Tag Archives: Quintet+1

Spring Update: Quintet+1 at the Sound Room, Bryan Bowman Album, Big Bands

Hello Folks! I wanted to let you know about some exciting musical stuff coming up that I’m glad to be a part of.

studioFirstly, the Ian Carey Quintet+1‘s next album, Interview Music, was recorded this past weekend at the legendary Fantasy Studios in Berkeley (in the same room as “Don’t Stop Believin'”, if you can believe that). The band put a herculean effort into a very long day (and my pain in the @#$ compositions) and I couldn’t be happier with the result. The album is on track for a fall release.

Speaking of which: the Quintet+1 (Kasey Knudsen, alto sax; Sheldon Brown, bass clarinet; Adam Shulman, piano; Fred Randolph, bass; Jon Arkin, drums; and me) will be returning next month to the great downtown Oakland venue The Sound Room. The show is on Saturday, May 16th, so please save the date for what should be a very exciting show.

I’m also excited about a new album I was fortunate to record with the great local drummer and composer Bryan Bowman and his quintet (with saxophonist Bob Kenmotsu, pianist Matt Clark and bassist Doug Miller). The album, titled Like Minds, features many of Bryan’s beautiful compositions. The CD release show for the album will be held Thursday, May 7 at 8pm at Bird & Beckett Books in SF.

I’ve also been playing quite a bit with two very interesting big bands, both dedicated to original arrangements–which is especially great since just a couple of years ago the Bay Area seemed to be becoming a big band dead zone.  The first is guitarist/composer Tony Corman’s Morchestra, which will be playing this Friday, April 24 at 8pm at the California Jazz Conservatory (aka the Jazzschool) in Berkeley. In addition to Tony’s beautiful charts, we’ll be joined by a special guest vocalist, the great Ed Reed.

The other big band is the Electric Squeezebox Orchestra (led by trumpeter/composer Erik Jekabson), which features a who’s who of local heavies and only performs arrangements written by members of the group. I was lucky enough to play on several tunes of their upcoming album Cheap Rent and have been playing fairly often with the group (and they’ve been gracious enough to play one of my compositions). I’ll be joining them at their regular (free!) Sunday night residency at Doc’s Lab in SF on the following Sundays: 4/26, 5/3. 5/24, 6/7, 6/21 (all shows from 6:30-9pm).

And later on in the summer, I’m excited to be playing for the first time with one of my compositional and bandleading idols, Nathan Clevenger, so stay tuned for details.

Finally, I’m planning on expanding both my musical instruction and graphic design business in the next year, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you know someone interested in trumpet, improvisation, or composition lessons, or who is in need of graphic design assistance.

Thanks and hope to see you at a show soon!

Save the Date: ‘Interview Music’ Live Recording Nov. 14 in Berkeley!

Hello folks,

I wanted to give you a heads-up about a show next month that I’m very excited about. My group will be giving only the second performance of my new 4-part suite Interview Music (made possible by a grant from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music). The show will also be our first appearance at the historic Hillside Club, a beautiful Maybeck-designed hall at the foot of the Berkeley Hills.

I wrote the piece over the past year and a half, specifically for my Quintet+1 (Adam Shulman on piano, Fred Randolph on bass, Sheldon Brown on bass clarinet, Kasey Knudsen on alto saxophone, Jon Arkin on drums, and myself on trumpet). It’s close to an hour long and contains the most involved writing I’ve ever done. You can read more about it, including what the title means, here.

More importantly, we’re going to be doing a recording of the performance which will hopefully be released as our fourth album next year–and you have the opportunity to say, in the words of Pee Wee Marquette, “that’s my hand on that record!” This is also likely to be your last chance to hear Interview Music in its entirety for quite a while. We’ll also be playing other music from our book including music from our album Roads & Codes (“★★★★½ ” – DownBeat).

The show will be Friday, November 14 at 8pm, and the Hillside Club is located at 2286 Cedar St. in Berkeley. Hope to see you!


 

I also wanted to let you know about two exciting shows this weekend–the first is Friday 10/24 at 9pm. It’s the debut of a brand-new 17-piece big band, the Morchestra, which is led by guitarist/composer/arranger extraordinaire Tony Corman, and features an embarrassment of local riches in the band. We’re going to be playing at the newly-relocated Birdland Jazzista Social Club in Oakland and it should be a great time. More info here.

