Sunday, February 28, 2010

On Herbie Hancock


This wire report about a new, star-studded Herbie Hancock record is leaving us a little bit agog:

"The Imagine Project" aims to unite "a myriad of cultures through song and positive creative expression," according to a statement. Collaborators include pop singer Pink, guitarist Jeff Beck, sitarist Anoushka Shankar, Irish folk group the Chieftains and Colombian rocker Juanes.

The self-financed album will be released on June 22 through the pianist's own Hancock Records label, and will be promoted with what a spokeswoman called an "extensive" world tour. Dates are already set for New York's Carnegie Hall on June 24 and the Hollywood Bowl on September 1.

Hancock racked up some serious frequent-flier mileage in an attempt to record each song in the home country of his collaborator. Oscar-winning documentarian Alex Gibney ("Taxi To The Dark Side") came along for the ride, shooting footage for potential online and feature exhibition.
Also, Dave Matthews, Derek Trucks, Peter Gabriel, Chaka Khan, Seal, Tinariwen, Oumou Sangare, Ceu and Konono No. 1. (Lionel Loueke and Wayne Shorter will also be present.) That's an awful lot of jetsetting on his own dime.

Since his early '70s fusion records, and probably a long time before that, too, Herbie has seemingly been after something bigger, more universal than jazz alone. (And since his early '70s fusion period, jazz fans have been wishing he would just make another really good jazz record, though that's a separate issue.) When one of his keyboard runs on any given day can still break your heart, there's always hope that his next concept album, jazz or not, will be that masterpiece. There is always that possibility -- though as I may have said on Twitter, its probability depends on what you thought of Possibilities.

Jams of The Day: Signal Path & Phil Lesh & Friends

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Henhouse Prowlers on The J-man & Rex

Jam of The Day: Hydra

Friday, February 26, 2010

Bowlive: Guests Announced


Soulive has confirmed the first round of special guests for its two-week funk ‘n bowl run at Brooklyn, NY’s Brooklyn Bowl. Bowlive will take place from March 2-6 and March 9-13. The group has also confirmed that the members of Soulive will breakout their suits for the run and confirm additional guests the morning of each show on Facebook and Twitter. Instant Soulive recordings of each night will be available, along with Eric Krasno’s solo CD Reminisce.
The group’s confirmed guests include:

March 2—Vernon Reid (Living Colour)
March 3—Raul Midon
March 4—Christian Scott, Ryan Zoidis (Shady Horns) and Sam Kininger (ShadyHorns)
March 5 Sam Kininger (Shady Horns) and Tash Neal (London Souls)
March 6—TBA
March 9—TBA
March 10—Oteil Burbridge and Kofi Burbridge
March 11—TBA
March 12—Marco Benevento
March 13—DJ Logic

Del and the Boys Sit in with Trey Anastasio


Trey Anastasio and Classic TAB performed at Nashville, TN’s famed Ryman Auditorium last night. Like each of his shows since February 16, Anastasio ended his first set with a few acoustic songs. After playing solo versions of “Backwards Down the Number Line” and “Wilson,” Anastasio brought out legend Del McCoury to play two bluegrass songs Phish has covered in the past: “Blue and Lonesome” and “Beauty of my Dreams.” The members of both Trey Anastasio Band and Del McCoury Band then emerged for a set-closing take on “Rocky Mountain Shuffle.” Anastasio’s tour continues tonight at Charlotte, NC’s The Fillmore.

A Review: Umphrey's McGee 2.13.10

Pulling a beer from the cooler, I swung into the parking lot of the Neighborhood Theatre in Charlotte, NC and found the lot scene a bit sparse. It seemed to consist almost entirely of a small group of huddled around a table supporting a few glass pieces and a grill. Pulling forward, though, I realized that these were no ordinary lot kids, but fellow Roanokers who had made the three-hour trek from Virginia earlier in the day.

We were waved along and found a spot across from our fellow statesmen (whom we had incidentally planned to meet at the venue anyway) and, after cracking brews and exchanging greetings, my girlfriend Lacey and I walked around to the front of the building to retrieve our tickets from the “Will Call” table. Every breath resembled smoke as we hoofed around the corner and I noticed an obvious buzz of excitement about the front of the building and even more going on inside. I was excited too, as I had not seen Umphrey’s since November at the 9:30 Club; the first of their two night stand there (I missed the second show for the second night of Phish’s Cincinnati run).

After killing about two hours and twice as many drinks, our group made our way back around to the entrance of the building. As we stood waiting to be ID’d and admitted, an employee closed of the metal railing to the ticket line:

“You’re the last one, man!” he said, catching the lucky guy off-guard.

“Really? I got the last ticket? Sweet! Tonight’s gonna be a good night!”

Indeed it was.

The opening band, Tiny Lights, put on an impressive show, especially considering the daunting combination of a short set and a restless crowd getting drunker by the minute. I enjoyed their set, sans view, from the floor in front of the main stage where I met Scott, an acquaintance from JamBase. Shortly after Tiny Lights retired, the main floor began filling up. Bathed in pale blue stage lights, we waited.

Just as Scott and I parted ways, agreeing to meet at set break, Star Wars’ “Imperial Death March” boomed over the audience and the band took the stage. Awaiting the first notes, I silently hoped for “Get in the Van,” one of my favorite UM tunes and always a solid opener. Moments later, the band popped off the first breaking notes of “Van” and the crowd erupted (to which Jake responded with his trademark, “WHAT?!”).

As expected, both the band and audience raged through “Van,” a fact that was noticed by Brendan who, upon ending the song, immediately proclaimed: “Daaaammmn. You guys are not fucking around tonight! Good... excellent.” He went on to say that the show was a 21st birthday party for a friend of the band, making this a special evening. The energy shifted (but was by no means lost) through “August” and climbed from “Plunger (w/ Jimmy Stewart)” into a “Fussy Dutchman/Keefer” sandwich, “Morning Song,” and climaxed with “1348;” at which time I turned around for the first time and saw the entire house, packed and soused to the gills. I slowly meandered my way through the now impermeable crowd back to the bar to wait out setbreak. I tried to take note of high points of the set, but attempts were futile as the entire set delivered nothing but nasty jams.

Finding a spot on a bench along the edge of the seating area, Lacey and I gave our feet a break while waiting for the band to return. Not surprisingly, we lost every other member of our party and were unable to locate Scott among the bustle. The band opened the second set with “Robot World>Uncommon,” the former lacking the explosive impact of the “Van” opener, but a solid combination nonetheless.

The set picked up and was quickly in full swing after the guys launched into another one of my favorites, “Der Bluten Kat.” A surprise “You Know What I Mean” (Jeff Beck) showed up through the “Kat” jam, adding to the uniqueness of the show. Although the second set was not as driving as the first, the band was clearly very comfortable, jamming and transitioning very smoothly. Comfortable enough, in fact, to debut a new song: “Conduit,” which was received well. Brendan even mentioned how well the song was received, which was, he said, better that most debuts. From there, the band broke out another cover, “Can’t You See” by Marshall Tucker Band. I’ve always enjoyed Umphrey’s renditions of classic/southern rock songs, and this time was no different.

