years

Kelli Scarr Announces US Fall Tour / To Play The Woodstock Farm Animal Sanctuary Benefit

Kelli Scarr's interest in music and recording started early, at the age of three with her Nana using a handheld cassette recorder to record her singing. Growing up amongst the soundtrack of her parent’s records and singing in the Lutheran church of her hometown, music quickly became an important part of Kelli Scarr’s life.

After high school she moved to Boston, Massachusetts to study voice at Berklee, and she soon joined the band Moonraker.  Following college, Kelli, along with Moonraker, moved to Brooklyn, NY where they were thrown head first into the ever-expanding indie scene, opening for bands like the Arcade Fire and Broken Social Scene.

After several years of touring and three albums, the band dissolved in 2005 and Kelli started to shift her musical focus more towards film scoring, composing the score for Matthew Nourse’s full-length feature, “The Pacific and Eddy” and Jeremiah Zagar’s documentary, “In a Dream” (HBO).  Kelli soon found herself nominated for best original score for, “In A Dream” by the Cinema Eye Honors alongside fellow nominees Nick Cave and Danny Elfman. It was also during this time that Kelli joined Brooklyn-based alt indie group, Salt and Samovar.

During an almost accidental bill sharing, Kelli was noticed by local NYC musician, Moby. After striking up a friendship, Kelli and Moby were soon working on music together with Kelli singing the title track of Moby’s haunting and introspective 2009 release, “Wait For Me” (Mute). Kelli also quickly joined Moby’s touring band for a world tour to support the critically acclaimed album. On top of singing and playing keyboards within Moby’s band, Kelli was also asked to open the shows, playing her own music in supporting slots for Moby and winning over crowds all over the world.

Amidst all of the transitions and touring, Kelli had begun recording songs on her own. She began simply by recording quiet piano songs at home in between working her hospital day job and in brief moments to herself during her three year old son’s naps. From what began as a simple process Kelli quickly found herself with a collection of recordings that spanned the world, two and a half years and included a diverse cast of musicians, engineers and producers.

The themes and inspiration for her music ranged from the once small gold rush town of Folsom, CA, now turned suburban sprawl, to the raising of a child and the wishes of a parent. For a majority of the record the songs acted as a therapeutic release and moment of reflection for the relationships in her life and the struggle to find peace within them. Along with these moments of self-release, her songs captured the images of her childhood and reflected everything from scenes of driving through California to the memories of her favorite childhood movies like Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz.

After a long and exhausting two and a half year process Kelli had a record of mainly home recordings, which she named, “Piece”; a name she adopted early on with the advice of friend and filmmaker Matthew Nourse, to help her visualize the album as a “snapshot in time” within an otherwise hectic time.

In the end “Piece” reflected a large portion of Kelli’s life and those around her. From the sounds of her creaky upright piano and midnight acoustic recordings to the whimpers of her son waking up from a nap in the next room, “Piece” captured an extremely personal journey, providing a photo album's worth of lush images. “Piece” will be released on August 10th, 2010 as the debut for indie start-up label, Silence breaks.

BILL EVANS TRIBUTE Tonight At Cornelia Street Café

We open our 2010/11 Serial Underground season with a unique evening to celebrate the great composer/pianist/jazz icon Bill Evans on the thirtieth anniversary of his death on September 15, 1980. Bill was an early mentor of mine. Although it took me a long to appreciate his influential lyrical side, the hard-swinging extroversion that characterized how he played in his last years grabbed me. I suspect our casual friendship arose from common musical interests; for instance, our mutual appreciation of great classical pianists. Bill set me up with a job fixing up and editing his transcribed solos for a book. and we painstakingly cross-checked details over the phone (this was before fax machines and computers, remember). I'd plunk out a chord on my piano, and he'd say yes or no or change this or keep that, and so forth.

Tonight's guest writers certainly bring us closer to the man behind the music. Bill Zavatsky's poems stay with you long after you read or hear them. Laurie Verchomin's upcoming memoir about her life with Bill Evans in the last year and a half of his life runs the full emotional gamut. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop. Laurie and I decided to frame her words with piano music, and although I'm using Bill¹s compositions or, in some cases, songs associated with him, strangely enough, I'm not playing like him. Maybe a chord or two, or a favorite lick, but I just can't do my once letter-perfect Bill Evans imitation anymore. Perhaps that's a good thing. When I told Bill how much I had stolen from him, he said "Go right ahead. That's what I did when I was young. It only took me forty years to evolve my own style!"

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CORNELIA STREET CAFÉ
29 Cornelia Street, NYC, New York -- 212-989-9319
between West 4th and Bleecker Sts, Greenwich Village
1 Subway to Sheridan Square; A, C, E, B, D, V, F to West 4th St.

Ryan Montbleau Band’s Heavy on the Vine Ripe for Picking

“Time hangs heavy on the vine/Let’s make wine,” Ryan Montbleau sings in the lulling, sensual verse that gives his group’s new album its title. Ryan Montbleau Band has been tending its own musical vineyard for a few years, on the patient cusp of a breakthrough. Their distinctive, long-fermenting blend of neo-folk, classic soul, and kick-out-the-jams Americana finally comes to full fruition in Heavy on the Vine, due out September 21, 2010 on indie Blue’s Mountain Records. It’s an album that represents the product of — and further promise of — a very good year.

It’s been a good year already. The group spent much of it both as opening act and backing band for Martin Sexton, including a round of dates with the Dave Matthews Band. Sexton in turn produced Heavy on the Vine. “I used to dream about getting to meet Martin Sexton,” says Ryan, “and now we’re getting hired as his backing band and he’s producing our record.

“He may not be a household name but to me and so many others, he’s a legend,” Montbleau adds. “But one thing he made clear from the start was that he didn’t want his fingerprints on this record. He wanted us to just play and be us.”

