Author Archives: millerwrenn

Update – 10/9/14

Time for a much overdue update.

First order of business. I’m working on a new piece for Jazz Quartet and String Quartet, long form, three or four movements, and it’s slowly killing me in a way that’s weirdly motivating. Hopefully, I’ll finish it by the end of the month and have a recording of at least the first movement by the end of November. Check out a few bars from the first movement.

Movement 1 - Sample

Movement 1 – Sample

Also,

I played on three tracks of Ryan Amador’s new EP “4S” (check it out here) and it just dropped today. Kyle Crane was on drums, and totally killed it. We tracked at the Beat Cave with Daniel Weidlein producing/engineering.

Ryan Amador – 4S

Also, Bill Frisell. Because why not?

Take it easy.

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7/11/14 – RIP Charlie Haden

charle haden

Charlie Haden passed away this morning after a long battle with illness. He was 76.

Few musicians have had as large an impact on the way I view music as Charlie did. His work with Ornette Coleman was absolutely a revelation. Not even just the records they made together, but their immediate and visceral musical connection, improvising together in a way most musicians can only hope to experience in their life. Charlie helped prove that “free jazz” wasn’t the bullshit everyone joked about, it was an intelligent, compelling, and intricate communication amongst musicians that understood each other.

Ever the multi-faceted artist, he worked with everyone from John Coltrane to Keith Jarrett, Beck to Yoko Ono. Hell, he was even on a Robert Downey Jr. record. With Carla Bley, Charlie led the Liberation Music Orchestra, which was explicitly in response to a variety of political events and ideas from its initial incarnation in 1969, which focused on the Spanish Civil War, to its final form in 2005, which focused on the contemporary American political landscape.

In 2008, he released Rambling Boy, which hearkened back to the Americana roots of the Haden Family Band during his youth. Much of his immediate family performed on that record, including his four children, as well as a many of his close musical collaborators.

Charlie was a consummate artist, and his influence will be profound and lasting. He will be deeply missed.

This seems as good a time as ever to give Free Jazz another listen.

Take it easy.

Update March 9th, 2014

Things are crazy hectic these days. 

I’m working on nine new pieces that will premiere at my Senior Recital on May 15th in Lotte Lehman Concert Hall at UCSB, is that really a premiere though? While I’m very excited about all the music I’m writing, nine pieces is a lot to focus on at once, or at least a lot to focus on with an impending deadline, and I’m looking forward to getting them all finished so I can start work on my Double Quartet, which will be for String Quartet with Fender Rhodes, drums, double bass, and electric guitar. 

The Polaris Quintet is doing well, still gigging about every week, and they will be performing four of the pieces in my recital as an ensemble and will be augmented by other musicians for the remaining pieces. We also intend to record those four pieces soon, so be on the look out for that. 

In the meantime, here’s some Andriessen

Take it easy. 

 

Polaris Quintet

Image

So I finally got a band together and things are going incredibly well. It’s called the Polaris Quintet, and it consists of myself on bass, Jonah Tarashanksy on alto saxophone, Jake Goldman on guitar, Shane Sato on drums, and Robert Johnson on piano and rhodes.

I’m really stoked on it and we’ll have some recordings and videos in the coming weeks.

Check us out on Facebook here.

Take it easy.