Creative Music Workshop at the Chicago Jazz Fest

saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell at the Pomigliano ...
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From All About Jazz:

Chicago, IL – September 2nd and 3rd the Chicago Jazz Festival, a partnership between the Chicago Mayor’s Office of Special Events and the Jazz Institute of Chicago, presents the Chicago Creative Music Workshop (CCMW), under the direction of Nicole Mitchell and Renee Baker. Sponsored by the Chicago Jazz Festival and the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University, the CCMW will offer a unique opportunity to learn from master improvisers and perform with them in a variety of settings.

Why start a Creative Music workshop in Chicago? Co-Director Nicole Mitchell explains: “Creative music is one of Chicago’s greatest cultural strengths. It’s a local secret that has long been praised internationally. Perhaps the seed was the early work of Sun Ra, and later, the inception of the AACM, with its great trailblazers including Muhal Richard Abrams, Roscoe Mitchell, Anthony Braxton, George Lewis and many more. Chicago is the perfect home for this endeavor. Creative music is now more vital than ever here; it incubates at Fred Anderson’s Velvet Lounge, Elastic Arts and the Hungry Brain and reverberates throughout the world. We owe it to Chicago to provide a place and time where international and local Chicago musicians of this distinct, high level music can study, talk about and develop this music, in an accessible educational environment.”

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New Thing Productions in July and August

The latest schedule from Syracuse’s New Thing Productions:

July 24th @ 8pm
Andrew Lamb Solo
$5-$10 Donation

Andrew Lamb (Saxophones, Flutes, Woodwinds) Born in Ingold, North Carolina and grew up in Chicago and predominately in South Jamaica, Queens. Having studied with AACM charter member Kalaparusha Maurice McIntyre, Lamb came into New York’s “avant – garde’ community during the 1970’s at the height of New York’s legendary ‘Loft Jazz scene”, and as time progressed, was to become an active presence in the vibrant Bedford – Stuyvesant arts world at that time, becoming the recipient of several consecutive, and highly competitive Brooklyn Arts Council grant awards.

Andrew Lamb and his ensembles remain a regular presence both domestically and internationally, frequently playing the annual Vision Festival (New York City) which began in 1996. Andrew Lamb has also taken part in the Composer’s Workshop Ensemble, Alan Silva Sound Vision Orchestra, Cecil Taylor Vision Orchestra, Roy Campbell Ensemble, and several other big band projects. Lamb is also the member of an exciting trio collaboration with AACM affiliated drummer Alvin Fielder and pianist Chris Parker known as M41 which also has a highly regarded recording entitled M41. In ’04, The Henry Grimes Trio with Andrew Lamb and Newman Baker, was named “Best Jazz Trio” by NY Press in it’s “Best Of Manhattan” issue. That trio also played in Berlin, Germany Edgefest (Ann Arbor, Michigan) and The Hothouse, Chicago in ’05.

Andrew Lamb’s music rises out of the African – American church, blues, and jazz traditions, and is deeply spiritual, profoundly emotional, and easily accessible to all who hear him, wrote Steven Loewy for “All Music Guide” Andrew Lamb is a serious musician seeking to uplift his soul through art, and like John Coltrane and his progeny, Lamb’s vehicle is the psalm-like expression of his tenor saxophone. The results reflect his quest, testifying to his musical abilities, enormous potential, and depth of character”

In the year 1994, lamb was signed to a recording contract by Chicago’s famed Delmark record company to make his first recording as a leader, “Portrait In the Mist” which reached critical acclaim being listed among the best albums of the year in the Jazz Times 1995 critics poll, while bringing light to Lamb’s compositional prowess, and featuring Percussionist/vibraphonist Warren Smith, bassist Wilber Morris and drummer/percussionist Andrei Strobert. Andrew Lamb has since recorded in both duo and trio settings.