As a songwriter, Ryan recently contributed the single “Something Beautiful” to Trombone Shorty’s recent major-label debut album Backatown. Shorty turned to no less than Lenny Kravitz to contribute vocals and a guitar solo to the track, to help bring across the song’s soulful vibe.  Ryan also co-wrote the Backatown track “One Night Only,” the tune Shorty and his band performed on their Late Night with David Letterman debut in June.

“I’m not one of these people who’s like, ‘Oh, we can’t be pigeonholed.’ I honestly wish we could, just so I could describe it quickly to people,” Montbleau says. “This record has folk songs, funk songs, country tunes, a reggae tune . . . and the end is almost like prog-rock. It’s all over the map, but it’s all us, and we always do it wholeheartedly. We’ve sort of come up in the jam scene, and that’s where our hearts have been in a lot of ways. But we don’t go off on 15-minute epics. We’re actually trying to make the songs shorter as we go. So I would lean more toward the Americana thing than the jam thing. But more than anything, we’re definitely about the song.”

The “us”-ness of the band comes through in Heavy on the Vine in vivid, funny, touching, and hummable spades. The opening “Slippery Road” playfully examines the fine line of moderation between inebriation and sobriety, a subject familiar to most of Montbleau’s contemporaries and more than a few non-musicians. “Carry,” the purest love song Montbleau has written, is in demand as a wedding song by some romantics who’ve heard it being road-tested. “Fix Your Wings” deals with damage and healing in relationships, with tight gospel harmonies adding to the surprisingly sprightly feel. Both the rocking “Here at All” and the ’20s-styled “Stay” address the itinerant musician’s thwarted impulse to settle in one place for more than one night at a time. An admirer of Paul Simon, Montbleau reaches some of his greatest lyrical heights in “Straw in the Wind,” which asks, “Wouldn’t it be nice . . . if you could reconcile the smile you want to feel with the one that you show?”

“For the song ‘More and More and More’ we had done another weirder version in the studio with a strange old synthesizer. But Martin said, ‘We need to try a Rolling-Stones-in-Nashville country version of this,’ with an untuned piano they had in the studio. And it turned out great.”

The Peabody, Mass. native got his first guitar at age nine but didn’t get the bug to become a serious player until he was attending Villanova University. He spent many years as an acoustic solo artist. His first album, Begin (2002), was followed by the live Stages. The first Montbleau Band recording was One Fine Color (2006). And by the time 2007’s Patience on Friday was released, Ryan Montbleau Band (Montbleau, guitar, lead vocals; Laurence Scudder, viola, vocals; Jason Cohen, keyboards; James Cohen, drums; Matt Giannaros, bass, vocals; and Yahuba, percussion, vocals) were hometown heroes.

The band’s unusual makeup was somewhat accidental, as the leader tells it; he never had it in mind, for instance, that he needed a full-time viola player. “It just evolved over the years, because I really didn’t have a sound that I was going for,” he says, before qualifying that claim. “Well, I knew I wanted an upright bass, I guess. And I knew I wanted the drummer in some ways to be more of a jazz drummer than a straight-ahead rock drummer. But that was all I knew. I’ve personally always loved the B3 organ, but the keyboard approach really comes from Jason (Cohen), who’s a vintage gear nut and tone junkie who loves old Rhodes, organs, Wurlitzers, Moogs, etc.”

Abject realism and a sense of limitless possibility coexist in Montbleau’s ever-ripening mind. “For the last 10 years, I’ve had this insane desire to just go out there and do this. And I face the realities that, okay, I’m 33 and I’m not selling out stadiums yet. I get more realistic as I go and I also get more appreciative of just being able to do this at all. My goal for a few years when I was starting out was to make a living off playing music, and now I’ve been doing that for seven years or so, and the goals change as you go. Now the goal is to spend more time practicing and writing and creating, and a little less time doing all the business stuff.”

Tempted as Montbleau might be to look toward the big picture, not losing sight of the small one is why the band has maintained such a loyal and evangelistically inclined base. “I still go back to my original philosophy of just one person at a time,” he says. “I never even told people ‘Bring your friends to the show’ at the beginning, because it wasn’t about them bringing their friends, it was about them bringing themselves. I’m trying to focus on the one person, because if they come and like it, they are going to bring their friends. We’re still grass roots in that way.” No surprise, then, that those well-tended roots have sprung up into such pregnant vines.

EOTO Announces Fall Tour Spanning Both Coasts

Consummate road dogs EOTO just announced a jam-packed fall tour with headlining dates spanning both coasts before topping off a wildly successful 2010. The 30+ day tour will kick off on September 21st featuring 11 dates with DJ's MiMOSA and MartyParty on the west coast and then beginning in October the duo will fly solo in the Mid-West before heading east for the remainder of the winter.

Throbbing bass and thudding beats are the signatures of this project from drummers Michael Travis and Jason Hann. Born out of their shared love of electronic dance music, EOTO's M.O. is to take the free-wheeling party vibe of a DJ set to the next level by using organic instruments, innovative performance technology, and uncharted musical exploration. Live drums, guitars, and keys, and vocals are mixed, remixed, and sampled on the fly using cutting-edge programs. This is all done without a script, and without a net.

Hann plays a hyper EQ'd drumkit, chock full of multi-touch screens and MIDI controllers, and throws a number of effects on his otherworldly vocal styles. Travis takes on subsonic frequencies, generating the band's crushing low end with analog, digital, and software synthesizers, occasionally picking up guitar or a bass guitar and showing off his proficiency with instruments of all shapes and sizes.

