Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Joel Vanderheyden and Koplant No (10/28): Thirty minutes after the last notes of Figment, I found myself across the river in St. Paul, at the Artists Quarter for the local debut of Koplant No, a very young (it seemed) quintet led by native Twin Citian and now Iowa resident Joel Vanderheyden. Joel finished a doctorate in classical saxophone at the University of Iowa in Iowa City and has stayed on, leading Koplant No (he says the name comes from a bumper sticker, “Coal Plants – No!”) and recording his first CD (Complete Life) with the quintet and a few additions including veteran Iowa guitarist Steve Grismore. Koplant No plays all original music, much of it contributed by Vanderheyden, much of it integrating acoustic and electronic elements (and some vocalization) into generally melodic wholes. There’s injections of humor everywhere, particularly in the titles that are somewhat reminiscent of Bad Plus monikers, “Stubby McGhee is Somewhat Less Than Confrontational” being my favorite title. Often the music has an ECM ambience but there’s also that Midwest down-home comfort feel in the midst of the loops and pedals and tonal eccentricities. Koplant No will be on the main stage of the Iowa City Jazz Festival next summer.
Btw...we're a quartet, not a quintet.
BIG thanks to Andrea Canter for the photos and the nice review!
Read the full review HERE.
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Btw...Real Records has plenty of copies of Complete Life by Joel Vanderheyden. :)
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Free Clinic and all ages show feat Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and Koplant No - October 21 at the Iowa City Yacht Club
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia hosts free clinic and all ages show
featuring Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey - October 21 at the Iowa City Yacht Club
Iowa City, IA. – The Iota Gamma Chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia at the University of Iowa presents a free clinic with the musicians of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Wednesday, October 21 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Old Capitol Recital Hall on the first floor of the Old Capitol Mall on the University of Iowa campus. The Iowa City Yacht Club will then hold a unique 8:00 p.m. show that is open to all ages. Local talent Koplant No will kick off the evening performance.
Guests are encouraged to arrive early to get the best seats and meet the band before the free clinic at 5:30 p.m. Tickets for the evening show will be available for $10 at the entrance to the Yacht Club, 13 South Linn St, Iowa City. Doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (JFJO) is a progressive quartet from Tulsa Oklahoma that brings their jazz approach to the different musical styles of today’s generations to clubs and festivals the world over. They specialize in infusing modern instrumentation and techniques with their jazz background, in order to create a direct relationship between what area music students learn in school and the music they listen to in their everyday lives. Experienced educators, JFJO still continues to take time to connect with and inspire local youth after 15 years of touring. No strangers to the Iowa City music scene, JFJO is a veteran of the main stage of the Iowa City Jazz Festival whose last trip to town in 2008 received an enthusiastic welcome from a full house.
Koplant No is comprised of local alumni of the University of Iowa’s Jazz programs. This forward-thinking ensemble incorporates elements of jazz, electronic music, and progressive rock into their modern sound. Their recent showing at the Iowa City Jazz Festival has garnered international attention for their work on the album: Complete Life.
Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia is a collegiate social fraternity for men with an interest in music. The Fraternity has created over 200 active collegiate chapters and inducted more than 150,000 members since its founding in 1898, making it the largest and oldest secret society in music. The Iota Gamma Chapter at the University of Iowa is an active promoter of music and music education in the Iowa City region, embracing the spirit of Phi Mu Alpha’s purpose statement:
“The Object of this Fraternity shall be for the development of the best and truest fraternal spirit; the mutual welfare and brotherhood of musical students; the advancement of music in America and a loyalty to the Alma Mater.”
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Monday, September 7, 2009
Monday, August 10, 2009
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Sunday, August 2, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Here's yet another post on Joel's album Complete Life.
“Simplicity and cacophony” is how composer and saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden describes his debut CD, Complete Life. The album combines distinctive original compositions, skillful use of electronic effects, and solid grooves performed by a group of outstanding musicians, all of whom share the leader’s clear artistic vision and creative goal. Joel’s tenor playing throughout Complete Life showcases not only his ability to play technically demanding ideas (check out his solo on Gargoyles), but also to deliver beautiful melodies and elegant, spirited improvisations in the tradition of the great tenor players.
Born in 1980 and raised in the Twin Cities area, Vanderheyden began saxophone study at age 10. After graduating from the University of Minnesota, Morris, he completed a Master’s Degree in Jazz Studies under Chris Vadala at the University of Maryland, subsequently served as Director of Jazz at schools in Chicago and Minnesota, and eventually landed at the University of Iowa, where this project was conceived during his DMA studies in saxophone.
The band began with the assemblage of Vanderheyden on tenor, Rob Baner on drums and SPD-S sampler, Drew Morton on electric and double bass, and Brian Lewis Smith on trumpet and laptop. For almost two years this quartet worked together building repertoire and performing as Koplant No throughout their current home of Iowa City, Iowa. To complete the ensemble, veteran pianist Tim Daugherty was brought in on keyboards, as well as guitarist Steve Grismore (whose resumé includes stints with Carla Bley, Charlie Haden, Jack Walrath, Paul Scea, Billy Higgins and Matt Wilson to name a few), providing a dynamic, fusion-based drive to the group.