Andrew will be performing solo as well as a set with Michael Hentz & Mike ((P))

July 26th @ 8pm
Henry Gale, Stone Baby, Torus
$5-$10 Donation

“We’re suckers for a good Lost reference, so when we stumbled across a band named Henry Gale while skipping through the fields of MySpace, we approached their music with the same cautious optimism any Lost fan accords another on first meeting. It paid off: these guys are good. Like many post-rock bands, Henry Gale (an instrumental four-piece specializing in post-rocky bombast à la Explosions in the Sky or our own Common Cold) just love guitars that veer between twinkling loopage and soaring textures. Unlike many post-rock bands, they don’t take forever getting to the part that rocks, they do it from the get-go.” – Michael Brodeur, The Boston Phoenix

August 1st @ 8pm
Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone
$5-$10 Donation

Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone have collectively been featured in The New York Times, Jazz Review, The Wire, Time Out New York, Time Out Chicago, The New York Press, Jazztimes, All About Jazz, BBC and Downbeat. From the collaborative minds and nimble fingers of Mary Halvorson (Guitar, Vocals) and Jessica Pavone (Viola, Vocals) come a minimalist rendering of emotions and themes, performed with stark clarity and introspection. Touring in support of their new Thirsty Ear CD Thin Air: “Thin Air” is a presentation involving their vast talents as musicians, vocalists and poets. Their lyrics borrow from themes relating to everything from human relationships and travelling to more abstract and intangible elements. These melodies are offered in a sparse yet effervescent style that make the listener feel as though they are sitting right next to them, much like an impromptu coffeehouse performance. Both intimate and forward thinking, this release is a true example of the power of thought, through a unique blending of avant folk with jazz underpinnings.

August 10th @ 8pm
Eli Keszler & Ashley Paul
$5-$10 Donation

Eli Keszler, using drums, along with crotales, bells, bowed metal, strings, Eli creates a unique whirlwind of sound that balances sparse droning harmonics with intense, fast, free rhythms. He has performed, recorded or collaborated with artists such as Jandek, Phill Niblock (performed a new work of his for bowed crotales and saxophone), Roscoe Mitchell, Loren Connors, Charles Cohen, Anthony Coleman (appearing on his New World Records Release), Aki Onda, Bryan Eubanks, David Linton, Steve Pyne (Redhorse), Greg Kelley, Ashley Paul. Eli has performed at venues like The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), Irving Plaza, Merkin Hall, Issue Project Room, The Stone and The Knitting Factory (NYC and LA), and countless bookstores, basements, and small galleries around the US and Europe. He has released solo CD’s and cassettes on REL as well as labels such as Rare Youth (debut solo LP, Livingston), Reverb Worship and Something on The Road.

Ashley Paul plays reeds, unique string instruments, electronics and sings. Her dream-like music juxtaposes aggressive, sustained high pitched blasts, floating vocals, clattering strings and bells, cry-like saxophones and is somehow tied together by oddly melodic songs. In the past year she performed with Loren connors, Aki Onda, Joe Morris, and Greg Kelley, premiered a new work by Phill Niblock for soprano saxophone and bowed crotales (written for her and Eli Keszler), performed as part of the US premiere of Mauricio Kagel’s masterpiece ‘Der Schall’ at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and was heard in a live feature on wzbc’s Rare Frequency. Additionally, Ashley performs regularly with Anthony Coleman in duo, trio and on his recent New World Records release, plays duo with Eli Keszler and has recently begun performing solo, sharing the stage with Thurston Moore, Mats Gustaffson, Chris Corsano and others.

ALL OF THESE GIGS ARE AT:
Metropolis Underground
615 S. Main St (backside of bldg, first door on your left)
N. Syracuse, NY 13212

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Eli Keszler, Ashley Paul, Silvum at Sonic Circuits

From DC’s Sonic Circuits:

Tuesday July 7
Doors 730pm Music 8pm SHARP
$7
PYRAMID ATLANTIC
8230 Georgia Avenue, Silver Spring MD 20910
301.608.9101
located three blocks south of the silver spring metro station (red line)
Free parking in gated lot out front
DIRECTIONS: http://www.pyramidatlanticartcenter.org
INFO: dc-soniccircuits.org

