Michael Mull Octet

Michael Mull Octet

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

mm8tet "Source Code" Release + Preview Track

Oh bloggy, I didn't mean to neglect you! Much exciting news revolving the Michael Mull Octet album Source Code. It will be released one week after Thanksgiving, on Thursday, December 12th, with an accompanying release concert at Curve Line Space in Eagle Rock. Details below the incredible album cover art by Eron Rauch, the "everything art/photo/design guy" at Orenda Records. Feast your eyes while you slake your ears on "Lonestar" from the upcoming release.

Michael Mull Octet SOURCE CODE Album Release
Thursday, December 4th
8:00pm, two sets
Curve Line Space
1577 Colorado Blvd, LA 90041
$10, all ages
light refreshments provided
CDs discounted for $10 at the concert only!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Guest Post: Alex Pinto on Improving Your Scene

This is the first "guest post" I've done on this blog; seems like something I could run with to help spread some ideas and outlooks from my fellow musicians. I met guitarist Alex Pinto during my first year at CalArts, and he is currently studying in India on a Fullbright scholarship. Here he writes some clear, practical suggestions for ways that both artists and fans can help improve their jazz scene. 
- MM

Jazz is in a great place. I’ll love it forever, kind of like Metallica. I don’t care what people say - the noodling IS where it’s at, getting lost in a free form is invigorating and the the music has produced some of the greatest composers and improvisers from the past 100 years.
Can it improve or change? Sure! Some gentle suggestions:
1) Have opening acts
I can’t remember the last time I went to see a jazz show at a hall or festival where there was an opening act. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that happen. Having opening acts would be a great way to introduce that next wave of talent that people lament doesn’t exist. It’s a way for younger acts to interact with the mega stars of today and is a simple way to infuse some energy into the community. This is a tried and true format in pretty much every other genre of music. Jazz can try it too.
2) Skew younger
Young people are inspired by other young people doing cool things. Lots of people get into playing in band because they saw their friends playing in a band or people like them playing in a band. It wouldn’t hurt to have younger acts get more exposure at the big festivals (maybe opening for them - see point 1) and inspire a new generation of musicians and listeners. Let young people have some ownership in where the music is going too, by getting them involved in its programming.
3) Can it be cheaper?
Lots of shows are pretty expensive. How about some cheaper alternatives?
4) Go local
There is jazz happening outside of NYC. It seems daunting at times to be a jazz artist not living there. Reviews will at times even suggest that such and such band is the best NYC sounding band in such and such town. Every town can have its own sound. There is great music being made in Seattle, LA, Montreal, Delhi and beyond. There are writers and photographers and blogs that can support and document the great music made in those places. Audiences will have a more earnest and easier time connecting with talent that is from their area. Food is local, art is local. Jazz can go local too.
5) More video
Youtube is, for better or for worse, where music discover is happening. Let’s get some more cool videos out there! Remember this (embedded below) -http://vimeo.com/46040485 THAT WAS AWESOME. Let’s have more. Even though that was on vimeo, it still used video to promote the music and get listeners excited.
Bashing jazz is an easy way out. Having constructive solutions and following through on them is the hard part. But these little adjustments, and what other come up with, can make a huge difference.

MEHLIANA featuring Brad Mehldau and Mark Guiliana 06.06.12 Stone, NYC from Brad Mehldau on Vimeo. Video by Alex Chaloff.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

LAJC Summer Fest 8/23-8/24

As the summer burns past in multiple ways, I realize that a highly-anticipated event is coming our way in a matter of weeks. I'm pleased and excited to announce that I will be performing in the Los Angeles Jazz Collective Summer Festival at the Blue Whale. The festival is taking place on Saturday 8/23 and Sunday 8/24, including multiple projects each night. See below for the full lineup (click to enlarge):

As you can see, the Michael Mull Octet will be closing out the festival on Sunday night, 8/24. I am working on a brand new arrangement to debut for this performance. As you can't see, I'm going to also be playing Saturday night, joining the Matt Otto Group for a set of his original music. I have been a huge fan of Matt since I first heard him, not long after I moved to LA, and I am honored to play in his group, which will also include Gary Fukushima, Steve Cotter, Darek Oles and Mark Ferber - what a band! Matt has been living in Kansas City, MO for a while now, so this will be a relatively rare chance to hear him.

