Thursday, January 22, 2015

Chicago Improvisors Kick off Southern Tour in Auburn (1/22, 1/23)

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Among other great players, famed saxophonist Mars Williams will appear for two shows with an improvised music quartet from Chicago.
An improvised-music group from Chicago will do two shows in Auburn this week. One is at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art at noon today (Thursday, 1/22). The other will be at Coach's Lounge (Facebook page), the bar (under new management) at the Clarion on College St. tomorrow (Friday, 1/23) at 7:30.

Here's a link to a Facebook event for the Friday night show. Cullars Improvisational Rotation, the trio I'm in with guitarist Dan Mackowski and bassist Jason DeBlanc, will open for them at 7:30. A $10 donation is suggested in lieu of cover.

Musicians in the Chicago group are saxophonist Mars Williams, saxophonist Nick Mazzarella, guitarist Steve Marquette, and bassist Anton Hatwich. Click their names for websites, or you can read bios about them on the museum's schedule page for the series at this link.

"This is high powered heavy hitting musician stuff... Bring a bucket to pick up your blown mind. True art. True culture. Truly not to be missed if you fancy yourself a musician or music lover. Support Live Music!!" -Louis Williams
Marquette is leading the tour, and it was his idea, though I think he's hesitant to say he is the leader of the band. It is truly an improvised group without any repertoire, per se, and the music itself is not necessarily driven by the vision of any one individual.

Auburn's are the first two shows on the tour that will end up at the Open Ears Music Series in New Orleans. This and Marquette's 2013-14 project with New Orleans improvisors is part of a larger, loosely organized collaborative effort between this genre's musicians in Chicago and New Orleans.

I interviewed Marquette for an article at this link: Musicians from Chicago’s free­‐jazz tradition improvise program for "A Little Lunch Music". Incidentally that article will be featured in a new underground local arts publication called The Revelator coming out, though unfortunately delayed, any minute now.

The players have amazing credits to their names. If you are not necessarily into improvised music (you can call it free jazz, though don't expect much of it to sound jazzy), or don't feel adventurous enough to come try something new, you might be interested in simply being in the same room with Mars Williams. Aside from being leader of a Grammy-nominated band Liquid Soul, he has toured and recorded with groups like (from his bio)...

...The Psychedelic Furs, Billy Idol, Massacre, Fred Frith, Bill Laswell, Ministry, Power Station, Die Warzau, The Waitresses, Kiki Dee, Pete Cosey, Billy Squier, DJ Logic, Wayne Kramer, John Scoffield, Charlie Hunter, Kurt Elling, Swollen Monkeys, Mike Clark, Jerry Garcia, Naked Raygun, Friendly Fires, The Untouchables, Blow Monkeys...

So you've heard him, even if you don't know you've heard him.

Coach's Lounge owner Louis Williams who, like Marquette, has ties to Chicago and New Orleans, said it well over on Facebook, better than I can say stuff like this. But he's right. See inset above.

See you there.

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