1/7 | Celebrate Shackelford’s Last Jam & Kate’s BDay tonight @ the Mason Lounge

9pm – 12am No Cover | Five Points Jazz Collective Live at the Mason Lounge

416 S Park St, Madison, WI 53715

After 7 years of keeping the time in-line at the Mason Lounge every Tuesday night with the Five Points Jazz Collective, our drummer Eric Shackelford is stepping down. Come join us tonight to celebrate his seven years in service of the groove! Also, we’ll be celebrating the birthday of our fearless bartendress, Kate!

Eric the Shack-man pictured here staring a hole through your soul. The camera lens was injured in the taking of this photograph and was later re-tired. (photo by Matthew Norman)

It’s been so much fun playing bass in the Five Points Jazz Collective with Eric at the helm of the pocket. Famous for his “buh-da-dun dun dun, _ duh-nunt!” endings and exciting solos, Eric has been the bedrock of the the Five Points sound for 7 years! In that time, Eric and I have developed what I would describe as an effortless groove. It’s easy and it just goes… You don’t have to think about it or calculate, you simply play. And for me, that’s when it’s really fun. If I ever throw a funky surprise at Eric, he’s ready to catch it and throw it right back at me. And when it’s time for a drum-and-bass-trade during solos, I know things are gonna get interesting because of his careful listening and conversational style. In fact, some of my favorite memories during my time with “the Tuesday Night Squad” have been those drum’n bass trades!

Drawing of Eric Drumford’n Sons on New Year’s Eve 2020 by master John Ribble, Crawdaddy of Five Points violinist Rin Q Ribble!

A versatile drummer, Eric also plays heavy in the blues trio Aaron Williams and the Hoodoo. It’s actually not common nowadays to play with a Jazz drummer who can bust out a solid blues style. Well, Eric’s got a whole bag of blues baby. I’ve always enjoyed hearing the blues side of jazz come out in The Shack’s playing. Sometimes just for a chorus during a solo, always in good taste.

One of my favorite memories playing with Eric and the Five Points Jazz Collective happened this past Fall 2019, when we collaborated with Music con Brio at the Barrymore Theater (pictures below). It was a crashing together of worlds for me, because I also teach cello at Music con Brio! Eric did such a fantastic job playing fun drum beats to fit the children’s songs and the kids had a great time. The cello group’s favorite moment was performing the surf-rock edition of “Drunken Sailor”!

Eric has the unique gift of an experienced drummer who know’s how to play-the-room. It’s a rare thing indeed for a drum set player to keep the volume at a low, manageable level yet also hold up the energy and create an exciting group sound. The Shack-man has always found the sweet spot at the Mason Lounge and never overplays the room. Quite a feat! This is but one of the many reasons why Eric will be leaving some big shoes to fill for the next drummer of the Five Points!

We tip our hats to you Eric and raise a glass… or two or three. We’ll miss you and your drumming at the Mason Lounge each week. It’s been a blast and we cherish the friendship & music we’ve created with you over the last 7 years!

We wish you the best!
from solid-blue-Brian, the Five Points Jazz Collective & The Mason Lounge


5/5 | Audio for the Arts presents: HANGING HEARTS punk/jazz trio (Chi)

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This April, I had the fortunate luck of catching a thrilling late night set from Hanging Hearts punk/jazz trio in Detroit. Ben Willis and I were performing on a different side of town & stopped by afterwards to catch one of our favorite drummers, one of Wisconsin’s best, Devin Drobka. Devin, Chris & Cole of Hanging Hearts brought the house down with incredible energy, driving compositions, and excellent group communication. Even after a quite robust set, people were hungry for more. This in-studio concert will help Hanging Hearts prepare to go back into the studio this June to record their next album, produced by drummer Dave King of The Bad Plus.

