The last two days have seen us in Chicago – where we had a very welcome day off, and Ann Arbor, where we gave a clinic to two of the student combos.
Pharez Whitted visits with Ted and New Tricks
The day in Chicago was a good day where Jazz Record Mart and the Green Mill were in our agenda. I visited with my childhood buddy, Jimmy Stella and Ted visited with Paul Levy, his friend for many years. In the evening we met Ted’s teacher from his days in Columbus, the renowned trumpeter, Pharez Whitted.
New Tricks with Geri Allen
Today, we drove to Ann Arbor where we gave a clinic to two student combos at the University of Michigan. I was surprised and honored to be introduced to the students by Geri Allen the acclaimed pianist. Pianist Ellen Rowe, Bassist Marian Hayden and other esteemed members of the University of Michigan faculty were . . . → Read More: Tour Takes us to Chicago, Ann Arbor
So we set off from Mike’s house on Monday at the surprisingly prompt time of 8am on our 15 hour drive to Madison Wi. The drive was surprisingly easy as this band is so tour ready and has such a good time clowning together in the van that it actually made the travel day enjoyable.
Our host for the show on friday was the fantastic tenor player Pat Breiner and friend of Mike’s and mine from NY. He has relocated to Madison for a bit and began creating a vibrant music series at a great recording studio called Audio for the Arts. Pat and his girlfriend Emily were fantastic hosts and we had a great time sampling the different local beer and food of Madison. The gig that evening went great. Audio for the arts is a beautiful recording studio owned by Steve Gotcher with a great sound. It was a very intimate performance and the audience was very hip. We had a great time chatting with all of them on the break. I also had the pleasure . . . → Read More: New Tricks is back on tour and all is right in the world.
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
As of April 1st, we’re back on the road again to promote our new CD which is set to drop on April 5th. We’ll be playing in the Midwest including dates at Nighttown in Cleveland, the Blue Wisp in Cincinnati, the Bistro in St. Louis and many colleges, universities and high schools along our way.
A new article about our great, fantastic, awesome, swinging, badass drummer appears in All About Jazz Today. The author David Orthman has been good to New Tricks over the past couple of years. He’s one of the first to really “get it” about Shawn and New Tricks.
New Trick’s second recording, “Alternate Side,” is off to the manufacturer. We hope to have copies in hand by the middle of March. Official release date is April 5th. Just like the first recording, the new cover features the splendid artwork of trumpeter Rob Henke.
About the recording process (from liner notes for “Alternate Side”): This CD was recorded the way we had dreamed of recording. We played all of the material for three weeks on tour before our first recording session and then for another two weeks before our second session. By the time we recorded our tunes — which are sometimes difficult and always quirky — they felt as comfortable as playing a blues and we could concentrate on making music. We recorded in Shawn’s apartment with all of us in the same room using only blankets wrapped around music stands for audio separation. Then we mixed together, painstakingly going over each instrument, each track, and finding the right audio effects to apply through trial and error. Shawn’s patience and willingness to experiment with us . . . → Read More: “Alternate Side” to be released April 5th
If you’ve been paying attention, you may have noticed that we’ve upgraded the site drastically. While we imported the posts from our original site and, of course, kept Rob Henke’s great artwork, the new site allows great control of our content. The new music and video clips are hosted right on this site, allowing us great quality control. We plan to expand the capabilities further by having our new CD and our T-Shirts available directly from this site in the near future
As we enter the holiday season and ponder the events of the last year, we’re really amazed at the progress the band has made over the past year. Of course our tours last spring were the highlights of 2010. We were able to play night after night with musicians that we find continuously creative and swinging. We met so many young fans, old friends and saw how vital jazz is across the country.
We also built an entire new repertoire of tunes that we were able to perform live 20 to 30 times across the country and THEN go into the studio after we returned to the east coast. Not only was the recording the easiest session I’ve ever been a part of, because of the preparation and the comradery of the band, but we decided to record and mix it ourselves! Shawn has a home studio that we recorded at on two occasions. We used his expertise (and good will) to work on the mix on five different mixing sessions in which we were able to experiment and discuss all the little nuances about the sound of the recording in a way that only the band . . . → Read More: Thanksgiving Update
This past tuesday we played at the club Trumpets in Montclair. We had a very nice crowd of family, friends, colleagues, and new friends there. The music was fantastic. It always amazes me how fast this band can get back to such a creative place after not playing together for several months. I also want to thank Matt King and Nathan Ecklund for sitting in and contributing to the fun. This gig marks the end of our summer hiatus and the beginning of a few gigs this fall and winter, the push to finalize our new record, and some other surprises that we will keep you informed on. I have attached some beautiful photos of our gig at Trumpets taken by photographer Chris Drukker.