For those of you hip to the Winston-Salem music scene in 2012, you might have seen a poster for a show that grabbed your attention called Mr. Haircut. It featured a picture of a man slightly reminiscent of me with a dreamy, majestically flowing haircut snuggling with a pair of cute retriever puppies.
Those few of you who weren’t spooked by the flyer and came out to the free concert caught an amazing night of music, and witnessed the first of the John Ray Presents: (band name) shows. I’ve done a bunch now, including John Ray Presents: The Dap Sizzles; Wideband Frantic; Superband; Kringle’s Jingles, a Yuletide Cacophony with Sprinkles; among many other notables. (contact me for the full band name list). My current project is JRP: Star Truk.
All of these projects have the same idea, only with different personnel: the concerts are almost entirely improvised. When we do play a tune it is because it fits the space, and isn’t pre-planned. Most people are turned-off by the mere thought of an ‘improv jazz’ concert, and for good reason. A lot of ‘improv jazz’ is not very listenable, and to a non-musician would sound like directionless wonky noodling. I try to keep everything I do listenable, and to fit the current space and time. I’m not successful 100% of the time, but because of the nature of our imperfect minds only about 5% of what we play is directionless noodling, and the rest is incredible things we could never write or rehearse. Drummer Jonathan Greene and I are in the process of starting a podcast, called Mr. Haircut, where we will discuss and perform improvised music.
I’m up late at night listening through and editing that show from 3 years ago in preparation to release an hour or more of the best from that concert tomorrow afternoon, and I’m continually blown away by the things we thought of and the dirty grooves that happened in the midst of that performance. Here’s a little taste of what you’re in for tomorrow – this is Daniel Seriff on guitar, Bill Stevens on keyboard, Daniel Faust on drums, Russell Kelly on guitar, and myself on bass. Annalise Stalls, MC Renaissance, and Aaron Burris were also featured in the show. Daniel Seriff recorded the concert.
Check back tomorrow, I’ll be releasing the best of Mr. Haircut as a free download when you buy the framed poster!
Oh yeah, I’m also sending out a coupon for 50% off this package to my mailing list tomorrow morning! Sign up here if you haven’t already.