Hann, has been playing percussion professionally since the age of 12. Years of collaborating, touring, and recording with the likes of Youssou N'Dour, Isaac Hayes, Dr. Dre, Loreena McKinnett, SCI, and a slew of other established artists running the gamut from Latin jazz to R 'n' B and soul allows him to move fluidly between styles. Adding to this is his depth in African and Latin drumming traditions, allowing the futuristic EOTO sound to keep itself rooted in the past.

For the last 16 years, Travis has been the drumming octopus in SCI. He morphs roles to melodic multi-instrumentalist in EOTO, providing the raw basslines and harmonic tapestry that fill out the soundscape of the duo. Both Hann and Travis have the chops and stamina for physically demanding, EOTO improvised sets, which have been known to go upwards of 4 straight hours.

"When we're playing live for 3 hours a night, it's like playing tribal drums in a ceremony," Hann explains. "I'm looking at one person at a time out there, and thinking "what can I do to make you dance?"

Hann and Travis play almost 200 shows a year, together, EOTO has played more than seven hundred unique showcases in 48 different states in the five years since the project's inception. Each set is recorded and released (www.livedownloads.com) so fans can capture their unique EOTO dance throwdown, reliving the experience again and again.

TOUR DATES INCLUDE:

21-Sep-10 Moe's Alley Santa Cruz, CA
22-Sep-10 Belly Up Tavern Solana Beach, CA
23-Sep-10 Music Box Los Angeles, CA
24-Sep-10 103 Harriet San Francisco, CA
25-Sep-10 Wurk Reno, NV
26-Sep-10 Blu Nightclub South Lake Tahoe, NV
28-Sep-10 McNear's Mystic Theatre Petaluma, CA
29-Sep-10 Arcata Theatre Arcata, CA
30-Sep-10 Wow Hall Eugene, OR
1-Oct-10 Wonder Ballroom Portland, OR
2-Oct-10 Neumos Crystal Ball Reading Room Seattle, WA
8-Oct-10 Bourbon Theatre Lincoln, NE
9-Oct-10 The Ogden Theatre Denver, CO
15-Oct-10 Granada Theater Dallas, TX
16-Oct-10 La Zo Na Rosa Austin, TX
31-Oct-10 The Granada Lawrence, KS
2-Nov-10 2720 Cherokee St.Louis, MI
3-Nov-10 The Canopy Club Urbana, IL
4-Nov-10 Majestic Live Madison, WI
5-Nov-10 Epic Minneapolis, MN
7-Nov-10 The Intersection Grand Rapids, MI
8-Nov-10 Blind Pig Anne Arbor, MI
9-Nov-10 Rex Theater Pittsburgh, PA
10-Nov-10 Tralf Music Hall Buffalo, NY
11-Nov-10 The Westcott Theater Syracuse, NY
12-Nov-10 Higher Ground Burlington, VT
13-Nov-10 Port City Music Hall Portland, ME
17-Nov-10 World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA
19-Nov-10 Brooklyn bowl Brooklyn, NY
20-Nov-10 Paradise Rock Club Boston, MA
23-Nov-10 Headliners Music Hall Louisville, KY
25-Nov-10 Southbound Knoxville, TN

Mimi Fishman Foundation Auction | August 2010

The Mimi Fishman Foundation just launched an auction are hosted for our friends at Conscious Alliance which features a handful of signed posters from bands such as String Cheese Incident, Widespread Panic, Disco Biscuits, Umphrey's McGee, STS9, and Phil Lesh. Also included is a Jam Cruise 6 poster with tons of sigs. Check it out here.

In addition the Mimi Fishman Foundation just announced several donations made by the Foundation.

$12,500 to the Phish''s WaterWheel Foundation
$2,500 to The Delta Gamma Center
$2,500 to Lincolnville Central School
$1,250 to Burlington''s Women Helping Battered Women
$1,250 to Lake Champlain Land Trust
$1,250 to The People Place

The Foundation has now donated over $390,000 since it’s inception 12 years ago. A huge thanks to all your support over the years!!!

National Jazz Museum in Harlem September 2010 Schedule

Coming off the heels of the greatest archaeological find in jazz in decades, the National Jazz Museum in Harlem invites you to share in the treasures of the Savory Collection, featuring jazz legends of the Swing Era.

During the month of September 2010 our Jazz for Curious Listeners series and our special Saturday Panel on Bill Savory will open the vaults to selections from the 100 hours of live music that until now has been hidden in jazz lore.

Instead of resting on those laurels, we are happy to also present free public programs such as: Harlem Speaks (interviews with alto saxophonists Lou Donaldson and Steve Wilson), Jazz for Curious Readers (Langston Hughes on record with jazz music and artists), and Jazz at the Studio Museum in Harlem (the visual art of Pee Wee Russell and George Wettling, plus the NJMH All Stars).

For just a small fee you can witness the impeccable artistry of elder statesman pianist and composer Randy Weston, and the open-ended duet of bassist Henry Grimes and pianist Marilyn Crispell at the Rubin Museum of Art for the Harlem in the Himalayas program.

We invite you to share in the bounty of jazz at the National Museum in Harlem this month: you'll come away with priceless memories.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
The Savory Collection: Exploring a buried treasure-NEW sounds from 1935- 1940
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300
You Won't Believe It: An Overview

If you appreciate jazz and American history, then you've heard about the acquisition of the Savory Collection by the National Jazz Museum in Harlem. News outlets from the New York Times and NPR to WNYC and Newsweek have covered this truly historical find, which museum Executive Director Loren Schoenberg had been tracking down intrepidly for 30 years. His efforts paid off; some of these recordings may cause scholars to adjust their take of this period of the jazz idiom's historical accounting.

Come early to claim your seat at the Visitor's Center . . . we expect a full house who will hear samples from the Savory Collection as well as the tale of this investigative find as told by Mr. Schoenberg.


