Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jeff Mangum review, new sax in town, Harrison Bankhead Kickstart

Blurt published my Jeff Mangum review yesterday. You can find it here, along with some video links although I would like to go on record and assure you it was not me who filmed them. The piece was written over several days, which was a good idea because it helped me figure out how I wanted to talk about him. There were actually a couple different ideas in my head about how to start and finish it.

Last night I went to the Thunderbird Cafe for the weekly Space Exchange sometimes jazz/sometimes something else series. Saxophonist Erik Lawrence just moved to town pretty recently and last night he led a trio with drummer Dave Throckmorton (one of the SE curators) and bassist Paul Thompson. Lawrence plays/played with the Honey Ear Trio (who I reviewed here a while ago), Steven Bernstein and the late Levon Helm. He was playing baritone, tenor and alto last night, although I missed most of the baritone playing because I got there late. It was great stuff and a bit on-the-fly, with Erik explaining arrangements to Paul and Dave before they played tunes, yet sounded remarkably together and exciting. There were a lot of vamps that the bass held down while Lawrence moved all over the horn, pushing into the upper limits when necessary.

Lawrence said he likes our town, so let's show the man some support. We don't want to loose him like we've lost other heavy hitters. Next Tuesday, he's sitting in with at Thunderbird with Book Exchange, Ben Opie's trio that plays Monk, Braxton and Coleman. That should be a blast.

And finally, I got an email from Stephen at Engine Records about a Kickstarter campaign he has to help record and release a new album by bassist Harrison Bankhead. The goal is to raise $1500, of which $720 has been raised as of this morning.

The deadline for it is this Friday, so I realize this mention is last minute. Check it out right here. Bankhead has played with a lot of great Chicago musicians like Roscoe Mitchell, Von Freeman, Hamid Drake and the Windy City's last guru Fred Anderson (that's my description, not common terminology). It'd be really amazing if we could help this project happen.

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