Saturday night (10/25), I’m excited to be getting together with my friends Fred Randolph, Adam Shulman, and Bryan Bowman for some good old bar jazz at the Albatross Pub in Berkeley from 9:30-12:30. Just a $3 cover. Come on by and see if we can be louder than the crowd!

“Interview Music” Premiering September 20 in Berkeley

Hi folks, I’m very excited to announce the premiere of a new piece for my Quintet+1 which I’ve been working on for the past year. The piece, titled Interview Music: A Suite for Quintet+1, and made possible by a grant from the San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music’s Musical Grant Program, will be presented Saturday, September 20 at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly known as the Jazzschool) in Berkeley.  It will feature the talents of Adam Shulman, piano, Fred Randolph, bass, Jon Arkin, drums, Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone, Sheldon Brown, bass clarinet, and myself on trumpet.

Below is a press release about the piece, including what that name means, my own background as a composer, and the history of the band. I hope to see you at the premiere!


 

“The first thing you need to know about ‘Interview Music,'” says Bay Area trumpeter and composer Ian Carey about his new jazz suite, “is that it’s not about trying to get more interviews.” (Though he’s not averse to the idea, he adds.)

The piece, which will be premiered at the California Jazz Conservatory (formerly the Jazzschool) in Berkeley on Saturday, September 20, at 8:00 pm, is a 45-minute, four-movement adventure and Carey’s longest composition to date. It is a vehicle both for his intricate writing and the improvisational chops of his group, the Ian Carey Quintet+1, last heard on 2013’s acclaimed album Roads & Codes (Kabocha Records), which received praise from DownBeat and NPR, and appeared on many critics’ best of 2013 lists.

Continue reading “Interview Music” Premiering September 20 in Berkeley

Site Redesign, Gigs, & New to Me

Hi folks, it’s been a while since my last update. As you can see, I’ve redesigned my whole site from scratch; the reasons were a) it was time, and b) I’ve been learning some new tools and this was a good opportunity to put them to use–for the design-nerd details, I created the site as a whole in Adobe Muse, the homepage animation in Edge Animate, and the blog is still in WordPress with a customized template (since Muse doesn’t yet have its own compatible blogging engine). Please have a look around–there are now pages for my projects, albums, a new bio, my design & illustration portfolio, a list of upcoming events, and you can let me know what you think at the new contact page!

Gigs-wise things have been interesting–I’ve got at least two more hits with Circus Bella this summer, had a really challenging and interesting show with the great Satoko Fujii at Duende (I hope they’ll continue their adventurous programming now that Rocco Somazzi is leaving), and am busily preparing for the world (!) premiere of my new piece for Quintet+1, “Interview Music”  (if you follow the jazz media at all you’ll get the joke/reference), this September at the California Jazz Conservatory. Ben Stolorow and I have also just confirmed Duocracy‘s first San Francisco appearance, at Bird & Beckett in October.

Finally, I’m overdue to give you a “New to Me” installment—here’s a quick rundown of some of the music that’s been on heavy rotation in my ears lately.

The top five:

  • Israel: The Music of Johnny Carisi — I can’t overstate how deeply this record has bowled me over since I picked it up (on Marc Myers’ recommendation) earlier this year. So intricate, so creative, so swinging–it’s everything I aim for in my own music.
  • Olivier Manchon: Orchestre de Chambre Miniature — This random used CD pickup was a lucky find. Gorgeous small-group string writing by this French violinist, lush harmony, creative textures, layered through with solid blowing by John Ellis and Gregoire Maret (who I was lucky to get to play with a few times in NYC). This is listed as “volume 1″—I hope more is on the way because this one is over way too quickly.
  • Hindemith: Kammermusik 1-7 (Berliner Philharmoniker/Claudio Abbado)  — This is a bible of modern contrapuntal technique. Drop the (virtual) needle anywhere for an immediate sonic bath of virtuosic counterpoint and texture. He makes it sound so easy (maybe it was for him). The cello-focused #3 is my current favorite, but they’re all amazing.
  • Villa Lobos: Wind Music  — As much as I love Hindemith, he can sometimes feel a little dry emotionally—the first time I heard this record, it made me think of a more soulful (and due to the Brazilian connection, inevitably more reminiscent of jazz harmonies) version of a Hindemithian texture. The duo, trio and quartet are all great. I am stealing lots of stuff from this record.
  • Halvorsen/Fujiwara/Formanek: Thumbscrew — I was lucky to hear these guys last month during their Duende residency (where else would that ever happen outside of NYC?) and was really floored. All three players are forces of nature, and the tunes are perfect vehicles for what they do best. (Although they do just fine without tunes as well, as demonstrated by the all-improvised second set they did with perfectly attuned sitter-inner Ben Goldberg when I saw them.) This (as well as the Satoko Fujii show) has really inspired me to get into more free playing.

