Michael Mull Octet

Michael Mull Octet

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mahadev & MEZE This Week!

Two fun shows this week, both in the Santa Monica area.

This Thursday, December 15th, catch Mahadev at Bar Pico, a new venue for me. There will be two other acts, on being Amadou Fall, a master of the Senegalese instrument Kora. Rumor has it, he may even sit in with us! Check out the event on facebook, and listen to a rough cut below from our album in the works!

Eastern Promise by davecipriani

12/15/11 @ Bar Pico
2819 Pico Blvd
Santa Monica 90405
8pm --- Amadou Fall
9pm --- Mahadev
10pm --- Matatu

On Saturday, December 17th, Orkestar MEZE returns to Rusty's Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica Pier for a Balkan-Gypsy-Funk Holiday Party! We'll have some peasant surprises and tricks up our sleeves as always, along with new merch to go with the recently released "Peasant Funk" album - T-shirts for men and ladies, posters, stickers, and of course, CD's. Stock up and spread the funk this holiday season.

12/17/11 @ Rusty's Surf Ranch
256 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica 90401
$7 ($12 if under 21 without guardian)
view on facebook

Friday, December 9, 2011

Slumgum and Dan Rosenboom @ Royal T

It was in my calendar for over a month - last night was finally the night. No, not the season finale of Auction Hunters or the release of the iPhone 657. It was Slumgum and the Dan Rosenboom Group at Royal T in Culver City.

Slumgum is an incredible musical force right here under our SoCal noses. I find it difficult to explain this sort of a group in words, or rather, sentences. Here are some words that come to mind; mutuality, sincerity, honesty. This is one of the tightest groups I've ever heard, not in the traditional or immediate sense, but in the way they move from moment to moment so independently, yet so together. There is a joy of intensity in their performance, and as a musician myself, watching and listening, I can feel the deepest love and respect they have for the music and the present. They have one record out and another coming soon, and you should own it.

Following Slumgum was a large musical romp in the form of the Daniel Rosenboom Group. Expanded from his septet (which just released an album) to nine pieces, trumpeter and composer Dan Rosenboom led us into a set of new songs written on the road. Flavors of "In A Silent Way" Miles Davis, hard funk, Led Zeppelin, Spanish and Balkan music, and electronic texture all presented themselves throughout, in addition to those oh-so-difficult-to-name sounds that we composing types are always after. From rockin' and raucous to lean-forward subtle, Rosenboom's music is another testament to the freedom and far-reaching grasp of this creative music world.

Thanks Los Angeles. Looking in the window, it can look a little cold and barren, but there's a hot, hot fire burning in the furnace.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Solo @ Home

The past Thanksgiving week afforded me some much-needed and much-appreciated down time, which for me translates to write and practice! (and have some extra fun too)
Mostly putting in time on arranging music for my new octet and practicing clarinet, I sat down yesterday for a little quality time with my alto sax. I have been mostly working on phrasing, melodic construction, note-by-note improvising, and other such nebulous musical skills on my alto as of late, and that usually means practicing playing a tune with all those things in mind. As it's easy to get stuck inside one's own head dealing with non-specific concepts (or, let's face it, go completely out of your head), I thought I'd record myself for a better outlook.

Below you can hear some solo renditions of the great Benny Golson's classic tunes, Stablemates and Whisper Not. I hit record, sat down, and went for it two times with each tune; these are the "second time through". Comments of any kind are encouraged and appreciated, from "It sucks" to "You dropped a beat on the third bar of the bridge on the third chorus" (made that up just now, but doesn't mean it didn't happen). Look for more of these soon and periodically, if you like.