I was happy to hear “Wappy Sprayberry” as the set neared its end, a song that Scott had called earlier in the evening, just before the band took the stage. The band jammed out of “Sprayberry” into yet another favorite of mine, “Thin Air,” cementing this setlist as a personal classic. It was almost as if they knew what I wanted to hear...

After a short encore break, “Soul Food I>Words” rounded out the evening appropriately. The now mellowed crowd stumbled out onto the streets of Charlotte; some making their way to local bars to continue the party while others, such as myself, sauntered back to our vehicles to make the long trip home. At least I had my collection of UM podcasts for the ride.

-Billy Beheler aka Hydrogen

Umphreys McGee Live at Neighborhood Theatre on February 13, 2010.

Umphrey’s McGee
Neighborhood Theater, Charlotte, NC

Set I: Get in the Van, August, Plunger > "Jimmy Stewart" > Plunger, The Fussy Dutchman > Keefer > The Fussy Dutchman, Morning Song, 1348 > "Jimmy Stewart" > 1348

Set II: Robot World > Uncommon, Der Bluten Kat > You Know What I Mean > Der Bluten Kat, Conduit*, Can't You See, Wappy Sprayberry > Thin Air

E: Soul Food I > Words

*First time played, original

Thursday, February 25, 2010

KXJZ Acid Jazz

KXJZ Acid Jazz: November 28, 2008.

I really enjoy a lot of these mixes as well as the program itself.

Zimmer's Picks: DeadStash

After a self-imposed hiatus, which lasted much longer than I intended, I am pleased to return with more live music from the DeadStash. Going forward, I hope to continue this on a monthly basis. And, hopefully, offer-up some great music, moments, and history.....courtesy of the Grateful Dead. I will try and stick to some sort of theme within each post, and I am always looking for suggestions.

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On March 2 and 3 I'll be in Chicago, seeing Furthur at the Auditorium Theater. From the shows that I've listened to, Phil and Bobby sound as energized and alive as I have heard in many years. The band is tight and has really opened up the songbook of the Dead. In anticipation of, what I hope to be, a few days of wonderful live music; I can't help but occasionally daydream about what the band may see fit to play. It is with that in mind that I offer up this version of my "Picks". Not only are all of the preceding shows stellar in their own right, but they also contain phenomenal versions of songs that I would love to hear at the Furthur shows. Whether or not I get to hear "my" songs, I'm sure that the music will be great... but here's a few that would put a big smile on my face.

May 1977. Say those two words to any Deadhead and the next word to pop-up in their head is likely "Cornell". The 5/08/77 show, from Barton Hall, is a legendary show among many devoted fans. It is undeniable that it is a phenomenal performance and well-deserving of many of its accolades. Show after show, the spring of '77 was filled with musical-gold. There is good reason why many people consider this to be the apex of the Dead's career.

Lost in the mix of the Cornell-hoopla is a show played just over two weeks later. The 5/25/77 show from the Mosque in Richmond, VA is a prime example of everything that embodies the Grateful Dead... one moment melodically tugging on your heart-strings, the next moment sending you into a dizzying sonic-assault. When looking at the setlist, your eyes will quickly be drawn to the second set... a set that looks like it was constructed based on someone's "dream set". However, if you get greedy and skip straight to it, you will miss some astoundingly beautiful versions of some of my favorite Dead tunes... and ones that I would love to hear Furthur play.

The first set begins with one of my favorite versions of "Mississippi Half-Step". It immediately opens with high energy and crisp vocals from Garcia. The band is on the same page from the first note. The instrumental portions bounce and lilt along, as if they are butterflies gliding on a summer breeze. Even the vocal harmonies match-up beautifully. And the band builds to a much-welcomed crescendo at the end.

Of all of the different styles and themes that the Dead toyed with throughout their tenure, I'm always a sucker for the ballads. The Dead wrote and played some of the greatest tales of love and loss, crime and punishment, loveable losers, and downtrodden heroes ever created. Robert Hunter had knack for creating a sense of nostalgia in characters and stories that, even if they were miles-away from your everyday life, you felt immediately connected to. Garcia provided the emotional support behind the stories to bring them to life. When Jerry sang a ballad, you didn't just hear what he was saying... you FELT it. The rest of the first set is littered with prime examples of exactly this. Give a listen to these versions of "They Love Each Other", "Peggy-O", and "Loser" to hear the Fat Man pour his heart out on-stage.

Oh... and if you're still not satisfied after that, you may want to give a listen to that second set!

Grateful Dead Live at The Mosque on May 25, 1977.

To me, there aren't too many better ways for the Dead to start a second set than with a killer version of "Shakedown Street". Always a fan favorite, this funky number was sure to get the crowd whipped into singing and dancing peak. For my money, the best "Shakedown's" come from the mid-80's... a period of time that many Deadheads would like to pretend didn't exist. Yes, there was sloppy and erratic playing, addiction issues, health problems, and a number of other "stressors", but amidst the turmoil lie some exceptional shows and tours. Spring of 1985 represented the best of the Dead's mid-80's output. And if we're talking about "Shakedown Street" and 1985 in the same conversation, there is one show that stands out from the rest... 6/30/85, Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD. Plain and simple, this "Shakedown Street" is as gritty, funky, and deep as they come. Lesh is an absolute monster on his bass and leads the charge right out of the gate. From there, it was no looking back; as the band charges headlong into the unknown. This show has plenty to offer, including good versions of "Big Railroad Blues" and "The Other One"......but the "Shakedown" is what gets my blood boiling.

Grateful Dead Live at Merriweather Post Pavilion on June 30, 1985.

Dick Latvala, the long-time archivist for the Grateful Dead, coined the term "Primal Dead" (read a great interview of Dick from the Grateful Dead Hour with David Gans here) . Dick never fully elaborated on what precisely defined "Primal Dead", but within the greater Dead-community there is a general understanding of what he was getting at. For me, the Dead was "primal" during those periods/shows when they were playing with almost reckless abandon... so wrapped-up in the moment that no one, not even the band, knew what was going on. When listening to these shows, you get the sense that the doors may fall off and everything could unravel at any second. The early years of the Dead is stocked-full of primal-sounding material (some would argue that after '70/'71 the Dead lost that primal-feel). Clearly, the mid-/late-60's was an incredibly productive and experimental time for the band. To say that they were pushing the boundaries of music and performance would be borderline inaccurate... because I'm not sure that the band existed in a space confined by boundaries at that time. Jams would build into a feeding frenzy of cacophonous sound, a whirling dervish of energy.

