3 July 2012

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Before heading to Europe on the 3rd of July, I caught a set by Jason Adasiewicz’ band, Sun Rooms (with Nate McBride and Mike Reed), at the Green Mill on June 23rd. Strong music in a great room for it. Sitting there and listening, I realized that I had not played at the Mill since the 2 nights with Jason Moran, Jeff Parker, and Nasheet Waits in February of 2011. With the strong impression of the Midwest School performance on my mind, I realized that this club would be the perfect venue for re-presenting that project- the music is advanced but so soulful that it would be sure to come across well at the Green Mill. (After lots of schedule juggling it was possible to organize a weekend of performances by the group on March 22nd and 23rd, 2013; we’ll add 4 more compositions by Braxton, Hemphill, Mitchell, and Threadgill to expand the book in order to play 3 sets each night.

Will be really exciting to get back onstage with the project and present the music of these great composers again!) A few days later I went to the Hideout to see Jeb Bishop’s last concert as a Chicagoan, he moved to back to the Chapel Hill area at the end of June. The gig featured a quartet with Jeb playing alongside Kent Kessler, Dave Rempis, and Michael Zerang; beautiful music but a melancholy evening- it was the end of an era. Jeb was one of the first musicians I collaborated with after I moved to Chicago, and since the early 1990s we’ve been in many bands together. It’s going to be strange not to have him around town, he’s been such an essential part of the music scene here for so long- 2 decades! After digging through too many lousy films during my weeks in Chicago, I finally found 2 that were excellent: Rampart (by director Oren Moverman) and Bullhead (by MichaĆ«l R. Roskam); both dark, both violent, both well written and acted, both visually strong.

Part of the Daisy/McBride/Vandermark set at Okka Fest 4: