I wanted to give you an advance heads-up about a very exciting show I’ve got coming up next month–I’m happy to announce that my Quintet+1 (with pianist Adam Shulman, bassist Fred Randolph, drummer Jon Arkin, alto saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, and multi-woodwindist Sheldon Brown) will be giving its first performance of 2014 by returning to that great spot in downtown Oakland, The Sound Room (site of our really enjoyable CD release show for Roads & Codes last year–see some footage here).
Even better, we’ll be sharing the bill with one of my favorite local ensembles, the Nathan Clevenger Group. Nathan is an outstanding composer/guitarist and his music has been consistently inspiring to me since I first encountered it, not least because we’ve had a habit of hiring some of the same great musicians. (See a tune from the Group’s most recent amazing performance here.)
Each group will be performing one long set of new original music and selections from our recent albums. (Nathan’s group will go first, with my group following around 9:30.)
WHAT: New Music for Sextets: Ian Carey Quintet+1 & Nathan Clevenger Group
WHEN: Friday, May 23, 8pm
WHERE: The Sound Room, 2147 Broadway, Oakland
TICKETS: $13 adv., $15 door
More details to come, I hope to see you all for what promises to be an exciting show!
Thanks very much to everyone who came out to any of our three CD release shows for Duocracy! Ben and I had a great time and were really pleased with the turnout and audience response. We hope to have more shows lined up soon, but in the meantime, here are some new reviews for the CD, plus some video from our Jazzschool (now California Jazz Conservatory!) show. (Also, don’t forget my trio TAKOYAKI 3 is playing Friday, March 14, in Berkeley!)
First, the reviews–I’m really pleased that the CD was selected for a review by Down Beat, which is still the magazine of record for the jazz scene after 80-some years. Here’s what they had to say:
Both busy members of the Bay Area jazz community, 30-somethings Stolorow and Carey pair up here for a duo outing largely focused on tunes dating back a couple of generations before they were born. The tone is set by the warmth of opener “Little White Lies,” accelerated as “Cherokee” finds rapid-fire lines erupting from Carey’s trumpet, and settles back as Stolorow takes a stride-inflected spin on Monk’s “Four in One.” It’s a lively trip down a straightahead path… obviously deriving a refreshing joy from the familiar sights.
Inventive and pretty, the music on Duocracy (recorded in 2013) is reminiscent of that created by Ruby Braff and Dick Hyman on several albums, including Play Nice Tunes (1994), though Braff usually performed on cornet while Ian Carey plays trumpet. Pianist Ben Stolorow and Carey mostly favor tunes from what is often called the Great American Songbook… Jazz writers who decry musicians’ continued interest in such music should listen to Stolorow and Carey’s fresh treatment of standards. Ranging chronologically from the Gershwins’ “How Long Has This Been Going On” and Rodgers and Hart’s “You Took Advantage of Me” (both 1928) to Henry Mancini’s “Two for the Road” (1967), seven of the ten selections are well known. The tempos range from sprightly to deliberate. The briskest selection, “Cherokee” begins with a brief fanfare, as if to announce that something special is coming. Indeed, the trumpet-piano interplay is impressive, as it is throughout this CD. The contrast between “Cherokee” and the next tune, Gordon Jenkins’s “Goodbye,” the longest and least hurried piece, is extreme; pairing these pieces reveals the musicians’ emotional range, from playfulness to introspection. … Hardly radical, the trumpeter and pianist are content to investigate the nuances of mostly established compositions, ones that some commentators consider effete. These tunes have endured because of their attractiveness and richness, qualities that appeal to instrumentalists and singers. Stolorow and Carey’s treatment of them is uniquely theirs. They play nice tunes nicely.
The pared down pairing of trumpeter Ian Carey and pianist Ben Stolorow on their new effort Duocracy is a simple pleasure. It’s not often that we get hear the interplay of the trumpet and piano alone together, and the talents of these two gentleman certainly elevates the caliber of the effort. They primarily cover a nice selection of standards by Rodgers and Hart, Henry Mancini, Thelonious Monk, George and Ira Gerswhin and Walter Donaldson among others. The duo of Carey and Stolorow makes this more than a fascinating concept, instead it’s a fantastic recording.