ZOOM by Michael Mull

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Mike Keneally Retrospect

What a month of music for me, definitely a lot to be thankful for! After an incredible "Peasant Funk" CD release party with Orkestar MEZE, it was straight to a week of grueling rehearsals for guitarist/keyboardist Mike Keneally's "The Universe Will Provide". This 50-minute piece for a rock power trio-plus-an-orchestra was set for its US premier on Friday, November 18th at the REDCAT theater downtown, and everyone in the group but Mike was a CalArts student or alumni.  I had my fair share of musical challenges; my part covered alto sax, soprano sax, clarinet, flute, and my first forays into the bass saxophone. A feat in itself, full rehearsals were run Monday through Thursday, and the result was an incredible performance those involved won't soon forget. You can read a lot about the piece and its conception here. The performance was recorded and documented by multiple cameras, so I'm hoping I can direct you to a stream or DVD in the near future. Until then, suffice to say that I am honored to have been included in this performance and am proud of my fellow CalArts denizens for really pulling as much life, blood, and jumps-for-joy out of that music as possible!

Coming soon: my octet, take two. People are on board, music is being written and arranged (including some Placebo and 38 Special), and we'll see an inaugural performance early 2012. Two woodwinds, two trombones, two guitars, bass, drums...here we go!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Peasant Funk" CD Release 11/11/11

The time is finally here! Orkestar MEZE is geared up for an incredible show this Friday night, 11/11/11, at the Key Club! We're proudly releasing our debut album, "Peasant Funk", as well as some killer merchandise like T-shirts, posters, and stickers, all adorned with that classy peasant look you've come to expect from MEZE. Check out the event on facebook, and get cheaper pre-sale tickets at http://www.milenkirov.net/, our leader's website. We'll have some incredible special guests sitting in with us as well, not to be missed. It's bound to be a legendary night...get a piece for yourself!

The album cover!

Monday, October 24, 2011

FREE SAMPLE at Webers Place 10/27

This Thursday, enjoy a brand new musical excursion, FREE SAMPLE. Led by guitarist and video game enthusiast Brice Albert, the music is a funky-fresh mix of electronica meets acoustica, analog synths and grooves. This is the least "jazz" band I'm in right now, so you should take a gander and see what lies beyond. Webers Place is a sports bar in the San Fernando Valley with a laid back vibe, tons of good beers on tap, and some delicious fried munchies, not to mention this killer new Thursday night music series.
Gonna be at least this exciting
10/27/11 Thursday Night @ Webers feat. FREE SAMPLE
8pm --- Red Bike
9:45pm --- Free Food
11:30pm --- FREE SAMPLE

21+ No cover, $10 minimum (pretty loose)
20- $10 cover
Webers Place

19312 Vanowen St
Reseda, CA

Monday, October 17, 2011

New Music

A quick hello and some recent/upcoming happenings!

Last night I had the pleasure of seeing and experiencing an album pre-release show by Louis Cole and Genevieve Artadi. Their second album, "Think Thoughts", should prove to be a continually strong follow-up of their self-titled debut, a roar of analog synth meeting groove-crushing drumset with voice weaving in, around, and through. These two are really into something fresh and invigorating, and their multi-media set last night shows their increasing ability and strength in a live setting. Get a piece of their youtube channel and get you ears around their albums!

I'm gearing up for a couple of maiden voyage performances with a new group. Led by guitarist Brice Albert, the group Free Sample draws heavily from electronic influences, especially the musical machinery of Bjork and the crunchy analog of 1990's video game music. We're doing an hour set at noon this Friday (10/21) at CalArts, and the following Thursday we're performing at Weber's Place in Reseda. This new Thursday night series has produced some great nights already, so we're excited to jump in...more details soon.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mahaev @ The Joint with Mr DanZ

Everyone needs something fun to do on a Friday night, so I've got you covered this week. This Friday, September 30th, I'm performing at a relatively new venue called The Joint with Mahadev, the wonderful world-groove-jam quartet/quintet led by guitarist Dave Cipriani. We are followed by the talented fusion slam-dance that is Mr. DanZ, led by my good buddy and trio bassist Ben Shepherd and another fellow Orkestar MEZE member, Milen Kirov.

