york

Slightly Stoopid Announce East Coast Dates w/ Fishbone

Following their hugely successful and critically acclaimed Cauzin' Vapors... Legalize It 2010 US amphitheater tour with Cypress Hill, Steel Pulse, and Collie Buddz (where the band headlined to anywhere from 5,000 - 20,000 of their most loyal fans), San Diego-based dub/rock/psychedelic-jam phenoms Slightly Stoopid are gearing up for a run of one-off headlining shows where they'll be performing two nights at the legendary 9:30 Club in Washington, DC, as well as one night each at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom, and the House of Blues in Atlantic City, NJ. The band will be taking along friends and legends Fishbone and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk as support for the quick run of dates.

Slightly Stoopid have spent the past few months recording and collaborating in their band-built San Diego studio with the likes of Cypress Hill, G Love, Don Carlos, Barrington Levy, The Neville Brothers and more, in preparation for their upcoming full-length release, as well as other studio projects due out 2011 - 2012, and recently released the remix of hit song "No Cocaine" (from the band's celebrated 2008 album Slightly Not Stoned Enough to Eat Breakfast Yet Stoopid), featuring legendary reggae star Capleton, out now on Hi Grade Ganja Anthems 3.

Slightly Stoopid Live!

w/ Fishbone and Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk
2/16 Washington, DC 9:30 Club
2/17 Washington, DC 9:30 Club *
2/19 New York, NY Hammerstein Ballroom
2/20 Atlantic City, NJ House of Blues

* No Ivan Neville's Dumpstaphunk

FRANK SINATRA: BEST OF VEGAS

In the span of a few years, Las Vegas refueled Frank Sinatra’s career and Sinatra in turn became the lead figure in the city’s ascendance. It was a synergistic relationship that has since become legendary in the annals of 20th century entertainment.

Some of the finest moments in that legendary symbiosis are captured in Frank Sinatra: Best of Vegas, a series of live recordings set for release on Concord Records on February 15, 2011. The 14-song set, under license from Frank Sinatra Enterprises (FSE), captures Sinatra in concert at the Sands, Caesars Palace and the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas between 1961 and 1987. The collection is a distillation of highlights from Sinatra: Vegas, the five-disc boxed set (4 CD/1 DVD) of live recordings released by Reprise Records in 2006.

“From his debut at the Desert Inn in September 1951, no entertainer was ever more synonymous with the city of Las Vegas than Frank Sinatra,” says Charles Pignone, author of The Sinatra Treasures, in his comprehensive liner notes to the Best of Vegas CD. “It has been said that next to legalized gambling, nothing has been more beneficial and profitable to Las Vegas than Frank Sinatra.”

All the Sinatra classics are here, performed live before adoring crowds at some of the most prestigious venues in the history of Vegas. “The Lady Is a Tramp” (The Sands, 1961); “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” (The Sands, 1966); “All or Nothing at All” (Caesars Palace, 1982); “Pennies From Heaven” (The Golden Nugget, 1987); and of course, the “Theme From New York, New York” (Caesars Palace, 1982) are just some of the gems in the Best of Vegas collection.

“If you were in Las Vegas at the same time as Sinatra, there was nothing else that could compare,” says Pignone. “Even when the entertainment in town was changing from headliners to magic and production shows, Sinatra was still the ‘main event.’”

Or in the words of Las Vegas Mayor Oscar B. Goodman, Sinatra was “the destination’s most enduring icon, an inimitable original who was influential in shaping Las Vegas’ image and entertainment scene.”

Sinatra returned to Vegas in December with the opening of Sinatra Dance With Me, at the Wynn Las Vegas. Conceived, choreographed and directed by Twyla Tharp, Sinatra Dance With Me features original recorded masters of Frank Sinatra with a big band and 14 of the world’s finest dancers.