Other records I’ve been crazy about lately include:

  • Darcy James Argue: Brooklyn Babylon
  • Donald Byrd: How (with incredible string charts by Clare Fischer)
  • Jimmy Giuffre: New York Concerts
  • Charles Mingus: Pre Bird (“Half-Mast Inhibition”!)
  • Henry Cowell: Piano Music
  • Kirk Knuffke: Chorale  (Finally got to hear him live recently with Todd Sickafoose–one of my favorite young trumpeters cornetists)
  • John Swana: Bright Moments (My friend Lorin turned me on to Swana, who is a mother$#&* of creative changes-playing and sounds equally scary on trumpet and EVI)

… plus a bunch of other great stuff I’m forgetting! Anyway, that’s a good start. Stay tuned for more news about “Interview Music” and part 2 of “Blues, Authenticity, and the Hopefully Not-So-Abstract Truth.”

Carey & Clevenger: New Music for Sextets, Friday May 23

sound_room_052314Attention Everyone!

This Friday, I’m very excited to be bringing my Quintet+1 (with pianist Adam Shulman, bassist Fred Randolph, drummer Jon Arkin, alto saxophonist Kasey Knudsen, and multi-woodwindist Sheldon Brown) back 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). We’ve had some great rehearsals and the band is sounding fantastic, especially on the new music. (We’ll also be hitting new arrangements of some of our “greatest hits.”)

That would be exciting in itself–since I really love playing with them and it’s not easy to book a six-piece band these days–BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE: you’ll also get to hear ANOTHER OUTSTANDING SEXTET, the Nathan Clevenger Group (“a sound that stands out from the crowd” – Andrew Gilbert, KQED).

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. (He also writes for bass clarinet like nobody’s business, which inspired me to ask Sheldon to add that big axe to my music as well–come on out to hear the results!)

So please don’t miss this opportunity to hear TWO six-piece composer-led bands playing new, original music. Each group will be performing one long set–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

Hope to see you!

Announcements: Quintet+1 at Chez Hanny, Takoyaki 3 at Yoshi’s Lounge + Grant & Review News

Hi folks, I have a bunch of interesting stuff to throw at you at once. First, I’m doing two shows next week with two different bands, both guaranteed to be interesting!

Next Thursday, May 30, Takoyaki 3 (the streamlined, street-food-style version of my Quintet+1) will be returning to the lounge at Yoshi’s in San Francisco as part of their Local Talent Series.  We’ll be doing underplayed jazz classics, originals, and even a standard or two!

WHAT: Ian Carey’s Takoyaki 3
WHO: Ian Carey, trumpet; Adam Shulman, organ; Jon Arkin, drums
WHEN: Thursday, May 30, 6:30-9:30pm
WHERE: Yoshi’s Lounge, San Francisco
HOW MUCH: Free!

A few days later, the Quintet+1 will be making its first appearance since our CD release show, at the intimate San Francisco house concert venue Chez Hanny.  We’ll be performing music from Roads & Codes (“★★★★½ – a highly skilled band of improvisers, harmonically pleasing compositions… it all works” —Downbeat), including compositions by me, Stravinsky, Charles Ives, and Neil Young, as well as new arrangements of music from previous albums and the premiere of a brand new original piece. This will also be the debut with the band of the great Bay Area woodwind wizard Sheldon Brown. Seating is limited, so best reserve early!

