For Downbeat Magazine’s 80th Anniversary, they published a list of the 80 coolest things in jazz. #41 is New Orleans, and we got a brief mention in the article:
At…events like Jeff Albert’s Open Ears Music Series, improvising players innovate new sonic concepts on the fly, giving listeners direct and immediate access to their creative process.
On November 12, we have a special double bill. At 10pm sharp (really at 10 pm, not New Orleans 10, but real world actual 10 pm) we have one set from the West African musicians Thierno & Karamba Dioubate. This will be followed by Rick Trolsen’s great band, Neslort.
On 10/28, we will have a Monday night show. The Helen Gillet & James Singleton CD release party has been moved to Monday 10/28 due to a room scheduling conflict. Please join us ON MONDAY October 28.
What: Long Sidewalks featuring Jeb Bishop with Jeff Albert, Rex Gregory, Ray Moore, Helen Gillet, Chris Alford, Jesse Morrow, and Marcello Benetti
When: Tuesday September 17, 2013 at 10 pm
Where: The Blue Nile, 532 Frenchmen St, New Orleans, LA
New Orleans International Sound Exchange in conjunction with the Open Ears Music Series is proud to present Long Sidewalks in concert at The Blue Nile (532 Frenchmen St, New Orleans) on Tuesday, September 17, 2013, at 10 PM. Long Sidewalks is a musical group assembled by trombonists Jeb Bishop and Jeff Albert. In 2006, Bishop and Albert formed the critically acclaimed band Lucky 7s, as a way to bring together members of the New Orleans and Chicago musical communities (visit www.lucky7s.org for more info on that band). Long Sidewalks is the New Orleans based next step in their collaboration, and will feature Bishop on trombone, Albert on trombone and laptop, Rex Gregory and Ray Moore on woodwinds, Helen Gillet on cello, Chris Alford on guitar, Jesse Morrow on bass, and Marcello Benetti on drums.
Jeb Bishop began playing improvised music in Chicago in 1993, after a journey that had taken him from his native North Carolina to Arizona to Chicago to Belgium and back to Chicago over the span of about three years. Over the next twenty years, he became a mainstay of Chicago’s new jazz and improvised music scene, and developed an international reputation through numerous recordings and by touring extensively in North America and Europe with many ensembles. In 2012, he moved back to North Carolina, completing a kind of circle, but continues to travel often and widely to perform. The name Long Sidewalks is an acknowledgement of the path that always lies ahead of the working improvising musician in the 21st century, a path that is unending as long as the musician decides to keep walking it.
This will be the band’s premier performance, and they will go into the studio the following day to record this music for a forthcoming LP. This group features three musicians recognized in the most recent DownBeat Critics Poll (Bishop, Albert, and Gillet), and it marks the reunion of Bishop and Albert, with a new cast of accomplices, who are among the cream of the crop of New Orleans based improvisers.
Our regular home, The Blue Nile Balcony Room, is undergoing major renovations this summer, so we will not be presenting concerts there in the second half of July or August. Fortunately we have a fine summer home at The Circle Bar, 1032 St. Charles Ave. Please join us for our regularly scheduled programming in our new summer home. (It feels kind of classy to have a “summer home.” It’s like we get to go to the Hamptons or something.)
**Note: there is no Open Ears programming on August 13, but there is a show that night at the Circle Bar, so you should go anyway.
On November 7, 2007 the Open Ears Music Series presented its first performance in the Blue Nile Balcony Room. The Jeff Albert Quintet performed at the first of the weekly Wednesday night concerts. The rest of November featured New Orleans improvisers Simon Lott, Justin Peake, Helen Gillet, Jonathan Freilich, Dave Cappello and others, as well as Dutch bass master Wilbert de Joode. It was an ambitious start for a creative music series in a city that has always had lots of creative musicians. The series was founded by Jeff Albert and organized in the early days by Jeff, Justin Peake, and Dan Oestreicher. Justin left for Brooklyn, and then returned to start Merged Music, which presents creative electronic music and visual performances, and Dan has been busied by his duties touring with trombone Shorty, so Jeff has the organizational load to himself these days, but Justin and Dan are still very much on the scene. In 2008, the series moved to Tuesday nights, where it has become a regular fixture on the New Orleans schedule.
Over the past five years the Open Ears Music Series has presented many of the best improvisers in New Orleans, and a number of the most accomplished improvisers in the world. Ken Vandermark, Hamid Drake, Frank Gratkowski, Wolter Weirbos, Georg Graewe, Tim Daisy, Michael Zerang, Cooper-Moore, Gebhard Ullmann, Joe McPhee, James Singleton, Dave Cappello, Delfeayo Marsalis, Helen Gillet, Jonathan Freilich, Aurora Nealand, Joe Cabral, Mark McGrain, Rex Gregory, Rick Trolsen, and many others have performed on the series.
