Is it weird that I’ve been obsessing about the opening acts on Endangered Blood‘s Western U.S. tour?
To recap: This is the NYC quartet of Chris Speed (sax/clarinet), Oscar Noriega (other sax), Jim Black (drums), and Trevor Dunn (bass). They’re all a big part of the current downtown NYC scene, but they rarely get out west due to the impracticalities of touring. But Dunn used to live in the Bay Area, and Speed and Black once hailed from Seattle, so they’ve got ties.
Anyway. The discovery of Richard Sears‘ music is what got me thinking along these lines. From there, some known quantities and one unknown but very interesting one turned up.
Taken from the Jim Black events page, here’s Endangered Blood’s schedule.
Dec. 5, Chicago, @ The Hungry Brain. This already happened, so we’ll skip it.
December 6th, Seattle, @ The Chapel — Wayne Horvitz Quartet. With Neil Welch (sax), Willem de Koch (trombone), and Luke Bergman (bass). Presumably you know the many colors of Horvitz. Welch is quite active on the Seattle scene as well. His Narmada album shows a late-’60s reverence to the origins of free jazz, and, separately, an interest in Indian ragas… but he’s also done work with loops and pedals. Here’s a review of Narmada, and you can hear samples at CD Baby. Presented by the Wayward Music Series.
December 7th, Portland, OR @ Hop and Vine — Paxselin Quartet. Fronted by sax and clarinet, Paxselin dabbles in bopping free jazz and some somber chamber-sounding material as well. Presented by Portland Eye & Ear Control. Hear samples of them on CD Baby, eMusic, or CD Baby again.
December 8th, Eureka, CA @ Red Fox Tavern — WSG Krawdad? Dunno.
December 9th, Boulder, CO @ Old Main, CU Campus – Kneebody. An awesome band that I’m stunned to discover I haven’t mentioned on this blog yet. Youthful, creative, and exciting enough to have been the first non-Dave-Douglas artist to appear on Dave Douglas’ then-new record label. This one’s a double-headliner show (like a double A-side single, for you oldster types out there) and might be the most exciting bill on the docket. Read more at kneebody.com, and sample their new album on eMusic.
December 10th, Oakland, CA @ Studio 1510 Performance Space — Scott Looney (piano), Doug Stuart (bass), Kjell Nordeson (drums), a new Bay Area trio. Looney can be heard in contexts from jazzy free-jazz to abstract improvising to pure electronics; this trio looks like it’ll stick to the first category. Sounds very promising.
December 11th, Los Angeles, @ The Blue Whale — Richard Sears (piano) and band. Sears’ album, Rick, is streamable on his site, and it’s good stuff. Just check out the exciting title track, with its pulsing guitar and very, well, Chris Speed-like sax played by Sam Gandel.
December 12th, Phoenix, AZ @ Modified Arts — Unknown.
December 13th, Tucson, AZ @ Solar Culture — Folky acoustic music from Sara P. Smith, formerly the trombonist with Chicago-area groups like Isotope 217. You can hear more at sarapsmith.com.
A terrific list, overall. Given enough resources and free time, I’d be tempted to follow Endangered Blood around just to listen to their opening acts. Hopefully some of them benefit from the exposure, or at least get a good audience (gigs are so hard to come by, for many of these folks). If nothing else, some of them can say they’ve gained one new listener already.
You can hear Endangered Blood’s music on Myspace and YouTube (see below).