As promised, here are two videos from our Jazzschool show, each featuring tunes which can also be found on the album–the first is Monk’s “Four In One”:
And here’s Kern’s chestnut “All the Things You Are…”
Hello folks, despite my relative blog-silence for a while, I’ve been keeping busy with things musical, working on new compositions & arrangements for upcoming performances by Takoyaki 3 (5/30 at Yoshi’s Lounge) and Quintet+1 (Chez Hanny). I’m also excited about a return engagement in Berkeley for my new duo project with the great Ben Stolorow this Thursday. (You can get a taste of us in action below, tackling Monk’s thorny “Four in One” at our debut show last month.)
We’ll be bringing an all-new set of music, featuring nearly-forgotten standards, jazz rarities, and even a couple of originals. I’m also excited to announce that Ben & I will be heading into the studio to record a new album in the next month or so! (I’m especially looking forward to a spontaneous and intimate session after the major production that was Roads & Codes.) More details on that to come!
WHAT: Ben Stolorow/Ian Carey Duo WHO: Ben Stolorow, piano; Ian Carey, trumpet & flugelhorn
WHEN: Thursday, May 9, 8-10pm
WHERE: Garden Gate Creativity Center, 2911 Claremont Ave. (@ Ashby), Berkeley
HOW MUCH: $10-20 sliding scale (wine & cheese served!)
TAKOYAKI 3, the streamlined, street-food-style version of my Quintet+1, is playing twice in the next week–on Saturday night (3/23) in North Beach at Rose Pistola, and next Wednesday (3/27) at Yoshi’s Lounge in San Francisco. The group features Adam Shulman on organ, Jon Arkin on drums, and myself on trumpet & flugelhorn, and we’ll be playing original music from Roads & Codes, as well as select standards and underappreciated classics by jazz composers like Herbie Nichols, Ornette Coleman, and Lennie Tristano.
WHAT: Ian Carey’s Takoyaki 3
WHERE: Rose Pistola, 532 Columbus Ave., San Francisco
WHEN: Saturday, March 23, 9-11:30pm
HOW MUCH: No cover!
WHAT: Yoshi’s Local Talent Series presents Ian Carey’s Takoyaki 3
WHERE: Yoshi’s Lounge, 1330 Fillmore., San Francisco
WHEN: Wednesday, March 27, 6:30-9:30pm
HOW MUCH: Also no cover!
I’ve also got two other gigs this weekend for those of you of the East Bay persuasion: Saturday (3/23) daytime, I’ll be playing with the Betty Shaw Quartet at the Cheese Board in Berkeley from 11:45am-2:45pm, and Sunday evening I’ll be playing with the Full Count Trio (Ollie Dudek, myself, and Jeffrey Burr) at Cato’s Ale House in Oakland from 5:30-8:30pm.
Next, there have been more reviews for Roads & Codes trickling in, including a very nice one from The Pittsburgh Tribune Review:
Carey is almost as good a cartoonist as he is a musician. The horn man created a comic-book-like cover for his “Roads & Codes” that talks about the difficulty of selling jazz these days. Inside, cartoon depictions of the players in the band decorate his liner notes, set in the same typeface as the word balloons on the cover. While all this cover material is impressive, the music — happy to say — is even better. The tunes are catchy and played by a sextet that, at times, sounds bigger, offering backup statements and horn harmonies that create a rich sound.