Monday, September 13, 2010 (note date change)
Jazz for Curious Readers
Langston Hughes: The Recordings
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Back in the day Langston Hughes was called the voice of Harlem and even the poet laureate of Negro Americans. Hughes imbued his lines with the echoes of jazz and gospel, and may have been akin to a 20th-century Chaucer, capturing common experiences in bold new rhythms. He once said, "I tried to write poems like the songs they sang on Seventh Street... (these songs) had the pulse beat of the people who keep on going."

In 1926 he wrote the now classic "Weary Blues." In 1958 he took part in a recording of this work (which includes the famous "A Dream Deferred") paired it with compositions written in collaboration with Charles Mingus, Leonard Feather, and Horace Parlan. Mingus’s compositional style combined with Hughes “cool” prose and poetry, written with rhythms straight out of Harlem, made for a revealing outing.

Come hear this synthesis of music and poetry and more at the Visitor's Center of the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Tenor Madness: Lester Young/Coleman Hawkins/Chu Berry/Herschel Evans

7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

The Savory Collection featured songs and solos played by the two men who defined the sound and style on tenor saxophone in the first decades of the dispersal of jazz on record and in clubs and stages around the world: Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young. Yet Chu Berry and Herschel Evans were also two very important musicians on tenor from those years in the late '30s, now too often sidestepped by critics and fans that focus solely on Prez and Hawk.

Come experience each of these tenor greats at the height of their considerable powers and discover the context and place of each in the estimable history of jazz.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Lou Donaldson, Saxophonist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Lou Donaldson, one of the true keepers of the classic jazz, is a witty raconteur with stories galore. His distinctive, blues-based tone has been heard in a variety of small-group settings, and he has recorded dozens of worthy and spirited sets throughout the years.
He began playing clarinet at 15, and soon switched to the alto sax. He attended college and performed in a Navy band while in the military. Donaldson first gained attention in 1952, when he started recording for Blue Note as a leader. At the age of 25, his style was fully formed, and although it would continue growing in depth through the years, Donaldson had already found his sound. In 1954, he participated in a notable gig with Art Blakey, Clifford Brown, Horace Silver and Tommy Potter that Blue Note records documented extensively, and which directly preceded the Jazz Messengers. He recorded as a sideman in the 1950s and occasionally with Thelonious Monk, Milt Jackson and Jimmy Smith, among others, yet he has been a bandleader from the mid-1950s up to now.

Donaldson's early Blue Note recordings were straight-ahead bop dates. In 1958 he began to incorporate a conga player, and from 1961 his bands often used an organist rather than a pianist. His blues-drenched style became a staple of soul-jazz, the musical context he's best known for by the jazz public. His association with Blue Note (1952-63) was succeeded by some excellent (if now-scarce) sets for Cadet and Argo (1963-66). Donaldson returned to Blue Note in 1967 and ventured into the more commercial leanings of the label; in this vein, he played an electronic Varitone sax, which some critics say watered down his sound. Yet, the success of "Alligator Boogaloo" in 1967 belied such criticism.

In the early '80s began recording soul-jazz and hard bop dates for Muse, Timeless and Milestone, which found him once again in prime form, not diminished to this very day. For proof of this claim, hear him proclaim that "Kenny G shouldn't try this," at one of his concerts, as he launches into a furious up-tempo number that he handles with aplomb, with blues and bebop lines and even occasional references to "Flight of the Bumblebee."

Friday, September 17, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Randy Weston: Solo Piano
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

After 60 years of musical inspiration and African diasporic verve, Randy Weston remains one of the world's foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary.

Encompassing the vast rhythmic heritage of Africa, his global creations continue to musically inform and inspire. "Weston has the biggest sound of any jazz pianist since Ellington and Monk, as well as the richest most inventive beat," declared jazz critic Stanley Crouch, "but his art is more than projection and time; it's the result of a studious and inspired intelligence...an intelligence that is creating a fresh synthesis of African elements with jazz technique".

Songs such as his "Little Niles" and "Hi Fly" are perennial contributions to the repertoire of the jazz songbook. In his solo performance tonight expect to hear such classics as well as others that embody the sound of surprise.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Jazz at The Studio
The Paintings of Pee Wee Russell and George Wettling 2:00 – 4:00pm
Location: The Studio Museum in Harlem
(144 West 125th Street)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

AN AFTERNOON IN HARLEM WITH GEORGE AND PEE WEE

Pee Wee Russell, one of jazz' most idiosyncratic clarinetists and George Wettling, one of its most swinging drummers, were also painters. The NJMH All Stars explore the swirling world of the 1920's that produced their mature works of the 1940's and 50's. Rare canvases by Russell and Wettling will be shown.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010  

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Trumpet Titans: Louis Armstrong/Roy Eldridge/Harry James/Bunny Berigan
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

As with the tenor giants discussed in last week's Jazz for Curious Listeners, two of the four men in this week's class have a firm place in the collective memories of jazz lovers. Louis Armstrong, the father of the idiom as it came through early small group and big band styling via his overwhelming approach to rhythm and sound on trumpet, his swing being irresistible. Whereas Armstrong made his mark starting in the 20s, Roy Eldridge came to prominence in the 30s with a style more akin to the facility of saxophonists that yet stayed true to the high-note range established by Armstrong.

