New on Leo

Leo Records has released the following so far in 2005:

Lauren Newton / Patrick Scheyder / Vladimir Tarasov – Artesian Spirits
Anthony Braxton Ninetet (yoshi’s) 1997 – Vol. 3
Steve Lacy / Joelle Leandre – One More Time
Mark Harvey & The Aardvark Jazz Orchestra – Trumpet Madness
Enrico Fazio 7tet – Live In Milano – Villa Litta
Mark O’leary / Mat Maneri / Matthew Shipp – Chamber Trio
Mark O’leary / Mat Maneri / Randy Peterson – Self-luminous
Aki Takase / Alex Von Schlippenbach / Dj Ilvibe – Lok. 03

Chicago's Velvet Lounge to Move

The Velvet Lounge will be moving soon and they need a lot of money to do so.

As most of you already know, Fred Anderson is going to have to relocate the Velvet Lounge very soon. For a lot of us, the Velvet Lounge has been a home base, a Mecca of Music. For many years, Baba Fred has not only been a great musical inspiration, but he has provided a space for so many musicians to perform and to continue the development of creative music. He has been tireless in his efforts. This is our moment to step up and come together as a community to help him out.

There is already a new development around the corner on Cermak that is designated for the new Velvet Lounge’s location, but it’s going to take an enormous amount of work and money for this transition. In order for Fred to move into the new space, he is going to have to build up the place from scratch–and it’s an overwhelming task!

In fact, the costs for this transformation are near $100,000.

The visual image, for those of you not living in Chicago, is that 2128 1/2 S. Indiana is a lone box on a flattened landscape. The large abandoned buildings surrounding the Velvet have already been torn down and the wrecking vehicles are parked on the side of the Velvet’s walls. Even Fitzies BBQ is gone!

We have two dates planned for fundraising concerts at the moment. Sunday, May 22nd Afternoon (exact time TBA) at the HotHouse — Marguerite has offered her space for this event. Friday, May 27th at the Velvet (9:30pm until-)

Later this week, a formal press release will be disseminated and by next week, the Velvet Lounge website:, should be accessible for internet contributions and also publicize the fundraising activities.

AACM 40th Anniversary Concerts

The AACM is putting on a number of shows to celebrate their turning 40, culminating in early May.

The Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), internationally recognized as the foremost experimental music collective of our time, is commemorating its 40th Anniversary with two days of celebration: Saturday, May 7, at 2 pm, at the Chicago Cultural Center; and Sunday, May 8, at 2 pm, at the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Sunday evening’s concert program begins at 7:30 pm, and features seven exciting groupings of AACM members from its two chapters in Chicago and New York, together with guest artists who have been strongly influenced by the music and history of the AACM.

The AACM Fire Trio includes AACM cofounder, pianist Jodie Christian, New York-based AACM drummer Reggie Nicholson, and one of Chicago’s true reed masters, Ari Brown, providing textures both subtle and strong. The next performance features the first-ever performance of a duo between George Lewis and Ann Ward, followed by Edward Wilkerson’s spirited Chicago-based ensemble, 8 Bold Souls, which will feature the internationally revered saxophonist and original AACM member Fred Anderson.

Nicole Mitchell, a member of the AACM’s most recent generation, will appear with her Black Earth Ensemble (which features several of the AACM’s younger musicians). The performance will also feature as special guests flutist James Newton and vocal master Dee Alexander. Also appearing will be a quintet comprised of Douglas Ewart, Mwata Bowden, Edward Wilkerson, Rita Warford, and a special guest, saxophonist-composer Oliver Lake, the founder of the St. Louis Black Artists Group. Following this performance, a quartet comprised of trombonist Isaiah Jackson, trumpeter Corey Wilkes, drummer Vincent Davis, and percussionist Art “Turk” Burton will appear.

The evening will culminate in a performance by the Great Black Music Ensemble, a large creative orchestra including AACM members from all periods, whose repertoire constitutes a living archive of compositions created by AACM members throughout the organization’s history. The Great Black Music Ensemble reflects the very beginnings of the AACM, when founder Muhal Richard Abrams created the Experimental Band in 1965 as a way for creative musicians to meet and develop new music on a regular basis. Today’s AACM Great Black Music Ensemble continues this tradition, and will feature AACM cofounder Joseph Jarman and kindred spirit Oliver Lake.