A conversation on the current New Orleans music scene between Mark Bingham, Helen Gillet, Michael Dominici, and Jonathan Freilich

WWOZ radio DJ, Michael Dominici had the idea to take some of what has been happening in these interviews and take it onto WWOZ during his radio show.  There were time constraints that didn't allow us, with our summer schedules, to do this live so we pre-recorded it on May 28th, 2011. Mark Bingham allowed us to do the interview at Piety St. Studios so we sat down for about an hour and discussed a few things pertaining to recording, time perception, thinking of music for now, anachronistic music, and observations on a few other musicians around the scene including Quintron, Ratty Scurvics, Clint Maedgen and others.  Other things were touched on too. The conversation ranges from light and humorous to a tinkering with quasi-meta-musico-profundums.

This will probably be quite edited for WWOZ radio broadcast so here is an opportunity to hear it in its entirety.  

Michael Dominici is a DJ, a very aware listener and New Orleans lover and culture observer.  Cellist,Helen Gillet has been an active professional musician around New Orleans for many years now. Mark Bingham is a renowned record producer, composer, engineer, song writer etc.  

Helen and Mark have both been individually interviewed for this series at an earlier time. Both are available from this site on the interviews page.

Without further ado, here is the conversation...

Interview with Jeff Albert, Trombonist and curator of the Open Ears Series. Parts 1&2

Jeff Albert is more than a musician.  Like a few others interviewed here he has contributed to the New Orleans music scene through the Tuesday Open Ears series at the Blue Nile.  The series allows an open forum for a wide variety of musical performance.  It is a rare night where one can witness any sort of musical exploration. Through improving the breadth of what is presented he has contributed to  the formation  of musical groups and associations of musicians that otherwise would not have a place to develop their playing and ideas.  It also brings in adventurous groups from outside New Orleans.  Jeff has developed his own expression and his self- understanding steadily over the years.  He has learned a great deal from his own associations with musicians and gigs and he shares a lot about those experiences here.  There is also interesting information about the trombone and electronic music.

 

Part 1- How the open ears series came about, what it is, whether it is still doing what he wants, what it's relationship is to the reconstruction after Hurricane Katrina; influences of Chicago improvising musicians and how he formed alliances with those musicians; improvisation itself, what the relation is to jazz; tradition and lineage in improvisational music; early biographical information -growing up in Lafayette; starting trombone in band class and the pros and cons of that level of music education.

Part 2- musical aspirations as a starting trombone student; becoming conscious of jazz music; decision to be a musician and go to Loyola University over University of North Texas; J.J. Johnson; Clint Maedgen, Coltrane Live in Japan; studies with Dick Erb; early rewarding professional gig experience in horn sections; Pedro Cruz and latin music scene experiences; the feeling of being a professional musician and enjoyment of the lifestyle; urge for self-expression bubbling to the surface; comfort with computers and meeting John Worthington, the computer guru; becoming aware of the greater relative power of emotional playing; UNO for a masters degree and improving composition; learning strengths and limitations.

 

More on Jeff and the Open Ears Music Series can be found at www.openearsmusic.org