The new album is out, and I mean out!
Available online and at Louisiana Music Factory and Euclid records.
Glenn Hartman- Accordion
Mean Willie Green III- drums
Have a preview-
Just confirmed. Another chance to catch the band and, it's at one of the seasons great events. The Chazfest.
The interviews page on this site has much content from the first Chaz festival. We will be doing interviews this year since it may well be the last Chazfest. Updates and reflections must take place!
I will also be appearing with the Valparaiso Men's Chorus out there.
It's that time of year again. A little more going on and there is a number of interesting performances afoot from this direction. Check these out!
Thursday April 14th- Tonight- with Blake Amos quartet at Yuki Izakaya (Frenchmen st) 8-11pm. Blake plays many originals and classics, all heavily Brazilian inflected and it's no joke, he's heavily steeped in that- but also drenched in what was here too. Simon Lott on drums. Come by, you might win the Simon Lottery!
Saturday April 16th- with guitarist Carl Leblanc at Casa Borrega 7-10:30pm(Oretha Castle Haley Blvd). Carl is one of the city's great musicians. Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Sun Ra Arkestra, but then his own thing and signature guitar sound and approach- with intelligence subtlety and rhythm. All severely lacking much of the time these days.
Thursday April 21st- At Allways lounge 9pm with James Singleton, Scott Amendola, Rob Cambre. Always a pleasure to do new things with new people. Rob Cambre runs a great new series at Allways and seems to be really going an interesting direction by getting groups whose internal mechanics are frequently vastly different from each other- and yet there is a great deal to feel less isolated about here. Rob plays guitar. James Singleton, the iconic New Orleans bassist. Scott Amendola- plays with the heavies out west. These days I often hear things described as musical. I nod my head as if I know what they are talking about. You'll probably hear that description slung around a lot over hear. That's because the players care about how they sound and the audience seems to like that. It's an old story that renews every time. Uninterrupted we like the way music feels...
Friday April 22nd- with James Singleton at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center -9pm (Oretha Castle Haley Blvd). Playing James's music again. Always a great lineup, and it gets more and more interesting and sensitive. If you missed the show here last year you get another shot now. It is a great room. The important sounds linger in the air a little longer.
Sunday April 24th- with The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars at The Old Arabi Bar. 10pm. Here is one to catch if, like me, you are interested in more alternative scenarios. Get down to further out old New Orleans neighborhood, closer than you think and see some far out music in an area far squarer than you know. But, you can still smoke in that bar, and the egregious interruptions of neighborhoods-coming-up isn't distorting the vision. The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars with the full lineup including Ben Ellman of Galactic, and Glenn Hartman on accordion, Joe Cabral of the Iguanas on bass. The way we have had it for years now.
Tuesday April 26th- with The Diesel Combustion Orchestra at Open Ears Music Series 10pm- Blue Nile Upstairs (Frenchmen St.) Dan Oestreicher, the Baritone sax player from Trombone Shorty's band has this smart outfit. We will fix your normality good and proper, isolate it, and transport straight into an ice castle at the bottom of the Mississippi river. You will flip. There's electronics, heavy exotica and exploration that will cause the catharsis to get you into that life that you wish you could slip away into effortlessly.
Friday April 29th- with The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars at Casa Borrega 7-10:30pm(Oretha Castle Haley Blvd). See above. This is dangerously close to where we really started to catch hold of the city in 1992. The food is great and the Tequila flows like wine. This one is going to kill!
Saturday April 30th-with The New Orleans Klezmer All Stars at The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. Join us. Our set is before Stevie Wonder so don't panic. ANd- the secret is, we are not far away from the main stage. You will experience the newest thing- THE MEYERS. Standby for the album you have been waiting for.
Casa Borrega on all Saturdays in May too! Come on out! Lineups TBA.
A highly flavorful half hour of very direct discussion with the writers of a certain kind of real down here in New Orleans. Alex Mcmurray was involved and the whole discussion was conducted at his address.
What is touched upon? What is examined? What was quietly passed over?
Who are they? Wikipedia has this to say...
But who needs that resource when you have this one!
Before the month is out, I should remember to say a few words about this on the website.
Offbeat put some words in on the subject of the interviews. Really the first they have printed about my musical endeavors since the 90s.
Laura DeFazio wrote the article. When she did the interview I had no idea what it was for, so I was pleasantly surprised to get a mention in the current climate. It was also nice speaking to Elsa Hahn while she shot the portrait pictured here.
There has been a long gap since the last interview went up. Apologies to those who have been requesting more.
We'll kick off the next set with a really great one. The other parts will follow very soon.
The Morning 40 Federation are a band that has great resonance with a certain swath of New Orleans locals who see in them the embodiment of a certain set of life experiences that very definitely were in fast effect at one time in New Orleans and in a long gone era of a certain way that Bywater used to look. The reflections from that are still reverberating strongly and the mighty 40s continue on once in a while. As we find out here, they are still writing.
Ryan Scully is a fascinating music writer that I've been trying to catch up with for an interview since the 90s. Currently he is also fronting another interesting band, Scully and the Rough 7.
Josh Cohen is a saxophone player and writer for the 40s as well as being crafty in some other areas and, really quite philosophical.
These folks have amazing insight into the old problem of the correspondence between life and music and, of the folks I have interviewed, they have some of the most unexpectedly profound things to say on the subject.