In October 2012, the 60th month of the series, Jeff Albert has put together five concerts to celebrate the first five years of the series.
October 2: Dave Rempis
October 9: The Log Ladies & Jeff Albert Quartet/Quintet
October 16: The Gebhard Ullmann/Steve Swell 4 featuring Barry Altschul & Hill Greene
October 23: Ab Baars/Ig Hennemann Duo
October 30: 5th Anniversary Open Ears Improv Mash-up
DAVE REMPIS – October 2
Dave Rempis is a great saxophonist based in Chicago. Dave is best known for his work as a member of the Vandermark 5, and with the collective The Engines. http://www.daverempis.com
Set 1: Dave Rempis/Jeff Albert Duo
Set 2: Dave Rempis & Dan Oestreicher (saxes), Jesse Morrow (bass), & Dave Cappello (drums)
THE LOG LADIES & JEFF ALBERT QUARTET/QUINTET – October 9
October 9 is Jeff’s birthday, so he booked some of his favorite groups in which he plays.
The Log Ladies have crafted their brand of cosmic skronk jazz in the rich musical soil of New Orleans. Their music sheds jazz conventions and avant-garde headiness, yet combines these genres in a rocking accessible sonic adventure. Haunting melodies mix with a romping rhythm section, shifting textures and even a healthy dose of humor, to deliver a distinctive alluring sound. Chris Alford(guitar), Dave Cappello(drums),and Jesse Morrow(bass) are three unique stylized improvising musicians whose sum is The Log Ladies. In July, The Log Ladies did a tour of Texas with Jeff as their guest. http://www.reverbnation.com/thelogladies
The Jeff Albert Quartet was born in 2004 and now features Ray Moore on saxes, Jesse Morrow on bass, and Dave Cappello on drums. They will perform material from their CDs One and Similar in the Opposite Way, as well as some newer quintet material that will also feature Chris Alford on guitar. http://jeffalbert.com
ULLMANN/SWELL 4 – October 16
The ‘Ullmann/Swell 4’ is the latest format of Gebhard Ullmann (based in Berlin) and Steve Swell (based in NYC) with bassist Hill Greene and legendary drummer Barry Altschul. This emotional and intense quartet was founded in 2004 and toured in the U.S. and Canada in the same year. In October and November of 2006 the ‘Ullmann/Swell 4’ performed in Europe for the first time and got raving reviews. The quartet performed on 2008’s Vision Festival in New York City and was called by many one of the highlights of the festival.
DUO BAARS-HENNEMAN – October 23
Ab Baars – tenorsax, clarinet, shakuhachi
Ig Henneman – viola
Ab Baars and Ig Henneman are among the leading representers of the jazz- and improvised music scene in the Netherlands. Their program contains improvisations based on compositions written by Baars and Henneman and completely improvised material.
The duo Baars-Henneman was born in Rome (IT) at the Festival “ControIndicazioni” in 1999. Ab Baars and Ig Henneman have participated in international festivals and played venues as a duo and with their own groups. The duo toured in The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, UK, Japan, Norway, Czech Republic, USA, Canada and Brasil. Ab Baars leads his own groups; the Ab Baars Trio and Quartet. For years now he is a member of the ICP Orchestra of Misha Mengelberg and Han Bennink. Ig Henneman is a violaplayer and a composer. She leads her own groups in which she works with musicians from various areas of music, like radical free improvisation, jazz, contemporary music and punk. She is a member of the Canadian/Dutch Queen Mab Trio.
5th Anniversary Open Ears Improv Mash-up – October 30
One of the reasons the Open Ears Music Series was founded was to provide a platform/meeting place/incubator for the improvising musicians of New Orleans. Over the years we have presented a number of Improv Mash Ups, in which a number of improvisers are invited to perform in various ad hoc groupings. These have been some of the more popular performances, and October 30 will feature a huge celebratory gathering of improvisers, who will play in a variety of previously unexplored groupings. Confirmed participants include: Helen Gillet, Justin Peake, Barry Stephenson, Mark McGrain, Dave Cappello, Chris Alford, Doug Garrison, Rick Trolsen, Rev Gooden, Brad Walker, Ray Moore, Jeff Albert, Marcello Benetti, Jesse Morrow, & Dan Oestreicher.
A number of people deserve to be thanked for their role in the success of the first five years of the Open ears Music Series. The team at The Blue Nile, especially Jesse and Ollie, have made the series possible. Other presenters of creative and improvised music in New Orleans have set up a number of the concerts, especially those featuring musicians from other places, so a big thank you to Andy Durta (Scatterjazz), Rob Cambre (Anxious Sounds), and Benjamin Lyons (Valid Records).
Our TV culture has over ridden our actual culture, and the May 15 Tate Carson band show has been canceled due to a TV shoot in the club. Tate’s band will be rescheduled as soon as possible.