Mary Stallings "Song Stylizing" Vocal workshop, Thursday, May 31

MMC and IMW present:

Mary Stallings

"Song Stylizing" vocal workshop.

6-8pm at the Edgewater Hotel, Madison

8- 9 pm - vocal showcase in The Cove @ The Edgewater Hotel

more info coming soon!








Fundraiser success and site updates

Our plant sale fundraiser this morning was quite successful. The current tally is $797 plus we received a generous gift from a board member bringing the total raised to $1047. Thanks to everyone who helped!

After all that work I tried to nap but it's not something I'm good at. I got up and caught up on more jam odds and ends. Tunes from last week's jam are now on the site. The schedule through August is on the site as well.

See ya tomorrow at the East Side Club!

Marilyn Crispell, Joanne Powers, Avreeayl Ra, and Harrison Bankhead in concert and featured for IMW this week April 15th

The Madison Music Collective, MadToast Live, Improv Music Workshop, Ward-Brodt Music, and WORT 89.9 FM, in association with Farley’s House of Pianos, present:

“Jazz on a Sunday”, April 15, 2012



Legendary Free Jazz Pianist Marilyn Crispell


With special guests:

Harrison Bankhead, bass

Avreeayl Ra, percussion

JoAnne Pow!ers, reeds


The New York Times says that “hearing Marilyn Crispell play solo piano is like monitoring an active volcano.  She is one of a very few pianists who rise to the challenge of free jazz.” Considered by many critics to be the most accomplished pianist in the free jazz movement since Cecil Taylor, Ms. Crispell returns to Madison to perform solo and with a trio that includes Chicago-based “free jazz” stalwarts Harrison Bankhead and Avreeayl Ra and Madison-based firebrand multi-instrumentalist JoAnne Pow!ers.


In addition to leading and recording with a number of her own ensembles, Crispell's bona fides include fifteen years performing as a part of the Anthony Braxton Quartet, and fertile collaborations with many of the major figures in creative music, including Reggie Workman, Wadada Leo Smith, Roscoe Mitchell, Irene Scweitzer, Peter Brötzmann, Evan Parker and The London Jazz Composers Orchestra.


“Free jazz” fans will immediately grasp the quality of this program, while people seeking a pathway into this challenging music will appreciate the post-concert workshop in which Ms. Crispell talks about her approach to music-making, answers audience member questions, and invites musicians in the audience (both amateur and professional) to the stage to make music together with her.


Where and When:

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Brink Lounge, 701 East Washington Avenue, Madison


Concert at 3:30 pm

Improvisational Music Workshop at 6:00 pm (free and open to the public)


General Admission: $15 at the door / $12 advance

Discount rate for members of Madison Music Collective, Madison Jazz Society,

and students w/ID: $10 at the door/$8 advance

Advance tickets available online at




*This program is made possible in part by grants from the John and Carolyn Peterson Charitable Foundation and the Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission (with additional funds from the Overture Foundation and Pleasant T. Rowland Foundation), dues from Madison Music Collective members, and charitable gifts from MMC board members and other local friends of the music.  The producers are also grateful for support from Presenting Sponsor Ward-Brodt Music, Program Sponsors the Edgewater Hotel, Farley’s House of Pianos, Janus Galleries, Tri-Unity Wellife, and the Cardinal Bar, as well as promotional support from WORT-FM and Isthmus and support from our program hosts, The Brink Lounge.*




Performer Biographies:


Marilyn Crispell


"Hearing Marilyn Crispell play solo piano is like monitoring an active volcano. She is one of a very few pianists who rise to the challenge of free jazz."



Marilyn Crispell is a graduate of the New England Conservatory of Music, where she studied classical piano and composition.  She subsequently discovered jazz through the music of John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, and other contemporary jazz players and composers.  Over the past 3+ decades, Ms. Crispell has built a world-wide reputation as an outstanding solo pianist, leader of her own groups, and member of leading cutting-edge ensembles such as Anthony Braxton Quartet (10 years), the Reggie Workman Ensemble, the Barry Guy New Orchestra, and the Henry Grimes Trio.  During this time, she performed and recorded extensively with well-known players on the American and international jazz scenes.  She has also performed and recorded music by contemporary composers Robert Cogan, Pozzi Escot, John Cage, Pauline Oliveros, Manfred Niehaus, and Anthony Davis (including four performances of his opera “X” with the New York City Opera).


In addition to her playing, Ms. Crispell has taught improvisation workshops and given lecture-demonstrations at universities and art centers in the U.S., Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  In 2006, Crispell was co-director of the Vancouver Creative Music Institute, and a faculty member at the Banff Centre International Workshop in Jazz.  She has also produced an instructional DVD, “A Pianist’s Guide to Free Improvisation: Keys to Unlocking Your Creativity.”