Hope to see many of you there at the Whale!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Orkestar MEZE next Friday 7/11

It's hard to believe it is almost July…until you step outside and get cooked. After another two productive days of recording for the new Mahadev album this past weekend, it's time for me to channel my inner funky peasant and get ready for an Orkestar MEZE show at a brand new venue (for us), the Pig 'n Whistle in Hollywood!

Along with the grooviest Peasant Funk you could ever hope to dance to, this event will feature authentic Bulgarian food (served from 10pm) and rakia (Bulgarian moonshine) served at the bar in addition to all your other favorite drinks - true Peasant Party style. Of course, we will do our signature belly-dancing contest as well, so be ready to shake it!

Orkestar MEZE Peasant Party in Hollywood
Friday, July 11th
Pig 'n Whistle
6714 Hollywood Blvd.
Hollywood, CA 90028
$10 cash at the door
Doors at 9:30pm
RSVP on Facebook

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Recording Projects

The past two days have seen the first recording sessions of what will become Mahadev's sophomore release. I have been involved in Mahadev since it's inception by bandleader Dave Cipriani in 2011, and through several changes in size and lineup over the years, the band continues to evolve. Like so many musical projects these days, Mahadev is difficult to describe without either using blanket generalizations or far too many words strung together - suffice to say it draws from multiple traditional music cultures from around the world and filters them through the members' individual interpretations, styles, and personal study.
Blogger is not currently letting me embed the player, so click here to check out a track from the first Mahadev album. You can stream the rest of the album as well.

I'm into the mastering stages for the Michael Mull Octet album, with initial passes on two of the songs. They both are sounding really solid already, so aside from a few potential tweaks, I'm going to be saving up some cash to send the rest off soon! The rough plan at the moment is to try to release the album sometime this Fall, so stay tuned.

Lastly, the second Orkestar MEZE album is also slowly coming to be, with mixing underway and some ridiculously fat sounds happening! We are definitely bringing the peasantry, but with an extra thick slathering of funk and soul this time around. We're talking SPF 100. We have a potential July show in the works, so keep an eye on Facebook and/or peasantfunk.com.

I count myself very fortunate to be involved in such adventurous and musically fulfilling projects, especially with such a wide range of style, dynamics, and personalities...keeping me on my toes and giving me plenty of practice material!

Monday, May 26, 2014


The mixing stage of the Michael Mull Octet album is complete…listening through some right now and I am so excited for this release and proud of the amazing musicianship of my bandmates. The dynamic and emotional range of the tracks promises to be a layered and multilevel experience.

Thank you again to all you IndieGoGo supporters, and thank you for your patience. It is a long process to complete any major work, but it is very important to me that what I release is the best it can possibly be for you all.

Next up: mastering, artwork and design. More updates soon, stay in touch and if you haven't already, give the Michael Mull Octet a "like" on Facebook if you please.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Vinny Golia Large Ensemble 4/9/14

Played an incredibly fun, sold-out show with Orkestar MEZE on Friday at Golden Road Brewery in LA. Great crowd, great beer and food, and tons of new music...the proceeds will help us to finish our new album, which will hopefully be out this Summer. You can check out some pics by visiting this link to MEZE's Facebook page. We will definitely be putting on some more shows at Golden Road, so if you couldn't make this one, keep your eyes open for the next one and get those tix before they sell out!
Vinny Golia
On Wednesday, April 9 I'm honored to be joining the Vinny Golia Large Ensemble at the REDCAT Theater in downtown LA. I have been able to play a couple of times at REDCAT (attached to Disney Hall) and it is a fantastic venue. More importantly, performing with Vinny is always a unique pleasure and challenge; he was one of my mentors when I attended CalArts, and a huge part of my development as a clarinet/bass clarinet player. I will be playing clarinet on Wednesday in his Large Ensemble, an amazing semi-orchestral group of over 40 musicians, with Vinny at the helm playing a multitude of woodwinds and the great Marc Lowenstein conducting. You can find all the information here.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Many Thanks

The Michael Mull Octet crowdfunding campaign has ended and we ended up exceeding our goal…the session was followed by a whirlwind couple of weeks, so I wanted to take a moment and write here on the blog a belated but enormous THANK YOU! Those of you who follow on Facebook may have already been inundated with this, but I am truly beyond grateful to all the support we received to kick the project into gear.

