Dave Miller: Guitarist

Creator of music & baker of goods…

Archive for the tag “Greg Ward”

May – gigs in NYC and Chicago coming up!

Happy spring!

I’ve really been enjoying this breath of fresh air in Brooklyn. April has been a great month. It started off with a trip to Chicago to do some gigs playing my music with some of my old buddies, Jeremy Cunningham, Matt Ulery, and Jake Vinsel. I had so much fun playing with these guys again. It had been way too long, and they brought so much energy to the music! I also did a super fun gig with WW Lowman for Bill Lowman’s birthday. Craziness ensued, as to be expected. What a great trip!

After that, I came back to NYC and did a handful of gigs with Lena Bloch’s quartet to celebrate the release of our new album, “Feathery”. Lena knows how to put great bands together, and we had some amazing music with Billy Mintz, Cameron Brown, Putter Smith, and Russ Lossing. Cameron, Putter, and Russ, all played on different gigs, and each brought something beautiful and unique to the sound.

May is shaping up to be busy and rewarding, as well. I’m extremely excited to be playing my new music with a new band featuring Will Graefe (guitar), John Tate (bass), and Jason Nazary (drums). We’ll be playing Shapeshifter Lab on 5/5 and Branded Saloon on 5/11. These will be great, I hope you can make it!

After that, I’ll be playing a weekend (5/16-17) at the Jazz Gallery with Greg Ward and his new large ensemble. Greg was commissioned by the Jazz Gallery to do a residency there and write a set of new music. I can’t wait to dive into this stuff – Greg is an incredible composer and his music is always fun and challenging. Not to mention that he’s one of the best saxophonists on the planet right now!

Finally, I’ll be running back to Chicago (5/19-23) to do some gigs with the inimitable drummer, Dana Hall. I’ll be playing with Dana’s Black Fire band, which performs the music of Andrew Hill, at Andy’s. The next night, Dana has put together a band with John Wojciechowski, Clark Sommers, and me to perform Charles Lloyd’s classic album, “Of Course, Of Course”, at the Jazz Record Art Collective series. This record has been an inspiration to me for many years now, so I jumped at the opportunity to play it live. After that, I’ll be playing with my trio (Dana Hall/Matt Ulery) at The Lighthouse doing a bunch of new music I’ve written over the past year.


*** Just click on PERFORMANCES to get more details about these upcoming  gigs.

Fun times! Thanks for reading, and I hope to see you OUT AND ABOUT!


AUDIO: Ted Sirota Quintet Tribute to Lennie Tristano – 5/25/05 @ Empty Bottle, Chicago, IL

This concert came about my senior year at Northern Illinois University when I did an independent study on the music of Lennie Tristano, Lee Konitz, and Warne Marsh.  This included countless hours of transcribing dozens of their compositions and solos, and devouring any reading materials about them that I could find.  Looking back, it’s hard to believe how I got through it all, but it was an amazing learning experience that I’ll never forget.  We also did all this material, along with Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls (of which I had recently become a member) material for my senior recital in DeKalb, IL.  It was awesome to bring these guys out there, play the recital in the local Indian restaurant (I had to twist the administration’s arm to let me not do it in the recital hall), and then throw a classic college RAGER at my apartment with the band and a bunch of awesome people.

Tristano and crew are still some of my favorite musicians.  Nevertheless, I remember after finishing this project that I couldn’t listen to them for a really long time.

The last time I think I heard this live recording was probably shortly after the concert.  Listening back to your former self is always a painful experience, and this is no exception.  I can hear a definite lack of maturity in my playing (I was 22 at the time).  I’m also still searching for a personal voice (if you’re familiar with some of the older generation of Chicago guitarists, you’ll know what I’m talking about!).  The heads to the tunes sound really great, though, and everybody’s playing beautifully.  For those keeping track, you’re hearing a 22 year old Greg Ward!  What a guy.  Geof Bradfield is nailing it, as always, and there’s a seamless blend between the two horns.  Hyosub needs to pick up the bass again – he had a great sound!  Ted has always been one of my favorite drummers – great tone, taste, history, and creativity.  His band, Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls, should be in the Chicago jazz history books sooner or later.

Oh yeah, this was back when the Empty Bottle had jazz multiple nights a week, let alone ever.  Remember that?!  If you’re younger than me, probably not.

Thanks to Ted Sirota for digging out this recording and posting it online.  You can hear more Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls music here.  You can hear this particular band (with the fabulous Jake Vinsel replacing Hyosub Kim on bass) on the 2008 Naim release Seize the Time).  As of late, the band did a one-off performance at the wonderful Galesburg Rootabaga Jazz Festival and tore the roof off the sucka.  I’d love to see what this band can do after a few weeks on the road!

