Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reid Poole Tour Blog (In no order)

The above picture was taken at the last gig in Billings Montana, with Alex Nauman on guitar, Reid Poole on trumpet, Britt Ciampa on drums, and Eric Olson on Tenor Sax. This blog is a delayed post on my experiences on tour with Reid and Britt, while we played with different musicians throughout the tour (Jacob Harold on tenor for four dates), it was primarily this core trio that played all ten dates.

The run down of the tour details are as followed:

Tour Schedule

June 24th - The Gift Shop (Manitou Springs, CO) 2:00pm – 5:00pm
739 Manitou Ave, Manitou Springs, CO

June 25th – The Coffee Exchange (Colorado Springs, CO) 7:30pm – 10:30pm
526 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO

June 26th - Motif Café (Colorado Springs, CO) - 8:00pm – 11:30pm
2432 west Cucharras

June 27th - Piano Warehouse (Colorado Springs, CO) – 6:00pm – 8:00pm
120 W. Cuchurras Colorado Springs, CO

June 29th – New Improvised Music Festival (Salt Lake, UT)5:00pm – 11:30pm
741 s. Kilby Court

June 30th- The Speakeasy (Salt Lake City, UT) 9:00pm – 1:00am
63 West 100 South, Salt Lake City, UT (801) 521-7000

July 2nd- The Carlin Club (Billings, MT) 9:00pm – 1:00am
2503 Montana Ave, Billings, MT (406) 245-2503

July 3rd - The Carlin Club (Billings, MT) 9:00pm – 1:00am
2503 Montana Ave, Billings, MT (406) 245-2503

July 6th - University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY) 11:45am - 1:00pm

July 6th – Dazzle Restaurant and Lounge (Denver, CO) 7:00pm – 9:00pm
930 Lincoln Street, Denver, CO

Here's a list of the music we played:





Dewey Square




(Old) Milestones

Originals: (by Britt and myself)

I wrote a book for you…

If all goes by plan…

Do you like my elephant pose?

Stars fill the sky

Quartet Art

Quartet no. 4 (Skeed)

Charlie Haden tunes:

Song for Che

Out of Focus

Golden Number

Ornette Tunes:

Theme from a symphony

Blues Connotation

John Zorn Tunes:

Hath Arob





Ner Tamid


And now, random musings about the tour:

Future Motion:

“Future Motion,” is a Britt Ciampa term suggesting a future version of Paul Motian, one that no longer worries about time signatures, but works more with pulsations. As a band, we incorporated this into one of our first rehearsals at Reid’s house, using the standard “all the things you are” as a jumping off point into playing the music, but while disregarding the time signature. I found myself initially playing patterns that were rhythmically different, but always in the context of 4/4 time. I also felt myself thinking back to Virginia, and playing standards in a free way, like adding a longer and indeterminate pedal to “Summertime.” Eight gigs a more rehearsals later, “Future Motion” was pulled out live, for an entire set, the last set of the second gig in Billings Montana at the Carlin with guitarist Alex Nauman. The idea of this was to create a rub between the two horn players and the guitarist, because they weren’t aware of “Future Motion” coming into play, even though the drums/bass were opened up to achieving rhythmic freedom. The set consisted of “Seven Steps to Heaven,” “Solar,” “Bolivia” and Ornette Coleman’s “Theme from a symphony.” The tunes wove in and out from one another and the languages of all the pieces became one larger screen of influence. “Seven Steps” contained the initially fluxations, but after that point the freedom was out and everyone suddenly became one Rhythm Unit of pulse music.

The Story of Charles (Chuck) McGruder and Slam Sylvester

(As partially remembered by hearing it from Britt Ciampa, and then added to by Matt Smiley)

Charles Mcgruder is an unknown drummer who has been highly influential to different musicians from the 1960s on, but has only been recorded once. Back in 1967 Charles Mcgruder recorded a record with an upcoming (but personally forgotten) Muslim trumpet player. The album came out, and almost fell out of print. It’s almost impossible to get a copy of the LP, but is out there. Charles McGruder taught lessons and helped out people in his community. It was in his hometown that he met bassist Slam Sylvester.