--

TRACK LIST
Introduction
The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else
Moonlight in Vermont
The Lady Is a Tramp
I’ve Got You Under My Skin
Street Of Dreams
Fly Me to the Moon (In Other Words)
Monologue
Luck Be a Lady
I Can’t Get Started
Without a Song
All or Nothing at All
Witchcraft
Pennies From Heaven
Angel Eyes
Theme From New York, New York
Bows

Alex Winston To Release Debut "Sister Wife"

Alex Winston was given her first guitar when she was 7. When her Dad’s advances to teach music to her older brother fell on deaf ears, she was gladly the runner up. Sitting in the basement for hours practicing chord progressions and listening to songwriters like Carole King and Laura Nyro, she was taught the importance of her home city of Detroit’s musical history.
Classically trained in opera and bred on musical Americana, the beautiful Detroit-native would listen to the rock of Iggy Pop and The Stooges, The MC5 and the legendary Motown artists in equal measures. She opted out of college when she was given the opportunity to tour the US, and to this day still cherishes opening for Chuck Berry in St Louis.
Alex moved to New York earlier in 2010 and her upcoming mini LP, Sister Wife, has been produced by hot young New York producers The Knocks and Londoner Charlie Hugall (Florence and the Machine).
It will be preceded by a video for lead track "Locomotive". The songs on the album tackle a variety of interesting subjects; personal ambivalence, polygamy, the art of writing inebriated and more.
Alex recently released a limited edition run of 7" vinyl of Choice Notes, and sold out her debut live performance (with a seven piece band!) at this year's CMJ festival in New York.

Nightmares For A Week Announce Tour Dates

It all started out with a couple cases of beer, a back porch, and a few old friends. In the hot, muggy summer of 2008, longtime friends and former band mates Sean-Paul Pillsworth and Bill Manley decided it was time to pick up their dusty guitars and start writing music together again. It wasn't long until they recruited ex-Astronauts drummer Steve Markota, and the resulting chemistry was undeniable.

The trio played a packed hometown show, and in months they were traveling far from their native Kingston, NY, playing nearly every weekend. They kept getting called back, each time with bigger and more enthusiastic performances to match the crowds. A year went by so fast. They released their debut EP, A Flood Tomorrow, produced by studio pro John Naclerio (My Chemical Romance, Senses Fail, Polar Bear Club) at Nada Studios in New Windsor, NY. After releasing the CD on friend-run imprint Music for End Times, Naclerio signed the band to his own Broken English record label for digital distribution.

In June of 2010 the band reentered Nada Studios as free agents to record their full-length debut. In addition to a brand new album, the band also came out of the studio with a brand new label, Brooklyn-based Academy Fight Song. Their full-length entitled “Don’t Die” is out now. Nightmares for a Week will be touring the country in support of the new album, full US tour dates coming soon.

--

Nightmares For A Week Live!

Jan 14 California Brew Haus Rochester, New York
Jan 15 The Tuscan Cafe Warwick, New York
Jan 21 Cravings Goshen, New York
Jan 22 Deer Park Community Center Deer Park, New York w/ Koji
Jan 28 King Killer Studios Brooklyn, New York
Feb 5 Bacchus New Paltz, New York
Feb 11 Valentine’s Albany, New York w/ Iron Chic
Feb 25 The Basement Kingston, New York w/ After the Fall
Feb 26 Valentine’s Albany, New York
Mar 1 The Saint Asbury Park, New Jersey
Mar 20 Trash Bar Brooklyn, New York

+ Full US Tour Dates Coming Soon!

Billy Taylor - July 24, 1921 - December 28, 2010

Dr. Billy Taylor, a Jazz pianist, composer, educator and broadcaster who encompassed that rare combination of creativity, intelligence, vision, commitment and leadership, qualities that made him one of our most cherished national treasures, died in New York on December 28, 2010.  He was 89 and lived in Riverdale, New York.

The cause was heart failure, according to his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.

The distinguished ambassador of the jazz community to the world-at-large, Dr. Billy Taylor's recording career spanned over six decades. He also composed over three hundred and fifty songs, as well as works for theatre, dance and symphony orchestras.

Among his most notable works is "I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free", achieving great popularity with Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Nina Simone covered the song in her 1967 album Silk and Soul, and the song continues to be recorded by many artists worldwide, most recently by Levon Helm.

Playing the piano professionally since 1944, he got his start with Ben Webster's Quartet on New York's famed 52nd Street. He then served as the house pianist at Birdland, the legendary jazz club where he performed with such celebrated masters as Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis. Starting in the 1950s, Billy Taylor ked his own Trio, as well as performed with the most influential jazz musicians of the twentieth century.