It's not that often these days that I dip back into the Dead's output from the 60's. I really should spend more time there; because, although there are relatively few quality recordings in existence, nearly all of the performances are phenomenal. It seems as though the Dead were incapable of having a "bad" or "off" show during this time. One of my favorite songs from the 60's "Primal Dead" is "Viola Lee Blues". This was one of the first songs that was regularly included in the Dead's repertoire... and became one of the first, and most successful, jam-vehicles for the band. Each time they played it, they seemed to extend it further and further. And it became one of those songs that really allowed the Dead to hone their improvisational-chops. To me, it is the essence of "Primal Dead".

This next show, from Winterland in early-67, captures the Dead in a crucial transitional period. They were beginning to branch-out from the jug-band blues/folksy/roots-pop structure that defined much of 1966, and were really capturing that "primal" feel. The version of "Viola Lee Blues" on this recording is absolutely incendiary. The band extends the jam into places that must have shocked most casual music fans of the time. If it's possible to have each member of a band to be independently soloing, yet to still come together to form something unified and logical, this version achieves that. After the initial round of vocals, the song just explodes out of the gates and is off to the races... foreshadowing what would define the late-60's Dead. The show also features quality versions of "It Hurts Me Too”, “Cream Puff War", and "The Same Thing". And one of the only live versions of "The Golden Road (To Unlimited Devotion)" the Dead ever played.

Grateful Dead Live at Winterland Arena on March 18, 1967.

Continuing with the "Primal Dead" comes a show that has everything a fan of the Dead's late-60's work could want. The February 15, 1969 show from the Electric Factory in Philadelphia is about as good as it gets... nice versions of "Morning Dew" and "Mountains of the Moon". The "Dark Star" is exceptional, almost on-par with the version recorded two weeks later that ended up on the "Live Dead" album. Unfortunately, the tape is not complete. But do not, I repeat DO NOT, let this dissuade you from giving this show a listen. Fortunately, the recording leaves intact one of my favorite pieces of "Primal Dead"-era music. I always wished that the Dead had seen it fit to leave the "Cryptical Envelopment" piece attached to "The Other One", instead of dropping it from their repertoire for many years. Sometimes referred to as "That's It For The Other One", the "Cryptical Envelopment>The Other One>Cryptical Envelopment" sequence always gets me rocking. I love the transition from the mellow and melodic "Cryptical" into the heavy, brooding nature of "The Other One". In this version, "The Other One" hits like it was shot out of a cannon, and never lets up. The band then reprises back into "Cryptical" and sinks into an airy, light jam... a jam that winds along and, almost, lulls you into a trance before it begins to build back up and Garcia comes back in with impromptu vocals that then send the jam back off the deep end for another stretch of unbridled exploration.

Grateful Dead Live at Electric Factory on February 15, 1969.

Jerry was often quoted as saying that he didn't particularly care for encores. He felt that a show should stand on its own merits, and that the initial performance really represented the total expression of the artist. Of course, Jerry and the Dead always obliged the eager audiences with an encore. And to end this version of my "Picks", I'll add one more show that has a song that I would love to hear as an encore at one of the Furthur shows.

Much of the 90's output from the Dead is not particularly well received. However, the tours that they did with Bruce Hornsby on keys have provided some great musical moments. The April 7, 1991 show from Orland, FL has plenty of these moments. Hornsby is spectacular on the keys, and his energy seemed to invigorate the entire band... especially Garcia, who sounds and plays with a youthful energy that was often missing during the later years. His singing and playing on "Sugaree" and "Row Jimmy" elicit the kinds of skill and emotion displayed by a much younger Garcia; and the extended jamming from "Playing in the Band" through "Going Down the Road Feeling Bad" is energetic and exploratory. However, the "it" moment for me comes only six songs into the first set. The Dead decide to play a song that was a standard in the rotation of the JGB. Sadly, it made only four appearances with the Dead, but remains as one of my most beloved songs. The song I am referring to, "Reuben and Cherise", represents some of the finest lyrics that Robert Hunter ever put to paper. The Garcia Band versions of this tune are splendid (as is the solo-Jerry version from 1982), but I think that the Dead nails it at this show. Give it a listen and see if it gives you shivers, like it does to me.

Grateful Dead Live at Orlando Arena on April 7, 1991.

Well, that wraps-up this installment of tunes from the DeadStash. I hope you get as much joy out of reading and listening to it as I do compiling it. Hopefully, I can run into some of you at the Furthur shows in Chicago, or at other shows down the road.


"They're not the best at what they do, they're the only ones that do what they do." -Bill Graham

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Jam of The Day: Tony Trischka

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

An Interview: Zach Deputy

J-man: I talked to you after a show last July I believe it was, in Ann Arbor, MI. We talked about your van with all of your equipment being stolen. We talked about your purchase of an RV and it breaking down. We also talked about how you barely made it to that show in Ann Arbor, due to a break down. Here it is eight months later and we find you in a similar position. Having cancelled several tour dates, due to more car trouble. What’s going on with all of this? How does it effect you?

Zach: (Laughs) You know at this point, it’s like I’m so used to it. I’ve never had to cancel a show because of my car breaking down until this week, which was really a bummer. You know, to let down that many people really sucks. But I’ve almost gotten used to it because I’ve had so much car trouble. In this truck that I have now, I’ve replaced the engine, the transmission and pretty much everything else that’s in the engine body. You know? So I’m use to it. So basically, I think when most people break down they start cursing and yelling… Uh, when I break down I just kind of laugh and say “Here we go again!”

J-man: You’ve had a heavy touring schedule for the past couple of years, playing upwards of 300 shows a year. How hard is living and playing on the road and what are some of the things that you really enjoy about it?

Zach: Well, I really enjoy the shows and when I see a bunch of people smiling and having a good release from the day to day grind of life, you know? That’s the highlight of it all for me. Um, but driving an average six or seven hours a day is always a grueling task, you know? Just making sure we get there is always a grueling task… The load in, the load out… It just never stops, you know? It’s huge up and huge downs when you’re on the road, you know? It’s a rollercoaster ride… I don’t think anybody in the world tours as much as I do.

J-man: Yeah, I can’t believe how many dates you do in a year. Do you ever get a chance to slow down and do you have a place that you call home?

Zach: Um… You know, I guess I’d call home… Hiltonhead, South Carolina or Savanah, Georgia. That area is my home and always has been. But, I don’t know about having a chance to slow down. We plan to have a chance to slow down in the future at some point.

J-man: I’ve seen you play to small crowds in tiny clubs to Large festival crowds. How does that experience differ for you, and which do you find to be more satisfying?

Zach: You know, it’s not always about the quantity. A lot of times it’s about the quality. It’s like for me; it’s all about having a good show. It’s not like “Oh cool, I’m playing in front of ten thousand people right now.” If I’m playing in front of fifteen people, and we are vibing together as the artist and the audience and we’re having a great time, then that’s all that I really need. A lot of times I like the shows because you get to know the whole audience. The last small show that we played; we decided to play Super Bowl Sunday in Chicago, which is not a bright idea you know?

