Celebrated Chicago guitarist Fareed Haque says “Luke Polipnick is one the finest new generation jazz musicians on the scene today. Hip and carrying the torch of tradition, Polipnick blends Americana, jazz and contemporary improvisation into a seamless whole.”
Before moving to Omaha NE last summer, guitarist-composer-producer Luke Polipnick had established himself as a leader in Madison’s “free jazz” scene. Luke returns to Madison this Sunday, November 4th, for the second of Madison Music Collective’s Fall Series of “Jazz on a Sunday” programs at The Brink Lounge. He’ll be performing with a special group of top players from New York City (drummer Mike Pride) and the Twin Cities (saxophonist Brandon Wozniak and bassist Adam Linz) to kick off a Fall Midwestern tour. This is the same band that will be heading into the studio soon to record Luke’s first jazz CD.
Guitarist Luke Polipnick and his new jazz quartet play The Brink this Sunday
Luke and his band-mates exemplify the eclectic approach that many of our younger creative musicians are taking today, moving with great skill and confidence as they cross and integrate musical genres, while infusing their music with the improvisational spirit and masterful technique so central to good jazz. For “Jazz on a Sunday,” Luke’s group will premiere new music that he composed for the group’s Fall tour. He describes it as featuring “thematic material from folksy to rocking but rooted in jazz, appealing to fans of “post rock,” folk, reggae, free improvisation and mainstream jazz.”
As with all of the Collective’s “Jazz on a Sunday” programs, this concert will be followed by a free interactive workshop with Luke and his band-mates, led by Improvisational Music Workshop Director Laurie Lang. The workshop will include a brief interview, a Q&A session, and a segment in which musicians in the audience (amateur and professional) come to the stage to make music with Luke and his band.Sunday’s two-set concert begins at 3:30 PM, with the workshop following at 6:00 PM. Discounted tickets are now on sale at www.thebrinklounge.com/November.html. Buy your tickets before the day-of-show and they’re only $8.00 for Collective members (vs. $10 at the door) and $12.00 (vs. $15 at the door) for non-members. Students and Madison Jazz Society members also qualify for the Collective member price.
Not a Collective member yet? Why not consider signing up now to get discounts for a whole year’s worth of MMC programs. You can sign up online at www.madisonmusiccollective.org.
Guitarist Luke Polipnick has left town for Omaha. Luke will be missed for his playing and his organizational energy and skill. Luke was a regular at jam sessions, played in many bands including a long running Wednesday gig at the Dragon Fly Lounge with Glacier ((Ben Willis, Geoff Brady), and one of the founders of experimental jazz presenters Surrounded by Reality. What is happening to Surrounded by Reality now that the final founding figure has left town? Audio for the Arts owner, Steve Gotcher is taking it over. The Isthmus has a nice story about that.
Dave Cooper has not been active in the Madison jazz scene lately. That’s too bad because he is one of the midwest’s best jazz trumpeters and was one of the main draws for the New Breed Quintet for many years. Fortunately, he has a blog that helps fans stay connected. Recently, he profiled his father-in-law, Madison Jazz trumpet legend Doc DeHaven and included an mp3 collage of Doc’s recordings in that post. He also took a recent trip to China and his travelogue about that experience is quite interesting.
Howard Landsman was named the 2012 Isthmus Jazz Personality of the Year. Howard prefers to keep a low profile and consequently isn’t well-known by the Madison jazz public, but everyone within jazz presenting circles says the same thing, “no one deserves it more.” I agree totally. Howard was the FORCE behind the Mary Lou Williams centennial Celebration, raising over $150,000 and organizing an amazingly diverse program of activities that engaged the entire community throughout 2010. Over the last few years he has been instrumental in the resurgence of Madison Music Collective and it’s concert series, and has helped Madison Jazz Jam obtain funding for its all-ages jams. Congratulations, Howard!
Guitarist Luke Polipnick begins a four week residency at Bourbon Street Bar & Grille tonight
Here’s further proof that Madison Jazz is alive: Luke Polipnik and friends begin a four-week modern jazz series tonight at Bourbon Street Bar and Grille. Luke is an accomplished jazz guitarist noted for his association with the avant-guard outfit, “Surrounded by Reality,” but he is also a very fluent straight ahead player. This one is worth checking out. It’s early in the evening and Luke will be playing with some of Madison’s best jazz musicians.
I’ve only been to the Bourbon Street Bar and Grille during the day while boating (it’s on the Yahara and has outside seating with beautiful views). I haven’t heard music or eaten dinner there so I’m eager to check it out. Let’s hope it’s the start of a long run for Luke and friends.
Luke’s announcement from the Isthmus Daily Guide is below. See the Madison Jazz Calendar for details.
Surrounded By Reality’s own Luke Polipnick will be performing every Saturday in July at the Bourbon Street Bar and Grill in Monona, from 5-8, no cover. This is not an avant-garde series, therefore not an SBR event, but it will be challenging modern jazz. This group will be playing repertoire spanning the funky blues of Horace Sliver, Cole Porter Ballads, the melodic free swing of Ornette Coleman, and rootsy Frisell Americana. In addition to Polipnick’s guitar playing, the band will feature a rotating cast of the best jazz musicians in Madison and Milwaukee, including Nick Moran, Paul Hastil, Michael Brenneis, Geoff Brady, Ben Willis, Patrick Breiner, and John Christiansen. This residency fills in a huge gap in the Madison jazz scene. Help us make it cool to see straight ahead jazz again, and save it from being relegated to hotel lounge wallpaper!
The Isthmus Jazz Festival is one of the highlights of the year for many Madison jazz fans. It used to be for me, too. Don’t get me wrong, you can go to any jazz festival in the world and not beat the weather we had, or the Memorial Union Terrace as a venue. Fantastic! But what about the jazz?
Here’s where I start to sound like an old-timer. Remember when the Isthmus Jazz Festival was held at the old civic center, three to four artists performing in different rooms at the same time, staking out a spot for the artists you really had to hear, and wandering in and out of the other rooms as you pleased? So much good music in one night! Sure, you might have to pick between two equally good acts or wait in line for a popular performance, but the programming was much more adventuresome.
Since the festival moved to the Memorial Union it has been progressively watered down. Players associated with “creative, improvised music (aka free jazz) have been steadily weeded out and now the festival is all release and no tension, all nice and no spice. And the quality has been diluted as well. Some might say the economy is at fault, but not when you can go out and hear Madison jazz artists any night of the week with better chops and more originality than at least one out-of-town headliner at this year’s fest. What’s with that?
Madison guitarist Luke Polipnick is wondering the same thing. Yesterday, he posted a Facebook note, an articulate rant about the Isthmus Jazz Festival and the Madison jazz scene in general. His note is generating sympathetic discussion among other local musicians. To read his note and join in the discussion you must be signed into facebook, then click: Booking Yourself is a Beyotch.