Part 2- Coming to New Orleans for James Booker; the different rhythms in traditional jazz- tresillo, cinquillo; working with Lil Queenie, The Dirty Dozen Brass Band; starting the New Orleans Night Crawlers; what's changed in New Orleans music over the years; loss of older players and lack of replacement; John Cleary; Dave McKenna, Dick Hymen; attempting music journalism; playing with Trolsen, Matt Perrine, Evan Christopher.
Music Interviews Podcast
Part 1- Tinnitus; working with Meschiya Lake; what makes a jazz player and why he feels he is not really a jazz player; interest in world music that relates to early jazz; 'Best of' record to be put out by Van Dyke Parks; Choro, Ragtime, Musette, and Tom's re-usage of the forms for improvisation; being from St. Louis and University experiences; forays into music journalism; the problems in rock journalism; Tom's music background; examples of his brother's musicality; being uncomfortable with pop music; affection for Brazilian pop music; Tom's process of composing in vernacular forms; Tom's harmonic language and process of deriving form
Part 4- Uses of composition training in Tim's everyday work; Tim's harmonic language; how he appropriates work from scores; getting in to Amanda Shaw's band; fitting into Bourbon St. schedule and Neslort schedule; fitting well with the idiosyncracies of Rick Trolsen's music; "I have my own ideas about rhythm!"; "I never count in my brain higher than 3!"; Das Rhinegold; things that are coming up-Dirty Mouth, Trio; arguing on stage; Alex Mcmurray in a mini cooper; interviewer-->interviewee switcheroo; looking for financial independence to continue working on music development
Part 3- More on Hot Karl; satire at Checkpoint Charlie's on Monday nights; not taking himself seriously and coming up against the limits of musicians' sense of humor; Dirty Mouth; Chameleon theater and big band; Dave Stover; Dave Sobel; David James; starting point: "everybody fuck off"; the release of Dirty Mouth; Rob Wagner; ideas for the Morning 40 Federation; "Bourbon St. is all in your head"; studying composition privately and what lead to that; obsession with 12 tone music and serialism; finding the teacher; strictness about good notation practice and its advantages; ridiculing the trumpet; a Mike Darby aside
Part 2- David Bowie; how he started on guitar; the appeal of volume and speed; questions about Metal and the makeup of heaviness; Black Sabbath; Django's influence on Tony Island; King Thunder and the emergence of Hot Karl; Benji's Kosick unique approach; Captain Beefheart; Hot Karl's impact on Tim's approach; the subtleties of time in rock music; evolutionary psychology
Tim is an interesting figure in the New Orleans music vista. He plays Bourbon St. He is a survivor of that commercial zone and knows how to do it (or has the personality for it) in a way that doesn't limit him and has driven him plain crazy. Many have been driven in such a direction.
Many people ask questions about validities and viabilities involved in music on Bourbon St. Tim, from first hand experience over lot of years, engages these questions:-
What is Bourbon St.? How does that music zone operate differently and similarly to other parts of town? What are it's musical features and modes of development? Is there anything really good out there?
There is much more, however, to Tim and to this interview. Tim is an avid experimental/modern/"classical" composer and has moved himself through in-depth, mentored, study in that direction too. For those who may wonder what the relevance of Bourbon St. and "classical" music is to New Orleans music and whether he can really talk about it, there is more. He also plays guitar with Neslort (if you don't know then be sure to go), Amanda Shaw, and two very interesting comico-satirical-serious groups that started quite a while ago and feature a very biting and immediate viewpoint voiced by Robertson: Dirty Mouth and Hot Karl.
Enjoy the interview- there is a lot given.
The interview was conducted, 5/1/12, at the orange couch in New Orleans.
Part 1- Tim Green; Bourbon St. audiences; real bands as opposed to collections of players; how much playing time does he spend on Bourbon St?; how's the money?; how the material is selected and arranged; Tim's most important features of a good drummer; Tim's background and why he's in New Orleans; Mark Diflorio; John Bagnato; a cerebral player; at Duke University and dropping sports for music; fascination with music theory; Haydn scores, symmetry and structure; revisiting music from childhood.