Thr, 5/5 |  @ Audio for the Arts Studios
7 S. Blair St., Madison, WI
$10  Doors at 7:30p  /  Music at 8p

Recording Engineer & Host – Steve Gotcher

HANGING HEARTS (Chi) is:
Chris Weller – tenor saxophone
Cole DeGenova – keyboards/effects
Devin Drobka – drums/percussion
http://www.hangingheartsmusic.com/

Hanging Hearts is a Chicago-based jazz trio with rock energy dedicated to the fearless exploration of group improvisation. Described by critics as “hammering the walls between genres,” their music bridges the gap between jazz, rock, and experimental music. The band features Chris Weller on tenor saxophone, Cole DeGenova on keyboards, and Devin Drobka on drums. While Chris and Cole grew up in Chicago, playing professionally in jazz and blues clubs by the age of 15, the trio was completed at the Berklee College of Music in Boston, where all three members graduated. The trio’s repertoire consists of their original compositions and free improvisations.

Members of the group have performed around the world and shared the stage with Joe Lovano, Jerry Bergonzi, Greg Osby, Tony Malaby, Tower of Power, Lettuce, Kurt Elling, Snarky Puppy, Lupe Fiasco, Greg Ward, Tim Daisy, and Dave Rempis, among others. Notable performances as a band include the Jazzinec Festival in Czech Republic and Nádasdy Castle in Sárvár, Hungary. Though they have been playing together for years, the group released their debut album in October ’14, with supporting US shows and European tour (Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, & Romania).


 

3/18, 3/19 | Brennan Connors & Stray Passage record live album @ Audio For The Arts

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Brennan Connors & Stray Passage
TWO NIGHTS, LIVE IN-STUDIO
ALBUM RECORDING SESSIONS
@ Audio For The Arts Studios

March 18th & 19th, 2016
$10 cover, doors at 7:30pm
7 S Blair St # 1, Madison, WI 53703

“Their sets embrace plenty of sinuous melody and conversational interplay,
but can just as easily dive into minimalism and dissonance.” ~ Tone Madison

Brennan Connors & Stray PAssage

Experimental Jazz Trio Brennan Connors & Stray Passage has been performing in Madison for over three years, exciting listeners with their range of sonic capabilities.  Their improvised music is directly linked to the atmosphere in the room and energy of the audience.  Being that the listener is such a crucial element in shaping the band’s sound, it is only fitting that this album should be recorded in front of a live in-studio audience.  Attendees will experience a jazz trio that embraces free and structured improvisation, original compositions, groove based experiments, and sound exploration. The breadth of a performance ranges from focused minimalism to fiery high energy music, all while maintaining a sense of narrative organization and compelling ensemble interplay.

The group is led by Brennan Connors on tenor and soprano saxophones.  Geoff Brady provides orchestrated drum and percussion textures & Brian Grimm who rounds out the trio playing cello, contra-cello, and electric bass. On Friday, March 18th & 19th (Fri, Sat) – the trio will record two, live-concert performances which are open to the public.  The sessions will be hosted & recorded by master engineer Steve Gotcher at Audio for the Arts on 7 South Blair Street in Madison WI.  Stray Passage would be honored by the presence of anyone who wishes to experience the recording process.

Brennan Connors & Stray Passage
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7/30 | Brennan Connors & Stray Passage @ The Mason Lounge

Thr, 7/30 | 8:30pm $0 @ The Mason Lounge

BRENNAN CONNORS & STRAY PASSAGE

For those of you who follow along with GrimmusiK (or have looked at the shows page on this website) you’ll notice that I play bass every Tuesday night from 9p-12 at The Mason Lounge with the Five Points Jazz Collective.  The Mason Lounge is one of my favorite bars in Madison, WI.  Brian, the owner, serves 15-or-so carefully selected craft beers on tap which thoroughly range the palette.  Every Tuesday, I eagerly await a rundown on the new kegs that have been tapped.

This week, we’re happy to have a special trio night with Brennan Connors & Stray Passage!  “Brennan Connors & Stray Passage is bringing it’s unique blend of free jazz, improvised music, and original compositions to the Mason. Come join us for a night of dynamic music running the gamut from fiery high energy sounds to focused minimalism. Brennan Connors on saxophones; Brian Grimm on cello and bass; Geoff Brady on drums and percussion.”

See you there!