After many years of recording for leading record labels, in 1989, Taylor started his own "Taylor Made" record label to document his own music, releasing four albums, and in the late 90s, "Soundpost Records," releasing his two final recordings.

Dr. Taylor was not only been an influential musician, but a highly regarded teacher as well, receiving his Masters and Doctorate in Music Education from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and serving as a Duke Ellington Fellow at Yale University.

He also hosted and programmed such radio stations WLIB and WNEW in New York, and several  award winning series for National Public Radio. In the early 1980s, Taylor became the arts correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning.

Dr. Billy Taylor was one of only three jazz musicians appointed to the National Council of the Arts, and also served as the Artistic Advisor for Jazz to the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where he developed one acclaimed concert series after another including the Louis Armstrong Legacy series, and the annual Mary Lou Williams Women in Jazz Festival.

With over twenty three honorary doctoral degrees, Dr. Billy Taylor was also the recipient of two Peabody Awards, an Emmy, a Grammy and a host of prestigious and highly coveted prizes, such as the National Medal of Arts, the Tiffany Award, a Lifetime achievement Award from Downbeat Magazine, and, election to the Hall of Fame for the International Association for Jazz Education.

Dr. Taylor's survivors include his wife, Theodora and his daughter, Kim Taylor-Thompson.  A son, Duane, passed away in 1988.

Charmaine Clamor Delivers Something Good to NYC

Celebrated by The New York Times as “a gifted vocalist” and by The Los Angeles Times as “one of the important and original new jazz singers of the decade,” Pinay Pride Charmaine Clamor, the Queen of Jazzipino, returns to New York for a special CD Release concert on JANUARY 8, Saturday, 7PM at the TRIAD THEATER on 72nd and Broadway. The Triad hosted last year’s successful New York City Fil-Am JazzFest, headlined by Ms. Clamor.

General Admission ($27) and a limited number of VIP Tickets are available online through BrownPaperTickets here.

Ms. Clamor, the 2009 Filipinas Magazine Entertainer of the Year, brings her 6-piece “Killin’ Sweehearts” band in support of their 4th U.S. album, Something Good. The album, heard locally on WKCR, WBAI, and WNYC is on the JazzWeek World Music radio chart – Clamor’s third straight album in the World Music Top-20.

Recognized by Jazz Times as the reigning Queen of Filipino Jazz, Ms. Clamor blends jazz with music of her beloved home country, the Philippines. She sings in both her adopted tongue of English and her native language, Tagalog, creating new (and swinging!) arrangements of beloved Filipino love songs such as “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” “Ikaw,” and “Dahil Sa Yo.”

Born in a developing country where accessible clean water is scarce, Charmaine has fostered a passion for the planet, focused on clean water conservation. In the 3-song Mother Nature Suite on Something Good, Charmaine pays respect to the planet. Charmaine’s devotion to a cleaner, healthier earth extends to her work with the Sierra Club Water Committee and Food & Water Watch. Clamor does not stop there, though. With the CD tray for Something Good manufactured from potato, the packaging for the album is 100% recyclable!

Finding harmonic similarities between the traditional spiritual song “Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child” and the traditional Filipina Visayan folk lullaby “Ili-Ili,” Clamor combined the two to create the haunting and stirring “Motherless Ili-Ili.” She will unveil the song on January 8 and will be available for autograph signing and photographs immediately after the concert.

Charmaine’s musical journey began at age 3, entertaining passengers in the back of buses traveling to Manila, in her homeland of the Philippines. A licensed physical therapist for 6 years, performing music whenever she could, Clamor soon realized she had to follow her artistic calling. But creating, developing and mastering one musical genre has never been enough for the brilliantly eclectic Clamor. Her global recognition reached new heights in 2010 when Charmaine was the only Filipina to appear on the David Byrne/Fatboy Slim concept album, “Here Lies Love” (Nonesuch), about the life of Imelda Marcos, the eccentric former First Lady of the Phillipines.