Part 3- Changes in the current New Orleans music scene that are caused by economic changes; rehearsals instead of pick-up bands; trad and revisiting Aurora Nealand's (see her interview) discussion of gender role solidification; heated debating over the preceding issues; music becoming populist and away from the seperatism of bebop- more heated debate!; "in 2012 to be populist is to be subversive!"; the central features of the expression of the Trombone Shorty band; egalitarianism in New Orleans brass band music; what Dan is working on now; Chazfest and the continuance of post-katrina community survival mechanisms; the constant influx of creative people to the city; search and restore.
Part 2- How Dan ended up in the Naked Orchestra; militant attitude towards certain music for growth; growing out of the results of mistaken assumptions; limited paradigms in jazz education; freedoms and an agenda unveiled in New York; Tony Dagradi and further doors opening with James Singleton's band; discussion of ideas for another approach to music education; The Other Planets and the "confluence of the downwardly mobile"; what is going on with "trad" in New Orleans in in the current scene; Anthony Braxton's 3 types of people that have to exist in music; "trad" musicians as an insular, isolated community; why is trad being chosen as the form of expression?; local economics of "trad"; the "trad" scene dissolution and what is coming in to replace it; the look of the Frenchmen scene; how Dan markets himself; how Dan became interested in traditional jazz at all
Interview with Dan Oestreicher, currently with Trombone Shorty but also,saxophonist at large (5/2/12)
Dan Oestreicher first hit the radar for this writer when he presented himself at a Naked Orchestra show at the Mermaid lounge and made clear that he should be playing with the group. He did that for the rest of that evening and for a long time afterward.
He played with many of the most forward thinking New Orleans musicians and frequently he is there right when they are looking the most forward. This includes the The Other Planets, The Magnetic Ear, 3 now 4, James Singleton, Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Roger Lewis's Baritone quintet (where Dan is playing Bass sax instead of his more heard, Bari sax,) The Naked Orchestra, The Jonathan Freilich group, his own group- The Diesel Combustion Orchestra, and more. He is seen playing some tuba and really tends to go very deep when he is exploring anything, but especially music. He also knows a good deal about saxophone lore and trade as well as the other end of the spectrum, analog synthesis.
As he is in Trombone Shorty's band, touring constantly, he is in a unique position to discuss the current meanings and associations in the idea of New Orleans music (if there is really such a thing at all) and improvisation. His perspectives are well informed and if nothing at all show a blazing mind for inquiry and a fearless and healthy statement of opinion. He could go anywhere from here. If you were into horse racing you might see him listed in the racing form as one to watch.
...Look to the end for heated debate.
Part 1- What Dan is up to now; the Roger Lewis baritone sax quartet+ bass sax; Roger, Tony, tim green, calvin johnson, shannon powell; jazzfest as a showcase for acts that aren’t playing around very much; “the guardians of the vault”; playing with Trombone Shorty and the perception of New Orleans in the world; ponderings about why Trombone Shorty is the current poster child for New Orleans music; the limitations of the idea of New Orleans music; bandleader, Trombone Shorty; Dan’s other musical lives in the past; New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and peoples’ perception of that in relation to the New Orleans music categorization; more on the liberations and restraints of being identified as a New Orleans musician; jazz in academia; musical priorities; the position of precise execution in the New Orleans instrument player’s aesthetic; brass bands and depth of rehearsal- Hot 8 Brass Band; Soul Rebels Brass Band.
Part 4- what happened when he got to New Orleans; falling into what he was trying to get away from; on the other hand...; punkfunk scene dying in New York and the reasons; getting into New Orleans and the beat and syncopation; hitting some hard times in New Orleans and leaving for a while- Ithaca; problems with the music press in New Orleans-suppressing innovation; insoucience; desire to push the limits; studying with Andrew Cyrille; more jazz pondering; the failure of imagination; bitter-sweet New Orleans; separating marketing from music; inspiring ideals embodied in jazz; where he is going now.
Part 3- Bill Milkowski; New York going broke and the effects on the New York art scene; cultural wars; the evolution of the Knitting Facory and incidental exploitation; Zane Massey; polarization along class, race, and sex lines; being chased out of New York by the rising rents, along with a lot of music venues; working at Simon & Schuster and stumbling into market analysis; ending up being a part of the problem and having to work out a way out of that; the change in jazz from originality to conformity; reactionary politics working its way into jazz; changing role of the artist in society; the hideous ways of denigrating the artist and various negative reassociations; problems with cliques in New York; coming to New Orleans and the comparative fluidity of the scene; being a New York exile.
