Michael Mull Octet

Michael Mull Octet

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!