Charmaine’s previous releases include Searching for the Soul, Flippin’ Out, and My Harana: A Filipino Serenade. Whether it’s jazz, world, soul, funk, pop, swing, blues, folk or jazzipino, Charmaine Clamor always delivers Something Good. In New York on January 8, she intends on proving it.

WHAT: Charmaine Clamor, Queen of Jazzipino in Concert
WHEN: January 8th (Saturday), 7PM sharp; Doors open at 6:30PM
WHERE: Triad Theatre, 158 W. 72nd Street (at Broadway)
TICKETS: $27 available at: www.Brownpapertickets.com/event/135499
MORE INFO: http://www.CharmaineClamor.com

Bobby Long Announces 2011 Tour Dates

British singer-songwriter Bobby Long will begin 2011 by embarking on the first leg of a North American concert tour in support of his long-awaited recording debut, A WINTER TALE, from New York-based independent label ATO Records. The collection of 11 original songs, produced by Grammy®-winner Liam Watson, will be released on February 1, 2011.


Long, who now makes his home in New York City and perhaps is best-known as the songwriter behind "Let Me Sign" featured in the blockbuster film Twilight, has cultivated a devoted fan base through non-stop touring in the United States, Canada and Europe.  Known for a repertoire deeply rooted in American folk, blues and country music, he will return to the road with a band of crack musicians to fully bring his gritty, powerful material to life on stage. As the San Diego Entertainer described it: "All his songs are like a well-orchestrated ballet of chord progressions and vocals that pluck at the deepest confined thoughts of your soul."

The special edition 5-song vinyl EP called STRANGER SONGS that was released in November as a preview of the forthcoming CD has already sold out of its initial pressing. Comprising three tracks from A WINTER TALE plus two bonus tracks, it reached #1 on both the CIMS Vinyl debut chart and AIMS debut chart compiled by independent record stores nationally. A second pressing will be available for the holiday season.

Confirmed BOBBY LONG tour dates are as follows:

January 28-Media Club, Vancouver, BC; 29-Tractor Tavern, Seattle; 31-Doug Fir, Portland; February 2-Café DuNord, San Francisco; 3-Troubadour, Los Angeles; 4-Anthology, San Diego; 5-Club Congress, Tucson; 8-Kilby Court, Salt Lake City; 10-Bluebird, Denver; 11-Bottleneck, Lawrence, KS; 12-Old Rock House, St. Louis; 14-High Noon Saloon, Madison, WI; 15-Triple Rock, Minneapolis; 16-Turner Ballroom, Milwaukee; 17-Radio Radio, Indianapolis; 18-Schuba's, Chicago; 19-The Basement, Columbus; 21-The Ark, Ann Arbor; 22-Revival Bar, Toronto; 23-Divan, Montreal; 24-Higher Ground, Burlington, VT; 25-Portland City Music Hall, Portland, ME; 26-Brighton Music Hall, Boston; 28-Iron Horse, Northampton, MA; March 1-Otto Bar, Baltimore; 3-Bowery Ballroom, New York City; 4-World Café, Philadelphia; and 5-Jammin' Java, Vienna, VA.  Long will also return to the SxSW Music Conference in Austin, March 16-20.

The second leg of the tour will follow with planned dates in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic to include cities such as Charlottesville, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Nashville, Cincinnati and Atlanta.  Additional dates will be announced shortly.

Greg Lewis 2010 December Appearances

New York native, keyboardist Greg Lewis, a highly accomplished mainstay on the city’s jazz, blues and funk scenes, who has earned a solid reputation for his versatile work around town in a vast variety of settings, steps out front for the first time on his debut CD Organ Monk. Lewis’ sensitive and soulful keyboard playing has made him a favorite among some of the music’s finest vocalists – including blues queen Sweet Georgia Brown, jazz and soul songstress Lezlie Harrison and ex-Brooklyn Funk Essentials singer/songwriter Stephanie McKay  -- and earned him a featured role on saxophonist Sam Newsome’s Groove Project recording 24/7.  Now on Organ Monk the spotlight is finally shined on his enormous talents as the leader of his own allstar trio featuring multitalented guitarist Ron Jackson and drummer extraordinaire Cindy Blackman.