… plus a review from Ken Frankling’s Jazz Notes (“a marvel for its lush and intricate music and musical concepts, as well as Carey-designed packaging and illustrations that make it a clear favorite to win the year’s cleverest design”), another mention from James Hale, who wrote my DownBeat review (“one of the freshest albums I’ve heard in a long time”), a spin for “Count Up” and what according to Google Translate is a nice review from Radio France‘s Alex Dutihl (“Parution de «Roads & Codes» du trompettiste Ian Carey chez Kabocha, dont la pochette est illustrée par une bande dessinée qu’il a lui-même créée. Encouragé par Dave Douglas en ce qui concerne la musique, il poursuit parallèlement une carrière d’illustrateur”–couldn’t have said it better myself!), and from one of my favorite jazz blogs, the great Doug Ramsey’s Rifftides (the post title–“Recent Listening: Carey, Mingus, Ellington”–poses a serious threat of causing my brain to explode):
Carey writes lines that flow on astringent harmonies. His trumpet and flugelhorn keep the listener’s attention not through volume, velocity and extended sorties into the stratosphere, but with story telling and a burnished tone. Kasey Knudsen, the +1 of the band’s new name, spells Evan Francis on alto saxophone, leaving Francis to concentrate on tenor sax and flute. With the audacity of her conception and sound, Knudsen is a stimulant. The series of blues choruses and phrases that she and Francis exchange on “Nemuri Kyoshirō” is an album high point. The three-horn front line expands Carey’s arranging palette beyond that of his 2010 CD Contextualizin’, allowing richer ensembles and deeper voicings in figures behind soloists. Pianist Adam Shulman, bassist Fred Randolph and drummer Jon Arkin constitute one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s finest rhythm sections. Carey acknowledges that nearly half of his compositions are under the influence of his heroes Charles Ives (“West London”), Igor Stravinksy (“Andante”), John Coltrane (“Count Up”) and Neil Young (“Dead Man [Theme]”). The influences are points of departure for the individualism of Carey’s writing.
Finally, here’s some new video from our show at the Sound Room last month–this is the aforementioned “Nemuri Kyoshiro,” featuring a live rematch of that epic saxophone battle:
Hi folks, here’s the first video from our CD release show for Roads & Codes last month at the Sound Room in Oakland. It was taken by saxophonist/video whiz Ben Torres.
Due to some technical difficulties (not Ben’s fault) the trumpet is pretty far down in the mix, but I don’t think that detracts from the music too much. More to come!
Also, if you’re in the Bay Area, I’m going to be playing tomorrow (Saturday, March 9) at the Cheese Board in Berkeley with pianist Betty Shaw‘s Quartet (with Ron Marabuto, Robb Fisher and myself), from 12-3pm. The pizza’s delicious and the music is free, so come on by!
Hi folks, thanks to everyone who came out to recent shows in Berkeley and Oakland. I’ve got another show coming up in Berkeley at Caffe Trieste, home of an array of strange and wonderful coffeemakers worthy of Frankenstein’s lab. I’ll be joining bassist Noah Schenker and friends for an evening of straightahead cookin’ on standards, jazz classics, some originals and other rarities.
What: The Noah Schenker Quartet Who: Noah Schenker, bass; Ian Carey, trumpet; Adam Shulman, piano; TBA, drums (but you know it’ll be somebody good). When: Tuesday, May 10, 7-10pm Where: Caffe Trieste, 2500 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley How Much: Free!
Also, for those of you who weren’t able to make it to Takoyaki 3’s inaugural show at the Actual Jazz Series last month, series founder Jacob Zimmerman and Theo Padouvas were kind enough to video the entire show, so I thought I’d share two tunes. The first is our take on “How Deep is the Ocean”:
Happy summer! For those of you who weren’t able to make it out to our show last week at Coda, here’s the first video from that great evening (great for us, anyway–I leave the musical judgments to you).
It’s the tune which has recently become our favorite opener, “Sockdolager” (ironically defined as “a decisive blow or answer : finisher”), as heard on Contextualizin’. It features solos from me, Fred, Evan, and Adam (getting his Rhodes on), with Jon’s tidal groove(s) washing over it all.
Not only was it great to be playing with these guys again, it was also encouraging that we got such a big, enthusiastic crowd out (you can’t miss them on the video), some of whom I think are a sign that the club is taking off–definitely refreshing to see after so many closures of jazz-friendly venues in the recent past.
Currently, our next scheduled show as a quintet is at Berkeley’s Jazzschool in September, but we’ve got some feelers out for gigs between now and then so I’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, I’ve got appearances coming up with the amazing Circus Bella and the Contemporary Jazz Orchestra (formerly of Pearl’s and Rasselas), so it’s looking to be a busy, musical summer.
BTW: if you haven’t yet, please take a minute to “Like” my jazz page on Facebook (“You like me! You really like me!”), or follow me on Twitter (which I’m really starting to get into, after years of stubborn resistance). Thanks, and stay tuned for some listening recommendations, more gig video, an upcoming radio interview, and some follow-up thoughts on the jazz funding debate. Cheers!
