Archive for July, 2007

Deal’s Number at Egan’s Ballard Jam House

Egan’s Ballard Jam House

1707 NW Market Street
Seattle, WA 98107

Saturday, August 11, 10 PM, $5

Fresh off an appearance at Monktail’s Sounds Outside Festival Aug 4, Deal’s Number plays an intimate show in Ballard in celebration of their new CD on Monktail Records – Show Me What Ya Workin With . Show Me is the 7th release on the Monktail label, and the third from the independent label in 2007. The CD features Bill Monto on saxophones and Monktail founders John Seman and Mark Ostrowski on bass and percussion. The bassist and drummer have been improvising together since 1990, and performing with Monto since 2000. Joining the trio on stage at Egan’s will be guitarist Stephen Parris of Special O.P.S. and pianist Stephen Fandrich. Parris is featured on the upcoming Special O.P.S . disc Arm Me (Monktail) and Fandrich directs the Seattle Harmonic Voices whose double-disc Harmonic Voice was released by Monktail in May. Deal’s Number will also be performing August 3 at the Fremont First Friday Art Walk, 8 PM under the Lenin Statue in Fremont. Come find us and say Nostrovia!

The Score – Sounds Outside

By Christopher DeLaurenti



In American Music in the Twentieth Century (Schirmer Books), composer and critic Kyle Gann asserts that "a creative culture is a triangle requiring three points: individual artists, a tradition to work within and against, and a public with an adequate amount of disposable attention." Gann’s triangle should also include low-cost, innovative venues that reach out beyond that small, stalwart public who frequents obscure, out-of-the-way clubs. The Monktail Creative Music Concern’s Sounds Outside concert series is a perfect example. Its central location—Cal Anderson Park on Capitol Hill—as well as all-points access, and price (free), abet the serendipitous, just stumbled-upon-it discovery so essential to acquainting everyone with the avant.


I enjoyed the first of this three-concert series—featuring Degenerate Art Ensemble, Sunship, Seattle Harmonic Voices, and figeater—on a bright, sunny afternoon in June. The crowd was just the right size, with enough people to make people-watching worthwhile yet scattered enough to leave space for stretching out on the grass and listening.


At first, I sat near the running water of the reservoir and listened at a distance; the turbulent hiss of running water, laughing children, the musicians onstage, and stray bits of nearby dialogue melded into a live musique concrète. Closer to the stage, the occasional (and thankfully remote) sirens and the chalky baritone sigh of airplanes aloft in the sky fit the music snugly.


The July installment of Sounds Outside features cellist, composer, and visual artist Paul Rucker; improvising pianist Gust Burns, who brings along his battered collection of tape recorders; the Orkestar Zirkonium, which clatters like the joyous Balkan brass bands of yore; and the rowdy, out-jazz Monktail big band ensemble, Non Grata. It should be a grand time.


Sounds Outside, Sat July 14, 2007, Cal Anderson Park, 1632 11th Ave, 684-4075, 2–8 pm, free.




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Improvised Ecstasy

By Jonathan Zwickel, The Stranger’s Music Blog Line Out, July 14, 2007



Holy shit — Paul Rucker. The multi-instrumentalist band leader extracted a phenomenal performance from a who’s who of Seattle jazz and avant luminaries on Saturday. Part of Monktail Creative Music Concern’s concert series in Cal Anderson park, Rucker’s ensemble was all over the map but never off-target, consistently escalating from the abstract (trance-like thumb piano patterns, violin-vs-cello scratching) to the concise (full-blown soul-jazz crescendos). Tempestuous horns, crackling breakbeats, rubbery upright bass—the band snapped tight as Rucker stood and conducted or played electric bass or cello, giving enough room for surprises to unfold while never for a moment allowing doubt that they might not. Even as a weirdly skronking, off-tempo horn battle launched one song, there was no doubt that the number would go somewhere, and eventually it erupted into a hard-swinging lockstep groove reminiscent of Black Saint-style Mingus and the best Impulse or CTI jazz of the mid-’70s.



Really—this guy’s a monster. Even his solo cello number was hypnotizing. I want more of Paul Rucker and I want it now.



Also terrific during Saturday’s jazz-in-the-park sesh: Orkestar Zirkonium. The Balkan brass band paraded in past the wading pool—tuba belching, horns tooting, bass drum booming—and later stepped off stage to play in the grass, among the crowd. It was impossible to not get swept up because they were so damn close, and so damn good. The horn player from OZ later sat in with Rucker’s ensemble, as did Aham from Seattle hard-jazzers Industrial Revelation. There are some motherfucking PLAYERS in this town, and not just in the rock scene.



Speaking of: Why wasn’t Cal Anderson packed to the gills on Saturday? It was a beautiful afternoon, there was free music in the middle of Capitol Hill, and there were maybe 150 people there, 200 max. This isn’t gooey background jazz, either, but weird and potent and extremely soulful stuff. Wassup people? FREE MUSIC. IN THE PARK. BEER DRINKING WITH YOUR FEET IN A FOUNTAIN. SUMMERTIME. It’s elementary.



Also: a naked parade. What’s not to like?



Monktail is the only free summer jazz series in the city, and the talent is ferocious. Next month, Saturday, August 11 4, features Skerik and Wayne Horvitz, among others. Seriously. Don’t miss it.



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