Here's the best part...tickets are FREE if you contact me before the show and say "ooh ooh me me I want to go!" Please leave a comment here, look me up through my website, facebook, or any other means and I'll get you a ticket. You can hear some Mahadev on the facebook page...see the event here! Here are the nitty gritty details:

Mahadev @ The Joint with Mr. DanZ
Friday, September 30th
Mahadev starts at 8pm, Mr. DanZ follows
FREE tickets by contacting me (leave a comment!) OR $5 at the door

The Joint
8771 West Pico Blvd
Los Angeles, CA

Mahadev with special guests

Monday, September 12, 2011

Gutbucket Chamber Ensemble Press

Some better-late-than-never press about Gutbucket's show at REDCAT in May, which featured myself and 11 other CalArts students/alumni augmenting the quartet:


I wouldn't mind a little Sibelius endorsement too, eh? Eh? Eh? Thanks again Gutbucket, hope to see you again soon!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pictures from Boo Boo Records

Here are a few pictures from our show at Boo Boo Records in San Luis Obispo on Friday 9/9/11. Following an awesome set the night before at the Santa Barbara New Music Series (with Cameron Hicks on drums), we swapped out Cameron for Mike Lockwood on the drums and played another rocking set in Boo Boo's great vinyl room. Thanks to the fantastic audiences at both gigs, hope to see you all again soon!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Up North Next Week

A couple of gigs next week for you northern-dwelling-denizens:

Thursday 9/8/11
Michael Mull Trio @ Santa Barbara New Music Series
Muddy Waters Cafe
805 E Haley St.
Santa Barbara 93101

$8 cover (it all goes to the bands)
9:00pm - Michael Mull Trio
8:00pm - Casey Anderson/Casey Butler/Josh Gerowitz/Louis Lopez

Saxophonist Colter Frazier has been hosting this music series since 2006, giving hundreds of talented artists a supportive place to play in beautiful Santa Barbara. I have been lucky to play here a couple of times before with Tim Fischer and Mahadev, and am excited to bring my trio in for an energetic set of originals from my Formation album. The gig will feature Ben Shepherd on bass and Cameron Hicks on drums.

Friday 9/9/11
Michael Mull Trio @ Boo Boo Records
Boo Boo Records
978 Monterey St
San Luis Obispo, CA 93401

5:30pm - one set only
No cover, please check out a CD!

This is a special gig for me as it is technically my first public performance in my home town since I moved to the LA area in 2006. Further, Boo Boo Records was a haven for me growing up, and the place that provided me with a huge chunk of my music collection. I would love to fill the place up and play for you all, so please come by to check it out. This gig features my trio with Ben Shepherd on bass and Mike Lockwood sitting in on drums.

.........ORKESTAR MEZE debut album is almost here......get ready for the PEASANT FUNK........

Friday, August 12, 2011

FBJO, Mahadev and MORE

Happy Friday everyone!

Apologies for the long break since the last post. As soon as I returned from the weekend tour with Mahadev, there was a mad scramble to get ready for a tour with the Fatum Brothers Jazz Orchestra beginning July 28th. I was joining this fine young big band in the midst of their summer tour (they had already been on the road for two weeks) just in time for a four-night run at Chicago's famed club, The Jazz Showcase. We recorded two sets a night, soon to be pared down and molded into "The Fatum Brothers' Jazz Orchestra: Live at the Jazz Showcase". We caught some great stuff on tape, so I'll be sure to keep you updated as this project keeps rolling.

After Chicago, we packed up and drove some long hours, making our way down and across to play shows in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, Columbus, Jacksonville, and Sarasota over the next week, ranging from concert halls to jazz clubs to farmers' markets to backyard parties! This was all thanks to an incredible amount of work put in by Michael Fatum, the trumpet-playing Fatum brother and one heck of an ambitious character. Let's put it this way; the only big bands that are touring these days (aside from the Fatums and Maria Schneider's band) have been around since the 1950's...I am very proud to be a part of an ambitious project like this one that literally runs on the love of the music. Stay in the loop at fatumjazz.com.

In addition to bringing home a vicious sunburn from the tour, I also grabbed a copy of pianist Adam Kromelow's debut album, Upgrade. He plays in the Fatum Brothers Jazz Orchestra as well, and regularly melts minds with his control, spontaneity, and dynamic range. I gave the album a listen straight through this morning and I am thoroughly impressed; a great set of originals and interpretations rooted not only in jazz, but in rock as well. The performances are full of energy without the tiresome, over-played quality of many contemporary groups.