We’ll also hear superlative jazz from trumpeters Harry James and Bunny Berigan—were also brass virtuosos worthy of historical reconsideration, as will occur tonight via excerpts of their work from the Savory Collection.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Harlem in the Himalayas
Henry Grimes with Marilyn Crispell
7:00pm
Location: Rubin Museum of Art
(150 West 17th Street)
$18 in advance | $20 at door |
For tickets: RMA Box Office or call 212-620-5000 ext. 344

Master bassist Henry Grimes, missing from the music world since the late 1960s, has made an unprecedented comeback after receiving the gift of a bass  from William Parker in December 2002, replacing the instrument Grimes had been forced to give up some 30 years earlier. Between the mid-'50s and the mid-'60s, the Philadelphia-born, Juilliard-educated Grimes played brilliantly on more than 50 albums with an enormous range of musicians, including Albert Ayler, Don Cherry, Benny Goodman, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Lee Konitz, Steve Lacy, Charles Mingus, Gerry Mulligan, Sunny Murray, Sonny Rollins, Roswell Rudd, Pharaoh Sanders, Archie Shepp, Cecil Taylor, Charles Tyler, McCoy Tyner, and many others. Then, one day, for reasons largely related to troubles in the music world at the time, he disappeared. Many years passed with nothing heard from him, yet recently, with his new bass, he reemerged to begin playing music again.

These days, he lives, works, and teaches in New York City and has been working almost exclusively as a leader with Marshall Allen, Fred Anderson, Rob Brown, Roy Campbell Jr., Daniel Carter, Marilyn Crispell, Andrew Cyrille, Bill Dixon, Hamid Drake, Charles Gayle, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, Joe Lovano, Sabir Mateen, Bennie Maupin, Jemeel Moondoc, David Murray, William Parker, and Marc Ribot, among others. Since 2003, Grimes has played and toured extensively in Europe, Canada, and the U.S. The recipient of a prestigious "Meet the Composer" award in 2003 and two more in 2005, Grimes was designated "Musician of the Year" by All About Jazz in 2004. One of his trios was chosen Best Jazz Trio of 2004 by New York Press, and one of his concerts, at HotHouse in Chicago, was named one of the 10 best of 2005 by Time Out/Chicago. Grimes's gentle, humble bearing and courageous life story have inspired all those privileged to know, hear, and play music with him.

"Hearing Marilyn Crispell play solo piano is like monitoring an active volcano. She is one of a very few pianists who rise to the challenge of free jazz," wrote Jon Pareles of the New York Times. Crispell, a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied classical piano and composition, came to Woodstock, New York, in 1977 to study and teach at the Creative Music Studio, and has lived there ever since. She discovered jazz through the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and other contemporary jazz players and composers. She has been a member of the Anthony Braxton Quartet, the Reggie Workman Ensemble, the Barry Guy New Orchestra (and guest with his London Jazz Composers Orchestra), the Henry Grimes Trio, Quartet Noir (with Urs Leimgruber, Fritz Hauser, and Joelle Leandre), and Anders Jormin's Bortom Quintet. In 2005 she performed and recorded with the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver.

Besides working as a soloist and leader of her own groups, Crispell has performed and recorded extensively with well-known players on the American and international jazz scene as well as music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus, and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera X with the New York City Opera). In addition to performing, she has taught improvisation workshops and given lecture/demonstrations at universities and art centers in the U.S., Europe, Canada, and New Zealand, and has collaborated with videographers, filmmakers, dancers, and poets. In 1996 she was given an Outstanding Alumni Award by the New England Conservatory, and in 2004 was cited as being one of their 100 most outstanding alumni of the past 100 years.

Come expecting to hear and feel the fireworks and wisdom of an open conception to music.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Saturday Panels
Who Was Bill Savory?
Guest panelists: Gene Savory, George Avakian, Larry Appelbaum, Larry Rohter and others

12:00 – 4:00pm    Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

"For decades jazz cognoscenti have talked reverently of “the Savory Collection.” Recorded from radio broadcasts in the late 1930s by an audio engineer named William Savory, it was known to include extended live performances by some of the most honored names in jazz — but only a handful of people had ever heard even the smallest fraction of that music, adding to its mystique.

After 70 years that wait has now ended," begins the story reported in the New York Times (by Larry Rohter) on August 16, 2010.

Today's panel discussion will uncover the identity of this audio engineer whose 100 hours of fine-tuned recording will breathe new life into the archival imperative of jazz music. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem is proud to have this treasure trove as part of its collection, and invite you to learn more about the man who museum executive director Loren Schoenberg describes as "a musician and a technical genius" as well as the music he captured for posterity.

Guests include Savory’ son Gene, who rescued the collection from oblivion, legendary record producer and life-long Bill Savory friend George Avakian, NY Times writer Larry Rohter, who broke the story, Larry Appelbaum, archivist at The Library of Congress, and professor Susan Schmidt Horning, who interviewed Bill Savory as part of her research into his innovations.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010  

Jazz for Curious Listeners
Jam Sessions: Benny Goodman/Bobby Hackett/Lionel Hampton/Slim and Slam
7:00 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Benny Goodman, clarinet virtuoso, "King of Swing," and social pioneer as regards racial integration is captured in rare form in the Savory Collection, as are cornetist and trumpeter Bobby Hackett, vibraphone king Lionel Hampton, and Slim Gaillard (vocals, guitar, piano) and bassist Slam Stewart.

Gaps in jazz lore are filled to overflowing in the Savory Collection. Come listen and be one of the first to hear these fascinating records.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Harlem Speaks
Steve Wilson, Saxophonist
6:30 – 8:30pm
Location: NJMH Visitors Center
(104 E. 126th Street, Suite 2C)
FREE | For more information: 212-348-8300

Steve Wilson's creativity on alto saxophonist and dependability as a musical professional has allowed him to carve a prominent position on the bandstand and in the studio with the greatest names in jazz, as well as critical acclaim as a bandleader in his own right. A musician's musician, Wilson has brought his distinctive sound to more than 100 recordings led by such celebrated and wide-ranging artists as Chick Corea, George Duke, Michael Brecker, Dave Holland, Dianne Reeves, Bill Bruford, Gerald Wilson, Maria Schneider, Joe Henderson, Charlie Byrd, Billy Childs, Karrin Allyson, Don Byron, Bill Stewart, James Williams, and Mulgrew Miller among many others. Wilson has seven recordings under his own name, leading and collaborating with such stellar musicians as Lewis Nash, Carl Allen, Steve Nelson, Cyrus Chestnut, Greg Hutchinson, Dennis Irwin, James Genus, Larry Grenadier, Ray Drummond, Ben Riley, and Nicholas Payton.

