get to see or hear often enough.

Every year on December 26th, George Porter, Jr. has a birthday gig at The Howlin Wolf. This year it was quite a production in honor of George’s 60th year. A Who’s Who of New Orleans music was in attendance, and it seemed like half of them showed up on stage at some point. The Runnin’ Pardner horn section joined PBS for a few tunes from the new CD. At one point I looked over and Ivan Neville had jumped on the vacant B3 that was stage left, and Stanton Moore was on the second drumset. Johnny Vidacovich played, as did Raymond Weber. At one point later, Russell left his drums and went to the B3 and Stanton and Raymond were left at the two drumsets. It was a fun jam, and most of it was pretty musical. George is a special cat, and it was nice to be able to be part of acknowledging that on his 60th birthday.