Lil’ Sid

Lil’ Sid is a new tune for the group I wrote based around a drum figure that the great drummer Big Sid Catlett played. Mike’s son Matty Lee is quite the young drummer and loves to quote this figure as well, which inspired me to write the tune. This was from a recent performance at the Hat City Kitchen.

Back on the Road!

We have a very exciting mini-tour this upcoming week. Here are the details-

7/19 at “The Stone” at 10:pm This month The Stone’s performance schedule is curated by the great pianist Gerri Allen, and we are very excited to have been asked to play. The Stone is located at the corner of Ave. C and 2nd St. in NYC.

7/20 at Nighttown in Cleveland, Ohio at 8:30pm We are back in Mike and Ted’s home state playing at one of our favorite venues. We hope to see all of our friends and family at the gig! 12387 Cedar Road (top of Cedar Hill) Cleveland Heights, OH 216-795-0550

7/21 at The Columbus Jazz and Ribs Fest 4pm on the American Electric Power Stage. We are very excited to be playing this fantastic festival. We have tons of family and friends in Columbus and we can’t wait to share or music with them. For directions and info please visit the festival website

We are honored to have long time friend Jerome Jennings filling in on drums for our Shawn Baltazor. In the 6 years we have had the band, these are the first gigs we have done . . . → Read More: Back on the Road!

New Year, New Music, New Gigs, New Tricks!

So 2012 has started with quite a bang for New Tricks. We had five great gigs in the New York city area. I find this quite inspiring seeing that January is usually the slowest month for most bands and musicians. We have been working some mew music out on the band stand and we have a couple more tunes to come but we are close to almost an entire new albums worth of material. This months gigs culminated with two important gigs for the band at Smalls, and the New Brunswick Jazz Project. Both of these groups are outstanding examples of individuals taking on the cause of keeping the jazz community alive and vibrant.

Smalls is owned and operated by Spike Wilner and we are ecstatic that he continues to ask us to perform there and participate in the performing community there. Smalls has become the center of the NYC jazz scene, if you go there enough you will run in to just about everyone. It is also a place to meet, hang, jam, and party with our fellow musicians and music lovers. The live video stream . . . → Read More: New Year, New Music, New Gigs, New Tricks!

New Tricks welcomes 2012

We will be welcoming in 2012 with a very busy month of January. We have written a bunch of new music and are looking forward to working it out on the band stand. You can catch us at the following-

1/4 The Brooklyn Lyceum 8pm-11pm $10 cover 227 4th Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11215 718.857.4816

1/5 The Pilsner Haus in Hoboken 8pm- 12am. Great beer, german food, atmosphere, and weekly jazz with no cover. 1422 Grand St. 201-683-5465

1/12 The Garage 10:30pm-2:30am. Come make the late village hang with us!99 7th Avenue South NY, NY (212) 645-0600

1/18 Smalls Jazz Club 11:30-2:00am concert and jam session. 183 West 10th St. NY, NY

1/19 Makeda’s presented by the New Brunswick Jazz Project. 338 George St. New Brunswick NJ

This year our recent recording “Alternate Side” made a number of “Best of 2011” lists by some fantastic writers and bloggers. You can check out the articles at the links below.

David Orthmann

Arnaldo Desouteiro–

Nacht Records

“Alternate Side” review in Jazz Inside NY Magazine.

Check out this new review in a great local NY jazz Magazine. You can also find the publication in the corner of the bar in all the best NY jazz clubs. Or you can read it online here.

By Mark Keresman In case you needed to be reminded appearances— and preconceptions—are often deceiving. Take the latest disc by the NYC-area quartet New Tricks—two horns, bass, and drums. One might think the contents are going to be post- Ornette Coleman “out” jazz. Wrong—this foursome forgoes the presence of a chordal instrument (like piano or guitar) not to “depart” from a conventional semblance of harmony but to emphasize harmony. So Alternate Side superficially evokes the classic Ornette Coleman Quartet(s) of the 1950s, the style is surging, hard-swinging hard bop a la Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Art Blakey, with wee touches of free jazz (as defined by Don Cherry, Dave Douglas, and Ornette).

The sparse, mournful “Vicenza Days” gives the horn-gents a chance to shine, but not in any pyrotechnical manner. Ted Chubb is both brassy (no pun intended) and elegiac, his crisp, fervent tone . . . → Read More: “Alternate Side” review in Jazz Inside NY Magazine. – “Alternate Side”

The ‘less-is-more’ approach seems to pay off for Mike Lee, Ted Chubb, Kellen Harrison and Shawn Baltazor who feel that lacking a polyphonic voice such as a piano or guitar allows them greater freedom for experimentation and improvisation. It may have worked. These tracks seem less like songs and more like organisms, trying to express themselves in a language we can’t understand. . . . → Read More: – “Alternate Side”

Spotlight in the NYC Hot House!

Here is the spotlight feature in May’s Hot House magazine on page 25!  We are very proud to be included in this publication.

Click below for the full screen view then click again at the bottom of the page to enlarge our article.

Shellen gets some home town love!

They are so in tune with each other that the co-leaders of New Tricks, tenor saxophonist Mike Lee and trumpeter Ted Chubb, refer to them as “Shellen,” a combination of their first names. . . . → Read More: Shellen gets some home town love!

New Tricks team?

Yes, we now sponsor a local volleyball team!  You have to see these t-shirts in action!  And yes you can have a New Tricks t-shirt too!

The New Tricks V-Ball Team!

The Big Push.

Mike's B-Day at the Flamingo Bowl!

After a great weekend in Kalamazoo at the Union Caberet we got up early on sunday morning for a 7 hour drive to St. Louis.  We played that evening at the “Bistro” with our friends from Webster Grove High School directed by our friend Kevin Cole.  It is amazing to see the amount of kids he can inspire to want to play jazz.  Our set went great and it was a pleasure to play in one our country’s great clubs.  After the gig, we went out to celebrate Mike’s birthday.  After a few libations we headed to the Flamingo Bowl, followed by a sprint through the rain in our suits from the gig.  If Mike is our “Old Dog” he certainly was not that night.  The next afternoon we went to Webster Groves to work with the students and do our “Jazz is a language” workshop.  That evening we enjoyed a well needed night off in St. Louis.

Mike and Gill

The next day . . . → Read More: The Big Push.

New radio interview with Mike

Here is a link to a new radio interview with Mike on WSUM 91.7 FM in Madison WI on Adam Sorber’s show “Out on a Limb”. Check it out!

Long Road Home

Beginning this monday I will no longer be a member of the touring company of “Jersey Boys”. It has been a long 4 1/2 years. Jersey Boys has changed my life in a way that it makes it hard sometimes to remember life before it. However, their is no better way to leave such a comfy gig than to be immediately thrown back into the hyper creative music laboratory that is New Tricks.  There have been many ups and downs as I have walked this path, but the ups have been very high and almost make it as if the lows have not existed at all.  With the 21st approaching comes the culmination of years of hard work of using my cushy gig to set up my life, but also mark the beginning of a new chapter. A new chapter and renewed dedication to my art form, my band, my career, and my wife.

The new album we are releasing on April 5th “Alternate Side” is the thing I am most proud of being apart of in my career.  I can easily . . . → Read More: Long Road Home