Friday, February 5, 2016

New Orleans Improvisors To Visit Auburn and Columbus, 2/11 and 2/12/2016

Photo credit goes to Ujan
Mukhopadhyay (left 3) and Zack
 (right 2). Poster design by
Brennen Reece.
My last post gave you all the facts about the improvised music events in Auburn and Columbus next week, but I'll organize them here. You'll come out because you like improvised music, you like free or adventurous jazz*, or you want to (or are willing to) witness me and some other Auburn players taking some risks. We could use your support.

February 11, 2016
noon-1:00 pm CT // A Little Lunch Music // Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art // trombonist Jeff Albert with drummer Dave Capello // free concert // event page // Jeff's website // Jeff & Dave's CD

5-8 pm CT // Jazz! Food! Art! // Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art // Jeff Albert and Dave Capello with Cullars Improvisational Rotation // no cover // event page // Cullars's Soundcloud page

February 12, 2016
7-9 pm ET // Jazz at the Loft // The Loft (Columbus, GA) // Jeff Albert and Dave Capello with Cullars Improvisational Rotation // no cover // event page on The Loft's website not yet live as of this post

The Visiting New Orleans Improvisors

Jeff Albert
Jeff Albert is a musician, music technologist, and educator. He was named a Rising Star Trombonist in the Downbeat Critics Polls each year from 2011-2015, and performs regularly in the New Orleans area, and throughout the US and Europe. In 2013, the Paris-based record label Rogue Art released his CD, The Tree on the Mound, which features Kidd Jordan, Hamid Drake, and Joshua Abrams.

In addition to leading the Jeff Albert Quartet, Jeff is a member of Hamid Drake’s Bindu-Reggaeology band, and co-led the Lucky 7s with fellow trombonist Jeb Bishop. Jeff has performed with many great improvisers, including Georg Graewe, Tobias Delius, Dave Rempis, Jeff Parker, and many others. He has been a member of the bands of New Orleans greats George Porter and Wardell Querzergue, backed artists like Stevie Wonder and Bonnie Raitt, and performed with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and the New Orleans Opera.

He is an Assistant Professor of Music Industry Technology at Loyola University New Orleans, and in May of 2013, he became the first graduate of the PhD program in Experimental Music and Digital Media at Louisiana State University. Jeff’s areas of research include the intersections of improvisation and technology, performance paradigms for live computer music, and audio pedagogy. Jeff is the founder and chief instigator of the Open Ears Music Series, and writes the blog Scratch My Brain.

Dave Capello
Dave Cappello moved to New Orleans from New York in the early 1990s, and has been an integral part of the creative music scene ever since, working with some of the city’s most adventurous musicians, including Jonathan Freilich, Rob Cambre, Jimbo Walsh and Helen Gillet.

Before coming to New Orleans, Dave was a member of the Bern Nix Trio with William Parker, and worked with some of the greats in the New York scene, like Steven Bernstein and Steve Swell. Dave is also an active writer, with a new book forthcoming from the University of Louisiana Lafayette Press.

*I shy away from calling modern improvised music free jazz, but it comes from that lineage, and most of these guys have a jazz background that will no doubt make itself known during the shows.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Improvised Post about Improvised Music Events, 2/11-2/12/2016

I'm posting this post stream of consciousness. To make a point. That we will be performing improvised music on February 11th and 12 and Auburn Alabama and Columbus Georgia. When I say we I mean the group that I am in cullars improvisational rotation. Return can I return? Know. As I speak into my phone this post, I see I don't know a command for carriage return on the screen. But it's not only the group that I'm in cullars improvisational rotation, it is also to improvising musicians from New Orleans, Louisiana. Their names? Jeff Albert and Dave Capello. On February 11th we will play with them on not on but at the jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art from 5 to 8. Now, I don't know if that will be 3 hours of improvised music, but there will be improvised music, and there will be the sounds of our trio mama and combined and this will be combined with the sounds of Jeff and Dave. Then, on February 12th we will be at the loft in Columbus Georgia. That show will be 7 to 9 p.m. Eastern Time. The Auburn show will, of course, be Central Time. But wait there's more. Even before the first collaborative show that I mentioned kama Jeff and Dave will be performing as a duo for a little lunch music at the museum on Thursday February 11th from noon to 1 o'clock p.m. That is again central time, and the concert is free. They will perform in the auditorium. The two of them have made a new album of strictly improvised music on the breakfast4dinner label. And they have also just released another album with a bassist, whose name I don't remember right now standing in a playground outside my child elementary school making this post.  I have played with Jeff, though it has been a very long time. We were in college at Loyola University studying together. We played mostly jazz, and rock and roll gigs around town. Jeff has gone on to do great things in the improvised music world, & I mean worldwide players like, Hamid Drake and many others. My group, colors spelled wrong there but should be spelled cullars improvisational rotation has improvisational tendencies and will occasionally improvise outside of normal jazz improvisational solos, but this will be new for us and we are looking forward to the experience and how it might affect the way that we continue to make music together. I want include any links or anything in this post just to keep it relatively pure, though I did have to make an edit or earlier just for accuracy sake. The next post in on this blog will be a link or an embedded video of me interviewing Jeff about improvise music and about his visit. I will also put more information in there these are the links to good information about to these people are White are coming up here and what we'll be doing. Did you happen to be white but the word White popped up there in my voice recognition interface, and is not relevant to the events discussed here.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Sundilla Presents Celtic Band RUNA Friday (2/5/16)

Got an e-mail from Sundilla...

We don’t get to use terms like “super-group” as much as we’re able, but February’s offering changes that. RUNA ( is quickly gaining recognition as one of Irish music’s new “super-groups”, and they’ll be showing us why when they appear at Sundilla on Friday, February 5. Showtime at the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is 7:30; admission at the door will be $15, advance tickets are just $12 and can be found at Spicer’s Music, Blooming Colors, and online at

RUNA has been enchanting audiences by pushing the boundaries of Irish folk music, since their formation in 2008. Interweaving the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of bluegrass, flamenco, blues, jazz, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music. The group has been honored internationally, winning Top Group and Top Traditional Group in the Irish Music Awards and an Independent Music Award for Best World/Traditional Song. Read more...

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sundilla Presents Chuck Brodsky 1/29/2016

From the Sundilla website. Brodsky's website is

Chuck Brodsky brings his unique sound, one-of-a-kind stories, and a brand new CD to Sundilla on Friday, January 29. Showtime at the Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship is 7:30; admission at the door is $15 ($12 for students), but $12 advance tickets are available at Spicer’s Music, Blooming Colors, and online at Students can get in for just $12.

Chuck Brodsky is a storyteller, a songwriter, a troubadour, a modern day bard. His acoustic guitar and voice draw you in with genuine, down-to-earth warmth and quirky, rootsy, finely crafted songs. Chuck’s wit and irony, set to haunting melodies delivered over syncopated guitar strumming or sweet fingerpicking, tells stories of oddball and underdog characters. His songs celebrate the goodness in people, the eccentric, the holy, the profound, the courageous, the inspiring, the beautiful. They poke fun at what needs poking, and sometimes challenge what needs to be challenged. They’re sworn to tell the truth. Read more...

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Making the Piper Pay

"Performing is the price we pay to get to rehearse."

A friend said those words to me at a party the other night. Sure, I go to parties. Anyway, he's a very good recorder player with a beautiful collection of recorders, harpsichords, and a Baroque flute or two. He plays in recorder societies in Atlanta and sometimes Birmingham, and has participated in big-deal performances. He's a math professor, grows succulents, and used to play tuba and I think saxophone. He is a quiet person, and reserved. What he said fits him perfectly. He'd much rather rehearse with people for fun than perform for any reason.

It was funny to me, and after thinking about it for three seconds, also applicable. Until moving back home to Auburn, Alabama, I didn't have a history of seeking out performances. Though there's a college here, it's a small town in a rural area with a widely spread-out musical community. After a few months, I discovered that creating my own opportunities is far and above the best way to get gigs. After a few years, I've already gotten out of the habit. These days, I generally play only when I'm asked, and that's not terribly often.