WHAT: Ian Carey Quintet+1
WHO: Ian Carey, trumpet; Adam Shulman, piano; Jon Arkin, drums; Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone; Sheldon Brown, tenor saxophone & flute; Fred Randolph, bass
WHEN: Sunday, June 2, 4pm
WHERE: Chez Hanny, San Francisco
HOW MUCH: $20 suggested donation (see link above for ticketing/reservation info)

In other news, reviews for Roads & Codes are still trickling in, including this very poetic one from Jazz Weekly:

Ian Carey leads a small band in which he plays trumpet, flugelhorn and handles most of the writing with a lithe as cirrus cloud team … The melding of the three horns, especially when Francis is on the flute, create a lovely graciousness  of sound that feels like a breeze teasing linen drapes, as on the mellifluous “Wheels.” A pastel haze floats above the plain on “Rain Tune” while Neil Young’s “Dead Man’ features Carey’s lonely and gasping trumpet.  Some firm and forte bop is displayed on the driving “Count Up” which has some pungent stick work by Arking, while Charles Ives’ “West London” is delivered with a porcelain fragility. Nice and fresh music here that sparkles like morning dew on citrus trees.

Mellifluous indeed! It has been very interesting to see the wide varieties of effects the record has had on people.

Finally, I’m happy to announce that the great local organization San Francisco Friends of Chamber Music has chosen me as one of the fortunate beneficiaries of their 2013 Musical Grant Program. I’ll be writing a new multi-part “Suite for Quintet+1,” to be premiered at the Jazzschool in Berkeley in fall 2014. Time to get crackin’!

Audio: California Report Reviews “Roads & Codes”

This week, the California Report (produced right here in SF by our own KQED and broadcast throughout the state) featured local jazz writer Andy Gilbert’s review of Roads & Codes:

Ian Carey possesses a bright, gleaming tone and a knack for attracting similarly accomplished musicians. Featuring material gleaned from sources far beyond jazz’s usual ken, his new album “Roads & Codes” reflects a singular vision, musical and otherwise… Carey turned the CD’s cover into a self-mocking 10-panel comic strip. The art depicts his quandary over how to present a new jazz album so that it might actually find an audience. On the back, his manga-inspired illustrations suggest the mindset with which he approaches each piece. While not presented as a suite, the album flows like an interlaced book of short stories, an impression heightened by his beautifully rendered art work.

You can check out the entire thorough and thoughtful review, which also features audio samples of tunes from the album, here:

Video: “Rain Tune,” Live at the Sound Room

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!

“Roads & Codes” Now Available, Sound Room Tomorrow + First Reviews + Streaming Track

Hi folks, the long-awaited (by me anyway) day has arrived, and our new album, Roads & Codes, is available for purchase (both physically and digitally) at my new web store, as well as on CDBaby (the only place to get the physical CD so far), AmazoniTunes, and eMusic. Locals can also pick it up at the great Groove Yard in Oakland (additional stores soon to come).

Also, just a quick reminder that tomorrow is our big CD Release & Art show at the Sound Room in Oakland. The band is sounding great and, in addition to all the music from “Roads & Codes,” we’ll be doing two brand new expanded arrangements of favorite originals from previous albums.

WHAT: Kabocha Records and Bay Area Jazz & Arts present The Ian Carey Quintet+1: CD Release & Art Show for Roads & Codes
WHO: Evan Francis, flute & tenor saxophone; Kasey Knudsen, alto saxophone; Adam Shulman, piano; Jon Arkin, drums; Fred Randolph, bass; Ian Carey, trumpet, flugelhorn, illustrations
WHEN: Thursday, February 21, 8pm
WHERE: The Sound Room, 2147 Broadway (@ 22nd St.), Oakland
TICKETS: $15, includes free CD with purchase! (advance tix available here.)

Next, some really nice reviews for the album have started to come in, including one in our very own East Bay Express today:

Besides being a clever graphic artist, Carey is a gifted musician who gets a warm sound out of his trumpet and flugelhorn, his approach suggesting Chet Baker, Miles Davis, and Art Farmer. His six original compositions on Roads & Codes not only draw on post-bop traditions but expand on them, particularly in the way Carey imaginatively harmonizes and layers his horns, Knudsen’s alto sax, and Francis’ tenor sax or flute over pianist Shulman, bassist Randolph, and drummer Arkin’s firm yet floating grooves.

There have also been positive reviews from Midwest Record (“champion of a session… solid stuff that never hits a false note”) and @CriticalJazz (“on the cutting edge of new sounds and exciting compositions for modern jazz… 4 Stars!”).

Finally, Phliip Freeman at the music blog Burning Ambulance put together a great feature about the album, including a slideshow of the cover art comic (I’m flattered that he describes it as “Harvey Pekar-esque”) and a free streaming track–our version of Neil Young’s theme to the movie “Dead Man”. Check it out!