“This week Marquette and dance producer Marie Casimir, who recently ended a lengthy stint with Links Hall, have organized a series of events featuring combinations of Chicago musicians and dancers with collaborators from New Orleans. The endeavor started Thursday night with a series of trio sets, but its centerpiece is Saturday at Constellation: a performance by the Instigation Orchestra and dance troupe Djasporas (the former is an expansion of Albert’s long-running Instigation Quartet, which also draws on players from both cities). The orchestra’s diverse cast of Big Easy players consists of Albert, cellist Helen Gillet, reedist-accordionist-singer Aurora Nealand, bassist James Singleton, and drummer Paul Thibodeaux. (Singleton in particular should be well-known to Chicagoans from his long membership in the jazz group Astral Project.) On board from Chicago are Marquette, bassist Anton Hatwich, cornetist Ben LaMar Gay, vocalist Damon Locks, drummer Avreaayl Ra, and reedist Mars Williams. “
It was a great pleasure to work on the new Bobby Rush album. Shout out to Living Blues for noting the work of the “sidemen.”
“Meanwhile, the studio band attains a balance of emotional immediacy, musical depth and—yet again—seriousness of intent that never detracts from the playful mood of most of these tracks. (Special nod to the horns—their crisp riffing invokes, at various points, everything from vintage-era Stax to Tower of Power’s East Bay funk.)”
“As dirty horn scoops and stabs punctuate every phrase, the Louisiana blues-soul singer and harmonica player warns a cadre of would-be homewreckers away from the house where his woman awaits his return. The mailman, the milkman, the garbage man, even the preacher — none are immune to his suspicion.”
I had the pleasure or writing the horn parts, and playing in the section, for the new Bobby Rush album (to be released in September). Check out the NPR preview.
From Alex Rawls‘s piece on nola.com:
Improvised music alive and well — and growing — in New Orleans | NOLA.com: “Albert’s music works both sides of that wobbly fence. Sunday night, he and his quartet will feature jazz, semi-improvised and fully improvised music at Snug Harbor, but unless you’re listening closely, it will rarely be obvious which is which. His musical instincts rarely run to atonal squeaks and skronks, and his choices are influenced by the players around him.”
“If sentimentality is the synonym of nostalgia, then the antonym is anticipation, and maybe a better word would be modernity. That word comes to mind spinning the trio recording New Normal by trombonist Jeff Albert, drummer Dave Cappello and their guest, bassist William Parker. “
Long Sidewalks, Staffa (Album Review): “The whole record has swaggering, confident swing to it that will make fans of more mainstream jazz and those who favor the avant-garde side of things happy when the great music of Long Sidewalks comes out of their speakers, headphones, or ear buds.”
“Albert and Cappello have been playing together for over a decade, and both are masters at going beyond notes into shading, coloring, and more pure music. “
Follow the link to read the full review from offbeat Magazine.
Once again, the people who vote in the Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll have been so kind as to include my name in the list of Rising Star Trombonists.
These things can mean a lot, and they can mean nothing. It is nice to be in such good company, and nice that the list is not all dudes this year.
For Downbeat Magazine’s 80th Anniversary, they published a list of the 80 coolest things in jazz. #41 is New Orleans, and Open Ears got a brief mention in the article:
At…events like Jeff Albert’s Open Ears Music Series, improvising players innovate new sonic concepts on the fly, giving listeners direct and immediate access to their creative process.
Kind words from Bill Meyer in his Still Single review of the new Steve Marquette album.
“There and everywhere, trombonist Jeff Albert connects the dots between freeform blubber, steeplechase charge, and languid ardor so naturally that the distance between his stylistic touchstones never even comes to mind.”