The scene here covers a lot of real estate. So beating the bushes, networking among the people you want to play with, jamming, etc. means a lot of driving and being out late. I have a job. My wife has a job. Kids. Tired. Old. But my friend's comment suggests that it's likely not kidstiredold, though I don't want to give up on my best excuse for staying home and watching Elementary, even if you know who the killer is in the first ten minutes because it's always that one actor you know from something else.

Public performance is stressful for musicians. At least it is for those who are compulsive introverts. At least it is for this compulsive, introverted musician. Me. I mean me. It makes us vulnerable to criticism and embarrassment, it is intimate, frightening, expensive, staggeringly inconvenient, and easy to avoid. That last thing is especially true for those whose livelihood doesn't depend on it. But even when it is, in fact, a feed-your-family necessity, it can be easier to find something else to fill that need.

But like any risk, performance can have huge payoffs. First of all, it's where all the rehearsing and practicing gets locked in. It's where the clay pot you made gets fired, and not because it's the final step in the process. There's more to it than that. It's like when they put the magic hat on the snowman, and he comes alive and says, "Happy birthday!" And on a practical level, performance is where the turning points in a musician's career happen. It is also where we interact with humanity on an artistic level. And sure, a bad performance can fly your plane straight into the cold, hard earth, but those are rare, really, at least among people who have any business doing this at all.

So is it worth the cost? Hell, I don't know. And I don't even know if the question is relevant. For me, music seems to have its own consciousness. It has a momentum that drives itself toward public performance. It's the undertow everybody warns you about. Sure, the ocean's fun until you're a mile out and have to remember to swim parallel to the shore and punch sharks in the nose. But sometimes, when I'm there, it can be sublime, even transcendent. And other times, when it doesn't seem like much more than an hour or three of hard work, a bit of sincere audience feedback and/or a surprisingly good recording can make me forget what an ordeal it was.

I was happily surprised to hear my friend say what he did. It meant maybe I will get to hear him play more. In a couple weeks, it will be me performing, and aside from the normal stressors, it will be in a genre of music outside of my comfort zone. Its my own fault. I was the one who invited the people up here, and I was the one who suggested they do a couple of shows with a group I'm in. See what I mean? We'll rehearse once.

And that will be fun.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

I Recorded Some Interviews / Improvised Music Coming to the Museum

Click on the track name above (or here) to be able
to read the description on SoundCloud and see
some relevant links.
Just sent off the news release to the museum for this week's A Little Lunch Music concert (1/21/16) by Chicago improvised-music group, The Few. Last week, after a New-Year's-Resolution style commitment to buckle down and catch up on home projects, I decided to do my first-ever video interview of the two improvising groups that are on the schedule this season. That turned into two separate interviews, due to Steve Marquette's bad cold, one which ended up with a ton of problems and became an audio interview.

Both of course involved post production. I am not quite a noob with regard to video and audio editing. After a handful of projects in recent years, I think I can upgrade myself to a hack. It takes a fair amount of time for a hack to produce something decent, but I think what I ended up with is ok.

I did fortunately make some progress on the home-front, and got some experience with recorded interviewing and subsequent editing. I like it. Maybe too much. I have done a bunch of it for written articles, but it's a different thing altogether to record it for public consumption.

This week's audio interview of Steve Marquette is above. If it's not there, comment on this post. I may have had to fix something and repost. Come to the show Thursday. Eat your vegetables. Or don't. It's in the interview.

The video I did of the other improviser, trombonist Jeff Albert, is at this link. He'll be in Auburn with drummer Dave Capello for A Little Lunch Music and some other things on 2/11/16.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Open Monthly Jazz Jam in Columbus

The Columbus Jazz Society has started the Columbus Unified Jazz Jam at The Loft. Looks like the dates scheduled are every second Wednesday, 7-9 ET. The Society's website says it's in collaboration with CSU Jazz, has lead sheets with transpositions and everything. Open to all. Society link with more info is