J-man: (Laughs)

Zach: … There was probably only a hundred people there. So it ended up being very intimate, you know? It kind of ended up being a comedy show. We were just telling jokes and going crazy… and talking to the audience. It was kind of like a release form the machine of “Zach Deputy Dance Party”.

J-man: You play a lot of “unscheduled” sets both at music festivals and following concerts/shows. Be it in the campgrounds, or on the steps of a library; Do you consider yourself a rebel on the music scene, or more a man of the people?

Zach: (Laughs) I have almost been arrested on a number of occasions for pushing the envelope. So I guess I always considered myself a rebel. I’ve tried to set up and play illegally many times, in different places. Um… You just hope all goes well, you know? But, I think those last minute impromptu shows, that nobody even knows are going to happen; a lot of the times are the best. You know, they just have the most live feeling to it. People feel like because they stumbled across it, that it was meant to be and it was a very special, special thing. So I always love doing shows like that… But they are not always legal.

J-man: You so often play solo, but if given the chance to put together your own “super jam” set at a Festival; who would you play with and why?

Zach: … Super Jam: on drums; Adam Deitch. On Bass; Victor Wooten. On Hammond B-3; Medeski. I would need a conga player, and I would get Alex Acuna (from Weather Report). Then I’d need a rhythm guitarist (Laughs). Let me think who I’d want to make play rhythm guitar for me (Laughs). Probably someone who shouldn’t be playing rhythm guitar. So that works out for a super jam. But I’d like to have that, and I’d also get three really super hot chicks to sing Back-up.

J-man: (Laughs)

Zach: (Laughs) They’d have to be able to sing really good and look really good. I would also need… I would probably steal Lettuce’s horn section.

J-man: Yeah, the Shady Horns.

Zach: Yeah, I need some horns to get funky.

J-man: Often times I hear people draw comparisons between you and Keller Williams. I can only assume it’s because of the looping. How do you view Keller Williams and what he’s doing? Also, how does your music differ from his?

Zach: Well, our music is a completely different genre, in general. It’s a completely different approach. You know, I think people in general… They scramble for ways to describe things, you know? Especially things that they can’t describe. What I do is very hard to describe, you know? To put it in words is tough. Pretty much every single night at the end of the show I have ten people say “How do you explain what you do to people?” The only reason they ask is because they can’t explain it… and you know Keller Williams, in the circle of what we’re doing was the first person to get known for doing the looping. He wasn’t the first person to do the looping, but he was the first person to get known for doing it in the jamband circle. Since I do the looping and people are trying to explain what I do to other people, the name Keller Williams always comes up. But Keller Williams… He plays like jammy, fun, happy music, which is really cool stuff, I dig it. I play kind of more rootsy… roots music with a loop machine. You know, roots and world music and more soul than he does. So I just think, the loop machine is basically an instrument and whoever plays it brings it to life. I’m sure the first time the guitar was invented, somebody was like “Whoa that instrument is awesome!” and there is one guy playing it and everybody knows his name… Say his name is “Keller Williams.” Then this other guy comes along playing the guitar and plays it completely different, but nobody knows any reference to what it is other than “Keller Williams”. So, they’re like “What does that guy do?” “Well he does that thing like Keller Williams, but way different.” Because they don’t have words to describe what they’re seeing, because the guitar hasn’t been around long enough. I think in about five years or so the loop machine will be pretty much common knowledge in every household. So people will just look at it as music, instead of like, you know; kind of like slobbering over the loop machine.

J-man: Is it tough to make a name for yourself, being the second man on the scene?

Zach: No, not at all. I mean; I’m growing as fast as you can possibly grow, you know? Pretty much everywhere I have been, the numbers are definitely getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger, very fast. So I haven’t had any trouble developing. I mean, I have only been touring for about two years and three months. So basically in the last two years it’s been like going from zero to sixty.

J-man: How did you get involved with Bear Creek and how does someone like yourself obtain so many sets at a festival like that?

Zach: Well, you know, like Bear Creek was the second festival that I ever did. Nobody knew who I was the first time that I played Bear Creek. The whole reason I played Bear Creek was because Lyle Williams, who throws Bear Creek, personally knows me. He use to live out in Hiltonhead and use to see me play. So, Lyle’s known and seen me play, and kind of grown and blossom since, you know, I started doing my thing. And he gave me the chance to play Bear Creek. So it was kind of like Bear Creek was more of a fate thing. I just kind of like knew the right people. At the time I couldn’t go to any festival and say “Hey, I’m Zach Deputy, I want to play.” They’d be like “Zach who?” So it was pretty cool, and I’m pretty much signed on to play Bear Creek for the rest of my life. Because of the people who throw it, I am personally invested in their success as well.

J-man: Yeah, I love the spirit of Suwannee Music Park.

Zach: It’s the greatest!

J-man: What festivals will you being playing this spring/summer?

Zach: (Laughs) I know a lot of them, but I’m not allowed to say (Laughs). Not until they make the official release, you know, for the spring and summer…

J-man: Well, it was worth a try…

Zach: Yea, (Laughs) Let’s put it this way… I’m playing every single festival that I really wanted to play… other than Bonnaroo. We’re playing a ridiculous amount of festivals this year. But I am not at liberty to say.

J-man: Fair enough.

Zach: But the dates will be announced pretty soon!

J-man: When I say favorite musician of all time; what pops into your head?

Zach: Um… Ray Charles, James Brown, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Bobby McFerrin. Those are the ones that really… You know, have been in my life the most out of all other artists.

J-man: Thanks for your time Zach.

Zach: Awesome, awesome. Good talk J. Take care, bud.

Zach will be releasing live tracks on his website every Thursday. Every third Thursday of the month he will be releasing a studio single. So be sure to check that out and sign up for his newsletter!

Special Thanks to Rex Thomson for taking the time to do a free photo shoot With Zach Deputy. The rest of the shoot can be seen here: Zach Deputy Photo Shoot By Rex Thomson.

Check out all of Rex's photos here: Rex Thomson's Gallery on

A Review: Umphrey's McGee 2.11.10

I knew from the moment I saw the Umphrey's South East Tour Dates for Winter of 2010 that I would be attending at least 3 shows and sure enough we made it happen. Last time I saw Umphrey's McGee was at Summer Camp this past Summer of 2009 and those shows left me drooling and wanting more. To say the least Myself & my three UM buddies were more than excited to be able to catch one of our favorite bands in our favorite South Eastern cities; Asheville, NC being the first stop on our mini-tour.

The show was at The Orange Peel; a venue located in the heart of downtown Asheville and somewhat of a second home to me. Umphrey's always makes their rounds at The Orange Peel and everyone is always more than stoked to see them come back around, this show was no different. The energy was very high and anticipation is always a son of a bitch, but after enjoying some good brews and good talks showtime was very near. The show started right around 9:15 with no opener; which is always an awesome thing.