Ms. Crispell has received three New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship grants (1988-89, 1994-95, and 2006-07), a Mary Flagler Cary Charitable Trust composition commission (1988-89), and a Guggenheim Fellowship (2005-06).  She received the New England Conservatory’s Outstanding Alumni Award in 1996, and in 2004 was cited as being one of their 100 most outstanding alumni of the past 100 years.


Harrison Bankhead


Harrison Bankhead is among the most active bassists on the vibrant Chicago jazz scene.  A highly versatile musician, Mr. Bankhead has never shunned a chance to participate in new and exciting ensembles and concerts where creativity abounds, from flamenco, to classical, to gospel, to soul, to mainstream and free jazz.  Over the years, Bankhead could be seen performing regularly with the most important figures of Chicago’s free and mainstream jazz scenes, e.g., Roscoe Mitchell, Von Freeman, Nicole Mitchell, and the late Fred Anderson.  He has also performed with other nationally-recognized jazz artists such as Oliver Lake, Joshua Redman, and Billy Harper, as well as with the The Waukegan Symphony Orchestra.


Mr. Bankhead’s current CD as a leader is “Morning Sun/Harvest Moon” (Engine Records, 2011) featuring a sextet of top-flight Chicago-based musicians including Ed Wilkerson, Mars Williams, James Sanders, Ernie Adams, and Avreeayl Ra.



Avreeayl Ra


Native Chicago-based master drummer/percussionist Avreeayl Ra is a long-time member of the pioneering Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM).  Over the years, he has performed and/or recorded with Fred Anderson, Amiri Baraka, Fontella Bass, Lester Bowie, Ari Brown, Oscar Brown, Jr., Henry Butler, Henry Byrd (”Professor Longhair”), Hamid Drake, Malachi Favors, Donald Raphael Garrett, Henry Grimes, Billy Harper, Joseph Jarman, Edward “Kidd” Jordan, Nicole Mitchell, Sun Ra, Pharoah Sanders, Malachi Thompson, and many more.


Venerable “Chicago Tribune” music critic Howard Reich wrote recently, “An indispensable Chicago innovator, Avreeayl Ra shapes the music-making swirling around him with remarkable precision and poise ... extraordinarily sensitive percussion.” John Kelman of has described Mr. Ra’s playing as “part Tony Williams, part Elvin Jones, and all Avreeayl Ra.” and Africa, he has always returned home to live in Chicago. < Show less text


Besides playing and recording music, Mr. Ra has been documenting on film the hidden spiritual roots of Chicago music, focusing on the Congo Beach Initiative, a drum-and spirit-centered society in which musicians, dancers, and artists of all descriptions and ages congregate at 63rd Street at the Lakefront, playing music and practicing their spiritual and healing arts.


JoAnne Pow!ers


Free jazz outlaw JoAnne Pow!ers plays frequently in the Madison Area both as a solo act and with her trio (The aptly-named JoAnne Pow!ers Trio).  Ms. Pow!ers also makes occasional appearances in the [sometimes literally] underground music scenes of New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. Her frenetic saxophone abuse is often compared to that of Albert Ayler and Peter Brötzmann, with further influences from late-period John Coltrane and legendary Japanese free-improviser Kaoru Abe. With a tone that has been known to alternately peel the paint off of walls and lull angry babies to sleep, Pow!ers is known for her lightning-fast keywork, and heavy use of multiphonics and other extended techniques. While largely operating within the “Energy music” school of improvisation, Pow!ers’ music also incorporates elements of the music of the Middle East and India. In addition to her trios, Ms. Pow!ers’ collaborators have included New York percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani; Dave Rempis (saxophones), Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello), Tim Daisy (percussion), Jaimie Branch (trumpet) and Marc Riordan (percussion) of Chicago’s thriving improvised music scene; Philadelphia percussionist Bob Cozzolino, extreme vocalist D.B. Pedersen, and the late multi-instrumentalist Lyx Ish.

Workshop with Hobgood was amazing!

Thanks to everyone for the great participation at the March IMW. Laurence Hobgood had many great ideas to share with us. The first line up of Marilyn Fisher, Susan Hoffer, Sally de Broux and Mary Gaines was very special and interesting having them sing over Hobgood's harmonization and interpretation of Easy Living. Then many others (Alma Cook, Isaac, Mary Sykes, to name a few) came to the stage and traded 4s on some 12  bar blues while trying to “tell a story.” It was an amazing concert and lovely to be at and a part of. THANKS to everyone who came to help make a beautiful musical memory.

Billie's Bounce, How High The Moon

For our April jams we'll be learning Billie's Bounce and How High The Moon. Before we get into specifics I have to recommend this article and site for all kinds of jazz advice including learning tunes.

Billie's Bounce is an F blues by Charlie Parker. Check out this excellent article for an in-depth interpretation of the Charlie Parker's solo on this tune, and his tendencies over a blues. Here's the tune:


Here are the changes to How High The Moon. This song uses a common progression in which the tonic of the moment turns minor to become the ii7 of the chord a whole step below it. Although many musicians recorded How High The Moon we're going to stick with Charlie Parker. Here he is: