Hey Everybody! Thanks for checking in!
BIG NEWS (SUMMER 2016)
My Friends. Looking forward to a fantastic journey this summer with lots of cool tours and a bunch of creative projects. It’s been a great year so far, one that I mostly spent at home, in the studio and at UNO. I’m looking forward to get out there again and making some music with my very talented friends!
First up is a trip to Turkey with the incredible, 5-time Grammy nominated musician/pianist/vocalist Karrin Allyson. I think Karrin is amazing! She has such a personal sound that is both completely in the idiom and completely individual, a very sweet spot that is difficult to find as an artist. Her time feels great, she has a book full of gems that she has very carefully crafted, and she works with the best folks in the biz (and then there’s me!). What more can I say?
I go right from Karrin’s dates to meet Cindy Scott for a tour in the Northeast. As many of you must know, Cindy and I work together a lot, and it has given us a chance to really develop a musical connection. I love the gigs we do together - for lack of a better word, they are very easy; the familiarity and the trust levels are so high that we both can just open up with no fear, taking the music to new and different places. It’s also going to be fun to meet up with a few friends I haven’t seen in a bit, and to eat some good pizza, gumus and Thai food! Check the calendar for details.
After that double header, I get a week at home, and then I am off for another one in Europe, first for a short tour with The Organic Trio, and then on to the Czech Republic for a spin through the country with my old friend Jirka Hala and Company. The Organic Trio is doing a special night in Munich with guest vibraphonist, the amazing Tim Collins. That gig should be a blast - we very rarely work with guests, so it is particularly fun to get to hear us going some alternate places.
I’ve known saxophonist/composer Jirka Hala for more than 15 years now. He’s a marvelous human being that has so much respect for and knowledge about New Orleans music that it is humbling. I had the priviledge to produce a record for him in New Orleans a while back, and have done a number of tours with him in the Czech, but it has been a whle, so I am very happy to be getting to do another one.
When I return from Europe, I’ll have a little bit of time to unpack and re-pack for a trup I am making to Oaxaca, Mexico. I will be spending most of July there on a writing retreat. In the midst of the tours and teaching and record projects and other incredible stuff that I get to do, it has been really hard to get any substantial composing done. I am feeling a little desperate to get some new things in the book. Hopefully some focused disengagement will do the trick. Wish me luck!
Then, to finish out the summer, Cindy and I are doing a short run that will take us through Houston, Austin, New Mexico and Arizona, culminating at the Colorado Roots Music Camp where we will do a concert appearance and Cindy will do some teaching.
On the making records end of things, it has been a beautiful and productive period. World-class clarinetist and composer Evan Christopher just released a new disc Bayou Chant and Other Textures that I play on and also had a hand in the production of. It’s a cool piece, recorded live and featuring some very interesting writing from Evan, Roland Guerrin and myself. I admire Evan for his committment to honor New Orleans music while still finding new and honest paths for the music to grow towards.
I have been putting in a lot of work on Cindy Scott’s next project, tentatively titled the Ripple Effect. It’s a socially conscious, very acoustic project with a lot of originals on it that is going to be super cool. Along with the core cast of Cindy, me, Dan Loomis, and Ilya Janos, it has wonderful guest appearances from Evan Christopher, Matt Bell, Aurora Nealand, Matt Rhody, Cliff Hines, Spencer Bohren and others. It has a lot of guitars and the longest solo is 16 measures!
In April, Munich keyboard wizard Matthias Bublath came to town for a series of rehearsals and a recording session with Simon Lott and myself. It is going to be great, beyond burning up the keys while kicking bass with his feet, Matthias is a very crafty composer, and Simon sounded insanely good. I really had to practice my ass off to keep up with these cats and the tunes. Very happy I was asked to be a part of it, and looking forward to hearing the finished project. Matthias says he is going to get it out before the end of the summer.
The Organic Trio is having its new CD, Saturn’s Spell, picked up by the French jazz record label Jazz Family. I’m very proud of this disc, it sounds fantastic and unlike any organ trio record I have ever heard. It achieves that very naturally and honestly I think, we certainly didn’t set out to try to reinvent that format. All three of us wrote tunes for the record, and it has been killing touring that music.
TOURS IN THE WORKS
All of the tour windows for all of 2016 with Cindy and the Organic Trio still have dates to fill. So if you are interested in seeing one of those groups live, or sponsoring or facilitating a show, house concert, clinic, etc, please let me know.
There’s many best things about what I get to do. I feel very blessed most of the time (except when I’m being stupid!). Just getting to hear so many amazing musicians up close is a constant thrill. Seeing all of the new places I get to see, and finding out about new foods or ways of living is always exciting to me. And meeting so many really cool people is a huge gift.
Thanks to the people that keep me sounding good with their fine products: Mesa Boogie, D’Addario Strings, Bryan Galloup Guitars and Robert Keeley Effects.
That’s all for now. Hope I get to see many of you soon and get to make some music for you.
ps: I started an email list thing a while ago, the big plan being
to send out my news and my gig list about once a month. So far I’ve
sent out exactly one mailing! I swear I will get it together eventually.
So, if you want to take the chance that one day you might get something, click these words
If, at some point, you become terminally swamped by electronic correspondences
(which at the rate I’m going could never happen!), you can un-sign
up too, the convenient and automatic disconnect link comes with every email!
Also, you have the option of letting me know where you are, so I won’t bother
you with gig notices for stuff nowhere near you.
STUFF TO CHECK OUT!!
The Organic Trio Home Remembered
Alex Bosworth Here For You
Brad Walker Quintet
Paul Wiltgen & The Paislies