Greg Ward – alto sax, Geof Bradfield – tenor sax, Dave Miller – guitar, Hyosub Kim – bass, Ted Sirota – drums/laptop (“Turkish Mambo”)

New Article About DM Published in the Chicago Reader

Thanks to Peter Margasak for writing this nice piece about me:

Guitarist Dave Miller leaves town for Brooklyn

Dusted reviews blink.

“No matter the format, these nine songs are blink. at its recorded best. For such a chameleonic collective, it’s hard to ask for more.”

check the full review here.

blink. – live in Chicago – 3/23/11 AUDIO + Geof Bradfield Trio VIDEO

Hey everybody,

(scroll down to the last two posts to see VIDEO from blink.’s performance.)

blink. is Jeff Greene (bass/electronics/compositions), Greg Ward (alto sax), Dave Miller (guitar/electronics), and Quin Kirchner (drums/electronics).

Here’s audio of our complete performance from the House Party Starting Jazz Series, which is curated by Andrew Trim and me.  The recording was engineered mixed and released by Caleb Willitz and pieceofcoalmusic.com.

This particular night was hosted in Kate Walsh’s apartment in the Bucktown neighborhood of Chicago.  blink. played first, followed by the Geof Bradfield Trio (w/ Clark Sommers and Dana Hall).  Geof’s trio played a super-fiery and inspired set, which should also be released at Piece of Coal soon.  For now, here is a short video of their set.

blink. – “Protect From Light” – House Party Starting Jazz Series – 3/23/11

blink. – “I Will Save the Day” – House Party Starting Jazz Series – 3/23/11

On the Move

View from my roof in Brooklyn

View from my roof in Brooklyn. Lady Liberty's lookin' hot.

Hello there,

It’s been almost a year since my last post!  I moved to Brooklyn last month!  I’m back in Chicago for the month of August for some performances (Neil Tesser’s article on this for The Examiner)!  Lots of good things have happened since the last post:

–Ted Sirota’s Rebel Souls played the main stage at the 2010 Chicago Jazz Festival.

Swimmer, Caroline Davis/Dave Miller, Davenport Ed, and blink. all released new albums.

–Dave Miller Trio, Spilter, Hood Smoke, Justin Dillard’s DO3O, Jake Vinsel’s Horse Fire, and Freakjar have all recorded new albums that are being prepared for release.

–I debuted a new trio with masters Dennis Carroll (bass) and Dana Hall (drums) at Strobe Sessions last December.

–Andrew Trim and I debuted the House Party Starting Jazz Series last December.  Once a month, we put on a concert in a different apartment in Chicago.  All the proceeds go directly to the artists.  The series has been extremely successful so far!  Performers have included the Dave Miller Quartet, Landline, the Marquis Hill Quintet, Matt Ulery’s Loom, Geof Bradfield Trio, blink., Andrew Trim’s Hanami Quartet, Jeff Parker’s Tread on Sure Ground, Spilter, and Father Figures.  The next House Party is tentatively scheduled for 8/25…stay tuned for updates on this.

–I played a weekend in January at the wonderful Green Mill with Matt Ulery’s Loom to celebrate the release of their incredible new album, Flora. Fauna. Fervor., on 482 Music.

–The Dave Miller Trio (w/ John Tate and Jeremy Cunningham) just played at the beautiful Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park on Monday.

NYC has been great so far.  I’m living in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn with my two old friends, Kells Nollenberger and Paul Brady.  In the two weeks I was there I was able to play a handful of performances with Anthony Lee (drums) and Steve Whipple (bass).  Both are fantastic musicians!  I also took some inspiring lessons from Bill McHenry and Steve Cardenas.

Of course, I also saw a lot of great music.  One concert I was particularly inspired by was Matt Bauder’s Day in Pictures at Barbes.  Matt, a one-time Chicagoan, has written some wonderful new music and picked some great musicians (especially Matt Mitchell and Tomas Fujiwara) to perform it.

Now, as stated before, I’m back in Chicago for the month of August.  Neil Tesser, of The Examiner, was kind enough to write an article about a few of my performances.

Here is a full list of performances I have scheduled for Chicago and NYC.  I’m especially looking forward to performing with Greg Ward at The Stone and my debut performance as a leader in NYC featuring the great Matt Wilson on drums!

Other highlights:

–The New Fracture Trio (w/ Tim Daisy and Jake Vinsel) is preparing to record in September and will be performing at The Skylark on 9/26.

–I will be playing, alongside one of my favorite Chicago bands, In Tall Buildings, on Halloween at Schuba’s.  We’ll be performing the music of Deerhoof!

[deep breath] That’s it for now.  It’s great to be alive.

–DM, 8/4/11

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