Part 2- Leaving "Heavenston;" going back to Kansas City and landing his first regular gig at a colorful bar; playing jazz in KC; Pat Metheny; playing jazz and the features of Kansas City jazz styles as that time; swinging and schmaltzy as an aesthetic; going to Evergreen in Olympia, Washington; playing at the Rennaissance Fair in Eugene, OR with the Flying Karamazov Brothers, Rev Chumley etc.; Tommy and the Snakes and other experiences in country music; back to Kansas City and then being drawn to New York in the late 70's by friend at Parsons; the New York scene- at Hurrah's, James Chance, James White and the Blacks; No Wave; getting into the publishing business and then writing through that; going to Hunter; meeting Bern Nix and the Theater for the New City; Crystal Field; William parker joins to make the Bern Nix trio; the aesthetics that were, how they came to be that way, and how they became so misunderstood; not wanting to be bourgeois in New York.
I first met Dave Capello through Bill Milkowski. I remember Bill shouting out somewhere on Frenchmen St in the early 90's that I really needed to play with Dave. I'm glad that happened. I loved playing with Dave from minute one. It just made sense to me. He didn't waste time, behind the drums, trying to prove anything so you could more quickly move toward the possibilities of developing something organic. Before he came to New Orleans, he had been the drummer for the Bern Nix Trio. I was fascinated with that too because I was (and still am) under the spell of Prime Time (Ornette Coleman's electric band.) I was fascinated to try to talk about that in those days but Dave was really more intrigued with the New Orleans scene around him.
The earlier interview on this blog with saxophonist, Tim Green gives a rare look at the background behind the ideas and experiences that make up some of the forces in Tim's playing. Here is another very rare piece and, like the interview with Tim, much can be learned about Dave's music and the worlds it comes out of without being familiar with his work.
Some of the best work I've heard him on lately is trombonist Jeff Albert's records. Check those out at Jeff's site.
In this conversation, Capello brings up a whole lot of his experiences from radical cultural scenes in New York and Kansas City. Some have been scantily documented and Dave sheds some light on that, particularly the goings on in New York's lower East Side around free, conscious, creative music.
Part 1- Bill Milkowski; the Kansas City jazz scene when Dave was growing up there; the influence of his Father and his jazz records; Bird at St. Nick's; Roy Haynes; how he came to the drums and his first teachers; learning timpani; "bar-b-q jazz"; wrestling with technique; getting into writing early on and the decision to not specialize; writing poetry and analysis and history; interest in drama; leaving Kansas City and why; going to Northwestern;
Part 4- How The Geraniums formed; getting others to record their songs; meeting and working with Glen Styler; Alex Mcmurray in The Geraniums; what Jeff is currently up to- writing, upcoming records he's producing, the family album; the changes that Jeff sees in New Orleans since he showed up in the 70's; what happened to older people going to shows too?; succumbing to convention; changes in the art world.
Part 3- the fate of the Economy; more on Brendan Gallagher and his writing; the quick story of the rise and fall of Tribe nunzio, a little on Joe Cabral before The Iguanas; how The Mermaid Lounge started (Nov.1994); meeting 3 or 4 people that can make 10 or 12 bands; the sorts of forces that can create a Mermaid Lounge and why that model isn't around anymore; the Mermaid Lounge calendar- "low brow and high end"; how the Mermaid recording studio came about; Clint's ingenuity; about the ending of the Mermaid and the end of a number of clubs with a certain booking ethic; more on Pat Cronin.
Part 2- writing in the early 70's; influential teachers; chord progressions becoming important; what was noticeable about New Orleans music when Treffinger showed up; Astral Project, Tyler's, and James Singleton; the formation of Tribe Nunzio and Cafe Brasil; Nick Sanzenbach; getting The Beaux Arts Ball gig; what kind of songs were being played and its exciting features; the religion of Holden Miller; Jeff's comfort with not being the front man; what it was like getting gigs then; The Economy and meeting Brendan Gallagher, Pat Cronin; Ade Salgado (pre-Cafe Brasil); "Frenchmen St needs some fucking daylight;" Cafe Brasil starts selling booze.