As I type I am listening to yet another new musical aquisition, a solo record of ambient music produced and performed by the talented Mike Lockwood. Entitled "HAPPY:entropy", the album boasts pieces that meld electronics, field recordings, and recorded instruments to provide you a brisk walk through Mike's brain (or at least a part of it). If you've heard Mike play the drums, you know already that his music is to be taken seriously. If you haven't heard him play, do it. And buy the album.

Lastly, there are only a few days left for you to pledge support for Mahadev's album on Kickstarter.com! We are just over the halfway point, but need a lot more help to reach our goal. Any amount helps, and a pledge of only ten bucks can secure you a digital copy of the album when it is finished. Know what you're getting yourself into, listen to some rough takes from the album! Please let me know if you have any questions about Kickstarter, and thanks in advance for your support.

More news coming soon, thanks for reading!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Mahadev Tour and Kickstarter

Happy July everyone, hope you are staying cool(ish). Mahadev, a wonderful group I've been involved in for the past year, is embarking on a short escapade this weekend to play a couple of shows. We are also launching a Kickstarter page to help fund our debut album; it is already recorded, but we need help to get it mixed, mastered, and duplicated. The sounds and performances are very solid and I'm really hoping we can share this with you all soon. Check out the page! The touring Mahadev is: Dave Cipriani (classical guitar/Indian slide guitar), Eric Klerks (fretless bass), Michael Mull (alto sax/clarinet), Chris Payne (percussion).

Any folks in Santa Barbara or San Francisco looking for some great music? Here are our stops up the coast this week:

Muddy Waters Cafe, 
508 E. Haley St.
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
Our friend & killer sax player Andrew Conrad will be opening for us & sitting in on some songs!

Kaleidoscope Free Speech Zone
3109 24th st, @ folsom
San Francisco, California
$5-10 donation
We'll be opening for americana band Buxter Hoot'n

Bring your friends, or tell 'em if you can't come yourself. Hope to see some smiling faces at our shows!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

"Peasant Funk" Coming Soon

Looking forward to a busy upcoming week. I'll be going into the studio for a couple of days to record Orkestar MEZE's debut album, "Peasant Funk"! We have been polishing all your peasant favorites and working on a couple brand new songs for the record, and are all excited to get in the studio this week. We did a great photo shoot for the album today in the hills of Sunland, complete with horses, sheep, dust and pitchforks; can't wait to see what came out of that!

More updates to follow, but "Peasant Funk" should be out in about a month, with a big CD release party in the works as well!

Otherwise, I'll be posting a few upcoming gigs here very soon, come back soon. I've also been transcribing some more solos by Meshuggah's Fredrik Thordendal, a project I began last year and was put on hold until now. Once I get a couple more done, I'll post here with some analysis --- transcribing has already yielded some amazing stuff, so I'm excited to share it with you.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Friday Night Peasant Bacchanalia

Friends and Peasants,

Just a quick reminder that Orkestar MEZE will be rocking Rusty's Surf Ranch on the Santa Monica pier yet again this Friday night at 10pm. We started a monthly residency there recently, and will be bringing the peasant funk on the first Friday of every month. Here's the facebook event.

We are so grateful to have reached and surpassed our Kickstarter goal, and Orkestar MEZE's first album will be recorded, mixed, mastered and manufactured this month, to be available for all you peasants early July! We'll be recording at the Mouse House Studio with world-class engineer Rich Mouser, so expect the recording quality to be, well, not-so-peasant. More info to come!

Lastly, don't forget to check my posting about the Benefit Event for Japan at Peace Yoga this Sunday, 6/4/11. I'm bringing a quartet to play, plus two other bands, a dance show, and some amazing prizes for super cheap raffle tickets. This event has been tirelessly organized and prepared by my wife Ami, and 100% of the proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross to help relieve and rebuild. Details can be found here.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Benefit Event for Japan at Peace Yoga

Friends, the media rolls onward to cover the latest news, but we mustn't forget the terrible happenings that began with an earthquake in Japan on March 11th this year. I am pleased to invite you all to a wonderful event a week from today to take place at Peace Yoga in downtown Los Angeles. My wife Ami Mull has been working tirelessly for the past few months organizing, recruiting, scheduling, and rehearsing for this event, and she has lined up three bands, a short dance show, and an enticing stack of raffle prizes for those who attend. The best thing: ALL proceeds go to the Japanese Red Cross --- all entertainment and prizes (plus use of the venue) were donated, allowing admission/raffle ticket money to go to Japan %100! With a big event like this one, this is a rare claim; come support our neighbors across the Pacific and have a blast doing it.