Born into a musical family, Lewis’ introduction to jazz came from hearing Monk records from the collection his late father, pianist David Lewis, who was a dedicated fan of Thelonious.  “It all started there,” the younger Lewis proclaims, also naming unsung master Elmo Hope as a major influence.  Lewis started his own piano studies at the age of eleven and began playing professionally around New York as a teenager.  He credits jazz legend Gil Coggins, who sent him as a sub one night to a gig where there was a Hammond B-3, for setting him on the path to becoming a bona fide organist.  These days Lewis has so devoted himself to mastering the difficult instrument with such fervor that he considers himself to be an “organ monk.”

Working weekly for the past five years at the hip Brooklyn club Night Of The Cookers, with his regular trio featuring Ron Jackson on guitar, Lewis has honed his skills on the B 3 to become one of New York’s first call organists.  It was at the club that he first met drummer Cindy Blackman, who was so impressed with his playing that she sat in with the group and made arrangements to later perform with Lewis.  An unwavering fan of the Tony Williams Lifetime group, featuring Larry Young on organ, Blackman is the perfect complement for Lewis’, who names Young as his primary influence on the instrument (along with, of course, Jimmy Smith as well as Sly Stone).  Lewis cites Young’s landmark interpretation of “Monk’s Dream” from the classic Unity album as a further inspiration for his decision to devote this his first date to the music of Thelonious.

Although albums memorializing Monk’s music have become somewhat commonplace since the iconic pianist/composer’s death, Organ Monk is most likely the very first on which the date is led by an organist. Lewis’ years of familiarizing himself with both his instrument’s expansive capabilities, as well as Monk’s sizable songbook, have led to this inevitable debut recording that breathes new life into the master’s repertory, while exploiting the Hammond B 3’s vast (and somewhat untapped) potential for creating new sounds.

Despite its classic organ-guitar-drum configuration, Lewis’ trio is far from typical in approach to making modern music. His arrangements of the fourteen Monk titles on the record are consciously contemporary in their originality, respecting the composer’s melodic, harmonic and rhythmic voice, while using the different elements of each piece to propel the group into its own unique nexus, one where the customary divisions between soloist and accompanist are blurred, or even erased.   Beginning with “Trinkle Tinkle”, one of Monk’s more intricate melodic lines, Lewis’ mastery of both the B 3’s dual keyboards and its too often neglected bass pedals is clearly evident, as is his fearless approach to arranging for the trio, with Blackman’s powerful drums doubling the intricate melody with him.

Lewis’ unaccompanied introduction to ”Jackie-ing”, slowing building around the chords of the playful Monk march before inviting drums and guitar to join him is an eloquent lesson in dynamic tension and release.  The trio trips around in space with Lewis’ organ at times reminiscent of Sun Ra before sliding smoothly into the infectious melody of “Criss Cross”, with Blackman’s drums offering a jagged contrast to the velvety tone of the B 3, before the trio settles into an earthy mood and then blasts back into the stratosphere to conclude astrally.  The band’s easy swinging reading of the beautiful “Light Blue”, featuring Jackson’s soulful guitar, is a ringing affirmation of the group’s ability to shine brightly in the classic organ trio tradition, as is their burning up tempo rendition of the not often heard “Played Twice” that features an exciting Lewis-Blackman dialogue.

The date’s other nine Monk pieces each offer a different perspective on the master’s work.  There’s the bouncing rhythm that jumps out of the long tones that set up “Boo Boo’s Birthday” and its fittingly funny quote by Lewis of the nursery rhyme “Mary Had A Little Lamb”, followed the lilting rhythms of the bebop masterpiece “Coming On The Hudson.”  Blackman’s energetic drumming on the fiercely burning “Four In One”, reminiscent of Art Blakey’s work with Monk, incites Lewis and Jackson to some of their best soloing of the date.  Lewis’ playing on “Locomotion” with his tonally expansive keyboard work, intelligent use of space and cleverly complementary bass line is nothing short of masterful.  On “We See” the trio once again swings mightily, with Lewis clearly demonstrating the influence of the great Jimmy Smith on his virtuosic playing.

“Monk’s Mood” is the date’s most beautiful ballad, with Lewis displaying the sensitive lyricism that has made him the favorite accompanist of so many of New York’s finest vocalists.  The trio shows off its intuitive split second timing in an edge of your seat dramatic reading of the marvelous melody of “Think Of One”, before digging down into their shared deep blues roots.  Lewis’ harmonic daring is clearly evident on his audacious arrangement of “Work.”  The final Monk piece of the date, “Introspection”, is a fitting example of the unmitigated joy the trio finds in coming together to make great music.

The date’s concluding coda is a Lewis original, “Kohl’s Here”, a fittingly Monkish melody dedicated to his teenage son that gives listeners a brief glimpse into the keyboardist’s own impressive abilities as a composer.  A talent that is sure to be seen in greater abundance on future releases from this extraordinary artist.

--

Tour dates:

December 03, 2010 -- 10pm
Greg Lewis Trio    Night Of The Cookers
767 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(Btwn Greene Ave & S Oxford St)
http://www.nightofthecookers.com/

December 04, 2010 -- 10pm
Greg Lewis Trio    55 Bar
55 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10001
(West Village)
http://www.55bar.com/

December 10, 2010 -- 10pm
Greg Lewis Trio    Night Of The Cookers
767 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(Btwn Greene Ave & S Oxford St)
http://www.nightofthecookers.com/

December 17, 2010 -- 10pm
Greg Lewis Trio    Night Of The Cookers
767 Fulton St.
Brooklyn, NY 11217
(Btwn Greene Ave & S Oxford St)
http://www.nightofthecookers.com/

December 18, 2010 -- 10pm
Greg Lewis Trio    55 Bar
55 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10001
(West Village)
http://www.55bar.com/

December 22, 2010 -- 7-9pm
Organ Monk Trio    55 Bar
55 Christopher St.
New York, NY 10001
(West Village)
http://www.55bar.com/

Asobi Seksu Announce 2011 North American Winter Tour

Polyvinyl recording artist Asobi Seksu has announced the release of their highly anticipated 4th album, Fluorescence, available February 14th in UK/Europe and 15th in North America on CD, LP (Gatefold Jacket, 180 gram pink vinyl limited edition of 1,500) and digital formats.  The album features the lead single, "Trails", which is available now as an MP3 download. There will also be a video for the track in early 2011.  The album features artwork from acclaimed designer Vaughan Oliver (Cocteau Twins, Pixies).  The album is available for pre-order now on the Polyvinyl website at www.polyvinylrecords.com/fluorescence.

The signs in Chris Zane’s studio couldn’t have been any clearer: “Don’t Overthink It” and one simple word—“BOLD.”

Or as Asobi Seksu guitarist/singer James Hanna puts it, “This time, our agenda was to not have one at all; to be mellow about the entire process instead of obsessing over everything.”

Maybe mellow isn’t the right word, unless he’s comparing the band’s fourth proper full-length (Fluorescence) to a coiled-up cobra or unconscious crocodile— temperamental types that are one false move away from striking. After all, “Coming Up” sets the scene by plowing into beehive-like synth lines and warp speed washes of dream-pop that leave you wondering just what the hell is going on.

Things don’t let up on “Trails” either, as singer/keyboardist Yuki Chikudate sets her immaculate melodies against a barrage of battery-powered chords. Catchy and chaotic to the core, the sky-scraping song pays homage to the pitch-perfect songwriting of the ‘60s by chartering a yellow submarine to the moon.

And when the Brooklyn-based quartet (rounded out by bassist Billy Pavone and drummer Larry Gorman) finally hits the ground, their color-saturated soundscapes don’t get dull or cold. They get even brighter, as Fluorescence’s many shades shift with each passing song. That includes everything from the expansive/erratic—and yet, oh-so- poppy—prog movements of “Leave the Drummer Out There” to the weightless balladry of “Ocean,” a track that channels its title with swollen synths and beats that bob and weave through the murkiest waters around.

“James likes to get a lot more abstract with the music,” says Chikudate, “So Chris (Asobi Seksu’s longtime producer) will often try and reign him in.”

“I like to see how far we can take a song before pulling back a bit,” explains Hanna. “Like I’ll say that 100 vocal tracks would sound great in a spot where we only need 40.”