Some people provide support. Jeff Treffinger is that sort of person, whether as proprietor and music booker at the legendary Mermaid Lounge, or as record producer, or as musician in groups such as the Geraniums and Tribe Nunzio. Perhaps he learned support from studies in architecture or, his interest in architecture came from a fundamentally supportive facet in his personality.
There is a book by underground icon, Eugene Chadbourne, that so hits the nail on the head about certain pieces of real musical life in bars, that I won't even lend the book out. It has acquired a cult status on my own personal bookshelf. The title of the book is "I hate the man who runs this bar- The Survival Guide For Real Musicians" It's so correct in every way except that The Mermaid Lounge defied the pictures laid out in that book. We loved the men who ran that bar and their contribution and Jeff was one of them. There are many things that go on in the local music scene today that would not be, if it hadn't have been for the initial allowances of their mad "experiments" at the Mermaid. ("Courting" might be better word here than "allowance") Jeff was one of the bar owners, but he did a great deal more around there too.
At any rate, in this near two hour interview with Jeff, he talks about his foregound and background activities that at different times have shaped the New Orleans music scene. And this is not the only direction life has taken him. Here Treffinger, founding member of Tribe Nunzio, describes how he came to be putting a band together in New Orleans at all and, what his purposes were in doing so...or at least his thinking at the time. He tells stories about the accidental discoveries that led him to architecture and how that led him into certain nooks in New Orleans music. He is frank about what he learned and how, and the interesting folks that he collaborates with or has dealt with over the years that have enabled his dealings to be loaded with a delightful, risky creativity.
Part 1- Early background in New Jersey; the impact of the Beatles; the guitar; starting in bands and dreams; realities on the Jersey shore; the influence and protection of the older, tougher, musicians he got around early on-discipline, rehearsal, the intellectual component; how Treffinger came to be in New Orleans in 1977 and the allure of the city; fateful snowstorm, achitect of the architect; 1978 to Tulane; meeting Dwight Davis, flautist/Tenor sax; panhandling in the French Quarter; moving away from rock to Chick, Jaco, etc; learning further interesting things about Dwight Davis
Part 2- Is the other planets avehicle for political views?; development into more of an emphasis on lyrics and vocals; more "pop" forms enter the picture; defining what had gone on previously; why the attempts at boundary pushing?; what is this idiom?; process of working on the vocals; content understanding within the band; more on whether the audience comprehend the material; nightmarish mis-adventures in accounting; upcoming recording possibilities; the solo shows; current directions in Cuccia's songwriting; literary interests; what is driving the change toward the positive and the spiritual; gullain-barre syndrome; music as therapeutic recovery system; sonic features of positive music; what Cuccia learned from James "Jimbo" Walsh; different ways that band members internalize the musical ideas; Rex Gregory, Tim McPhatter; the wind cries mary; planned people to collaborate with; what was learned from The Iguanas
Anthony Cuccia- Percussionist, keyboardist, composer, idea man for The Other Planets. Anthony uses music both for social consciousness and for exploration of its own various technologies. He is always striving for a new way to assemble his ideas. If you haven't, go check out his evolving band. If you are real lucky you might catch him doing a solo show. This interview took some interesting turns partially due to Anthony's willingness to discuss parts of his "process."
Part 1- Background and growing up in Lafayette; coming to the Bongos; interest in eclectic characters in music; seeking authenticity and individualised statement; studies with Hector Gallardo; big ideas; the influence of video games; what happened to Paul?; more on Hector and playing out on Frenchmen St; meeting Jimbo Walsh, getting turned on to Captain Beefheart, and putting the band together; transformation from "jazzy" band to rock band and the forces that caused the transformation; the impact of Zack Smith and Dan Oestreicher on The Other Planets; the rebirth of Dan Oestreicher; the departure of Oestreicher; influences on the lyrical content- politics and humor; insulting the audience; is the audience listening?
Part 4- moving into playing with Naked On The Floor, James Singleton, Michael Ray and groups that were most compatible with the culmination of Tim's development; how you got gigs in the old days; difficulties in presenting creative music now; being on the same path as when his music life began; dalliances with the music business and conflict of ideas; playing with Anders Osborne and being able to convince him that a live recording was the way to go; sessions with Daniel Lanois; revisiting his line of development through YouTube.