I’m pleased to announce that I will be reuniting with some old friends (Nina Ott & Chris Lopes) and playing with a new one (Barclay Moffitt) at Fulton Street Collective as part of their Jazz Record Art Collective Series hosted by Chris Anderson and Joe Lanasa. We will be performing our rendition of Booker Ervin’s records “The Freedom Book” and “The Space Book”. These records featured Jaki Byard on piano, Richard Davis on bass, and Alan Dawson on drums. Although these are technically two separate albums, they were combined on a double LP as a reissue, and we will be performing both records. Don’t miss this one time performance! Visit the Facebook event page here for more info.
Barclay Moffitt – Tenor Sax
Nina Ott – Piano
Chris Lopes – Bass
Ted Sirota – Drums
More About This Show…
Join us on Friday, January 17, 2014 for an extremely rare event! Ted Sirota’s Heavyweight Dub will be paying tribute to the legendary Jamaican jazz musicians that created Ska, Rocksteady, and Reggae music. Musicians such as Tommy McCook, Jackie Mittoo, Ernest Ranglin, Bobby Ellis, Cedric “IM” Brooks, and many others, are not household names like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Jimmy Cliff, but if not for them we would not have the incredibly rich heritage of Jamaican music that we have today. Most people don’t realize that this music was created by Jamaicans who themselves were great jazz musicians inspired by Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Duke Ellington etc! It’s rare that these musicians get credit and recognition for their art but we are going to pay our respect to them on this night. It’s also not often that you will see a show like this at the historic Green Mill Lounge either, so come out and celebrate this great music with us! Get there early if you want a seat because we expect the joint to be packed! Visit the Facebook event page here.
Tom Vaitsas-piano, organ,melodica
Cameron Pfiffner-tenor sax, flute
Anthony Abbinanti-live dub mixing, baritone sax, piano
This was at his first “comeback” gig in the late ’80’s/early ’90’s (I don’t quite remember the exact date) at the club Visiones in NYC. Some friends and I drove down from Boston spcifically to hear La Roca. I wondered why one of my favorite drummers, and one of the most prolific drummers of the ’60’s, had given up his career as a jazz drummer to become a laywer, so I asked him. I expected a gruff, cold response for some reason – I don’t know why. I actually got the opposite – a very thoughtful, warm, polite response, and someone who was willing to chat with this dorky little college student about some of the most important decisions of his life. His answer was simple. (more…)
As most of you know by now, legendary tenor saxophonist, musician, mentor, and human being, Von Freeman passed away Sunday at the age of 88. The tributes, stories, and memories are pouring out of Chicago musicians. One would be hard pressed to find a jazz musician in Chicago that wasn’t influenced by Von in one way or another. I just wanted to share a couple things about my experiences with Von that have always stuck with me that perhaps might not get touched on otherwise. (more…)
I posted these videos to my YouTube channel today. Studying with Alan back in 87-89 was a very important period in my musical development. Twenty-four years later I still have his voice echoing in my head, as I’m sure so many people do who had the great fortune to study with him.
I uploaded this picture of Lin Halliday to the gallery today. Yes, that’s me looking like a young dork back there. This photo is from 1992 or 93. We were playing at the Get Me High Lounge on Honore in Bucktown. For those of you who were not around back then, The Get Me High was a Chicago jazz institution. The bathroom was actually ON the stage. Unlike the Green Mill, where you walk alongside the stage to get to the john, at the Get Me High you actually had to walk on stage to get to it. One of the famous stories about it is that Jimmy Carter hung out there once, while he was president, to have a beer and listen to some jazz. I have fond memories of these times. (more…)
I’m heartbroken to hear about the passing of Paul Motian. Having only met him briefly a couple of times I can’t say that he was a personal influence on me, in the way that Alan Dawson was, but his playing was, and is, a HUGE inspiration to me. I’ve always thought of this quote from Picasso when I think about Paul Motian – “It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child”. Paul was like the Picasso of the drums, in my humble opinion. He was a true artist. He was more of a painter on the drums than he was just a “drummer”. He proved that you can be great without concern for “chops” or “licks”. He was 100% music. Have you ever heard of a drummer playing “Paul Motian licks”? If you have let me know, because that’s absurd to me. It’s impossible. The only thing you could try to copy from Paul was his concept or sound – maybe. That’s how unique he was – you can’t even copy him. You can’t say that about Philly Joe Jones, Art Blakey, or even Tony Williams, as great as they were. (more…)
When Max Roach died in 2007 I was asked to write an article about Max for a certain publication. The article never ran, and the only two people who have ever read it are Jeff Parker & Hyland Harris. It’s just sitting here on my hard drive so I figured I’d share it now that I have a blog! (more…)