And since Asobi Seksu have spent the past decade refining their bombastic but beautiful blend of hailstorm hooks and fog-shrouded 4AD-isms (including last year’s special acoustic album, Rewolf), they knew exactly what to do with all of that restlessness: embrace it.

--

ASOBI SEKSU North American Tour:

1/27/2011 - Highline Ballroom - New York, NY*

2/17/2011 - Album Release Show at Mercury Lounge - New York, NY

2/25/2011 - Brighton Music Hall - Boston, MA**

2/26/2011 - Casa Del Popolo - Montreal, QC**

2/27/2011 - Legendary Horseshoe Tavern - Toronto, ON**

2/28/2011 - Empty Bottle - Chicago, IL**

3/01/2011 - 7th Street Entry - Minneapolis, MN**

3/03/2011 - The Badlander - Missoula, MT**

3/04/2011 - Chop Suey - Seattle, WA**

3/05/2011 - Biltmore Cabaret - Vancouver, BC**

3/06/2011 - Doug Fir Lounge - Portland, OR**

3/08/2011 - Bottom of the Hill - San Francisco, CA**

3/09/2011 - Troubadour - Los Angeles, CA**

3/10/2011 - Detroit Bar - Costa Mesa, CA***

3/11/2011 - Casbah - San Diego, CA***

3/12/2011 - Neon Reverb Festival - Las Vegas, NV***

3/13/2011 - Rhythm Room - Phoenix, AZ***

3/14/2011 - Corazon - Santa Fe, NM***

3/22/2011 - The End - Nashville, TN****

3/23/2011 - Pilot Light - Knoxville, TN****

3/24/2011 - Strange Matter - Richmond, VA****

3/25/2011 - Rock and Roll Hotel - Washington, D.C.****

3/26/2011 - Johnny Brendas - Philadelphia, PA****

*w/ White Lies

**w/ BRAHMS

***w/ BRAIDS

w/ Cults

Medeski, Martin & Wood @ the Boulder Theater

97.3 KBCO & Boulder Weekly are proud to present Medeski, Martin & Wood at the Boulder Theater on Friday, March 4th, 2011.

Somewhere, someplace, someone is debating the future of live and recorded music, speaking in somber tones of changes that have made it difficult to reach consumers, of technologies that have changed society, and of the lack of creativity found in the arts. But in a small but impressive microcosm of the universe known as Medeski Martin & Wood, creativity is alive, flourishing, and filled with outlets for growth and expansion. And somewhere, whatever gods of music there might be are smiling.

Medeski Martin and Wood's story is - like most great stories - one of humble beginnings, friendship, determination, a happy ending and a very bright future.

The trio of keyboard/organ/piano player John Medeski, drummer/percussionist Billy Martin, and bassist Chris Wood formed not in some vastly creative alternate universe, but rather in the neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, known as D.U.M.B.O. (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) in 1991. Medeski and Wood, students at Boston's prestigious New England Conservatory of Music, decided to move to New York City, with intent to explore the late-night underworld of the city's burgeoning jazz scene.


John Medeski, Billy Martin, and Chris Wood were looking to create music that reflected who they were, individually and collectively. The trio began experimenting with contemporary hip-hop beats that could swing as hard as jazz rhythms, yet remained essentially simple and propulsive, giving the musicians ample room to create hypnotic textures and sounds that were brimming with both improvisation and harmony. "In the beginning, as it is now, we went by gut instinct," says Wood. "We have a natural connection between us, as people and as musicians, and we just let things flow in whatever direction they went."

Gigs turned into multiple engagements, dates at small clubs led to performances at legendary New York City downtown hotspots like the Village Gate and the Knitting Factory, and soon the band was packed into Billy's van, traveling up and down the North Eastern United States. The next step was a natural one for any band - capture the music for posterity - and so MMW recorded their debut, "Notes From The Underground," which they released independently on hap-jones records in early 1991.

More gigs followed, and soon it was time for another release. This time, Medeski Martin & Wood inked a deal with Gramavision, a larger but still independent label that afforded them substantial freedom to create music the way they felt it should be played. In the summer of 1993 they released "It's A Jungle In Here," purchased an R/V, and hit the road for nearly half a year.

