This was one of the greatest weekends of my career. George killed it, Bernard grooved harder than I have ever experienced, and Pete was right there with him. Thanks to Dave Jemilo for helping us make this happen.
Come on out to the Green Mill and celebrate George Freeman’s 87th birthday:
The George Freeman/Mike Allemana Organ 4tet with Bernard Purdie.
The Green Mill, 4802 N. Broadway
April 11, 9pm-1am
April 12, 8pm-12am
Bernard Purdie, drums.
George Freeman, guitar.
Mike Allemana, guitar.
Pete Benson, organ.
How’d that happen? Oh, yeah, I’m in grad school.
Winter quarter is over at University of Chicago and I’m taking a break. But don’t miss what George and I got coming up:
Live at the Green Mill, April 11 and 12
The George Freeman/Mike Allemana 4tet with special guest Bernard “Pretty” Purdie.
This is going to be…no words.
Howard Reich wrote a really nice article about George and I in the Chicago Tribune. Come one out to Constellation to hear us swing some holiday cheer at the Constellation holiday party, Friday Dec. 20th at 9:30pm. No cover!!!!
Greg Fishman has just released Volume 1 from his Hip Licks series for the guitar, and yours truly played the guitar part. It’s tabbed and has a slick forward, too. Pick one up for your favorite guitarist for the holidays. Email me (mike at the website) or go to Greg Fishman’s site. The book comes with four CDs and 168 great licks. Only $24.95 holiday sale price.
Today would have been Von Freeman’s 90th birthday. While taking a break from a Thomas Holt history course I reminisced about his 80h birthday celebrations in 2002 (yes, his 80th birthday was celebrated a year early–long story). We recorded a new CD, The Improvisor, we performed concerts all over the city, and we went to Berlin to play the Berlin Jazz Festival, curated that year by John Corbett. It was an exciting time. I kept saying to myself, “Man, I hope I am physically able to do all this when I am 80,” admiring how strong Von was at his age. When we went to Berlin Von not only walked from gate to gate for all the flights, he carried his horn, and only ate at the airport. While he was in Berlin (not even 24 hours) he didn’t touch any food. And he played so strong–check out Vonski Speaks for the proof.
Today I step into the academic world and officially start the PhD program in Ethnomusicology at the University of Chicago. This past week I was welcomed into the program, into the School of Music, and into the Humanities Division with such warmth it was hard to believe it was real. I met my comrades coming into the school, 4 brilliant minds in Music Theory, History, and Composition, and also met my ethnomusicology colleagues that are all at various stages in the ethno program. Everyone I met was friendly and welcoming and every single one of them is working on a fascinating project. I also met the entire faculty and was humbled by the fact that I will be working with such brilliant minds over the next few years. I’ll be posting updates as I go along this journey. Stay tuned….
Caroline Davis has three cool gigs coming up this week with the 4tet. Come on out–she’s been writing some great new music and sounding more amazing every day.
Tuesday, September 24, at the MCA, 5:30pm.
Just got back from a fun couple of days doing workshops and a lecture at the Brubeck Institute. My old buddy, guitarist Nick Fryer, is helping run things there and doing a great job. The Director of the Institute, pianist Simon Rowe, has a great program; 5 super talented young musicians study jazz performance for 2 years at the Institute, which is located at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, CA. They play everyday and do gigs almost every week. And they have lots of guest artists–vibraphonist Stefon Harris is the artist-in-residence this year. The quintet is a group of very talented young musicians–check them out and remember these names. The future of jazz is in good hands!
Max Boiko, Trumpet, from Fort Lauderdale, FL; Joel Ross, Vibraphones, from Chicago, IL; Sean Britt, Guitar, from Hingham, MA; Sarah Kuo, Bass, from Los Angeles, CA; Jalon D’Mere Archie, Drums, from Houston, TX