Upon first listen, the album immediately makes you feel good. Further auditions will begin to reveal both the simplicity and cacophony of which the leader spoke. The simplicity is evident in the melancholy melodic statements of Complete Life and Simple Elegance and through the solid rhythmic grooves of Pirate Song and Pees and Deetoo. The cacophonous “yang” manifests itself in the swinging harmonic angles of Gargoyles, the electronic samples and effects of The Fall of a Superhero and the intriguing juxtaposition of musical styles throughout Between Heaven and Hell There is a Drawer of Junk.
Each composition on this album is dedicated to a person or event in Vanderheyden’s life, and among these musical narratives, Pees and Deetoo merits particular attention. After beginning with a “feel good” vibe, a leitmotif arises in the form of an electronic sample of Vanderheyden’s young daughter Ella saying “Pees” and “Deetoo,” which is actually her infantile attempt at being polite and saying “Please” and “Thank You.” As the melodic statement shifts from laid back groove to staccato “straight-eighth” disjunction, you can imagine the toddler learning to walk on wobbly legs, teetering on the verge of toppling over. Another notable track with strong ties to the composer is Tanzania Life Project, named for Joel’s grandfather’s non-profit, whose goal is to empower small communities throughout Tanzania by providing resources, training and infrastructure improvements to its residents. The thumb piano motive that introduces the piece is transcribed from a home video of a small group of musicians playing in Tanzania.
Throughout the album each musician is given the opportunity to showcase their improvisational talent and their abilities to tastefully explore the use of electronic effects within their music. Every solo on the album is concise, expressive and to the point. No eight chorus solos here - an approach I wish more young musicians would take. Baner and Smith’s joint solo on The Fall of a Superhero brings together a body of electric and acoustic percussion sounds that cause you to rethink the sonic possibilities of the drums in an instrumental quintet. Immediately following the percussive exchange, Daugherty explodes into a Fender Rhodes solo and manipulates the timbre of the instrument electronically while continuing to present clear musical ideas. Conjuring a bit of Miles, Brian Lewis Smith stretches out on Between Heaven and Hell There is a Drawer of Junk and presents themes, building upon ideas and giving us a wonderfully constructed solo. Grismore’s guitar adds to Pees and Deetoo by solidifying the vibe right out of the gate and delivering a solo with dynamic drive. Enough cannot be said about how well these musicians all work together to create a truly cohesive sound.
Vanderheyden's tenor playing across the album is superb, but a few highlights are worth pointing out. The title track, Complete Life, features Joel throughout, playing over an ever-morphing sound palate of Morton's grounding bass, and the band’s laptop driven effects, SPD-S sampler and keyboard synth sounds. A simple and beautiful saxophone melody is presented and built upon, reaching riveting emotional peaks before being pulled back home, showcasing Vanderheyden's maturity not only on the saxophone but as a true melodist. On Pees and Deetoo Joel lets loose and gives an energizing solo that will keep little Ella grooving well into adulthood, and his brief and terpsichorean solo on Tanzania Life Project will at a minimum get your head bobbing and your toe tapping. Joel Vanderheyden’s respect for the history of the music, his dedication to his craft, and his singular creative fire have coalesced into Complete Life, an album that is sure to open the ears of many new listeners.
– Ryan Maloney, Institute of Jazz Studies - Rutgers University
Buy it here.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Thursday, July 2, 2009
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Tuesday, March 31, 2009
Monday, March 30, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
i saw this posted on facebook. i made the following comments about it:
"thanks for posting this man...somewhat frustrating to watch though. branford marsalis was saying that shit about how no one liked ornette or coltrane for 5 years and that was true, but look at what happened to them and how people ended up embracing their music. that so many artists trying to do new things today never get a chance because they don't fit the "formula" is epic bullshit. i feel like i have to look so hard to find interesting artists to listen to...damn.
i love being a nerd and doing all the research to try and find new artists that i connect with and that are doing new things, but it's hard work and it shouldn't have to be that way. that music that i look so hard to find should COME TO ME! but it doesn't because of what this documentary talks about. what have we really heard since hip hop?"
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
From the JFJO website:
Just download the eight 'stem' tracks that make up Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's 'Tetherball Triumph,' and get started on creating your own 'Tetherball Triumph' remix! Enter your email below and we'll send you the 'stems' so you can get started. Then get creative and do your thing, chop it up, add some effects, a new beat, whatever you want. When you're all done email your creation in mp3 format to firstname.lastname@example.org. We'll upload all remixes to the player on this page for all to hear. You have until May 1st to submit your mix. JFJO will then vote on their favorite remix. The winning mix will be featured on jfjo.com, myspace, facebook, etc. The creator of the mix will receive 2 copies of the Lil Tae Rides Again vinyl, a copy of the Lil Tae Rides Again CD, a new JFJO tshirt, tickets to the next JFJO show in their city, and more! So what are you waiting for? Enter your email and start remixing now!