Slam was a bit older than McGruder and was good friends with composer Charles Ives’ children. They used to show him all of the musical experiments that Ives’ was working through towards the end of his life, and he used to apply it to his bass playing. Slam played jazz, played in orchestra, and was a painter. He had heard McGruder play with some of the local greats, like saxophonist Pee Wee Jefferson, and the blues singer Blind Jimmy Winkler, and wanted to hire him for his own band.

The two started a duo in the fall of 1968 that included their own personal rhythmic/melodic/harmonic language, revolutionizing sound itself in an improvisational context. Soon they were working with multi-media and dancers, and kept expanding the possibilities of what music is and can be.

A Tristano Method:

Lennie Tristano taught his students to learn a melody or a solo off of a record by listening to it five times at normal speed, and five times at half speed. Do that every day for ten days or more, and start singing the root movement, or singing the melody or solo once you know it.

Salt Lake City, Utah (In reverse)

Salt Lake City turned out to be pretty incredible. As we learned, there is a thriving counter culture that blends and cross pollinates with the LDS community, causing the city to be very culturally progressive. The second gig we played was at a club known as the “Speakeasy,” in which we were warned if any band members were found out to be under 21 then we would immediately be kicked out and not paid. Tensions were high, but the gig turned out great, with a very modest opening of half a dozen or more people, to a sudden influx of indie college kids. Some of them were musicians, some night, but they yelled for solos and for original compositions, so we played more of our non-jazz original music/arrangements and they eaten up. This gig was trio, and we were working through some personal/creative issues at the time possibly, which were opened up positively by the end of the performance.

The first gig we played as the NIMF, or New Improvised Music Festival, featured six hours of non-stop music (45 minute sets each band). We heard the Salt Lake City Alternative Jazz Orchestra play original music, and music by the promoter and host, trumpeter/composer Dave Chisholm. Dave is going to Eastman to get his doctorate this coming fall, while Reid is getting his Master’s, and so there is the Salt Lake City connection. Back to the NIMF!

NIMF Bands:

John Henry
-Chase Baird
-The Orbit Group
-Joshua Payne Orchestra
-Reid Poole Quartet (Denver)
-Ankrasmasaurus Rex (From LA)
-Friendly Robot

I cannot remember the order of bands, but I remember first hearing a Rhodes/Double bass/drum trio that reminded me of a quiet, slow rock tempo Dave King group. Very pop music influenced, but without a singer. The bassist and keyboard player would come back and play in most of the groups from then to the rest of the night. There was the Josh Payne Group, featuring beautifully twisted rock music meets marching jazz ensemble meets the psychedelic. The band had incredible and unpredictable original compositions, and a fun arrangement of “California Love” by Tupak Shakur. The guitarist and namesake of the group showed me one of his effects pedals that was half thermin/half distortion.

John Henry was a heavy band that I couldn't help think sounded like Dave Douglas' group with Uri Caine on rhodes. Really great original music, and obviously an incredibly tight band. The trumpeter and organizer of the festival Dave Chisholm led this group, and they really played an amazing set of music, check them out!

Chase Baird led his own group, with an alto player that was a bit older playing with them named Alan Michaels, and an amazing guitarist named Kenji Aihara. They played a set of "free" music, featuring Lonely Woman by Ornette Coleman, and some original compositions, all employing free improv. Once this group started playing my jaw dropped the entire time. The band was, well, words can't describe how great it was. One of the best performances of music I have seen in a very long time. Kenji sounded like a mix between Bill Frisell, a speed metal guitarist, and I dunno, someone that can do anything musically that they can think of. And the band leader, tenor saxophonist Chase Baird had a Donny McCaslin vibe about him, and just played his ass off!

The night closed with The Salt Lake City Alternative Jazz Orchestra. This was an alternative jazz big band that formed out of proving that they could do it, and played all original compositions by members of the band, especially by trumpeter Dave Chisolm. The first tune sounded like an arrangement of lonely woman, but was supposedly an original composition, and the rest of the music sounded totally unique and original. The drummer was brothers with Eastman bass teacher Jeff Campbell, and sounded incredible keeping the groove of the new music together. It was a perfect loud, explosive end to six straight hours of music!


Also in Conclusion, the tour was a success, made some money, got to visit great places, meet cool people, and see just how nice/generous people around the midwest/west are. GREAT TOUR WITH THE REID POOLE TRIO/QUARTET/QUINTET!