Unlike the Classical player, the jazz artist must achieve a technique that uncovers the self, that answers the question that Ellison says is the question of American art: Who am I?
-Robert G O’Meally, from the introduction ‘Jazz Shapes’ to Ralph Ellison’s “Living with Music”
(header photo by Bryan Mir)
I am musically restless. Sometimes I feel unsettled, unprepared, uneasy – maybe a sense of searching is a more appropriate (positive?) way of putting it. There are times when I think this is a good thing, other times – maybe not. I get bored with myself.
Many of my favorite musicians possess this quality of searching and evolution in their music. I am fascinated by musicians who started out playing a certain way, but evolved their style, sound, vocabulary, and musical identities. Keep pushing, keep moving, keep creating.
Maybe this is the way? Maybe this is a way. Maybe this is my way? I am finding my way.
I am excited about this most recent project, KASE. KASE is myself on trumpet/electronics, John Christensen on bass, and Knowsthetime (Ian Carroll) on turntables and electronics. We will be inventing textural soundscapes – incorporating live beats, turntablism, electronic elements, and extended improvisations into the music we create. References for this project run the gamut from the contemporary mainstream to the avant guard to the classic: artists such as Nicholas Payton, Dave Douglas, Robert Glasper, Bill Dixon, Shigeto, Madlib, Chicago Underground Duo, Rob Mazurek, Miles … mixing jazz & hiphop is like mixing jazz and jazz – different branches of the same tree. That said, we hope to create something new and unexpected with this band and invite you to join us on that journey.