Interview with Jeff Albert, Trombonist and curator of the Open Ears Series. Parts 1&2

Jeff Albert is more than a musician.  Like a few others interviewed here he has contributed to the New Orleans music scene through the Tuesday Open Ears series at the Blue Nile.  The series allows an open forum for a wide variety of musical performance.  It is a rare night where one can witness any sort of musical exploration. Through improving the breadth of what is presented he has contributed to  the formation  of musical groups and associations of musicians that otherwise would not have a place to develop their playing and ideas.  It also brings in adventurous groups from outside New Orleans.  Jeff has developed his own expression and his self- understanding steadily over the years.  He has learned a great deal from his own associations with musicians and gigs and he shares a lot about those experiences here.  There is also interesting information about the trombone and electronic music.

 

Part 1- How the open ears series came about, what it is, whether it is still doing what he wants, what it's relationship is to the reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina; influences of Chicago improvising musicians and how he formed alliances with those musicians; improvisation itself, what the relation is to jazz; tradition and lineage in improvisational music; early biographical information -growing up in Lafayette; starting trombone in band class and the pros and cons of that level of music education.

Part 2- musical aspirations as a starting trombone student; becoming conscious of jazz music; decision to be a musician and go to Loyola University over University of North Texas; J.J. Johnson; Clint Maedgen, Coltrane Live in Japan; studies with Dick Erb; early rewarding professional gig experience in horn sections; Pedro Cruz and latin music scene experiences; the feeling of being a professional musician and enjoyment of the lifestyle; urge for self-expression bubbling to the surface; comfort with computers and meeting John Worthington, the computer guru; becoming aware of the greater relative power of emotional playing; UNO for a masters degree and improving composition; learning strengths and limitations.

 

More on Jeff and the Open Ears Music Series can be found at www.openearsmusic.org