First thing I noticed before the band started was that Jake Cinneger was not playing his normal guitar but playing the new Moog guitar. A real treat since the Moog factory is located in Asheville, NC. The band opened up with their titled track "Mantis" and wasted no time kicking things into gear by shredding their way through the new fan favorite and leaving the song unfinished and segueing into a more rocking but up-tempo version of "Push The Pig". By this time Waful was already taking over The Orange Peel's walls & rafters with his signature light schemes as the band entered into the night's first Jimmy Stewart during Push The Pig. Next up was the first "Liquid" of 2010 (last played 10/08/2009) that started off pretty routine & basic and turned it quickly into a fast pace guitar driven jam that eventually made an almost seamless landing into "Bottom Half" that soontwisted & turned into a beautiful jimmy stewart jam which took us all into more of an ambient space territory that really got the crowd moving and the energy began to rise even more. Blue Echo>Rocker pt. II was a nice combination; Blue Echo saw Jake utilizing the sustain on the new Moog guitar while Brendan filled in the gaps with Joel ripping it up on the organ. Soon enough the band pieced together a wonderful segue to Rocker pt. II. I thought Rocker was going to close out the set but a very big surprise when Farag's electronic drum pads kicked off to what sounded like it could be triple wide but was in fact one of the orginal mash-up's "Come Closer" a mix of "Come Together" The Beatles with NIN's "Closer. Very well blended together in my opinion and it's always a treat to hear Kris Myer's soulful voice behind the kit come out.

The band closed the 1st set with the mash-up and set-break for me involved enjoying the Orange Peel's new smoking deck which is more like a cage for smokers attached to the building; very crowded but it works. Grabbed a brew from the newly renovated bars at the Peel. For 2nd set I decided to step back into the crowd for a better view of Jefferson's light masterpiece's.

The guys wasted no time kicking things into high gear and turning on the heat with a "Hurt Bird Bath" opener. Starting off with a very spacey intro that featured Farag using some voice samples and kicking it off with the song's signature riff. Joel was really tearing it up on the Moog and Myers of course was all over the place on the kit. You could tell the difference from the Moog guitar sound also at times. During HBB it seemed Jake was sometimes not so comfortable with the new guitar but He still was killing it left & right. This version ended up clocking in at around 16 minutes, the band took the song for an orbit into space and eventually segued into "Intention Clears" which slowed things down for a second, but lead into a well constructed 2nd set Jimmy Stewart that was rooted off of the song's main riff. Jake broke into a funky ditty with the rest of the band following in his steps. Yet again, Joel tearing it up on the moog and laying down a wonderful pattern. Stasik of course laying down straight grooves all night and doing more slapping than I'm use to, which was awesome. The jam soon found it's way into a personal favorite of mine "Smell the Mitten" a song where Jake shows no mercy and tonight was no different. I had to re-assure myself after the song that my face was still hanging on. The band did a top notch version of "Resolution" to follow which is always a face rocker and gets the crowd going.

Highlight of the night for me was a monster version of "Utopian Fir" that might as well been called "Utopian Dance Party." The audience was taken on an 18 minute long space dance odyssey that gave Waful to perfect opportunity to show off his light show and that he did. Stasik lead the band with very heavy grooves and the moog sounds were very clear and distinct during the "Utopian Rave." Eventually the dance party segued into what was the last part of the "mantis" sandwich (they started off with mantis and left it unfinished) and they destroyed it with no questions asked, a very top notch version of the song. The anthem was a perfect ending to a jaw dropping show. Of course, being Umphrey's McGee they had to go out with a bang and a rare encore was in order and they delivered. They busted out "Senor Mouse" a Chick Corea classic that left some scartching their heads and others jumping up and down with excitement. Very well executed and left myself & everyone else walking out of The Orange Peel a very happy camper.

Asheville was the first stop on a 3 night run; next stop Charleston, SC...

-Scott Shrader (Snucka)

... To be continued...

Umphreys McGee Live at Orange Peel on February 11, 2010.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Review: Papadosio 2.11.10

My previous 2 trips to the Double Door in Wicker Park have been incredible. The Omega Moos and 56 Hope Road both killed and set the stage for many future engagements at the venue. This time around the band was Papadosio, a recent revelation for myself but a band that's been on the rise in the Midwest for a minute now. They are known for bringing an intense brand of electro jams and threw down the fucking Heat on this Thursday night.

I got to the Double Door with enough time to grab a Goose Island before the opening band, Fifth World hit the stage. This is a local Chicago band with solid roots in jam & funk, but with an annoying penchant for rapping. Their frontman, "Sensei of Soul", really doesn't fit in with the vibe of the music. The keys man (Asif Wilson) and guitar slayer (Greg Firak) are pretty talented musicians and played some stellar instrumental jams. But when the rapping was introduced, the entire feel of the music changed. It was choppy, cacophonous and just generally lackluster. He was really more of a hype man than an MC and I can't figure out why a jam band would need that. I understand that they are trying to blend genres and everything, but it just doesn't work well. I think this band has a lot of potential if they lost the rap and focused on their funky jams. And I think Mr. Sensei would fit in better in a more traditional hip-hop outfit.

Papadosio started setting up immediately and I thought to myself, "Now this is a band." They had 2 computers and a whole galaxy of keys, synthesizers, sequencers, mixers, multi-colored uppers, downers, screamers, laughers... not to mention the staple instruments, guitars and drums. This combination of traditional instruments & electronic elements is becoming my favorite realm of music. Jamtronica is a heaving musical storm right now and as far as I'm concerned, Papadosio is squarely in the eye of that storm.

Having only discovered this band less than 6 months ago, I wasn't super familiar with their songs. I have been listening to a show of theirs I found on Archive with no song titles and loving every second of it. So even though I wasn't hip to all the titles, I was really excited for the rage they were about to unleash. They hit the stage to a sparse & reticent crowd. There was a bubble about 10 feet out from the stage where everyone was standing. It took all of half a song, however, for that bubble to burst and the front of the stage to be filled in, yours truly in dead center position at the stage. This band shreds way too fucking hard for a crowd to hold back for very long.

A few songs in and I was already starting to get drunk (grad school is absolutely killing my alcohol tolerance). Couple this with the facts that I knew none of the song titles and was mostly spaaaaaaaaced out and lost in the music and the result is a very poor sequential memory of this show. I know they played a song that I really liked in the first half of the show. After the show I learned that the song was called "All I Knew" and it's from their newest album Observations. This song is as close to a jamtronic ballad as I've heard. Thogmartin takes the vocals in this song and lays down an amazing vocal soundscape. As he sings his body flexes & sags, taking on a lithe, Thom Yorke-like posture. This song is actually pretty soft for this band, but it kicks ass nonetheless.