I'll be performing a set with my quartet, featuring Juanma Trujillo, Emilio Terranova, and Mike Lockwood. You can find all other info below, including the event on Facebook. You are encouraged to download the flyer below and spread the word! The more people to party, the more we help those in need.

Sunday, June 5th
Doors @ 1:30pm, entertainment/raffle 2:00-6:00pm
$10 donation for admission (or more if you want!)
$2 raffle tickets (check here for a listing of awesome prizes)

Peace Yoga
903 S Main Street, Los Angeles
Click the flyer below to view closer!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Gutbucket, Mahadev and a MEZE gig

Folks, it's been a wild ride since my last post. I'll run through some of the happenings here and let you know about some upcoming events I'm very excited about.

On Monday, May 9th I had the privilege of performing some arrangements with the razor-sharp, avant-rock-jazz quartet Gutbucket. Touring behind their new album Flock, Gutbucket made a stop at the REDCAT Theater in downtown LA, billing the show as "The Gutbucket Chamber Orchestra". The first half was a brilliant quartet set of pieces from Flock, while the Chamber Orchestra (of which I was a part) joined them for the second set. Check out this positive review from the LA Times.

Recruited from CalArts students and alumni, the Alto/Guitar/Bass/Drums quartet was augmented with two woodwind players, two keyboardists, percussion, cello, and additional electric bass and guitar. We performed expanded arrangements of pieces from Gutbucket's previous release, A Modest Proposal. The music was incredibly challenging and complex, but only extraneous when it wanted to be. It was a great experience to work with the guys from Gutbucket in a few days of intensive rehearsal, getting all that music together; we all hit our stride during the soundcheck, and I had a blast performing with everyone at REDCAT. Thanks to Gutbucket and all the CalArts connections for the opportunity!

This past weekend, I went into the recording studio with Mahadev, a fun world-jam quintet I've been involved in for almost a year now. We got some great stuff laid down, and will be launching a Kickstarter project soon to spread the word and try to get this thing produced and released!

Tonight, Orkestar MEZE converges on Hollywood for the rapture! We are playing at the Key Club, opening for East-European rockers Viza, and looking forward to a packed show. We go on at 9:30pm, and there are a few other bands to check out as well. You can get more details on this Facebook page.

In other MEZE news, we have surpassed our initial Kickstarter goal raising money for the album, and looking to keep the momentum through these last ten days! With more support, we can put money toward mixing, mastering, and printing the album, meaning less time before it can appear in your peasant hands! Check out the page and pledge some support for a copy of the album and other cool incentives.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Review: Dave Binney 4tet at the Blue Whale

New York-based jazz musicians pass through the LA area from time to time, and I always try to catch a good show when I can. I never pass up an opportunity, however, to see alto saxophonist David Binney. I have been a fan of his playing and compositions for several years now, and have had the opportunity to hear him perform a few times. A relentless explorer and veritable bandleader, Binney builds his set from a long list of his original compositions over the last decade (sometimes more), and unleashes his band upon the material. With a freshness and freedom often only heard in a composition's first performances, Binney and his bandmates breathe new life into the music each time, taking risks, surrendering at times, relentless at others. Binney brought a tight quartet to the Blue Whale on Saturday night, demonstrating once more the malleability of his music and the artistry of the musicians he chooses to play with.

Dave Binney brought from New York pianist John Escreet and electric bassist Tim LeFebvre, completing the quartet with LA's own Louis Cole on drums. If you are unfamiliar with Louis's music, I would highly recommend checking out some of his videos on Youtube. His style and influence was apparent throughout the night, his layered, often aggressive playing splashing against Tim LeFebvre's inventive bass. The grooves were at once tight and loose, a sublime push-and-pull against Binney's and Escreet's improvisations. Escreet demonstrated how an acoustic piano can not only function, but excel in a sound setting that would otherwise be regarded as "electric"; employing two-handed, percussive techniques, Escreet often built material not with melodies, but with rhythmic and tonal shapes and gestures.

