New Recording….coming soon

 

image © ScottClark

image © ScottClark

I’m very excited to be going into the studio this week to record some music that my band (ScottClark4tet) and I have been working on for quite some time now.  The music was inspired in part by some of the events described in Dee Brown’s book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” as well as many other books describing the history of Native Americans, and their dealings with white settlers and politicians.  This music has been a great source of inspiration to me, and the musicians in the band have really made this music come to life over the past few months.  I am really looking forward to recording this music and I am planning for debut of the suite sometime this November.

On November 29th of this year, there will be a remembrance of  the Sand Creek Massacre (one of the main events that inspired this music and spawned much of my personal study on the subject).  It is described by the National Parks Service as “…one of the most emotionally charged and controversial events in American history, a tragedy reflective of its time and place.”  

More from the National Parks Service website about Sand Creek (http://www.nps.gov/sand/historyculture/index.htm)
     “At dawn on November 29, 1864, approximately 675 U.S. volunteer soldiers commanded by Colonel John M. Chivington attacked a village of about 700 Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians along Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado Territory. Using small arms and howitzer fire, the troops drove the people out of their camp. While many managed to escape the initial onslaught, others, particularly noncombatant women, children, and the elderly fled into and up the bottom of the dry stream bed. The soldiers followed, shooting at them as they struggled through the sandy earth. At a point several hundred yards above the village, the women and children frantically excavated pits and trenches along either side of the streambed to protect themselves. Some adult men attempted to hold back the Army with whatever weapons they had managed to retrieve from the camp, and at several places along Sand Creek the soldiers shot the people from opposite banks and brought forward the howitzers to blast them from their improvised defenses. Over the course of eight hours the troops killed around 200 Cheyenne and Arapaho people composed mostly of women, children, and the elderly. During the afternoon and following day, the soldiers wandered over the field committing atrocities on the dead before departing the scene on December 1 to resume campaigning.

Since the barbarism of November 29, the Sand Creek Massacre maintains its station as one of the most emotionally charged and controversial events in American history, a tragedy reflective of its time and place. The background of the Sand Creek Massacre lay in a whirlwind of events and issues registered by the ongoing Civil War in the East and West; the overreactions by whites on the frontier to the 1862-63 Dakota uprising in Minnesota and its aftermath; the status of the various bands of Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians relative to each other as well as other plains tribes; the constant undercurrent of threatened Confederate incursions; and the existing state of politics in Colorado including the intrigues of individual politicians in that territory. Perhaps most important, the seeds of the Sand Creek Massacre lay in the presence of two historically discordant cultures within a geographical area that both coveted for disparate reasons, an avoidable situation that resulted in tragedy.”

This music and these events don’t just exist in a vacuum.  Many of these topics still are being dealt with today.  From the debate over the Washington Redskins team name (http://cnn.it/1vtPsZQ) (also, read the comment section to see more) to History Colorado’s (the Colorado Historical Society) dealing with the upcoming remembrance of the Sand Creek Massacre (http://bit.ly/1kivPyK) or to all of the many events happening in and around the Native American community (http://bit.ly/1sLRAYA) there is a lot going on right now.  I don’t claim to be an expert on all of the inner workings of what is happening now, or what has happened in the past.  I have however been deeply affected by what I have learned and how it informs my own life.  Through my research and through this music, I hope to share a part of my dealings with these subjects with as many people as I can.  I also know that this is just the beginning of a lifelong search for more knowledge and understanding.

I am very grateful to Spacebomb Studios for allowing us to record in their great studio and specifically to Trey Pollard, Matthew E. White, Pinson Chanselle, Cameron Ralston and the rest of the Spacebomb family for helping me to realize this recording. I look forward to sharing this music with as many people as possible and as soon as possible. Most importantly, I can not thank the guys in the band (Cameron Ralston, Bob Miller and Jason Scott) enough for being so giving of their time over the past few years….and also to everyone along the way for all of your support.  THANK YOU!!

more soon…..

…RVA Music…

…RVA Music…

I’ve been thinking a lot about Richmond and our music scene here…especially after my experience at this year’s Hopscotch Music Festival.  I wanted to give a shout out to some of the musicians that are in our fair city and all of the great music that they’ve made in the past year or so.  Please check out everyone’s music and maybe discover some gems that you didn’t know about….and hopefully that will lead to even more support of our great music scene in RVA.