Alex Mcmurray is often involved in what sometimes becomes a quite multi-layered discussion.
It all happens on the interviews page...
As always, it's also available as a podcast on itunes.
Fresh off a refreshing hiatus, with new works, some newer faces and a lot of old friends. There will be a catwalk!
The full complement will be there:
Jimbo Walsh- conductor
Janna Saslaw- flute/piccolo
Chris Kohl- clarinets
Martin Krusche- soprano sax
Aurora Nealand- Alto sax
Rex Gregory- tenor/ bass clarinet
Joe Cabral- tenor sax
Dan Oestreicher- bari sax
Scott Frock- trumpet
Jeff Albert- Trombone
Devon Taylor- Tuba
Jonathan Freilich- guitar
I'll let you in on a secret. The Naked Orchestra shows are also a party with some of the most interesting and colorful folks in town. Come over and get down while comparing the key system on bassoons and bass clarinets; the body differences between a cello and a bass, all while pretending to eye the object of your desires so you aren't caught staring hungrily at such things. You wouldn't want to appear over eager.
This is a success story already. We all learned how you say Black in Basque.
Over the summer I produced an album for the legendarysinger and activist, Fermin Muguruza. It's out and available on Itunes. It's a collection of his classics done with a gaggle of New Orleans great musicians, playing at their finest.
Arrangements by yours truly and I think it is the first New Orleans/ Basque connection (with maybe Zatarain's being the exception.)
Check out the video to get a feel for the killer energy of the project:
Stay tuned for the documentary made concurrently with the project.
The klezmer All Stars Duo (Glenn Hartman, Jonathan Freilich) made it to Austria, Spain, and back. A second European trip completed! Shows were-
Klezmore festival, Vienna
San Feliu de Guixols
Special thanks to our friends out there who made it possible or helped along the way:
Thomas Shudek- King of Malwonia
Albert Mestres- sharp swift booking attacks in Spain
Fermin Muguruza- online support. Black is Beltza!
A couple of months went by very fast in preparation for the Fermin Muguruza recording in New Orleans which I was asked to produce. Fermin is a great and fascinating Basque singer, documentarian, writer with about a 30 year story in music under his belt. I think we may have gotten to the first New Orleans/Basque recording ever. And what an interesting development that is!
In passing we learned a lot about Basque things. Including Zatarain's...
It's worth clicking on the link above and finding out more about Fermin. His work has a lot of social import and he put together a fascinating album here, with a great lineup of heavy musicians from all across the New Orleans music world. Look for that in December.
At any rate, all of this producing and arranging slowed down things like posting more interviews and even posting concert schedules on the website. back to that, and with more Naked Orchestra things to come and the Joyce Opera ( "what's that? never heard of it. are we starting rumors?")
Busy time here.
Tomorrow night, 11pm, I will be playing guitar for Los Angeles songwriter, RJ Comer, at House of blues, New Orleans.
Saturday night, I will be with my own band at Irvin Mayfield's Playhouse in the Royal Sonesta hotel. Amazing band. One of the greatest rhythm section in New Orleans musical history-
Original music there of course- and some other items from across the last 150 years of mostly local music.
Sunday I will be at Yuki Izakaya for a little Latin dance party. We are getting back to the old days of Mas Mamones etc.classic Cuban rhythmic music-
Hector Gallardo- Percussion
Sometimes know as Johnny "Guitar Mambo" and His Hot Latin Combo. Back where things started to get rolling in the Latin scene here. Right inside the door that Hector always used to play on the street in front of. And in the Cafe Brasil building. Hector is also one of the greats. Authentic Cuban, vegetarian, and impeccable Swiss timing.
Tonight at Yuki at 525 Frenchmen St.- 8pm til
These days, The Jackals are rare. Old friends, greater thanks than the sum of parts. All that kind of thing. A wild an unpredictable repertoire with great playing all around.
Joe Cabral-bass, vocals
Come see the group that started that whole Bacchanal thing. You might get an interesting new hang going.
We will answer the question- "Is a Jackal an Iguana?"
Playing tonight a Open Ears. Power quartet! The show is above the blue Nile on Frenchmen st. Starts around 10:15pm.
ray Moore- Woodwinds
jonathan Freilich- guitar.
premier of a new piece tonight too!
You can catch the orchestra 4 times this month.
3 shows at The Old U.S. Mint on Friday 10th, 17th, and 24th of July from 2-3pm.
1 Show at Snug Harbor on Sunday 12th of July.
It's going to be fascinating and entertaining no matter what.
New Naked Orchestra website coming soon!
This is one to see and hear.
Doug Belote- drums
Just had a great recording session with James too. Looking forward to seeing how that comes out.
That record is still available by the way. get it on Alex Mcmurray's website...
And while you are here, have a sample...
Have two interesting hits this week:
Tonight with a Trio at Yuki on Frenchmen St at 8pm.
Jonathan Freilich- guitar
Doug Garrison- drums
Expect a Jackal-ish guest and then expect the unexpected...
Friday will be at the Maple Leaf Bar on Oak St in Uptown New Orleans. Show starts @10pm.
Mike Dillon is a fascinating multi instrumentalism who has some unbelievably exciting approaches to things like vibraphones and Marimbas. There's a punk thing, a surf thing, a Jazz thang, a Metal thing, a Funk thang, a surf thing. Lot's of things and thangs. A good deal of tings, dings, damns and dangs.