Tag Archives: Roads & Codes

December Update: Year-End Honors for Roads & Codes, Duocracy Coming Soon

Hi folks, it’s been a while, so here’s some recent news: I’ve been very happy to see Roads & Codes getting some love in year-end lists, including a mention in Downbeat’s Best of 2013 Issue (alongside some heavy hitters!–although I wish they’d highlighted my album cover instead of that cornball Chick Corea-in-shining-armor painting).

Meanwhile, Andrew Gilbert of NPR’s California Report named Roads & Codes on his list The Golden State of Jazz: The Best California Jazz CDs of 2013, and included some of my artwork.

The album also got a really nice mention in James Hale’s Best Jazz Recordings of 2013 list (Hale also reviewed the CD for Downbeat, so I’m very glad it ended up in front of him!):

Bay Area trumpeter Ian Carey was the discovery of the year for me. On the inventively conceived Roads and Codes, he made great use of his highly skilled band of improvisers by writing to their strengths—a lesson gleaned from his mentor Maria Schneider. The program—an arty mix of pieces by Neil Young, Igor Stravinsky, Charles Ives and his own harmonically pleasing compositions—covers a lot of ground, and does it all well.

Ken Frankling included “The Thread,” one of my tunes from the record, on his list of “the 10 best new songs from CDs released in 2013” on his blog Jazz Notes.

R&C also made the Top 50 list of Scott Albin of Jazztimes, and the honorable mention list for Ted Gioia’s 100 Best Albums of 2013 (any genre!).

I’m especially glad to see the record showing up in these lists since it came out in February, so if people still remember it, it must have made quite an impression. I give much credit to the awesome musicians–Fred Randolph, Kasey Knudsen, Adam Shulman, Evan Francis, & Jon Arkin–who made that music with me.

duocracy_covBut no resting on laurels, because I’m happy to announce that my new album, Duocracy, will be released in February. The album is an intimate duo session with my amigo the great pianist Ben Stolorow, featuring a selection of some of our favorite classic American Popular Songbook chestnuts, from the well-known (“All the Things…,” “Cherokee”) to the rare (“Two for the Road,” “Little White Lies”). We have two CD release performances scheduled so far: the first in the East Bay, at The Jazzschool in Berkeley on February 21; the second in the North Bay, at Old St. Hilary’s in Tiburon on March 7. The CD will hit the airwaves on February 25. Stay tuned!

Finally, from my other other career, a little thing I wrote with Darci Ratliff is up at the great literary & humor site McSweeney’s today: Things Not to Bring to a Gunfight.

Coming soon: part two of my rambling Blues, Authenticity, and the Hopefully Not-So-Abstract Truth. Happy Holidays!

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:

Audio: KZSC Interview + Live Takoyaki 3

Hi folks, I’m continuing to be happy with the good press and airplay Roads & Codes has been getting–it’s in the top 100 in the U.S. jazz charts, and the top ten in Canada, which is more than I expected for an album with no standards and multiple tracks over ten minutes.

Meanwhile, here are two quick audio cuts for you–first, I had a nice chat yesterday with Nicholas Mokover at KZSC (UC Santa Cruz). We talked for about ten minutes about my background, and the old NYC vs. Bay Area question. The entire interview is here:

Ian Carey Interview, KZSC (3/12/13)

Second, here’s another cut from our Takoyaki 3 show last month in Berkeley–this is our version of the classic Ornette Coleman anthem “Lonely Woman” (originally on The Shape of Jazz to Come). Check out the looping effects at the end of the track–that’s something I’ve been experimenting with more & more since originally attempting it to recreate the effects we used on our version of the theme from “Dead Man” (which you can hear a streaming version of here).

Takoyaki 3: Lonely Woman
(Ian Carey, trumpet/effects; Adam Shulman, organ, Jon Arkin, drums)

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!

New Reviews for ‘Roads & Codes’ + Bonus Audio

Hello folks, thanks to everyone who made it out to our Takoyaki 3 show last week–if you missed it, we’ve got two more later this month, at Rose Pistola (3/24) and Yoshi’s Lounge (3/27). See the end of this post for a free track from the show!

It’s been really gratifying to see more positive press for Roads & Codes coming in–the most exciting being my first appearance in Downbeat Magazine, where James Hale featured the album in a set of reviews of trumpeters from around the world, and gave it 4 and 1/2 stars:

Bay Area veteran Ian Carey knows it can take creative packaging to get great music noticed these days. Roads & Codes showcases both the trumpeter’s sideline as an illustrator and his primary gig as the leader of a highly skilled band of improvisers. Carey takes advantage of their chops by writing to their strengths–a lesson gleaned from his mentor Maria Schneider–and mixes his own harmonically pleasing compositions with pieces by Neil Young, Igor Stravinsky and Charles Ives. While the combination of graphic art and arty covers might sound contrived, it all works.

Continue reading New Reviews for ‘Roads & Codes’ + Bonus Audio

“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!

Announcements: “Roads & Codes” CD Release Show, February 21!

Hello folks, I’m pleased to report that after quite a while spent writing, rehearsing, recording, mixing, and designing the artwork,  the CD release show for the Ian Carey Quintet+1’s new album, Roads & Codes, will be held February 21 in Oakland! This group has been playing together for close to ten years, but Roads & Codes (“on the cutting edge of new sounds and exciting compositions for modern jazz” —CriticalJazz), represents our most ambitious effort yet.

The show will be next Thursday, February 21 at 8pm, at a nice new venue in Oakland’s uptown neighborhood, The Sound Room. It will feature the exact same personnel as the CD, even including Evan Francis, who we’re lucky to have joining us from his new digs in New York, and newest addition to the group, the great Kasey Knudsen, performing all the music from the album (including new arrangements of works by Stravinsky, Ives, and Neil Young) and select “hits” from our previous CDs. The show will also feature the original art which I’ve created for the album in both projected formats and as signed prints for sale.

And to sweeten the pot for those on the fence, everyone purchasing a ticket will recieve a FREE COPY of the CD!

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 Tuesday (2/19) will be the official “street date” of the album, which means it will be available for purchase at various sites around the web (links to come) and will (knock on wood) be heard on radio stations across the land.

Hope to see you Thursday!

First Look: Art for “Roads & Codes”

Since I guess it wasn’t enough work for me to write, arrange, rehearse, record, mix, and design my upcoming CD, Roads & Codes (due out Feb. 26),  I decided to incorporate my love of graphic novels and manga into the cover art. (Some of my favorite creators are Daniel Clowes, Jiro Taniguchi, Chris Ware, Yoshihiro Tatsumi, and my dad, who’s been compiling books of dream drawings for years.)

It’ll be a serious time investment, but: a) I’m excited about testing my illustration chops, b) anything that gets the CD noticed and helps it stand out from that pile of discs gathering dust in Joe Jazz Critic’s closet (or the used CD bins!) is good, and c) I only do this every few years, so why not go all out?

I’m still figuring out what story the front cover is going to tell, but the back cover will feature a series of illustrations, each inspired by one of the tunes. I’ll be sharing them here as I finish them.

Here’s are the first four tune illustrations–the first is for our version of Andante (the first movement of Suite #1 for Small Orch.) by Stravinsky, the second for  “6 Av Local,” my tribute to the morning ride from Brooklyn on the F train; the third for “Nemuri Kyoshiro,” my samurai-movie-inspired blues; and the fourth for our cover of Neil Young’s haunting theme to the great Western Dead Man. (Click to see the full images.)

Click to see full-size.

Stay tuned for more–hope I can finish them all in time to press the CD!