Michael Mull Octet

Michael Mull Octet

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!