In New Orleans now Jazz (Rock) Fest has passed. I played Sunday with John Boutte, our long time band of Todd Duke, guitar, Nobu Osaki, Bass, Herman Lebeaux, drums
Wendell Brunious, trumpet, Mark McGrain, trombone and myself on alto saxophone and flute. It was a nice set. John had decided to do romantic songs like La Vie en Rose, Lush Life and other standards. We got several standing ovations. I stayed afterwards to hear Wayne Shorter's Quartet. Fri night I played piano with Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe at Cafe Istabul in the Healing Center on St Claude. We played Sun Ra compositions and some Kool and the Gang tunes, reflecting Michael's longtime work experiences.
We will continue our Saturday nights at dba, next week and probably throughout the summer with John B and band. I have a quartet gig May 20th at Dos Jefes with Todd Duke, guitar, Dion Stapinski, bass and Charlie Kohlmeyer on drums
I love these moderate, placid days of late spring and early summer..Everything is green and lush and time seems to move more slowly. Today it is thunder storming and leaving big puddles and washing everything clean.
I am woodshedding and composing as usual. I am back to playing my King Super 20 alto with a #6 Vandoren mouthpiece. Music and improvising are infinite undertakings
.I hope you all are groovin, creating and being in the force fields of your choosing and creation. Thanks for coming by the site. LP
We finished a recording of my free harmelodic tunes in Decemberwith myself, Julian Garcia on drums and Peter Harris on bass. We did the recording across the river in Algiers LA at Tim Stanbugh's studio. I am taking care now to finish the Nubian tune. "I Have No Neighborhood" on which I switch from alto saxophone to the oud and my god daughter, Jessie Bo-Bessie does the vocal in Arabic. I will resume working with singer John Boutte on Sat nights at dba on Frenchman on Jan 29th, and I have a quartet gig with Julian, Peter and Chuck Chaplin at Dos Jefes on Jan 24th.
We are having an odd winter in New Orleans. The weather alternates between being in the 70s to being in the high 40s and it has been raining almost every day. It is again Mardi Gras season. I am always grateful for the surge of joyful energy in this city because other cities that I have lived in always seem to sink into grey despair and nuthin happening after New Years.
Being a creator of any kind is like surfing. Sometimes you are riding the crest of the wave, sometimes just waiting for the next wave worth riding to roll along. I play music every day no matter, draw and compose too.
I am always amazed that in the dream state I can explore galaxies and find the star or black hole at the center with ease to transit to the next. As soon as I get up, back in the physical body and 3D I am running into doors, spilling coffee on the rug and stubbing my toes.
If only we were able to be in those subtle and amazing states while awake in the body.
Iv'e been listening to people like classical concert pianist, Helene Grimaud, Pharoah Sanders, Ornette Coleman (always) and guitarist, spiritual teacher Tsziji Munoz. There is something I am hearing akin to the silence in sound and sounds beyond silence in each of them. Most pop culture has always been a quick ticket to hell for me and I am happy to not be playing commercial music for a living anymore, and also happy to be playing with John Boutte, a true artist, who has a hit going now with the "Treme" HBO theme song and a large enthusiastic following in New Orleans. His generosity in paying us well allows the rent and bills to get paid for the most part.
I'll be 68 yrs old this month. Time doesnt really exist apart from on the surface of earth they say, and all things are happening concurrently. That has become a cliche', but I am finding it easy to reference any period of my life, the reality, events, smells and feelings.
Now if great ex-Montauk electrical engineer and physicist, Preston Nichols can perfect his sound/music technology to revive the DNA of youth, we will have it knocked, although I am not convinced that such a long stay on this #D earth is really what I'd want to do. There is somewhere else that seems far more like home to me.
Thanks for coming by the site. LP
I began work on a new CD, recording seven of my free harmelodic tunes On Oct 9th and 10th with a trio of Julian Garcia, drums and Peter Harris, bass over in Algiers point at Tim Stanbaugh's Word of Mouth studio. This last year I have been increasingly bored with chord changes. Iv'e written about 30 tunes without chord changes to improvise over, just a key to start in. and it was time to record a few of them. I have long been a student of and am inspired the compositions of Ornette Coleman, Sonny Simmons, Eric Dolphy and Dewey Redman.
In December We will record a Nubian song called "I Have No Neighborhood" with myself on oud, Julian on the Sudanese Tar drum and Peter on bass. My God daughter, Jessie Bo Bessie will come down from Syracruse NY to sing it in Arabic. She has spent a lot of time in Moracco,Pakistan, India and Turkey and is versed in Arabic singing. I will also record a song playing both piano and reed bansuri flute called " Dolphin Heart"that I wrote. Does it sound like an electic CD ? Most of mine are. Seeing as how Iv'e been playing post bop the last 40 years, this is a radical departure for me. What I am hearing has changed, as it should over the years. The earth is changing. Perhaps we, as a species are changing too.
