There were some tough news stories towards the end of last year. That’s no reason not to appreciate the great things from 2012. Here are a few things I really appreciated. Thank you.
That we’re not looking at Mitt Romney is a blessing. Mitt’s son now tells us that Mitt didn’t actually want to run or serve, so, a blessing for all of us.
Marathons, The Ryan Adjustment.
In case you missed it, the Republican vice presidential candidate gave a rough estimate of his marathon time that was about an hour faster than the truth. As a marathoner who failed to break my goal of four hours this year (look out 2013!) I really appreciated that, and have consistently applied said adjustment ever since.
Based on the farm share model, where stakeholders ensure the success of the farm by pre-paying for vegetables, our members purchase jazz shares to provide a way to produce concerts with minimal institutional support. A grassroots, all-volunteer organization, we are a community of music lovers in Western Massachusetts dedicated to the continued vitality of the music. By pooling resources, energy and know-how, shareholders are creating an infrastructure able to bring world-class improvisers to our region. These shareholders are Jazz Pioneers.
FONT Music @10
Festival of New Trumpet Music celebrates ten years of activity with commissions and performances around New York. Festival opened with Stephanie Richards’ performance at the carousel in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Thankfully it was before Hurricane Sandy, shown here. FONT Music will continue in September of 2013.
Banff Center for the Arts.
As a part of my final season, The Banff Center invited me to compose a final piece for the closing concert. Pathways was recorded by Joe Ferla at the center, and will be released in 2013 on Greenleaf Music. It features Greg Tardy, Josh Roseman, Uri Caine, Linda Oh, and Clarence Penn. On one track we are joined by Aoife O’Donovan.
Joe joined me for another project this year and outdid himself with the sound. It is most evident on the vinyl edition of Be Still. My new Qunitet also recorded with Joe, and the record will be out in March, entitled Time Travel.
Royal Academy of Music.
Thrilled to be a part of the program at the Royal Academy in London where I will again serve in the Kenny Wheeler Chair in 2013. View shows
Key and Peele.
Start at the first season and go from there. These guys are the best.
Texts From Hillary
“Guys, if you’re going to play Well You Needn’t at least check out the Monk changes.”
McKayla Maroney is not impressed. Tough out there. We’re going to make 2013 better for sure.
Not just because he made a beautiful record for Greenleaf. Matt brought a lot of dedication and heart to the scene, both live and on record, and he is destined for bigger things. Check him out.
Denver bassist Greg Garrison brought together a great group including Matt Flinner and John Gunther this year. Thanks to Greg I met Aoife and her music. She brought me a lot of inspiration this year and we will be continuing live shows in 2013.
If you’re like us, you have a number of custom ringtones on your iPhone that you use for your alarm clock, text and email alerts, and even a specific tone for when your BFF calls. We have a whole slew of ringtones on our office computer from our artists, and here are 7 of them, all by Matt Ulery from his album By A Little Light that’s been receiving so much deserved attention lately. We hope you enjoy and share this post. Together we can rid the world of “Marimba,” “Bell Tower,” and the dreaded “Blues.” Drop us a line if you’d like to request a ringtone from our catalog.
1. Broken and Blinded
2. Dark Harvest
5. Somebody Somewhere
6. To Lose Your Mind
7. Wilder Years
Price: $0 (please consider sharing this post)
A huge congratulations to Matt Ulery and crew (Rob Clearfield, Michael Caskey, eighth blackbird, Zach Brock, Grazyna Auguscik) for a stellar performance at Chicago’s Millennium Park last night. We heard from so many people — many who had never heard this music — while hanging at the merch
shanti table how special the music was. Perfectly fitting of the evening, the tunes seemed to part the clouds that had plagued the city all day and offer more than just a little light near the end of the evening and into the night. We’ve seen some great shows at the Pritzker, but there was something magical about the sounds and sights of last night. And we’re glad so many folks were there.
If you haven’t checked out Matt’s latest recording featuring the music from last night, head over to the By A Little Light page. Listen to tunes, watch videos, and of course, purchase the music.
