July 2010

07.14.2010-  Abrams, Bishop, Drake, Parker

Recorded “Reflections of Baba Fred Anderson”, featuring Joshua Abrams (bass), Jeb Bishop (trombone), Hamid Drake (drums), and Jeff Parker (guitar) at the Hideout in Chicago.

07.23.2010-  Extraordinary Popular Delusions

Okka Fest II kicked off with Extraordinary Popular Delusions (Jim Baker-piano & synth, Steve Hunt-drums, Brian Sandstrom-bass & electric guitar, Mars Williams-sax & autoharp). 

07.23.2010- Brotzmann, McPhee, Vandermark

Recorded Friday night’s second set, the intense and much anticipated reed trio of Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee, and Ken Vandermark.  Unfortunately, McPhee’s sax suffered from airline abuse and neglect, rendering it unusable.  Armed with a Vandermark loaner, however, he joined Brotzmann and Vandermark in a powerful performance that reminded the packed room exactly what the saxophone is capable of when placed in the right hands and mouths.

07.24.2010-  Kessler, McPhee, Zerang

Recorded the second day of Okka Fest, beginning with an afternoon performance at The Palm Tavern, also owned by Okka Disk founder Bruno Johnson.  Originally the trio (Kent Kessler-bass, Joe McPhee-sax, Michael Zerang-drums) was to feature the talents of jazz legend Fred Anderson, but Anderson passed away at the age of 81 one month prior.  Stepping up to fill in was Joe McPhee, who aptly captured the bittersweet mood when he stated, “I planned on being here today too, but I was going to be sitting there,” indicating the front row. 

07.24.2010-  The Engines

Saturday night I recorded The Engines (Jeb Bishop-trombone, Tim Daisy-drums, Nate McBride-bass, Dave Rempis-sax) at The Sugar Maple in Milwaukee.

07.24.2010-  GUTS

Saturday night’s headliner recording was GUTS (Peter Brotzmann-sax, Kent Kessler-bass, Joe McPhee- sax, Michael Zerang-drums), who all but blew the roof off of The Sugar Maple. 

07.25.2010-  Brotzmann

The final day of recording Okka Fest began with very little sleep but plenty of adrenaline.  Peter Brotzmann (reeds) opened with a solo set, but that did not stop me from using all five mics that were set up for the brass section of the next set. Though the back room of The Sugar Maple sounds very good, the front room is excellent. 

07.25.2010-  Topology

If you have 16 channels along for the ride, why not use ’em?  Last November, I recorded Ken Vandermark’s innovative arrangement of Joe McPhee compositions.  Due to a small stage and some technical difficulties, the recording was a challenge.  Now, in a repeat performance, Topology (Jason Adasiewicz-vibes, Josh Berman-cornet, Jeb Bishop-trombone, Tim Daisy-drums, Kent Kessler-bass, Fred Lonberg-Holm-cello, Joe McPhee-sax, Dave Rempis-sax, Ken Vandermark-reeds) sounded better than ever. 

07.27.2010-  Lake Holiday Tracks

In between sorting through Okka Fest recordings, I am composing and recording piano (acoustic & electric) tracks for some songs by Brad Davis of Lake Holiday.  I’ve been given a lot of freedom here, which is both a compliment and a vague assignment.  I believe the exact title of the collective files that Brad sent me was “Songs For Daver To Have His Way With”.  Dangerous words, my friend…