It is October, my favorite month and the month that big changes in my life have most happened. I came here to New Orleans on Oct 21st, 1991. I joined with my lady Sheila in Oct of 1993. Jack Kerouac said " October is for going home". If that also means "going home" on an inner musical level then this music Iv'e just made means that.
I have the same gigs: every Sat night 8 till 10 with John Boutte at dba on Frenchman St, a gig with him in Armstrong Park this Thursday and Oct 25th at Dos Jefes with Chuck Chaplin on piano and Peter Harris on bass, and whatever else crops up this month. The light in the leaves is golden and transparent, clear Blue skies, and clouds that ride on the blue ocean of sky like huge silver lined ships off the Gulf of Mexico. it is a blessed time. Thanks for coming by the site. LP
Another Mardi Gras come and gone, just beads caught up in the oak trees that line the streets of uptown New Orleans. I had a good time walking the parade routes of the eight parades that come by my house now along with the floats, prancing horses. baton twirlers and such. The music around town makes the transition from rockin Professor Longhair, Neville Bros and Indian Mardi Gras classics back to a calmer clime....well, not counting Frenchman St I guess.
I played a whole night of standards last week at Dos Jefes with just a guitar, bass, horn trio. I like that quieter context because I can play some of my favorite ballads like " A Handful of Stars" "I Loves you Porgy" and "Once Upon a Summertime", and feel some romance, most of it years in the past, true but still bitter sweet.
We are still and probably always will be with and backing John Boutte for his 8PM shows at dba on Frenchman. John helped me by playing my tune "Milton" that is on his latest CD from the musical director of HBO Treme, and they are going to use it in its entirety as the background for a scene. Whew I always though it was a good tune with good lyrics and would find a home someday.
I am having my good ol steady Buescher Aristocrat alto from 1926 completely overhauled and re-padded by our expert repairman and knowledgable saxophonist, Martin Krushe out in the lower 9th Ward. I am hoping it will be playing and sounding like it did 15 years ago when I get it back. There is some aspect of being 67 years old where you are always looking for ways to make time back up 20 years. I got my hurtin feet restored by an acupuncturist recently and am back into taking long walks in my neighborhood. Now with a newly restored horn I'll be 45 again. It's Spring in New Orleans, blossoms blooming, the thoroughbreds pound around the turn for home out at The New Orleans Fairgrounds track. I like to sometimes just park out there at the turn and watch them come flying around it into the homestretch. You just hear the thunderbeat of hooves, crops slapping on flanks, jockeys yelling for position, the heavy breathing of straining horses, while the yelling and tumult of the crowd is still far away downstretch. Someone asked me my favorite music not long ago. I said " Music heard in the distance, at least 3 or 4 blocks away, carried to ear on the air.
Thanks for coming by the site, LP
Hey, it's October and I forget to update my site. Work -wise I am still playing every Saturday night 8 to 10 PM at dba on Frenchman St with John Boutte and doing my Thursday nights uptown at Dos Jefes with my own quartet, with gigs in between like a nice open air concert series over across Lake Ponchartrin in Covington, at the old train station last week.
Iv'e been doing some horn trading and ended up with a Selmer Balanced Action from the late 40s/ early 50s. This is the 1st Selmer Iv'e owned in 20 years, since I traded of my old Mark V1 for a drumset for my daughter years ago. Iv'e been putting in a lot of daily hours practicing it. It is sorta like driving a Ferrari after many years of driving 52' Chevy pickups that you have to double clutch. I'm playing it with a white Brilhart Great Neck 7 series mouthpiece and sometimes with my old battered Meyer 5 w/a medium chamber. I usually take tunes that I am performing with my quartet and take the harmonic materials apart and practice scales or melodic patterns in all kinds of configurations. Some days I just stare out my big Creole windows and play long tones and ballads for hours on both alto sax and flute.
A lot going on in the world. The OWS protests, the illegal overthrow of regimes and the theft of oil and water in Libya as a desparate, Illuminati elite tries to fufil its NWO agenda and institute its police state in America. Worry not, as there is an 87 country alliance now, according to Ben Fulford and David Wilcock, whose goal is choking off the Federal Reserve and bring to ruin the US dollar printing capacity and the corrupt , corporate-run administration that has ruined ours and the world's economies.
I dont know what this world would be without music. Music is the healer, the inspirer, the antecdote for all the greed, selfishness, brutality and neglect we see going on. As Albert Ayler said: " Music is the healing force of the universe". There are incredible positive projections going on as the planet heads into the Photon belt and a projected rise in vibration to the 4th or 5th dimension coming soon. This October clear, slanting sunlight and cool blue days in New Orleans make it seem like we are already in the 4th dimension. I love it and I just celebrated 21 years in New Orleans last week on the 21st. I came here from Europe with just a horn and a back pack, walked up Canal St to Jennie's Rooming House under the old oak trees and thought " What a strange and old Southern city this is". 21 years later and I am still here. I love 24 hrs a day music, I love the food, the people, the culture, the old French and Spanish architecture and the river goings on of what is still a major port city. At night I can hear the freight cars interlocking near the loading docks and the mournful bellows of ocean going Freighter ships. I only live 4 blocks away for the Mississippi river. We have a very warm, funny and high quality bunch of musician friends here, very much a brotherhood that relate to each other more like family than in the competitive, predatory way that say NYC or LA musicians do. Besides, I want a jazz funeral and 2nd line parade when I die, so here I stay. Thanks for coming by the site. LP
of still a major port city.
