Friday, November 27, 2009

BMR4 Year in Review

So it's the end of November, Thanksgiving dinner has been eaten (in some cases multiple times), the holidays are in full swing, and the year is coming to a close.

All in all, it was a good year for my jazz group, BMR4. We've done a bunch of cool gigs all over the area, and have had some fine moments as a band. No doubt, the solid gold dancers at the Halsted Market Days festival will register as highlight numero uno (at least for yours truly.)

What we've got left is going to send out 2009 with quite a bang. Among other things, we'll conclude our Thursday night residency at Andy's Jazz Club, with performances on the first 3 Thursdays of December. Those gigs are always a blast, and we look forward to it every time.

December 9 is certainly a date to circle on the old calendar (do people still use those? besides me, I mean?) We'll be performing a special concert in honor of the late Master, John Coltrane at the Jazz Showcase in Chicago. It is the 45th anniversary of the release of the legendary "A Love Supreme" album, and we're going to give our homage and interpretation of the record (wish us luck! a bold challenge, for sure.) We'll also be performing other Coltrane favorites that have come through email requests (if you haven't made one yet, there's still time.)

This, proudly, will be our first time at the Showcase, so we hope that you can make it out for that one. It's a FREE concert, and sponsored by WDCB, 90.9 FM, College of DuPage (special thanks to Ken Scott for the continued support of BMR4 and live jazz in Chicago.)

With that, we've got 2010 ahead of us. 10 years of BMR4. That's a long time. So what does a decade old band do?

New stuff, of course!

We did a record a few years ago that we never released. It was to be called Fixin' a Hole, with that tune (yes, the Beatles' tune) as the lead track. Back then we were, um, how shall I put it, broke. We couldn't put it out, nor could we get someone to do it with/for us. But that was then, and this is now, and we think that we should be able to do something with it. This will most likely be released as a digital download only. We're thinking about doing that so that you can hear new stuff, and we can spend the time to do it all right.

And by the way, we're still less than flush, so if there are any patrons of the arts out there...

ahem, anyways...

We've also got a few things cooking in terms of recording new material. It's been about 2 years since we released Turning Point, we've finally broken even on the project, and so it's time for something fresh (not that you shouldn't pick up another copy or 2 as a worthy stocking stuffer for that special someone.)

We've been writing some stuff, we've been talking about other tunes we'd like to tackle, and we're just about at that point of getting that proverbial ball rolling. There's been some talk among us that maybe a few guests will join us on the record. We've worked with a lot of great players over the years, so that might be something for us to consider.

Last but not least (another stupid cliche. ugh!), we've gotten together all of our recordings from the Morse Theater shows that we did in the beginning of the year. There were six performances at the now defunct venue (too bad, it was really nice,) and we were fortunate enough to have had them all recorded. We got a lot of good material covered, with some very good performances. There's certainly a record in there somewhere (it's something like 19 hours worth of music- including sound checks, some of which weren't half bad.) We shall see what we come up with. Stay tuned!

Of course, the band would like to give a special thanks to the vocalists who participated on the shows with us: Lisa Roti, Allison Ruble, Nicole Kestler, Typhanie Monique, and Petra van Nuis. You all did a fabulous job.

No matter what, though, live music IS best! Please continue to support it wherever you are.

So it goes...

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