Eli Keszler

Using drums, along with crotales, bells, bowed metal, strings, Eli creates a unique whirlwind of sound that balances sparse droning harmonics with intense, fast, free rhythms. He has performed, recorded or collaborated with artists such as Jandek, Phill Niblock (performed a new work of his for bowed crotales and saxophone), Roscoe Mitchell, Loren Connors, Charles Cohen, Anthony Coleman (appearing on his New World Records Release), Aki Onda, Bryan Eubanks, David Linton, Steve Pyne (Redhorse), Greg Kelley, Ashley Paul. Eli has performed at venues like The Institute of Contemporary Art (Boston), Irving Plaza, Merkin Hall, Issue Project Room, The Stone and The Knitting Factory (NYC and LA), and countless bookstores, basements, and small galleries around the US and Europe. He has released solo CD’s and cassettes on REL as well as labels such as Rare Youth (debut solo LP, Livingston), Reverb Worship and Something on The Road.

Ashley Paul

Ashley Paul plays reeds, unique string instruments, electronics and sings. Her dream-like music juxtaposes aggressive, sustained high pitched blasts, floating vocals, clattering strings and bells, cry-like saxophones and is somehow tied together by oddly melodic songs. In the past year she performed with Loren connors, Aki Onda, Joe Morris, and Greg Kelley, premiered a new work by Phill Niblock for soprano saxophone and bowed crotales (written for her and Eli Keszler), performed as part of the US premiere of Mauricio Kagel’s masterpiece ‘Der Schall’ at Merkin Concert Hall in New York and was heard in a live feature on wzbc’s Rare Frequency. Additionally, Ashley performs regularly with Anthony Coleman in duo, trio and on his recent New World Records release, plays duo with Eli Keszler and has recently begun performing solo, sharing the stage with Thurston Moore, Mats Gustaffson, Chris Corsano and others.

links/sounds: http://www.myspace.com/elikeszler http://www.myspace.com/ashleygpaul http://www.relrecords.net/catalogue.html http://www.relrecords.net http://www.myspace.com/elikeszler

Silvum

“I’m always trying to focus and clarify where I am going with my sound works to generate the most honest creations possible. Like anyone, I am inevitably influenced by many things (to view that as negative is utopian), but never want those influences to overcome my expression. In the spectrum of my goals, there’s no point in recreating what has already been done (I have no problem with stylistic explorations of established styles or approaches in other artists / genres), and I am always realizing that my works can be easily classified (I’m not destroying any boundaries). While sound revolution is not the point, I do want to create something as “true” and refined as possible, something that is me, or more practically a part of me: a mood a sensation, a memory. An alchemy where I take the standard elements and generate something unique.”

http://www.myspace.com/silvum

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Catching up with … Mills College’s Fred Frith

Fred Frith’s career as an educator is profiled:

Wreathed in early-morning fog, the Mills College campus in the Oakland hills looks like anything but the birthplace of experimental music.

But inside the Spanish colonial-style buildings on the 135-acre school – the first women’s college west of the Rockies – the Music Conservatory has for 80 years hosted the cream of the avant-garde.

Titanic talents have taught, performed and studied here, including Henry Cowell, John Cage, Lou Harrison and Darius Milhaud, electronic music pioneer Pauline Oliveros, minimalists Terry Riley and Steve Reich, and jazz innovator Roscoe Mitchell.

So it is pitch-perfect that the head of the department today is a musician who made his name in rock ‘n’ roll.

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Ari Brown is blowing up

Ari Brown is profiled.

Yet Brown’s profile has ascended, perhaps inevitably. Listen to the deep well of sound he coaxes from his tenor, as well as the relentless creativity of his solos, and it’s impossible to deny the man’s artistic stature. When Brown picks up his horn, everything else on the bandstand sounds a little smaller.

No wonder the University of Illinois at Chicago recently recruited him.

“I think the first move I made [at UIC] was to hire Ari,” says Orbert Davis, director of jazz studies at UIC. “Ari is the epitome of the jazz musician for me. He lives the music, he’s forever searching for new things.”