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Thursday, March 12, 2009
We're going into the studio next month...stay tuned...
Click HERE to listen.
Monday, March 9, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Monday, March 2, 2009
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
- Arthur C. Clarke
Friday, February 27, 2009
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Sunday, February 22, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
-Brian Cross (B+)
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
KANYE WEST "Welcome To Heartbreak" Directed by Nabil from nabil elderkin on Vimeo.
This is my favorite song off 808s and Hearbreak. I guess the video is still in progress but what they've got so far is amazing...although I'm not sure how this would look on lower definition displays...
Sunday, February 15, 2009
The Pedestrian Project consists of several performers wearing entirely black custom-made costumes modeled after the generic images of men, women, and children seen on public signs. Mimicking the lives of everyday people, the roaming sculptural forms inspire the imaginations of onlookers, who often find themselves mesmerized as these familiar icons assume busy lives of their own. Created by New Yorker Artist/Costume Designer Yvette Helin.
Check it out HERE (via trend.land).
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Monday, February 9, 2009
Uday: nice nice .. awesome man
Click on the player below to listen or right-click HERE to download.
I decided to take a minimalistic approach to the writing of this one but I didn't want it to sound like minimalist music. It was composed as simply two melody lines, one in the piano and one in the bass. I also put some auto-tuned vocals on this track, but they are disguised a bit and not prevalent until the very end. The more I record my trumpet the more I realize that I really need to get myself a decent microphone. I'm satisfied with the mic I have for live gigs because in that situation the natural, acoustic sound of my trumpet projects enough to balance things out but when I go into the "studio" it's really not working. Anyone have an RE-20 they want to sell to me for cheap???
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Go HERE to download Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey's new album for free:
Thanks to everyone for 15 years of music and Jazz Millions. JFJO loves you! As a token of JFJO's appreciation for all that you have done to make the odyssey possible, JFJO is offering a FREE DOWNLOAD of their New Studio Album, entitled 'Winterwood.'
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
K.West - SL from J Gavin on Vimeo.
I remember seeing the original video and posting it awhile back but I really like the pairing with "Street Lights" (I think it's one of the best songs on Kanye West's 808s and Heartbreak). If you haven't listened to the album yet you should.
Monday, January 26, 2009
I am excited to announce that my new cd "Third Occasion" is out as of today.
It features Craig Taborn, Scott Colley and Brian Blade along with a brass section of Ambrose Akinmusire, Brad Mason, Corey King and Andy Hunter
You can go to my site and download it now. Along with all of the scores.
The physical cd will take a while to get to the various outlets such as Amazon etc.. But I will have copies with me tomorrow at my 55 Bar gig. So for those of you in NYC that are interested in getting the cd... be the first!
David Binney-Alto Saxophone
This Tuesday, Jan 27th,10:15pm-1:30am at the 55 Bar
55 Christopher St. at 7th Ave. NYC
Downloadable cd’s, live gigs, charts, solos and more at:
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Freddie Hubbard was one of the most skilled practitioners of this art. The joy and freedom in his playing came in part from this complete mastery of the instrument. It always sounded effortless. In the high range his control of air was so sublime that his lines sometimes defied the laws of physics and harmony, resolving in odd ways just by dint of his total domination of the instrument. Freddie grabbed the opportunity of those alternate fingerings to pop in and out of chromatic chord and scale ideas. His attack was always precise and his dodging and darting lines flowed like water through a sluiceway.
A lot of people can play the trumpet well. Technical mastery is far from the reason Freddie Hubbard is the most imitated player of the last half-century. It was what he did with that mastery -- the inventiveness of his harmonies and the ingenuity of his rhythmic propulsion. Freddie's impact is so profound that you often don't have to mention him when noting a young player's influences. Freddie is always there. He had a lot to say, and we all soaked it up.
As a young player Freddie listened to Clifford Brown for sure. He also drank deeply at the well of Clifford's inspirations: Fats Navarro, Dizzy Gillespie, Roy Eldridge, and Louis Armstrong, among many others. But trumpeters aren't the only influence for trumpeters. In the same way that Clifford Brown talked about putting Charlie Parker's language on the trumpet, Freddie Hubbard brought the practices of John Coltrane, his occasional practice-mate, directly into the brass world.
Freddie's lines drove the harmony. Freddie toyed with the music, anticipating and delaying resolutions in unexpected ways. But at the end of the day it was the maturity of his improvisations that were the most powerful aspect of his musical expression. Freddie at his best could go nuts with the lines and the harmony, but he would also ease off and play with bluesy simplicity when it more effectively served the moment.
Read the full article HERE.