Happy New Year

It’s hard to believe we’re now thirteen years into the ‘future’.  Pretty much every year from here on out sounds like a science-fiction number to me.  Then again, I watched a season 1 episode of The Sopranos the other day from 1999, and that seemed outdated.  Perhaps I’m just an anachronism.

Anyways, in 2013 I’ve resolved to be a bit more active on this blog.  As facebook has become a nightmarish tool for those afraid to have a civil discussion on a barstool, I’m trying to disengage from the malicious source altogether.  There’s all sorts of great things happening in Nashville’s jazz scene, and ideally this blog will give me a chance to illuminate them without inundating my “virtual friends.”

So to kick things off, I wanted to correct a problem on this website: there are no videos of my work on here.  I admit to being a mild technophobe, but that’s not a good excuse.  So allow me to ameliorate the situation with this: “Mahdernism” from the Falling Up CD Release Party at the Nashville Jazz Workshop in December of 2011.  This video features the band from the CD: Bruce Dudley, Jonathan Wires, Josh Hunt, and special guest Jeff Coffin.  Enjoy!

Summer Conclusions

Summers always disappear so fast.  Ever since I was little and took summer trips with family, played sports in Maine or studied intently at music camps, summer has been a time for departing from the norm and self-discovery.  The summer of 2012 has been no exception.

First and foremost, here in Nashville summer 2012 brought on the first ever Summer Jazz Camp at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.  We had a great group of over 20 high school kids from the area have fun learning and sharing through jazz.  The camp was a great success, thanks mostly to the very hard work of all the people involved, notably Joe Davidian, Jonathan Wires, Larry Seeman, Duffy Jackson, Chester Thompson, Connye Florence, Matthew White, and of course Lori Mechem and Roger Spencer.  The students had an absolute blast and there’s no question that the camp will be continuing and expanding moving forward.

NJW Summer Camp Final Concert


Lots of fun musical projects took place this summer: new music with The Dynamites, a tribute to The Carpenters, oboe improvisations for a harp guitar album by Brad Hoyt, to name a few.  And my musical comrade Matthew White (who has sadly departed Nashville for a teaching gig in Myrtle Beach) recorded an album of his original material.  If you’ve listened to Falling Up, you’ve heard Matt play circles around me on my material and have an idea of all the ground he covers on the trumpet!  His compositional work is as equally, if not more than, exciting as his trumpet playing and I think the recordings made reflect that.  I’ll look forward to sharing some of those sounds here as soon as I can.

Jim White, Don Aliquo, Matt White, EC, Joe Davidian, Jonathan Wires at The Castle


For a few days in June I had the distinct pleasure of hosting Jason Crane, he of The Jazz Session, and giving him as much digestible information about Nashville as possible.  Jason is an incredible and successful example of modern journalism – by traveling around as a self-sufficient news entity Jason is able to immerse himself in different scenes and produce fascinating insights on the people and places he visits.  Over the past two weeks he posted six interviews with parts of Nashville’s music scene, including Jeff Coffin, Denis Solee, Rahsaan Barber, Roger Spencer of The Nashville Jazz Workshop, Jonah Rabinowitz of the W.O. Smith Music School, and myself.  All of those shows are available as free podcasts on Jason’s website.  If you enjoy them and can afford to, I recommend making a donation to his show.  The only thing harder than being an unbiased and uncompromised news source is funding such an entity!

- evan


You’re Live in Three, Two, (one) —>

It was a great weekend of music at Pete Miller’s in Evanston, IL.  The Northwestern University campus and Evanston are in some ways unchanged and some ways very different.  Ten years ago it seemed like I had hundreds of friends and colleagues in and around the area.  Walking along there nowadays seemed like the ground had swallowed up and digested that universe with new people and businesses playing their roles in the recognizable Evanston facade, only to perhaps find the same result in 2022.

2022 sounds so futuristic, doesn’t it?  In remarking about the ease of having a pet cat versus a dog, my friend mentioned that the task is even easier since the litter box is cleaned by a robotic ‘litter’ dispenser.  It seems like not nearly enough sentences are ended with “by the robot” for a year as futuristic sounding as 2012.  Perhaps this is a sign that I’m getting old…

Anyways, I digress.  The band at Pete Miller’s was smokin’ – thanks to the wonderful players Peter Stoltzman, Larry Gray, Joel Spencer, Brent Jordan, and Larry Kohut.  The band also received a great show preview & review of Falling Up from esteemed jazz critic Neil Tesser.

Tomorrow the band is headed down to Chattanooga for a show at the Barking Legs Theater where we’ll play a tribute to Art Blakey’s Moanin’.  We’ll also be doing an in-studio performance at the Chattanooga NPR affiliate WUTC at 3:15 EST which you can stream on their website.  Then on Saturday I’ll be at F Scott’s for my first appearance there as a bandleader.

Hope to see you out there.