Communal, on-the-road living has broken up many bands, but true-to-form, MMW thrived in this potentially treacherous situation. Their secret was a unique combination of individual personalities, with each band member taking on additional roles that suited their own aptitudes and interests. As always, nothing was planned out; it just happened.

John, with his love for cooking, was the band's chef, preparing incredible meals that made life on the road more bearable. Billy, who worked well with his hands, could fix anything up to and including the band's RV. And Chris, with his head for business, took care of the group's accounting. As it was with the music, Medeski Martin & Wood balanced each other out perfectly.

"We have a certain chemistry between us, musically," says Martin, "and in addition to that we have a strong friendship that goes beyond the music. Even when we have ups and downs, the music and our friendship carries us through."

1994 saw the release of "Friday Afternoon in the Universe," and by 1995 it seemed like MMW was truly touring the universe, as their concert itinerary spread out and around the entire United States, and into Europe and Japan. In 1996, the band released their final Gramavision disc, "Shack-Man," which they celebrated with an 8-week Monday night residency at New York's Knitting Factory.

With much fanfare, the band then signed with another record label - the legendary jazz imprint Blue Note Records. At the turn of the new millennium, they released their all-acoustic album "Tonic," named for the Lower East Side club (and former kosher winery) where it was recorded. The band's affiliation with Blue Note resulted in three discs (plus a best-of set), and found them again pushing their sonic boundaries, incorporating percussionists, horn sections, and turntables into their already potent sound.

Which brings us to the here-and-now. Medeski Martin & Wood are no longer signed to anyone else's record label; they have come full circle by establishing their own label, Indirecto Records, as an outlet for their music. Which, quite happily, brings them neatly back to the way they did things in their formative years. Releasing their own music, their own way, in its own time.

The trio's first Indirecto release, "Out Louder," is a four-way collaboration with guitarist John Scofield, which true-to-form is heavy on group improvisation, irresistible grooves, rich harmonies, and strong melodies. While nothing definite is planned - as always, the band are taking each day and each opportunity as they come - it is possible that "Out Louder" could be the first in a series of independently-released projects that Medeski Martin & Wood will do in collaboration with other artists.

"By having our own label, we can make music however we want, and make as much as we want," explains Medeski. "In the history of man, recorded music is just a blink of the eye, just a small part of that vast history. The real thing is playing music live, and that is what we do. Beyond that, we'll be putting out recordings as often or as infrequently as we want."

The band also plan another first - a disc of children's music titled "Let's Go Everywhere" - set for release in early 2007 on the Little Monster/V2 label that promises to be as engaging for their established fan base as it is for the kids. "It's got everything, instrumentals, vocal songs, our kids are singing on it" says Wood.

Plus, there are the usual side projects going on, creative outlets which all three band members say serve to strengthen and add to the sound of the trio when they converge. Chris Wood plays frequently with his brother Oliver in The Wood Brothers, a rootsy, folk-and-blues, guitar and bass duo that serves as an outlet for both brothers' songwriting and vocal skills.

Billy Martin runs his own record label, releasing new and vintage recordings with a focus on percussion-based music. Amongst his releases is a three volume set of his own drum beats, and a percussion instruction book, focusing on bell and clave patterns found in Afro-Caribbean music, and featuring musical notation that Martin designed himself.

John Medeski, well, he is involved in a multitude of musical projects, from solo piano recitals to sideman gigs to leading or co-leading large and small bands. John has also lent his production skills to recordings by musical associates and friends, and has become involved in scoring films, including the acclaimed film Day on Fire which he scored and has a cameo appearance in.

A happy ending and a bright future, indeed. Medeski Martin and Wood live in our world, playing music that reflects their surroundings and communities. At the same time, they are a small world unto themselves, where creativity and spontaneity are honored, revered, and encouraged. And the world-at-large is a much better place for it

Read Grateful Web's interview with the Wood Brothers.

--

Tickets are on sale at Boulder Theater Box Office. Call (303) 786-7030 for tickets by phone.

Tickets are also available through our website @ www.bouldertheater.com.

Tickets are On Sale Friday December 3rd!

$32 adv / $34 dos / + $2.00 for under 21+ ticket buyers