A native of Hampton, Virginia, Wilson began his formal training at age 12. Playing saxophone, oboe, and drums in school bands, he also played in various R&B and funk bands throughout his teens, and went on to a year-long stint with singer Stephanie Mills. He then decided to major in music at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, affording him opportunities to perform and/or study with Jimmy and Percy Heath, Jon Hendricks, Jaki Byard, John Hicks, Frank Foster and Ellis Marsalis. In 1986, he landed a chair with O.T.B (Out of the Blue), a sextet of promising young players recording on Blue Note Records. In 1987 he moved to New York and the following year toured the US and Europe with Lionel Hampton. Becoming a first-call choice for veteran and emerging artists alike, Wilson was the subject of a New York Times profile "A Sideman's Life", highlighting his work with Ralph Peterson, Jr., Michele Rosewoman, Renee Rosnes, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Joanne Brackeen, The American Jazz Orchestra, The Mingus Big Band, The Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, Leon Parker, and Buster Williams' Quintet "Something More". In 1996 he joined the acclaimed Dave Holland Quintet, and from 1998-2001 he was a member of Chick Corea's Grammy winning sextet "Origin".

Wilson was a featured guest with Dr. Billy Taylor in his series "Jazz at the Kennedy Center" which is broadcast on NPR. He was artistic consultant to Harvey Keitel for the film "Lulu On The Bridge" as well as being featured on the soundtrack. He has been Artist-In-Residence at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Hamilton College, Old Dominion University, and for the 2002/2003 season with the award winning arts organization CITYFOLK in Dayton, Ohio which included the performance of a commissioned work. He has been a featured performer, panelist, and clinician at conferences of the International Association of Jazz Educators, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and Chamber Music of America. Wilson was honored with the Marc Crawford Jazz Educator Award from New York University in 2001, and the Virginia Jazz Award 2003 Musician of the Year presented by the Richmond Jazz Society, recognizing his outstanding service in the advancement of jazz and education in their respective communities. Since 1997 he has been regularly cited in the Downbeat Magazine Critics and Readers Polls in the soprano and alto saxophone categories.

Wilson continues to tour with the Steve Wilson Quartet and Generations as well as National Jazz Museum in Harlem co-director Christian McBride's group Inside Straight. He also performs in duo with his long-time friend and colleague Lewis Nash, in the Lewis Nash/Steve Wilson Duo. He is also a touring member of the Grammy winning Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra, T he Buster Williams Quartet, and Mulgrew Miller's Wingspan. In July 2009, Wilson made his orchestral debut performing the Villa Lobos Fantasia for Soprano Saxophone and Chamber Orchestra with the Vermont Mozart Festival Orchestra, conducted by Gil Shohat, at the Vermont Mozart Festival in Burlington, VT.

Wilson is on the faculty at The Manhattan School of Music, SUNY Purchase, and Columbia University, and is the Artist-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg (Canada) for the 2008/2009 school year.

The Warner Brothers Studio Albums + Dead.net exclusive

What a long, strange trip it's been! In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, we proudly present THE WARNER BROS. STUDIO ALBUMS, a five-LP boxed set commemorating those tremendous and transformative early years. Due September 21st, the collection contains The Grateful Dead (1967), Workingman's Dead, and American Beauty (1970), plus the original mixes for Anthem Of The Sun (1968) and Aoxomoxoa (1969), available on vinyl for the first time in nearly 40 years!

This stunning set also features detailed replicas of the original albums housed in a hard-shell case with an accompanying 12" x 12" book containing unpublished photos and new liner notes by our friend Blair Jackson. And as always, we've ensured the highest degree of quality - these albums were pressed on 180-gram vinyl at RTI using lacquers cut from the original analog masters. Now all you've got to do is gently place the needle on the record and slip into auditory bliss!

Order from Dead.net and receive an exclusive reproduction of a rare 1968 7" single (in a picture sleeve) that features the studio version of "Dark Star" (b/w "Born Cross-Eyed"), clocking in at a concise 2:38. You'll also receive a reproduction of a rare 1967 promotional poster from the Warner Bros. Records archive. The 7" and poster are yours only when you place your order at Dead.net.

Ryan Montbleau Band's Martin Sexton-produced album out September 21

“Time hangs heavy on the vine/Let’s make wine,” Ryan Montbleau sings in the lulling, sensual verse that gives his group’s new album its title. Ryan Montbleau Band has been tending its own musical vineyard for a few years, on the patient cusp of a breakthrough. Their distinctive, long-fermenting blend of neo-folk, classic soul, and kick-out-the-jams Americana finally comes to full fruition in Heavy on the Vine, due out September 21, 2010 on indie Blue’s Mountain Records. It’s an album that represents the product of — and further promise of — a very good year.

It’s been a good year already. The group spent much of it both as opening act and backing band for Martin Sexton, including a round of dates with the Dave Matthews Band. Sexton in turn produced Heavy on the Vine. “I used to dream about getting to meet Martin Sexton,” says Ryan, “and now we’re getting hired as his backing band and he’s producing our record.

“He may not be a household name but to me and so many others, he’s a legend,” Montbleau adds. “But one thing he made clear from the start was that he didn’t want his fingerprints on this record. He wanted us to just play and be us.”

As a songwriter, Ryan recently contributed the single “Something Beautiful” to Trombone Shorty’s recent major-label debut album Backatown. Shorty turned to no less than Lenny Kravitz to contribute vocals and a guitar solo to the track, to help bring across the song’s soulful vibe. Ryan also co-wrote the Backatown track “One Night Only,” the tune Shorty and his band performed on their Late Night with David Letterman debut in June.