The session went incredibly well, even better than I could have hoped, and I am going back to the studio to begin mixing this Friday. There are still many steps and many hours ahead, but I will have this album finished and ready as soon as possible without sacrificing an ounce of quality. Still settling in on artwork/design ideas, as well as a name for the album…stay tuned.

Speaking of new albums, Orkestar MEZE is returning for a monstrous party in a few weeks, on Friday, April 4th - we are posting up at the Golden Road Brewery for a funky dance party fueled by the freshest beer in LA! I'll post more details soon, but that should be enough info for now…you can get presale tickets for only $10 on our website: http://orkestarmeze.com/concerts/. This one is going to sell out fast (already over 70 peasants attending!) so grab your ticket while you can!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Into the Studio Tomorrow

The Michael Mull Octet is heading into the studio to begin recording our debut album! We are honored and excited to have so much support so far for our IndieGoGo campaign, and the project is 76% funded. The campaign continues until next Wednesday night 3/5, so if you haven't reserved your copy, now is the time! Visit www.igg.me/at/mm8tet to donate and share.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Trio at Vitello's 2/16/14

In the midst of all this Michael Mull Octet madness, I'm pleased to take a quick detour this Sunday 2/16 to play a Trio set Upstairs at Vitello's in Studio City at 8pm. This is a really nice venue overall; great sound, warm-vibey room, and tasty Italian food (I recommend especially the flat, crispy pizzas or desserts).

I had played at Vitello's a few times with the Trio and other groups around 2009, and more recently with Connor McElwain, and I'm excited bring in a new configuration of the Trio, specifically for this show. As usual, I'll be playing alto saxophone and bass clarinet, and will be joined by Cameron Hicks on drums. On Sunday we will be joined by tuba player Stefan Kac, covering the bass chair for Ben Shepherd. Stefan is an amazing player that will get you re-thinking the tuba.

Michael Mull Trio feat. Stefan Kac (tuba)
Sunday, February 16th
Upstairs at Vitello's
4349 Tujunga Ave, Studio City

8pm, one long set
$15 cover + 2 item minimum (food or drink), at the door or presale
All Ages
Valet parking available, or plenty in the surrounding neighborhoods
RSVP on Facebook

Come see us put it all together on Sunday night! If you haven't heard the Trio before, you can play the video below of my composition "Israfel", performed at Barclay's Coffee and Tea in Northridge.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

IndieGoGo Update Video #1

Hi everyone, forgot to post this here. Here's an update to our crowdfunding campaign (via IndieGoGo) to raise money for recording the Michael Mull Octet album! Please share with your friends and help us spread the word, we've got 22 days left! You can forward this simple link:


Anyway, here's the video of me having some fun and "interviewing" Will and Tim from the Octet about the upcoming album:

Friday, January 17, 2014

IndieGoGo + 2 Shows

Happy 2014! I bring big news all around! Firstly, I'm very excited to launch a crowdfunding campaign for the Michael Mull Octet's first album, via IndieGoGo. If you are unfamiliar with crowdfunding, it works as a modern-day patronage system for artists, entrepreneurs, and activists; people from all over the world can check out your project idea and contribute to help make it a reality! Best of all, those who contribute to our campaign can choose from all kinds of great rewards...you can see a full list on the campaign page. Watch the launch video below, and stay tuned for updates throughout the campaign:

Next, I'm joining trumpeter/composer Connor McElwain on Monday night, 1/20, at Vitello's in Studio City. He always writes interesting music, and this is my first time to play on the frontline with him. Here is the event on Facebook with all the details.
Finally, a week from today I am performing a much-anticipated concert with the Michael Mull Octet and the Rowan-Baba Large Ensemble, whose music you really have to hear to believe. The concert is taking place at ArtShareLA, a versatile and relatively young venue in Downtown LA, and I'm honored to be a part of both ensembles! As you may know, larger ensembles like these don't get to perform all the time, so catch us while you can. This will actually be the Octet's first ALL AGES concert, so come one and all! Only $10, 8pm. Check it out on Facebook.