Binney, as expected, lit the place on fire. With music that intense, it is difficult as an improviser to find the proper pacing; many soloists dive too quickly into "loud and fast and lots". Binney is a patient and thoughtful soloist in any context, but his composition-centric, "serving the big picture" abilities were highlighted at the Blue Whale as he maintained a gradual rise in intensity in each improvisation, engaging both his bandmates and the audience from start to finish. Binney's experience as a composer is also evident in his strength of idea, or motive, when improvising. Pitches alone are not considered: sound as a whole is introduced and developed.

This was not a show of technical prowess (although it was definitely apparent), but one of textural, rhythmic, and gestural exploration. Nights like Saturday remind us all that there is still plenty of new music being made that holds deep roots in the jazz tradition --- not the outward, obvious tradition of playing swing and standards, but the tradition of "live" and "living" music. As the inimitable Eric Dolphy said:

When you hear music, after it's over, it's gone, in the air. You can never capture it again.

Musicians like Binney, Escreet, LeFebvre, and Cole continue the catch-and-release of this music we so dearly love. It was beautiful to be a part of a packed house enjoying such a fresh night of music, and I believe it is a testament that we'd all like to see a little more of Dave Binney and his groups on the old West Coast. Thanks for a spectacular show, guys.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Orkestar MEZE Album Project

Good morning friends!

I'm very excited to announce that Orkestar MEZE, your favorite peasant funk band, is embarking on a debut album for your listening and dancing pleasure. We just played a super fun set at this year's Topanga Earth Day Festival; tons of great videos up on YouTube, check out "Silicone" below:

Orkestar MEZE has also put up a Kickstarter page to fund our new album. If you are unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it allows fans and listeners to contribute as much or as little as they want to the album's production, and in return, receive anything from a copy of the album to cool one-of-a-kind gifts to a private performance from Orkestar MEZE! You can go to the page, watch our video, and check out the "Peasant Packages" that are available.

We have an amazing opportunity to record in an ideal studio situation, but we can't do it without your help! We have been doing great so far, so let's keep that ball rolling! Remember, if we don't reach our goal, the money goes right back to you, so if you want this project to happen as much as we do, check out those Peasant Packages!

If you'd like to hear more about Orkestar MEZE, you can stay updated on our Facebook page, and just search us on YouTube for a ton of videos from previous shows. We have a few exciting shows coming up in May, including the beginning of our residency at Rusty's Surf Ranch in Santa Monica on May 6th. More details soon...

Thank you all for your support, we can't wait to get this album going!

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Barclay's and The Mint

Good morning, I'd like to give you all a quick update on some upcoming gigs. Tomorrow night (Friday, 4/1) I am playing with one of my good friends Nick Grinder and his quintet at a new spot in the San Fernando Valley, Barclay's Coffee and Tea. They recently began having live jazz there, and although this will be my first time, I've been hearing about a great vibe and casual, energetic atmosphere. Details below:

Nick Grinder Group:
Nick Grinder (trombone), Michael Mull (alto sax, bass clarinet), Michael Ragonese (piano), Jak Kyokong (bass), Nick De Ryss (drums)

Friday, April 1st
7:00 PM, two sets
$5 suggested donation goes directly to the band
Barclay's Coffee and Tea
8976 Tampa Ave., Northridge CA 91325
View the event on Facebook

I'll also be joining Thy Oddbirds next Wednesday 4/6 at The Mint in Los Angeles. We're playing one later set amid some other bands, and I'm really excited to sit in with these guys. You should check it out for yourself, but to quote the Mint's site, the music involves "melding cinematic electronic soundscapes with traditional funk and jazz"; there is an open, funky vibe not unlike Miles Davis's classic Bitches Brew recordings, and I think this set is going to be a blast to play and hear.