(in no particular order…..)

Bryan Hooten:  One of Richmond’s finest trombone players, composers, and improvisers.  Bryan recently released a solo trombone record called “Richmond Love Call” and he also leads Ombak (featuring Trey Pollard-guitar, Cameron Ralston-bass, Brian Jones-drums, and recently JC Khul-saxophone).  They have two albums which are available on the Ombak bandcamp page and you can also hear Bryan on recordings by Fight the Big Bull, No BS!, and many other Richmond groups.  http://twitter.com/BryanHooten 

Scott Burton: Leader/Composer/Arranger for Glows in the Dark (Scott Burton-guitar, Cameron Ralston-bass, John Lilley-saxophone, Reggie Pace-trombone, and myself on drums).  Glows recently released a new recording of remixes from our last record (Beach of the War Gods) called “Tides of War” and we also recently recorded a new album featuring Count Bass D, John Robinson, Jawwad Taylor, and 2020.  Scott and I also play in a duo we call SCUO, and we just released our debut album on New Atlantis Records available here…and here (SCUO bandcamp page).  Scott was also featured on Jason Crane’s “Jazz Session” Podcast where he talks about the Richmond music scene, Glows in the Dark, movies and prog….a must listen for anyone interested in one of RVA’s finest. http://twitter.com/scotttburton https://twitter.com/glowsinthedark

Matthew E. White:  Matt White is a staple of the Richmond music scene, leader of Fight the Big Bull and he has recently released his first record as a singer, and the first record on his Spacebomb Records label (in collaboration with the Portland label Hometapes), called “Big Inner”.  The record features many of Richmond’s finest horn players, singers, string players and of course the Spacebomb rhythm section of Pinson Chanselle on drums and Cameron Ralston on bass, along with Matt White on guitar and Trey Pollard with string arrangements.  (also check out Matt on the “Jazz Session” Podcast and you can see him in Rolling Stone as an “Artist to Watch” or read interviews with him on various blogs and see reviews of “Big Inner” on Pitchfork and other music blogs) http://twitter.com/amattwhitejoint  https://twitter.com/fightthebigbull 

No BS! Brass Band:  Featuring almost all of Richmond’s best horn players (Reggie Pace-trombone, Bryan Hooten-trombone, John Hulley-trombone, Dillard Watt-bass trombone, Rob Quallic-trumpet, Marcus Tenney-trumpet, Taylor Barnett-trumpet, David Hood-alto saxophone, Stefan Demetriadis-tuba) and one of RVA’s most amazing drummers/recording engineers in Lance Koehler. No BS! has been a staple in Richmond for years now and their last record, entitled “No BS!”, is a great representation of what you can expect at one of their consistently packed shows.  There’s also word on the street that they have been working on a new album, so be on the look out for that.  https://twitter.com/nobsbrass 

Trey Pollard:  Guitarist, composer, arranger, audio engineer, computer software programer you name it and it seems like Trey does it.  He is a co-founder of Songwire Studios (along with Ryan Corbitt), guitarist with many of Richmond’s great bands, and a composer and arranger for many bands and for commercials and television shows.  He is an integral part of the Spacebomb Records sound and also recently released an album with his band “Old New Things” , along with trumpeter Taylor Barnett,  called “Ghosts” which is one of my favorite albums of the past few years.  http://twitter.com/pollardtrey  http://twitter.com/SongwireStudios   http://twitter.com/S_A_Samples   http://straightaheadsamples.com/

Gabe Churray aka Snow Panda:  What can be said about Snow Panda?  Gabe has been a major influence of the sound coming from Richmond, either from his solo records or from his many remixes of Richmond groups and national bands including most recently Bon Iver.  Gabe has also lent his keyboard soundscapes to many recordings helping to create a sound that is truly unique to Richmond.  (see any ILAD recording or some future Spacebomb recordings, and come see Matt White’s band live and hear it first hand).  Snow Panda also performed a solo set at the Hometapes Friend Island Day Party at Hopscotch this year.  It was truly one of the best performances that I saw at the festival….amazing.  Hear more for yourself here….(Snow Panda Bandcamp pagehttp://twitter.com/snowpandamusic