Matt Ulery feat. eighth blackbird at Chicago’s Millennium Park
Thursday, August 16th
From film-inspired orchestral composition to small group jazz to Eastern European folk music, bassist/composer Matt Ulery moves beyond notions of jazz-classical fusion to speak with a distinctive voice unburdened by genre limitations. Featuring members of eighth blackbird and vocalist Grazyna Auguscik, pianist Rob Clearfield, drummer Michael Caskey, violinist Zach Brock and others.
All concerts open with a short set performed by young, aspiring musicians from Chicago-area high schools through the Jazz Institute of Chicago’s Jazz Links Students Ensembles program.
Michael Bates Quartet hits Sycamore in Brooklyn
Sunday, August 19th
Underground Works is a new jazz series curated by the members of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground and Connection Works. The focus of the series is to create a greater awareness of the depth of creativity in composition and improvisation that exists in Brooklyn and extends beyond the scope of any one organization.
Michael Bates Quartet
Tony Malaby – saxophone
Russ Lossing – electric piano
Michael Bates – double bass
Jeremy ‘Bean’ Clemons – drums
$10 suggested donation.
Press is rolling in for Matt Ulery’s latest album, By A Little Light which released yesterday. Many thanks to Howard Reich at the Chicago Tribune for his kind words.
“This magical, profoundly musical release embraces more aesthetic influences than one might have thought a cohesive recording could. …the originality and purling beauty of this release cannot be overstated.”
Another thoughtful review at Bird Is The Worm.
“Nothing about this music is small. Even the nuances possess a weight that belies their brief moments in the spotlight. Piano is given lots of room to roam and explore, while drums stamp it on the map. When not gingerly tiptoeing through the scene, strings make dreamy pronouncements, while vibes and trumpet shade the edges.”
At eMusic, Dave Sumner weighs in and gives By A Little Light the PICK OF THE WEEK status.
“a masterpiece of grand vision and soaring compositions. Built around two separate piano trios, Ulery adds violinist Zach Brock, vocalist Grazyna Auguscik, and members of the Eighth Blackbird ensemble for a spectacular set of music. Pick of the Week.”
And to top all that off, By A Little Light received 4 1/2 stars in the July issue of Downbeat.
“Two beautiful, emotional works…There are no cheap musical tricks or shortcuts here; “By A Little Light”… are fully formed pieces that embrace a range of musical styles.”
This late spring and early summer has been busy for us, and we ain’t complaining. What with all this great music we’re putting out into the world. Fresh on the heels of bassist Linda Oh’s second album we released in May, another bassist finds a home for his record on our roster on June 19th.
We’re always really excited about music that begs you not to define it, music that is truly unique and individual, music that is a deeply emotional and reaches people. Lucky for us, Matt Ulery sent us his new 2-disc album By A Little Light late last year. We were wowed by the writing and the scale of the work, so today, we announce the preorder of the CD at the Greenleaf store. The MP3s are available at iTunes.
Ulery hails from Chicago — if you didn’t know, the Greenleaf offices are here, too. He has a couple working bands in town — Loom, Eastern Blok — that have recorded great records that you should check out. He’s also the musical director of vocalist Graznya Auguscik band — Graznya appears as a featured guest vocalist on several tracks on By A Little Light.
Though much of the music is through-composed, there is a strong piano trio core in the midst of all the winds-and-strings accompaniment. That piano trio duty is split between pianists Rob Clearfield and Ben Lewis, and the drummers Jon Deitemyer and Michael Caskey with Ulery as the centerpiece.
The accompaniment core consists of members of the two-time Grammy-winning sextet eighth blackbird, violinist Zach Brock, and a few others. This piece of the compositions is what gives the album it’s almost indefinable sound (I was joking the other day that the start of a song called Processional sounded to me like a Stereolab song). Regardless of what I hear on a tune, you should hear a track for yourself.
The full ensemble will perform two nights at Chicago’s Green Mill on June 29-30. It’s sure to be a great night of music. We hope you’ll join us.