I'm pretty sure that after this song, Thogmartin announced that the next song was called "Improbability Blotter". I am familiar with this title because he says the same thing in that Archive show I have. Shit, if I came up with a phrase as cool sounding as "Improbability Blotter" I'd probably say it all the time too. This song was an absolute shredder and Thogmartin again stood out as he dropped a waterfall of keys throughout the whole song. The bass man, Rob McConnell, inadvertently become the focus of this song as he was wailing on his bass so hard that he snapped a string. Once the song ended, he looked really surprised and said, "I didn't know I had it in me... I guess I really meant it." He seemed to realize that he wasn't going to be able to fix the guitar or play with it in that condition. Acting quickly, the bass player from Fifth World came in clutch and gave up his 6-string bass. McConnell looked intimidated at having to acclimate to a strange guitar in the middle of a show, so he kind of slunk to the back of the stage to get his bearings. By the end of that song, however, he was back at the front of the stage and killing the new bass. A sign of a truly talented musician.

Unlike most shows of this ilk, Papadosio kept the show rocking and skipped a setbreak. The second half of the show continued to showcase Thogmartin and his awesomely noodly guitar chops. He reminds me a lot of Mike Rempel from Lotus, which is always a good thing in my book. But the latter parts of the show also let Billy Brouse, the keys/synths/what-have-you master of the band have his time to stand out. His spectrum of sound differs wildly from song to song and keeps me jumping with some wild & wonderful noises. But while his electro-mastery is obvious, his vocal skills gave me a chuckle. He looked so incredibly apprehensive & nervous when he jumped in on some background vocals. It sounded just fine, but his body language & facial expression made it seem like he was scared shitless. It was about this time that I also realized that the drums were also extremely on-point and indeed had been all night. The drummer, Mike Healy, is a ripper and is every bit as talented as the rest of the band. Each of these guys seem to be extremely sharp musicians, yet this band is so much more than just the sum of its parts. It's a jamtronica assault of the highest order.

The show wrapped up with my favorite song of theirs but, once again, I didn't know the title. It is the last song on the recording I have and they saved it for last once again. I learned that the song is called "Polygons" and it is from the album Magreenery, though at the show I yelled, "Yessssss, it's that killer song!" This song is perfectly suited for a set-ender and is completely insane. I stood with my mouth agape & eyes closed to soak up the music for about the first 10 seconds before I couldn't help but shred the dancefloor like an animal. "Polygons" is like a sonic hatchet, zipping through the air looking for any and all scalps to peel back... and I was definitely in the line of fire. I got totally lost in the song and when it finally ended I was left standing there, with my wig pushed back and desperate for more music. Luckily they came back for one more really quick song, a real banger, but then left the stage again. However, this time I was expecting the show to be over and I was able to gather the pieces of my face off the floor with an incredible sense of satisfaction & happiness.

Moral of the story: this band is seriously fucking awesome. They might be my favorite band at this very moment and I'm really looking forward to the next time I see them. I just wish it wasn't going to take until Summer Camp for that to happen... I could see these guys every weekend.

-Frazier Chicago Jam Scene

Jam of The Day: Garage A Trois

Garage A Trois Live at 8x10 on December 21, 2009.

Stanton Moore, Skerik, Marco Benevento, Mike Dillon.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Site Announcement!

Today was an exciting day for the site, as I purchased the domain name Additionally I have spiced up the page a little bit with a new layout and a few changes here and there. To stream all of the most recent/highly rated live shows, take advantage of the widget located on the right hand side of the page. We have several reviews on the way, and a bunch of great interviews lined up. Also, spring will mark the return of "Zimmer's Picks: Deadstash", (one of my favorite parts of the site), as well as a couple of new contributors and some new weekly staples.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy the site and encourage you to get involved, be it through comments or submissions.

The J-man

Post Script: I just stumbled upon this...

Hydra Live at on April 12, 2005.

Hydra is; Particle w/ Mickey Hart.

A Review: The Breakfast

Going into the evening, I was expecting good things. It's always a plesure to see the Breakfast; as I have always considered them one of the hidden gems of the jamband scene. The snow fell on Syracuse making for an interesting ride to and from the venue. But there is something about seeing a show on a snowy night that I love. The show was heald at the emerging venue; "The Westcott", which has played host to some of the best bands on the scene. Walking into the venue I could see that the crowd would be small, which is typical for a Breakfast show in this region. After verification from the guestlist; I noticed Tim Palmieri spacing out in the lobby. I approached and thanked him for his hospitality. After a short discussion I walked into the main theatre, only to be throughly annoyed by the opening band. Their horrible riffs and constant repition made me crave The Breakfast.

At around 11:30pm The Breakfast took the stage. From the start you could tell that it was going to be a heavily desired "SUPER-CRUNCH MELTDOWN." They played one long set that was full of expansive jams, that started and stopped with practiced precision. They went from; jammy to jazzy, to spacey to rock with a pleasing amount of musical intuition. The crowd, as small as it was, was really into it; dancing and wooking out with musical joy. To my delight, I was surprised to see projections on the curtained wall of the Westcott. The designs went from 1980's looking to brilliant color paterns. It added a cool vibe and sensory treat to the evening.

On a side note: I truly find hoola-hoopers to be annoying. I mean, it's fine if you're in an open field at a festival off to the side... But indoors? Nay. The only saving grace was that is had LED lights on it. *Sigh*

The guitar work was heavy, and smooth; with a technical ability that exceeds most of the first and second tier bands on the scene. The keys/synth had everyone going wild; a perfect mix of space and funk. The bass was heavy and had the crowd moving. You could feel it rattling around your rib cage, with perfect timing. The drums were prominent and consistent; showing more ability than most of the drummers on the scene.

All in all, The Breakfast are one of the best kept secrets on the jam scene. They have the consistency/dancability of Lotus, the versatility of Umphrey's McGee, the transitions of moe. and setlist arrangements similar to that of the Dead or Phish. Above all else, they may be more my speed than any of the bands previously mentioned. I thought the show was about as perfect as a jamband show gets.

Rating: 9.5/10

Friday, February 19, 2010

Jam of The Day: Garaj Mahal

Garaj Mahal Live at Blind Melon's on April 10, 2005.

This is the sickness.

As a music critic... I can say with great confidence: This is one of the best bands on our scene; as well as one of the best kept secrets.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Jam of The Day (Part 2): Jim Weider

Freedom Band, Feat; Fleck, Meyer, Hussain


The Freedom Band joins the Bela Fleck, Zakir Hussain, Edgar Meyer Trio at the Wolf Trap!

The stage is going to be packed with virtuosos on June 22—a lineup this brilliant and eclectic doesn't come along often. Don't miss it.

The Freedom Band:

Chick Corea, piano
Roy Haynes, drums
Kenny Garrett, saxophone
Christian McBride, bass


Bela Fleck, banjo
Zakir Hussain, percussion
Edgar Meyer, bass


Jam of The Day: Shakti, Zakir Hussain, John McLaighlin

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

An Interview: Will Bernard

J-man: Thanks for taking the time to do this.

J-man: In my opinion you’re playing with some of the top artists on the scene. At what point did you realize that your projects would come together in the fashion that they have?

Will: Let’s see, I started going down to Jazz Fest in New Orleans about… I think eight years ago. That’s where I first started plating with Robert Walter and Stanton Moore and that became a long term relationship. I guess, I mean; there has been a lot of stuff before that, including the Charlie Hunter project.