“I’m not one of these people who’s like, ‘Oh, we can’t be pigeonholed.’ I honestly wish we could, just so I could describe it quickly to people,” Montbleau says. “This record has folk songs, funk songs, country tunes, a reggae tune . . . and the end is almost like prog-rock. It’s all over the map, but it’s all us, and we always do it wholeheartedly. We’ve sort of come up in the jam scene, and that’s where our hearts have been in a lot of ways. But we don’t go off on 15-minute epics. We’re actually trying to make the songs shorter as we go. So I would lean more toward the Americana thing than the jam thing. But more than anything, we’re definitely about the song.”

The “us”-ness of the band comes through in Heavy on the Vine in vivid, funny, touching, and hummable spades. The opening “Slippery Road” playfully examines the fine line of moderation between inebriation and sobriety, a subject familiar to most of Montbleau’s contemporaries and more than a few non-musicians. “Carry,” the purest love song Montbleau has written, is in demand as a wedding song by some romantics who’ve heard it being road-tested. “Fix Your Wings” deals with damage and healing in relationships, with tight gospel harmonies adding to the surprisingly sprightly feel. Both the rocking “Here at All” and the ’20s-styled “Stay” address the itinerant musician’s thwarted impulse to settle in one place for more than one night at a time. An admirer of Paul Simon, Montbleau reaches some of his greatest lyrical heights in “Straw in the Wind,” which asks, “Wouldn’t it be nice . . . if you could reconcile the smile you want to feel with the one that you show?”

“For the song ‘More and More and More’ we had done another weirder version in the studio with a strange old synthesizer. But Martin said, ‘We need to try a Rolling-Stones-in-Nashville country version of this,’ with an untuned piano they had in the studio. And it turned out great.”

The Peabody, Mass. native got his first guitar at age nine but didn’t get the bug to become a serious player until he was attending Villanova University. He spent many years as an acoustic solo artist. His first album, Begin (2002), was followed by the live Stages. The first Montbleau Band recording was One Fine Color (2006). And by the time 2007’s Patience on Friday was released, Ryan Montbleau Band (Montbleau, guitar, lead vocals; Laurence Scudder, viola, vocals; Jason Cohen, keyboards; James Cohen, drums; Matt Giannaros, bass, vocals; and Yahuba, percussion, vocals) were hometown heroes.

The band’s unusual makeup was somewhat accidental, as the leader tells it; he never had it in mind, for instance, that he needed a full-time viola player. “It just evolved over the years, because I really didn’t have a sound that I was going for,” he says, before qualifying that claim. “Well, I knew I wanted an upright bass, I guess. And I knew I wanted the drummer in some ways to be more of a jazz drummer than a straight-ahead rock drummer. But that was all I knew. I’ve personally always loved the B3 organ, but the keyboard approach really comes from Jason (Cohen), who’s a vintage gear nut and tone junkie who loves old Rhodes, organs, Wurlitzers, Moogs, etc.”

Abject realism and a sense of limitless possibility coexist in Montbleau’s ever-ripening mind. “For the last 10 years, I’ve had this insane desire to just go out there and do this. And I face the realities that, okay, I’m 33 and I’m not selling out stadiums yet. I get more realistic as I go and I also get more appreciative of just being able to do this at all. My goal for a few years when I was starting out was to make a living off playing music, and now I’ve been doing that for seven years or so, and the goals change as you go. Now the goal is to spend more time practicing and writing and creating, and a little less time doing all the business stuff.”

Tempted as Montbleau might be to look toward the big picture, not losing sight of the small one is why the band has maintained such a loyal and evangelistically inclined base. “I still go back to my original philosophy of just one person at a time,” he says. “I never even told people ‘Bring your friends to the show’ at the beginning, because it wasn’t about them bringing their friends, it was about them bringing themselves. I’m trying to focus on the one person, because if they come and like it, they are going to bring their friends. We’re still grass roots in that way.” No surprise, then, that those well-tended roots have sprung up into such pregnant vines.

