Knocked out!

I just returned from a Loose Assembly 10 day tour in mostly Poland (we had 1 show in Munich). The tour went extremely well, the band seems to get better and better, especially since we don't rehearse anymore - don't try this at home. While most of the shows were with Loose Assembly I did do 3 other projects n Poznan, Poland. The Made In Chicago Festival in Poznan invited Loose Assembly and had all of us participate in other endeavors. I have to say that even though I had performed in a large group setting with Roscoe Mitchell before, this time offered the opportunity to really experience his musical concepts and gregarious character. Over the course of 4 days we rehearsed and "hung" with al of the participating musicians. I make no attempt to hide how much The Roscoe Mitchell Sextet and early Art Ensemble of Chicago informs the music we create in Loose Assembly.  By the end of the weekend it really knocked me out that I was able to have this opportunity with such a generous person.  It's like meeting some type of musical parentage (the best way for me to describe it). Like the Manhattans sang, "there's no me without you"

      Before I left for the recent tour, I was intensely busy with the Umbrella Music Festival, which I co-produce. The success of The Umbrella concerts was hugely evident in the huge turnouts at the Festival. One of the highlights was hosting the legendary saxophonist John Tchicai. Dave Rempis and myself met him while on tour last spring (April '08). We never thought that he would agree to come and play the event, but he not only played solo but also duo with Hamid Drake and brought music for a septet featuring Nicole Mitchell, Aaron Getsug, Jaimie Branch, Mary Halvorson, Josh Abrams and myself. There not much I can say to his giving spirit, but I think one of the other co-producers, Mitch Cocanig summed it up by calling John "a hero of all music."
He was even cool enough to pose for this silly photo....

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