Listeners: This is just a reminder that the Ian Carey Quintet will be returning to SF’s beautiful new club Coda this Wednesday night as part of their “Dinner & A Show” series, for our last scheduled show before September. It’s a great place to play, with good food, drinks, sound, and music (if we have anything to say about it).
We’ll be playing lots of music from our new CD, Contextualizin’ (“a digital masters seminar” –All About Jazz) and our previous album, plus several brand-spankin’-new originals which will be performed for the very first time (and possibly the second time as well depending on how well the first time goes).
WHAT: The Ian Carey Quintet
WHO: Ian Carey, trumpet & flugelhorn; Evan Francis, saxophone/flute; Adam Shulman, Fender Rhodes/Hammond B3; Fred Randolph, bass; Jon Arkin, drums; and special guests
WHEN: Wednesday, June 16, 7:00-11:00pm
WHERE: Coda Jazz Supper Club, 1710 Mission St., San Francisco
HOW MUCH: Just $5!
So please come on down, bring a friend or 5, and support some live local music!
Hi folks–as you can see, the website has a new look (it was long overdue). Let me know if it’s working for you. I’m planning on doing some more regular posting in the future (beyond announcements and self-promotion–because, let’s face it, that gets boring), to share my thoughts on the jazz scene, the trumpet, what I’ve been listening to, etc.
… RIGHT AFTER I get this self-promotion out of the way: first, I do want to mention that thanks to the great crowd that turned out for the CD release show, we’ve been invited back to Coda on Wednesday, June 16. I’m planning on having some new material ready to debut, so be sure to come down so you can say you were there THE NIGHT JAZZ CHANGED (or something).
Also, the CD got a really nice review recently from The Jazz Page:
… the stuff that great jazz is made of, a blend of solid musicianship and writing. Carey’s trumpet and fluegelhorn work has an inviting tone that can attract jazz aficianados and novices alike. The quintet is a terrific assemblage of talented players…
Finally, as a reward for making it through the above promos, and as a preview for those who didn’t make it to the release show, here’s another tune from that night, the 5/4 harmonic maze called “Leap Year” (also available on CONTEXTUALIZIN’), featuring the talents of Evan Francis, Adam Shulman, Fred Randolph, and Jon Arkin. Enjoy!
Hi Folks–a big thank you to everyone who made it out to our CD release show last week at Coda (and thanks even to those who wanted to be there but couldn’t make it). The show went really well, it’s a very nice room, and as I said at the gig, after seeing so many jazz venues close lately, it’s great to see a new one taking hold. (We’re already talking about a return visit in June.)
Here’s some video from the show–our first tune of the night, “Sockdolager”:
More tunes to come–for now you can also check out “Sink/Swim.”
CONTEXTUALIZIN’ @ ALL ABOUT JAZZ: Two big things going on for our new CD over at All About Jazz this week–first, the album is being featured in a “Listening Party” all this week, which means you can listen to it in its entirety for FREE! Check it out here (if you like what you hear and want to keep listening, pick up your own copy at CDBaby, iTunes, or Amazon).
Second, we’ve gotten a nice review from the site by C. Michael Bailey:
Trumpeter Ian Carey’s Contextualizin’ is a digital Masters seminar. First, of course, is the music: solid, acoustic, composed, progressive, explorative. Second, is the exegesis, Carey’s realization that, …”what I played would help shape how I played…” Not technically dazzling, Carey, like Miles Davis, chooses to focus on which notes he plays (and doesn’t) and their relative order as opposed to the tempo or technical exercise contained in the notes’ performance. This shift in perspective moves the act of playing music from the sterile virtuosic into the informed, emotive realm, providing a solid balance…
How about that! (I was joking to a friend that I should shorten the quote to: “… like Miles Davis…”) Read the whole review here.
Finally, if you haven’t yet, please take a second to become a fan of Ian Carey Jazz on Facebook, to keep up with all the latest gig announcements, videos, and links. Happy Spring!
Announcements and thoughts from a Bay Area trumpeter and composer