Leon Russell, Fri Sept. 17 @ Boulder Theater

The ultimate rock & roll session man, Leon Russell's long and storied career includes collaborations with a virtual who's who of music icons spanning from Jerry Lee Lewis to Phil Spector to the Rolling Stones. A similar eclecticism and scope also surfaced in his solo work, which couched his charmingly gravelly voice in a rustic yet rich swamp pop fusion of country, blues and gospel. Born Claude Russell Bridges on April 2, 1942, in Lawton, OK, he began studying classical piano at age three, a decade later adopting the trumpet and forming his first band. At 14, Russell lied about his age to land a gig at a Tulsa nightclub, playing behind Ronnie Hawkins & the Hawks before touring in support of Jerry Lee Lewis. Two years later, he settled in Los Angeles, studying guitar under the legendary James Burton and appearing on sessions with Dorsey Burnette and Glen Campbell. As a member of Spector's renowned studio group, Russell played on many of the finest pop singles of the 1960s, also arranging classics like Ike & Tina Turner's monumental "River Deep, Mountain High"; other hits bearing his input include the Byrds' "Mr. Tambourine Man," Gary Lewis & the Playboys' "This Diamond Ring," and Herb Alpert's "A Taste of Honey."
In 1967, Russell built his own recording studio, teaming with guitarist Marc Benno to record the acclaimed Look Inside the Asylum Choir LP. While touring with Delaney & Bonnie, he scored his first songwriting hit with Joe Cocker's reading of "Delta Lady," and in 1970, upon founding his own Shelter Records imprint, he also organized Cocker's legendary Mad Dogs and Englishmen tour. After the subsequent tour film earned Russell his first real mainstream notoriety, he issued a self-titled solo LP, and in 1971 appeared at George Harrison's Concert for Bangladesh following sessions for B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Bob Dylan. After touring with the Rolling Stones, Russell increasingly focused on his solo career, reaching the number two spot with 1972's Carny and scoring his first pop hit with the single "Tight Rope." While the success of 1973's three-LP set Leon Live further established his reputation as a top concert draw, response to the country inspired studio effort Hank Wilson's Back was considerably more lukewarm, as was the reception afforded to 1974's Stop All That Jazz. 1975's Will O' the Wisp, however, restored his commercial luster, thanks in large part to the lovely single "Lady Blue."
In June of 1975, Russell married singer Mary McCreary; the following year the couple collaborated on The Wedding Album, issued through his newly formed Paradise Records label. Also in 1976, the Russell-penned "This Masquerade" earned a Grammy Award for singer George Benson. He and McCreary reunited for 1977's Make Love to the Music, and upon completing the solo Americana, Russell teamed with Willie Nelson for 1979's Willie & Leon. He then spent the next two years touring with his bluegrass band, the New Grass Revival, issuing a live LP in 1981; although Paradise shut down later that year, the label was reactivated for 1984's Hank Wilson, Vol. II and Solid State. Russell spent the remainder of the decade largely outside of music and did not resurface until issuing the Bruce Hornsby produced Anything Can Happen in 1992. Hank Wilson, Vol. 3: Legend in My Time. Face in the Crowd appeared a year later.
21+ / Gold Circle: $51.00 / Reserved: $41.00 / GA: $30.00
On sale July 30
Tickets will be on sale through the Boulder Theater box office
Internet 24-7 at www.bouldertheater.com
Phone: During box office hours 303-786-7030

Dark Star Orchestra Announces Jeff Mattson as Lead Guitarist

Dark Star Orchestra, the faithful interpreters of the music of the Grateful Dead, announced today that Jeff Mattson will be taking on Jerry Garcia role and welcomes him as a full time member of the group. The band’s statement reads:

“After months of touring and playing with Jeff, we have decided to offer him the full time gig, which he has gratefully accepted.  Jeff has blown us away with his energy, licks, and presence on stage. He is a great guy, an inspiring musician and so much fun to perform with, we cannot wait to get back out there and mix it up with him once again. We are having more fun than ever and are looking forward to seeing you all at the upcoming shows.”

A veteran of more than 30 years on the road, Jeff was a founding member of The Zen Tricksters and has performed in two bands of actual Grateful Dead members with Phil Lesh & Friends and the Donna Jean Godchaux Band. RELIX Magazine recently praised his “eerily on-point Garcia interpretations” and Jambase.com noted “Any doubts about new lead guitarist-singer Jeff Mattson were erased by a breathtaking "Eyes of the World" where Mattson continually proved a real prize in his new role, bringing all his years in The Zen Tricksters to bear and then upping the ante a bit more.”

Having joined Dark Star Orchestra for two nationwide tours, fans and critics have already weighed in with PopMatters.com marveling how “Mattson’s guitar playing matched every intricate moment,” and Hidden Track praising his “soulful vocals and dense solos to anchor the major suites, chipper, airy ones to flesh out the rockers… his improvisational style is intense but not ostentatious.”

A video clip of Jeff Mattson performing with Dark Star Orchestra doing a scorching version of "Viola Lee Blues" at The Klein in Bridgeport, CT can be viewed online here: http://www.vimeo.com/9585290.

Dark Star Orchestra will be performing at clubs and festivals across the nation this summer, all announced dates are listed below:

Rock My Soul Summer Tour

06/24    Minnesota Zoo Weesner Ampitheater | Apple Valley, MN

06/25    Simon Estes Ampitheater | Des Moines, IA

06/26    CEFCU Stage | Peoria, IL

06/27    Park West | Chicago, IL

06/29    Otto's | Dekalb, IL

06/30    Summerfest | Milwaukee, WI

07/02    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/03    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/04    Gratefulfest 11 | Garretsville, OH

07/07    Veteran's Park Ampitheater | Springfield, OH

07/08    All Good Music Festival Masontown, WV

07/10    State Theatre | State College, PA

07/11    Tags Summerstage | Big Flats, NY

07/29    Gathering Of The Vibes Bridgeport, CT

07/30    Saranac Brewery | Utica, NY

07/31    Town Ballroom | Buffalo, NY

08/01    Midland Theatre | Newark, OH

08/03    Harris River Front Park | Huntington, WV

08/05    Bottle and Cork Dewey Beach, DE

08/06    Hilton Atlantic City | Atlantic City, NJ

08/07    Bergen PAC Theatre | Englewood, NJ

08/09    Zoellner Arts Center | Bethlehem, PA

08/12    Party in the Park | Rochester, NY

08/13    Bears Picnic | Laurelton, PA

08/15    Lake Champlain Maritime Festival | Burlington, VT

A Slingshot On Mars Tour

09/09    The Valarium | Knoxville, TN

09/10    Minglewood Hall | Memphis, TN

09/11    Terrapin Hill Farm | Harrodsburg, KY

09/12    Orange Peel | Asheville, NC

09/15    Jefferson Theater | Charlottesville, VA

09/16    The Norva | Norfolk, VA

09/17    Rams Head Live! | Baltimore, MD

09/18    930 Club | Washington, DC

09/22    Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead | Munhall, PA

09/23    Grand Opera House | Wilmington, DE

09/24    Theatre of the Living Arts | Philadelphia, PA

09/25    Palace Theatre | Albany, NY

09/27    Toad's Place | New Haven, CT

09/28    Westcott Theater | Syracuse, NY

09/30    Calvin Theatre | Northhampton, MA

10/01    Lowell Memorial Auditorium | Lowell, MA

10/02    Nokia Theatre | New York, NY