Been doing a lot of traveling, performing, and recording of late so not much time to post. I do have a few items waiting in the wings, just waiting to be bloggified... perhaps tonight I'll get to them.
In the meantime I feel compelled to share this review of The Star Chamber by Brian Morton; it appeared in the November 2004 issue of The Wire. I'm a little surprised that they bothered to review us, actually; I didn't think we'd be their cup of tea (so to speak). Here's the text in toto (I don't think you can find it anywhere else on the web):
"The group name is only misleading if it leaves you expecting full-on metallurgical ugliness instead of machine-tooled modern jazz compositions of exquisite precision and strong aesthetic appeal. IJG have previously been heard on Hardcore and City of Angles, on which composer/pianist Andrew Durkin, publishing as Ugly Jazz, unveiled his slightly too selfconscious hybrids of classical and kitsch (though the Laurel & Hardy theme apparently counts as classical too with some senior Wire folks). This time out, he settles for what's effectively a live document of the IJG 2003 vintage, and a set of themes and solos that will recall the Either/Orchestra or one of the jazzier downtown ensembles of the late 80s. It's a comparison that in no way belittles Durkin's team, which numbers a couple of outstanding soloists--saxophonist Beth Schenck and trumpeter Phil Rodriguez--and a crisp, punchy ensemble sound anchored on bassist Aaron Kohen and drummer Aaron McLendon."
Oh, and there was this little note in the LA Weekly last week, regarding last night's show at Club Tropical:
"Jazz on a Monday Vibe presents The Industrial Jazz Group, whose leader Andrew Durkin's arrangements are weirdo cool, like hanging out stoned at Sam Rivers' loft arguing about Mingus vs. Threadgill, Duke vs. Raymond Scott..."
Thanks, Brick Wahl (if that really is your name).
Oh, and speaking of last night's show, we were honored to have in our audience (once again) Jacki Apple and Bruce Fowler. I guess they're fans! My friend Paul recently lent me some bootleg Zappa videos--concerts, interviews, and such--and Bruce is featured in a few of them. What a great musician, and what a sweet guy.