The Regulators

The Regulators’ music defies easy description. Are they a rock power-trio? A jazz group? A funk band? An Andean pan-flute ensemble? They are most of these things and yet they are none of them. They are a free-funk-jazz exploration of non-western rhythmic modes. Whatever genre you want to call their music, a few things are certain: it’s groovin’, it’s exciting and it’s bad-assed. This is musical high-wire without a net.

Formed in mid-2008 as the global economy appeared ready to do a stage-dive during sound-check, The Regulators are Mike Allemana on guitar, Gerald Dowd on drums and Matt Ferguson on bass. The band spun itself off from a pre-existing group–BrianO’Hern’s Model Citizens Big Band–where they had already commenced with their trademark rhythmic explorations during the extended free-inventions which typically mark the close of each Model Citizens set. Brian points his finger and away they go. One moment it is Funkadelic getting in touch with their inner-Bulgarian, ten minutes later a wall of noise-rock and five minutes after that, King Tubby in a klezmer band. Anything can and will happen. This was too good to just go down once a month at the end of a big-band set so the three decided to form the Regulators and start doing their thing all night long. Since then they have been doin’ it about once a month at various venues; currently they call the Gallery Cabaret home every first Wednesday of the month (in addition to playing together with the Model Citizens at the Gallery Cabaret every third Monday). Check the schedule for our next shows.

Check out the Regulators Flyer Gallery.

The Regulators at Strobe

Recent Posts

Vonology, a musical exploration of Von Freeman, Friday, December 14, 7pm, South Shore Cultural Center

On Friday, December 14, I will premiere an original five movement composition I call Vonology. After years of performing with Von and researching his presence in the world, I have put together an original musical expression about my mentor and friend. In my career, travels, and research I have conversed for hours and hours about Von with Steve Coleman, with countless Chicagoans as they remember moments of his solos or his stories of life and music, with George Freeman in his living room while he remembers childhood moments and gigs, and with Amsterdam musicians who speak passionately about Von’s affect on their music. From my years of playing with him and hearing the profound stories people tell, I have composed a piece that feeds off of Von’s large presence in the world, both in the past and as it lives in the present.

Von spoke often in symbolic language. One time he explained to me, after I asked him what he played in a crazy solo, that he imagined a tonic of a key surrounded by a rainbow and that he played in the rainbow, but always making sure to return to the tonic. Expressing musical processes in this way was an integral feature of conversing with him, as people’s memories have confirmed to me. Von was deeply versed in the Bible (the book of knowledge, as he called it) and astrology which he both used as symbolic systems to understand and explain music and humanity.

For this composition, I combined astrological symbolism and musical intuition to inform my musical process. Brian Allemana, a highly skilled in astrologer as well as my brother, made Von’s chart and interpreted the symbols (Von is a Libra, born October 3rd, 1923). I assigned pitches and rhythms to the most compelling meanings as they connect shapes within houses, planets, and other Zodiac signs. The result is a long form composition that combines interpretations from people of different jazz communities, my brother’s astrological vision, and my personal feelings for Von, all filtered through my musical vision, something Von always pushed me and countless of his horses to pursue.

Please come join us for this premiere:

Friday, December 14th, at 7pm at theSouth Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive.

More info: see the Jazz Institute of Chicago. I would like to thank Lauren Deutsch and the Jazz Institute of Chicago for their generous support of this project. Please become a member of this great organization.

Vonology:

Mike Allemana: Guitar and compositions

Victor Garcia: Trumpet

Greg Ward: Alto Sax

Geof Bradfield: Tenor Sax

Kendall Moore: Trombone

Tomeka Reid: Cello

Matt Ferguson: bass

Michael Raynor: drums

Voices: Sue Demel, Lindsay Weinberg, Alton Smith, and Bill Brickey

Conductor and author of astrological texts: Brian Allemana

 

  1. Mike Allemana/Greg Fishman Duo at Winter’s, Tuesday July 31, 7:30pm/9:30pm Leave a reply
  2. After Dark, Tuesday nights at Andy’s Leave a reply
  3. George Freeman and Mike Allemana, Green Mill, April 13 and 14 with Bernard Purdie Leave a reply
  4. Live at the Green Mill officially released!! Leave a reply
  5. Pre-order your copy of Live at the Green Mill on Ears&Eyes Records!!! Leave a reply
  6. Announcing pre-release fundraising campaign for the Freeman/Allemana 4tet with special guest Bernard Purdie Leave a reply
  7. Tammy McCann and Mike Allemana Live at Studio 5 in Evanston, Feb. 12 Leave a reply
  8. George Freeman performs “Birth Sign” at Fulton Street Collective January 18, 2017 Leave a reply
  9. September 29: the premier of my new trio at 210 Restaurant in Highwood Leave a reply