Thy Oddbirds:
Boyd Peterson (electric bass), Paul Krueger (keyboards), Michael Mull (alto sax, flute), Robert Patrick (guitar), JK Benjamin (drums)

Wednesday, April 6th
11:00 PM
$10 cover ($15 for under 21)
The Mint
6010 West Pico Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90035
Gig info on the Mint's website

In other news, I went out to Vitello's last night to see trombonist Bob McChesney and his quintet. Let me just say one thing about Bob McChesney: if you have not heard him play, you must. Bob is playing the trombone on an unprecedented level, and every time I hear him I still can't believe my ears. His support was incredible as well, with tenor great Bob Mintzer and pianist Andy Langham lending some of the hardest swinging, passionate improvisations of the evening.

I'll do my best to post about Bob McChesney's next show, and we'll all go together. You'll see...

Cheers everyone, I hope to play for you at one of my upcoming gigs.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Orkestar MEZE Bulgarian Spring Party

Long time no post! Life has been incredibly busy but mostly excellent.

This Saturday night, March 19th, Orkestar MEZE will be rocking the Bulgarian Spring Party at the St. George Bulgarian Church! This won't be your usual church party... Bulgarian rakia (delicious) and beer will be available, plus some delectable Bulgarian food. MEZE translates to "food you eat when you are drinking", so what a match-up this is for us! Only five bucks, all ages, and some great peasant-funk to dance to all night! What more could you need on a Saturday night?

Bulgarian Spring Party with Orkestar MEZE
Saturday, March 19
8:00-11:00 PM
$5 admission, no minimum

St. George Bulgarian Church
150 South Alexandria Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90004
Check it on facebook

Thursday, March 3, 2011

FORMATION Digital Release

I'm pleased to announce the digital release of my first album, "Formation". It is now available on CDbaby, Digstation, and iTunes, and soon will be available on various other sites like AmazonMP3, eMusic, and more.

If you would like a physical copy of the album, your best bet will probably be to meet up with me or come out to a gig --- no shipping costs! Alternatively, CD's can be purchased from CDbaby, and the album can be purchased digitally (in mp3 format) from CDbaby, Digstation, and iTunes. I would encourage digital customers to use Digstation, as I get the best cut from them! Links below:

Formation on CDbaby (CD/mp3)

Formation on Digstation (mp3)

Formation on iTunes (mp3)

The Feb. 17th CD release party at the Blue Whale was a great success! Many, many thanks to those who made it out and those who were there in spirit; we had an incredible time playing for you all, and the energy in the room was inspiring. Throughout our two sets, we played every tune off of "Formation" with a few new ones thrown in the mix; with your support and a little luck, I see these tunes on the next Michael Mull Trio album!

Thanks again to Ben Shepherd and Cameron Hicks for playing the hell out of my music, and to Joon Lee at the Blue Whale for having us. My parents even made it down from San Luis Obispo, and Ben's folks all the way from Melbourne! Let's take this positive thang and keep it going...keep your eyes here for more coming up very soon (Santa Barbara next week!).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

CD Release Party + Website Launch

Prepare yourselves for the official release concert for my first album, "Formation"! Tomorrow night's the night, and Ben, Cameron and I are getting hyped up to play some great music for you all. CD's will be on sale for the first time anywhere, and for an extremely discounted price. Check out the details below:

Michael Mull Trio "Formation" CD Release Party
$10 cover, no minimum

The Blue Whale

123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301
Los Angeles, CA
In other exciting Mull-news, I'm officially launching www.michaelmull.com with the posting of this blog. Take a look and enjoy! "Formation" will be available digitally sometime next week (and physically on CDbaby.com), so if you can't make it to the CD release party, check back on my site or here on the blog for details and links. Over the coming months, I will be adding more and more features to michaelmull.com, including more audio and a "store" where you can purchase scores and parts for some of my original music.

Whew! Can't wait to play tomorrow night and share this project with all of you. Hope to see you at the Blue Whale!

Monday, February 7, 2011


It's been a while since my last post and I neglected to post a few gigs that have happened since then. It's been an extremely busy time getting the last stages of the "Formation" record completed (compounded by many other factors including a fried hard-drive), but it makes me that much more excited for the release party February 17th at the Blue Whale. If you're facebooking around, you can check out the event here.