Cameron Ralston:  Cameron is one of the most in demand bass players in VA.  He plays with the ScottClark4tet, Glows in the Dark, Matthew E. White, Fight the Big Bull, Ombak, Brian Jones, as well as many other projects….and he’s appeared on numerous recordings with each of these, and other, groups.  He is also one of the founding members of Spacebomb Records and is part of the house band for the label.  There are truly just too many good things to say about Cameron….just check out anything that he’s on and you won’t be disappointed http://twitter.com/cameronthewise

Pinson Chanselle:  Drummer/percussionist extraordinaire.  Also a founding member of Spacebomb Records and part of the house band for the label, Pinson plays on Matthew E. White’s new album as well as recordings by Fight the Big Bull, James Wallace and the Naked Light, Josh Small, David Karsten Daniels just to list a few.  Definitely one of the best drummers around.  http://twitter.com/pinsonthemighty

Reggie Pace:  Reggie plays trombone Glows in the Dark, No BS! Brass, Fight the Big Bull, and many other Richmond groups and has recently been traveling the world with the Grammy winning group Bon Iver, led by Justin Vernon.  Reggie and I have a duo called Etaka that we’ve been working on and plan on recording some new music for.  He also leads some groups of his own including the Trio of Justice (featuring the great drummer Devonne Harris and fellow trombonist Reggie Chapman) and he is a founding member of the No BS! Brass Band.  No one has been a bigger advocate of, and integral part of, the Richmond music scene than Reggie and you can hear an interview with Reggie on the “Jazz Session” Podcast where he talks about all things No BS! and Richmond. http://twitter.com/ReggiePace

Brian Jones:  One of the best drummers/musicians/composers in Richmond, Brian is one of the major figures in the Richmond music scene.  He’s played with everyone and is one of the most in demand drummers in VA.  Brian continually puts out his own albums featuring different combinations of Richmond musicians to form unique bands, all of which are amazing, and all of his album are a must listen….especially if you want to hear some of what continues to inspire the Richmond scene.  (just some of his groups are M.A.P. Trio, Brian Jones Double Quartet, Brian Jones Percussion Ensemble,  Boots of Leather…)

Daniel Clarke:  An amazing musical talent, Daniel has recently been traveling the world playing piano and singing with the great singer K.D. Lang.  He’s also played with Mandy Moore, Rachel Yamagata, The Courtyard Hounds, Dixie Chicks, Mike Viola, Ryan Adams, Jesse Harper, Old School Freight Train, Jason Mraz, Chris Keup, John Alagia, Glyn Johns, The Congress….and the list goes on and on.  Check out KD’s new album “Sing it Loud” here.

Jason Scott:  Jason is an amazing saxophonist/composer and he is also a integral part of my group the ScottClark4tet and Scrio.  As a member of Fight the Big Bull, he played on their most recent recording “All is Gladness in the Kingdom” and he most recently recorded on Matthew E. White’s album.  He leads his own groups….Smalltown and the Hi-Steps.  (and he was voted as a Rising Star for clarinet in Downbeat Magazine’s Critics Poll for 2012)  http://twitter.com/jschwill

Bob Miller:  Simply one of my favorite trumpet players, musicians, and people.  Bob plays with just about everybody and has recorded with more people than I can list.  Right now, you can hear him on the new ScottClark4tet recording, or on recordings by Fight the Big Bull, Bio Ritmo, The Big East, most of the Spacebomb recordings and many many more.  http://twitter.com/mambobobmiller

Bio Ritmo:  Bio Ritmo put on a great show at this years Hopscotch festival….which, at this point, shouldn’t be any surprise….they’ve been putting on great shows for over 20 years.  Check them out at one of their shows in Richmond (or around the world) and hear for yourself.  (Bio Ritmo is Rei Alvarez-Vocals, Guiro, Giustino Ricco-Timbal & Coro, Hector Barez-Conga, Mike Montanez-Bongo, Bob Miller-Trumpet, Synth & Coro, Mark Ingraham-Trumpet, John Lilley-Sax, Toby Whitaker-Trombone, Marlysse Simmons-Piano, Organ, Eddie Prendergast-Bass)
http://twitter.com/bioritmomusic

Chris Ryan: Guitarist/song writer…I’ve been lucky  to play more with Chris the past few years and also recorded on his album “Pray for the Rain” along with Brian Mahne and Derrick Englert.  You can find out more about Chris and check out his record here on itunes.