J-man: So the point when you started playing with Robert Walter and Stanton Moore is when you realized that your project would come together in that regard?

Will: Yeah, I guess that’s a hard question… I mean that was the first thing that came to mind for what I am doing right now. Just going down to Jazz Fest and sitting in with people and playing with people led to a whole new group of associations.

J-man: How much does it validate you as a musician to have people like Stanton Moore, John Medeski & Robert Walter sitting in on your projects and recording with you?

Will: Well, I think they are fine musicians… I think it’s interesting how certain musicians become famous, or more popular than others. I think, well; I’m not sure why that is but I’m not always sure that it’s because they’re so much better than other musicians. But all of those guys you’ve mentioned are some of my favorite musicians, and I’m super happy that they liked my playing, and that I am able to play with them.

J-man: What do you think the benefit is to playing with a rotating cast of musicians?

Will: You mean in my own projects?

J-man: Yes

Will: Well, I guess if I could I would just have one group, but it’s logistically easier to do it this way for me at this point. Due to people’s schedules and travel considerations. So I have, like you said a revolving cast of people that I use, depending on different situations. It seems to be… It seems to work out pretty well.

J-man: Of the artists you’ve played with who really stands out to you as being special?

Will: Hmmm, special…

J-man: I guess a better way of putting that would be is there anyone that you have played with, that made you say “Wow, this is it.”?

Will: Probably in the most recent years; Dr. Lonnie Smith has been the most amazing musician, I think that I have gotten to play with… a number of times. He’s just a real, deep, amazing musician.

J-man: Who is someone that you would really love to create music with, that has yet to pan out?

Will: That’s a good question. Well, probably some of these great jazz musicians like Paul Motian and Jack DeJohnette, For drummers, um, let’s see… I don’t know, that’s what comes to mind.

J-man: Can you talk a little bit about the jazz greats both past/present, and what they mean to you and your music?

Will: Well, right now I’ve been thinking a lot about Thelonious Monk because I’ve been reading this new book about; Thelonious Monk… And he was probably the first guy that I listened to when I was a teenager that really made me think that jazz might be something that I would want to try and play. Before that, you know, I was listening to rock music and rock oriented music. But, the way he would play is; he would kind of have sort of a visionary way of looking at music, that not just someone playing music. Those are the kind of artists that I get inspired by… it doesn’t matter which category.

J-man: What does improvisation mean to you, and how much is it a part of your playing?

Will: When I solo; I try and make things fresh, as much as I can and not repeat myself. It’s pretty hard to do, but…

J-man: Yeah, I could see that. It’s easy to fall into certain riffs.

Will: Yeah, I try and keep it fresh as much as possible, partly for my own enjoyment… Because I don’t want to hear the same thing (Laughs) over and over. I think, you know, there are different types of improvisation. There’s soloing where you just string together riffs and patterns that you’ve memorized. Then there is a combination of that with trying to develop something new every time you play. Most improvisers do play things that they already know, it’s not just coming up with something completely new all of the time. You know? That would be… Pretty impossible.

J-man: You’re from the West coast, playing a lot of shows on the East coast…

Will: I live in Brooklyn now.

J-man: Right, but you originally came from California, correct?

Will: Yeah, I was from the Bay Area. I grew up in the Bay Area.

J-man: What’s the difference between the two scenes, as far as the West coast and East coast, to you? Or are there any?

Will: Well, if you look at the population density; there are so many more people out here in the New York area, to begin with. So, there’s that and there’s also the fact that there are way more musicians out here. It’s more of a competitive scene, but there’s a lot more going on here. Out on the West coast, especially in the Bay Area there’s… You kind of know everybody, pretty quickly. You know, it’s kind of more of a small town, compared to New York.

J-man: There are parts of the scene where you are a virtual unknown, why do you think that is, and how are you going about changing that?

Will: (Laughs) I wish I knew. I might be destine to be the best kept secret for my whole career, but I hope not (Laughs). Like I said earlier; It’s a matter of… Well, partly being in the right place at the right time. It could be that, um… Well, you know, Medeski, Martin & Wood, they got lucky by being involved with Phish and That whole scene. You know, I saw Medeski, Martin & Wood play at a tiny little club in San Francisco. I think it might have been their first time to San Francisco. They were all kind of “Knitting Factory” guys.

J-man: What do you think of the “Jamband/Festival” Scene? You kind of related Medeski, Martin & Wood to that scene, and I wonder how you feel about it.

Will: Well, I’ve always had good times playing at these festivals. A lot of the time it’s a lot of the people that I know… It’s kind of a party, and you get to see people that you haven’t seen in a while.

J-man: Do you think the festival scene is a productive environment?

Will: You mean for creating music?

J-man: Yes, for creating music.

Will: Well, I think that some of the drawbacks are that it’s always the same groups that seem to play these things every year. There’s not… It seems like there could be more variety, within the musical style and the musical creativity. But yeah, it seems… I don’t know why it wouldn’t be productive. Anything to employ musicians (Laughs) and get people looking especially at music that is improvised (Laughs), I think is great.

J-man: When you’re playing do you find it easier to lead or sit back and take the music as it comes?

Will: Do you mean like; a band leader or being in a band?

J-man: Exactly.

Will: We’ll it’s definitely easier to be a sideman. (Laughs) No question.

J-man: What do you prefer?

Will: You know, I like them both. I think if I never led my own band, I would feel like I was missing out on something because, there is nothing like being able to play your own compositions. That’s always been a big thing for me. The excitement of trying out a new song, you know, with somebody.

J-man: As the creator, how does it feel when that kind of comes together, and the other musicians are adding their part to it?

Will: Yeah, when it comes together, it’s amazing. It’s the best experience, you know? I always see it as like; you become a “music-junkie” when you get these kind of highs, you know? When you just want to go back and try to get it again. (Laughs) … And we all go through a lot of hoops trying to get back to these highs that we have experienced, I think. It’s not always easy being a musician… But that’s what keeps you going. But, you know, it’s easier sometimes when you have a regular band, where you can really develop things.

J-man: What’s going through your mind when you are on stage, just “Killing” it? When everything is coming together, and the people in the audience are really into it. What’s going through your head at that time?

Will: Yeah, it’s kind of like; you get that moment… you look around and you can tell everybody else is feeling right there, and you’re hitting that moment we’ve been all trying to find. Basically you not thinking about, like; Did you leave the stove on at home? Or , how am I getting to Minneapolis tomorrow? That can inhibit your playing sometimes.

J-man: Ok, you just mentioned some things that aren’t on your mind. Is it just blank, in the moment with what’s happening, or in idle. What’s going on up there?

Will: That’s a good question. I think, you’re just right in there with the music, and it’s more of a feeling, I think. You get more into the feeling part than the actual intellectual part of it. But then, when you’re really playing well, the intellectual part is also working, saying “Wow, maybe I could try this?” You know? You have to be there saying “Ok, his bridge is coming up” and “What’s the next song?” Things like that, so there’s things happening at the same time. But, for me; it’s almost like, what’s not going through my head (Laughs). Instead of what’s going through my head. Like I was say, it’s more about getting into the feeling.