"Formation" CD Release Party
Thursday, February 17th
The Blue Whale
123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301 (Park in the structure w/ a yellow "P" sign off of 2nd street and take the elevator up)

$10 gets you in, and I'll be selling fresh copies of the new album at this gig for a discounted price. Shortly after the release party, the album will be available digitally through CDbaby, Diggstation, and more (details as I get them).

Last week I played two nights in a row at Cafe Roma in Beverly Hills. First with a new group led by trumpeter Phil Fiorio, with trumpet/flugelhorn, bass clarinet, marimba, drums and bass. We had a great time playing Phil's latest compositions, one of my own, and some standards. I'm looking forward to more gigs with this open, "woody" sounding group. The second gig was with Juanma Trujillo's latest quartet formation: Juanma on guitar, Emilio Terranova on bass, Cameron Hicks on drums, and myself on saxophones. We had tons of music prepared and rolled out an eclectic mix of originals and standards. Both of these groups have provided me with new musical challenges, something I always look forward to.

Post-CD release, I have a smattering of fun performances coming up, including Orkestar MEZE, Mahadev, some recitals, and my trio in Santa Barbara. Come back often for details and updates, and I hope to see many of your smiling faces on February 17th!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Formation Album Cover

May I present the cover artwork for my trio's first album, "Formation".

Artwork and design is all done by Derek Schultz (www.staralchemy.org). Come get your copy at our CD Release Party at the Blue Whale on February 17th, 2011!

Friday, January 14, 2011


Great news people!

I'm making leaps and bounds toward releasing my trio album. First of all, I named it: FORMATION. The artwork is being finished up and looks incredible so far, I'll be posting a preview of the cover very soon, so watch for it.

Secondly, I'm honored and excited to announce that our CD release party will take place at the Blue Whale on Thursday, February 17th. The Blue Whale is quickly becoming "the place" for great live jazz; classy but laid-back atmosphere, nice bar with awesome bartenders, resident baby grand piano and drumkit, no pesky food or drink minimums, and a true focus on the music. It's a no-hassle spot where people go to listen, and they continue to host tons of killer groups from LA and beyond. I'm grateful that my first opportunity to play at the Blue Whale will be for such a momentous occasion in my life.

More updates, previews, and details soon, make sure to check back often. Mark those calendars for February 17th!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

2011 Kickoff Blog! Woah!

Happy New Year! Where's my flying car, future?

I know I'm a day late, and didn't post on the oh-so-cool date of 1/1/11, but I've still got the 11th, right? I am so excited for this year, going to put out my first album and move forward with a lot of musical ideas. I got together with my good friend and artist Derek Schultz in the last days of 2010 to work on the visual design for the album, and I can't wait to get this thing out! The artwork Derek has done is incredible, be on the lookout for a preview soon. I've got to get myself together and name this record...it is so difficult to sum up even one piece of music in a few words, no less an entire collection of different pieces. Again, you can hear an audio sampler of the album here.

I'm playing with Mahadev this Wednesday evening, January 5th, at Cafe Roma in Beverly Hills. This looks like a fancy place, so bring a date and we'll entertain you with a fun mix of Indian, Eastern European, Blues, and more. You can get some details on this event on Facebook here, or just check out this little blurb:

Caffe Roma features excellent Italian cuisine in a fine dining setting. You can see their menu at:

There is no cover!

Mahadev is:
Michael Mull: saxophone & clarinet
Dave Cipriani: Indian slide guitar & classical guitar, voice
Eric Klerks, upright bass
Aaron W Chavez: riq, kanjira, tombek, etc (hand percussion)

 I recently got tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin's latest album, Perpetual Motion, and have been giving it numerous listens since. It's a more "plugged in" record, and the band is tight but never complacent. Donny sounds ridiculously good as usual, but keyboardist Adam Benjamin really stands out to me here. Adam has an incredible melodic and textural concept that I think shines particularly bright on this recording. I'm just now listening to his wonderful solo piano album, Alphabets and Consequences, highly recommended. I'm planning to do a full review of Perpetual Motion soon, keep your eyes open.

Happy 2011 everyone, let's make this a good one!