Bryce McCormick:  Pianist/song writter/video maker….Bryce kind of does it all.  I was fortunate to be apart of his new album “Let It Go” produced by Trey Pollard and Bryce and also featuring Andrew Randazzo on bass.  Check out more about Bryce and listen to some tracks from his album here…(Bryce McCormick bandcamp page)  http://twitter.com/BryceMcCormick

Other Richmond Musicians that more people in the world should be aware of:

Lauren Serpa (Lauren’s photo page)
John Lilley
Devonne Harris
Marcus Tenney
Andrew Randazzo
Paul Wilson
Todd Herrington
DJ Williams
Kelli Starwbridge
JC Kuhl
Randal Pharr
David Hood
Larri Branch
Brian Cruse 
Brian Mahne
Lucas Fritz
C.J. Wolfe
The Big East
Stephanie Auld
Aaron Williams
Dean Christesen
Ryan Corbitt
John Winn
Wells Hanley
Alan Parker
Abinnet Berhanu
Doug Richards
Skip Gailes
Clifton McDaniel
Adam Larrabee
Suzi Fischer
David Tenenholtz
Abby Outlaw
Lindsey Prather
Evan Sarver
Toby Whitaker
Eddie Prendergast
Taylor Barnett
Reggie Chapman

(by no means is this intended to be a complete list….)

Also, here is a pretty amazing chart, done by Peter McElhinney, connecting some of the musicians in Richmond together….

Free Jazz, Local Morning News, Shows in NYC and CT….and more

photo by Lauren Serpa

This week the 4tet goes on the road for a short stretch of shows in Connecticut and New York…and we play on the local Richmond CBS morning show “Virginia This Morning”.

First on Tuesday May 8th, we’ll bring our free jazz sounds to the early morning local news.  Free Jazz and Morning News are not usually talked about in the same sentence, so be sure to tune in to see what happens.  The program is on CBS 6 in Richmond, and runs from 9-10am.  We will play twice so we hope you’ll check it out or set the dvr.

Next, on Wednesday May 9th we’re going to New Haven Connecticut to play at The Uncertainty Music Series presented by the great bassist/composer Carl Testa.  The show will take place at The Elm Bar (372 Elm St. New Haven, CT).  Show starts at 9pm ($5 suggested donation) and we’ll be playing 2 sets of music, one of which will be the second performance of our suite of music based off of the book “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown and on my own research into my family history.  (more info

Then on Thursday May 10th we’ll be playing at IBeam in Brooklyn, NY.  This show will be with Blood Syndicate Trio featuring Darius Jones– alto, Jason Nazary– drums and Sean Conly– bass.  Cameron, Darius and myself used to have a trio together when Darius was still living in Richmond called CUD, and we’re excited to be sharing the stage together again.  The show starts at 8:30 and there is a $10 suggested donation.  (IBeam 168 7th Street  Brooklyn, NY 11215)

And if you happen to be in, or near, Richmond on Wednesday May 9th there is going to be a great show happening in town.  The amazing Peter Evans and Travis Laplante will both be playing solo sets and this will be the second show at the amazing ForInstance Gallery with the phenomenal artwork of local artist Martin B. Johnson (http://www.martinbjohnson.com/) as the back drop to the show.  They will be joined with a great trio of musicians from Richmond featuring Scott Burton- guitar, Pinson Chanselle- drums and John Lilley- sax.  The last show featuring Bererberg was a great success and we’re excited about having these world class musicians coming to Richmond.  We hope that you’ll come show support for the music. (Some more information can be found via the facebook event here http://www.facebook.com/events/420593331292846/)

Peter Evans- Trumpet
Travis Laplante- Saxophone
Scott Burton, Pinson Chanselle, John Lilley
ForInstance Gallery
107 East Cary St Richmond, VA 23220
Doors at 7:30 show starts at 8:00pm
$5 ($10 Suggested Donation)

Thanks for everyone’s support and we hope to see you at these great shows.
Stay tuned for more shows coming in May including the ScottClark4tet cd release show on May 22nd.