jazz, free-jazz and improvised music

mark weber | ear to the ground

JAZZ A LA CARTE | Dick Rock — trombone, Kent Erickson — trumpet & flugelhorn, Dick Trask — saxophones, Mark Weaver — tuba, Wayne Shrubsall — banjo, Don Rood — piano, Bob Delich — drums, Mark Weber — guest host, Matthew Finch — producer, Engineer — Roman Garcia

EAR TO THE GROUND – August 14 Saturday 7 – 8pm – Live from Studio A


These crazy guys are consummate masters of the art of jazz and did I say they were crazy? I’m afraid there’s no other way to put it. Every time I hear them I’m laughing till they haul me back to the funny farm. They are so good that even “wrong” notes sound right. Do you know what I mean? I’ve often wondered what it would be like to have a contest and see whic bands, on a pre-selected tune, could play the most “wrong” notes and still sound great. Maybe Tom Guralnick will let me stage this contest at the Outpost Performance Space? But, I’ll tell you right now all of the other bands will be competing for Second Place because JAZZ A LA CARTE will walk away with the big prize. NOW, I’m not suggesting that these guys don’t know what they’re doing and/or didn’t get past their third music lesson. These guys are beyond right and wrong.This is a sophisticated music played with panache and exuberance. Sometimes known as Dixieland music.

I put “wrong” notes in quotes because most jazz musicians would contest the concept of wrong notes. The late saxophonist Steve Lacy corrected me on my Thursday jazz show once, saying they were “funny notes.” Okay. Whatever. I’ll add this: Jazz is a music of funny notes.

Play a weird note and try to resolve it and you have jazz doing what it does best.

Jazz rolls up its sleeves and goes to work on those “wrong” notes. It puts them under a microscope and inspects them. Jazz tosses them into left field for some outfield rejoinders. Ultimately, jazz doesn’t worry about those notes too much. Jazz is jazz.

Jazz a la Carte is a long-time Albuquerque jazz band, much revered, always appreciated. Totally crazy.

All photos by Mark Weber

1 Comment

  1. dakota lennon

    Just wanted to comment on the story of your life…..sounds like G-d did an amazing deliverance for you in that hospital years ago…where your “baptist” or ? grandmother lived…sounds like you were set up for the good….His grace! Nice article on the group: Jazz a la Carte, the drummer is sure cute!

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