J-man: How did your most recent project come together? And how do you approach a guy like John Medeski and ask him to record with you?

Will: Well, like I said before; I had met John years before and we have a great deal of mutual friends, going back to the Knitting Factory days. People like Steven Bernstein, Bill Frisell and all of those guys who were kind of really active at that point. Lounge lizards. I had know him before and we were playing at Jazz Ft I think in 2006 with Stanton’s Trio, which is Robert Walter, Stanton Moore and myself. There was one gig at the DBA that Robert Walter couldn’t do and Medeski ended up doing it. And I just… I think, uh… I can’t remember how it worked out but before the gig we ended up hanging out for hours and going and getting crawfish boil and getting to know each other. And, you know, the gig was great. So it wasn’t like; just approaching somebody cool and saying “Do you want to play?”

J-man: What geared you towards those musicians? What made you decide to call up Stanton Moore, Andy Hess and John Medeski and those guys to be on your cd? And how does Andy Hess come into that mix?

Will: We have a lot of mutual friends as well. He has roots in the Bay Area, also. I think I first met him playing with Avi Bortnick who is the guitar player for John Scofield. I had seen him play with John Scofield… He’s just a great, solid bass player, you know? I think I had met him a couple of times after that, and he was just a great cat too. Well, and it was also that the other two had played with him. I didn’t want to get somebody that… I didn’t want to put together something that was like two guys that had never played together, because you never know what’s going to happen with that (Laughs). Sometimes, especially with a drummer and a bass player… If they don’t get along musically then you’re in trouble. So I wanted to get somebody that had played with those two guys.

J-man: When you were putting together that project, beyond getting people that had played together, was there an element of recruiting the best musicians that you could find? In other words, how does a project like that come together, to be what I consider a “super-group” in the end?

Will: Yeah, I mean; a guy like John Medeski is perfect for my music because he comes from a lot of different musical traditions, including twentieth century classical music, jazz, rock, soul music, gospel, you know? And he also utilizes electronics on his instruments in a way that nobody else does. He’s into pedals and dub style effects, you know. So, as far as… Aside from the fact that he’s john Medeski, just musically he is perfect for what I do.

J-man: What’s next for you and your upcoming projects?

Will: I’ll be touring with The Stanton Moore Trio and we’ll also be backing up Anders Osborne*** who has a new record out as well. Also in the month of May we’ll be touring with that project. Hitting Jazz Fest in April and probably some other festivals down that way. The other project that I’m doing is a group called “Some Cat From Japan”, which is all Jimi Hendrix music.

J-man: Really? Who’s involved in that?

Will: Nigel Hall, myself, Ron Johnson, Eric Boulivar and Scott Metzker.

J-man: What is Nigel’s part in that project?

Will: He’s playing keys and he’s like… the singer (Laughs).

J-man: That’s interesting… Nigel singing Hendrix…

Will: Yeah, we’re going back and really trying to go through these Hendrix songs and trying to learn these songs that we have heard our whole life, you know? So it’s just developing. It sort of started out as a one gig thing and then, it looks like we’re playing the Brooklyn Bowl next month and probably playing Jazz Fest. So, we’ll see… the last time I did this kind of thing was T.J. Kirk in the 90’s with Charlie Hunter. We ended up getting two records with Warner Brothers.

J-man: I saw you were nominated for a couple of Grammy’s. That’s not necessarily representative of the fans as much as it is the industry, but how does it feel to be nominated for an award like that?

Will: Well, you feel like someone is listening, you know? (Laughs) I’m not quite sure who… but somebody is. A lot of times you get… like I’ve gotten pretty good press with the critics and the critics tend to like me… Actually, the first time I was in the critics downbeat poll, last year in the “Rising Star” category. (Laughs)

J-man: How do you feel when you see yourself in that category? Do you see yourself as a “rising star”? and what does that even mean?

Will: (Laughs) Yeah, I don’t know… In Downbeat it used to be “talent deserving wider recognition” and then they changed it to “Rising Star”… So, I don’t know. I don’t know what that means but, it’s nice to have somebody… You know, critics don’t always translate into audience and record sales and all that. And same with the Grammy’s; it doesn’t always translate into popularity.

J-man: Will, thank you very much.

Will: Great, thank you so much for doing this.

Will Bernard on Facebook.

Will Bernard's Fan Page.

Stanton Moore Trio.

Will Bernard Projects Live at Highline Ballroom on June 7, 2009.

Will Bernard - guitar
Robert Walter - organ
Stanton Moore - drums
Tim Luntzel - bass

Will Bernard Projects Live at Highline Ballroom on March 26, 2009.

Will Bernard - guitar
John Medeski - keys, melodica
Stanton Moore - drums
Andy Hess - bass

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

John McLaughlin New Album


The new album from John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension, To The One, takes on the artistic and spiritual challenges first offered by Coltrane's jazz masterpiece A Love Supreme, while making use of the pioneering musical and technical vocabulary that McLaughlin has honed since the beginning of his career.
Available via Abstract Logix on April 20, 2010, To The One is the result of a burst of inspiration that struck the legendary English guitarist and composer in summer of 2009.

"This music started to come to me," McLaughlin explains, "without any call from my part. The sound and feel of this new music took me back to 1965, to when I first heard A Love Supreme. I was 23 years old at that time, and struggling with questions of existence that we all confront sooner or later.

Some of us discard them or don't bother to delve deeper, but that's not my nature. I was asking big questions: What is the meaning of life? What is this word 'god'? What is this spirit? It was then that Coltrane came along and single-handedly brought this dimension of spirituality into jazz... it was a pivotal experience to me. It was so encouraging to me in both my musical and spiritual quests. To The One, as an album, is about those two aspects of my life - music and spirituality - crystallized by this recording of Coltrane's, and how A Love Supreme coincided with my search for meaning in life."

It is a search that he never surrendered, as McLaughlin's musical journey took him from session work and jazz sessions in the U.K. to recording and performing in America with the likes of Tony Williams and Miles Davis, through to the founding of the Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti, his ensemble dedicated to exploring Indian music and spirituality.

"For the band to play my tunes is a challenge," McLaughlin explains, "and in return, I want them to challenge me. This is part of what jazz is - it's very interactive. You play with the musicians. You're not just playing the notes."

Great Show: moe.

All Good Announces

Here's the initial All Good Artist Announcement:

Widespread Panic
Umphrey's McGee
Yonder Mountain String Band
Dark Star Orchestra
George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic
Femi Kuti & the Positive Force
Railroad Earth
The New Deal
Perpetual Groove
Fort Knox Five
The Macpodz

Stay tuned for many more acts to be announced!

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Jam of The Day: Further & UM

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Few Videos: Jimmy Smith