You can hear it in Brown’s work, which crystallizes the philosophies of the biggest musical influence in his life—the Association for the Advancement for Creative Musicians. Brown was just finding his way as a musician, in the early 1960s, when the South Side collective of innovative musicians was taking shape. Its quest to perpetually redefine jazz through new sounds, unorthodox techniques and novel instrumentation inspired Brown to put music at the center of his life.

Since then, Brown has worked with generations of jazz luminaries, from Roscoe Mitchell to Anthony Braxton to Kahil El’Zabar, embracing their penchant for the experimental.

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Abrams and Mitchell at Mills

Longtime AACM members Muhal Richard Abrams and Roscoe Mitchell have a show tomorrow at Mills College.

For nearly half a century, pianist Muhal Richard Abrams and saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell have been pushing boundaries as improvisers. For most of their lives they’ve been known as jazz guys. Abrams was the guiding light behind Chicago’s Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a font of revolutionary ideas, especially back in the ’60s and ’70s, when the jazz avant-garde invaded the mainstream. Mitchell was the guiding spirit behind the most famous band to emerge from the AACM, the Art Ensemble of Chicago, which started as his group and had as its motto “Great Black Music: Ancient to the Future.”

Times change. Abrams and Mitchell are now often associated with a broader swathe of improvised contemporary music. When they play, “jazz” isn’t necessarily mentioned, even though these two continue to play with the same eccentric and intuitive abandon, matched somehow by a logical and brainy persistence, that always characterized their music.

Now, Mitchell holds the Darius Milhaud Chair in Composition at Mills College, where he joins Abrams on Friday for a night of duets in the school’s newly renovated Jeannik Mequet Littlefield Concert Hall. The concert is part of the Mills Music Festival 2009, a new music extravaganza running through April 5 and celebrating the hall’s opening. Abrams and Mitchell perform at 8 p.m. Friday. Tickets: $20; $12 alumni, seniors and students. http://www.mills.edu/musicfestival.

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Mills College Music Series Starts Today

saxophonist Roscoe Mitchell at the Pomigliano ...
Image via Wikipedia

If you’re in the Oakland area, stop by Mills:

Mills College will kick off opening night of its music series Saturday by honoring African-American performers and celebrating Black History Month.

The Mills Music Festival will feature pieces by Roscoe Mitchell, a leader in avant-garde jazz and contemporary music. They will be performed by Pauline Oliveros with Tony Martin; Terry Riley; Joseph Kubera and Joan Jeanrenaud.

The event, which runs through April, will be held inside the newly renovated Mills College Concert Hall. The music series will showcase cutting-edge contemporary musical performances that cross genres.

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AMN Picks of the Week

Fred Anderson in 2005; Photo by Seth Tisue
Image via Wikipedia

Here is where I post, at a frequency of about once a week, a list of the new music that has caught my attention that week. All of the releases listed below I’ve heard for the first time this week and come recommended.

Hamiet Bluiett & Concept – Live at Carlos 1 (1986, free jazz)
Paul Bley – Live at Sweet Basil (1991, free jazz)
Roy Campbell / Pyramid Trio – Ethnic Stew and Brew (2001, free jazz)
Joe Morris – You Be Me (1996, free jazz)
Terminal Function – Measuring the Abstract (2008, avant-metal)
Mostly Other People Do The Killing – Mostly Other People Do The Killing (2005, free jazz)
Paal Nilssen-Love – Townorchestrahouse (2005, free jazz)
Mingus Dynasty – Sounds of Love (1988, jazz)
Russian Circles – Station (2008, instrumental post rock)
Trio Hurricane – Suite of Winds (1986, free jazz)
John Zorn – The Crucible (2008, avant-garde)
Ellery Eskelin – Figure Of Speech (1993, free jazz)
Roscoe Mitchell and the Sound Ensemble – 3 x 4 Eye (1981, free jazz)
Fred Anderson / Hamid Drake – Back Together Again (2004, free jazz)
Meshuggah – ObZen (2008, avant-metal)
Jimmy Lyons / Andrew Cyrille – Burnt Offering (1991, free jazz)
Paul Rogers – Time of Brightness (2006, free jazz)

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