05.25.11What's going on
It is spring in New Orleans, crystal clear nights and the smell of blooming dogwood.
John Boutte, the iconic New Orleans singer and composer of the theme song for the HBO series "Treme" being filmed here, continues to play at dba on Frenchman St every Sat night. 8 Pm till 10 PM with myself on alto saxophone and flute. Wendell Brunious on trumpet, Mark McGrain on trombone, Todd Duke on guitar and Peter Harris on bass. I have a gig with my quartet coming up on March 24th at Dos Jefes, uptown on Tchopitoulas St. that I am very much looking forwards to. I am playing a mix of originals, bebop tunes and standards, some of which I will record on a new CD I am making in May, just after Jazz Fest.
I find as i get older and after a lifetime of practicing alto, flute, piano and now, the doudouk ( an ancient Armenian oboe) that I work on more subtle things. saying within the music " exactly" what I intend to say from a level beyond that of thoughts, concepts and the mental plane. A place where everything is about intuition, feeling and vibratory guidances from within the body and the realm of myself beyond thoughts. I sometimes attempt to aim and focus each note at infinity or to play every note " for God". Improvising jazz is a confluence of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual faculties. It is about finding the key to bring all these into balance and connectedness, in the moment. Melody, harmony, rythmn are the trinity or legs of the chair the music stands on. Each is an element in improvising and can be stretched, abstracted and made to function in new ways.
music is from dimensions beyond the three we experience. In music, linear time does not really exist. Physics says that all material reality is composed of sound vibration moving at different frequencies. So, I call it, and am grateful to be able to enter everyday, the sacred soundstream. It has been my way of life for 66 years.
I dislike the intrusion of ego and all its trappings into descriptions of music. " This is MY music", a common concept. NO it isnt. You dont own music that you become a vessel or conduit of. There is just music and humans and the entire creation...that's ALL. We still think in terms of separation and duality. The truth of music is beyond that. Every living being (and all things, the planet and universe itself is living) ARE MUSIC.
So, even though the path of the jazz musician in America is often one ass whuppin after another in material terms, we are so lucky and honored to be "in the soundstream of creation" everyday.
It's Mardi Gras time in New Orleans. I have a parade coming down my street very shortly and if I dont get out there and move my car off the street, they will tow it, so Thanks for coming by the site and peace and blessings to all of you. LP
PS CNN is coming to interview me this afternoon. Go figure !!!
06.07.07Jazz Ambassadors Magazine Article
Loren is one of four Kansas City Area Saxophonists featured in this month's issue of "Jam" magazine. Pick up a copy today to learn more.
10.10.06Loren Pickford Quartet tour schedule.
Here is the schedule for Loren's upcoming tour.
10\27 Erato Wines, St. Louis, MO. 9 p.m.
10\28 Brandt's Cafe, St. Louis, MO. 8 p.m.
10\29 Cafe Soul, Memphis, TN. 3 p.m.
11\1 Snug Harbor, New Orleans, LA 9&11 p.m.
11\2 Clinic N.O.C.C.A., New Orleans, LA. 2:30 p.m.
11\2 Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar, New Orleans, LA. 9 p.m.
09.07.06Loren Pickford Quartet - Tour Press Release.
THE KANSAS CITY – NEW ORLEANS COOPERATIVE
THE LOREN PICKFORD QUARTET
6637 Virginia Ave.
Kansas City, MO 64131
Contact: Micah Herman
Phone: (816) 569-3227,(816)872-8408
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
9 A.M. CDT, September 4th, 2006
LOREN PICKFORD QUARTET TO EMBARK ON “HOMECOMING TOUR” TO VISIT NEW ORLEANS
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI, SEPTEMBER 4TH 2006: Legendary alto saxophonist Loren Pickford will be going on tour with his quartet at the end of October. The tour will feature stops in St. Louis, Memphis, New Orleans, Lafayette, LA, and Little Rock. The quartet is comprised of two converted Kansas City native sons, John Brewer (piano) and Micah Herman (Upright Bass). Brewer and Herman, who spent a considerable portion of the last ten years in the Crescent City, developed their musical styles and began their collaboration in New Orleans. They are joined by Brandon Draper (Drums), a recent addition to the Kansas City scene via New Mexico. The group primarily performs music written by Loren and pianist John Brewer, although recent sets have been known to include everything from Professor Longhair to Charlie Parker, and even some Tom Waits - soulfully sung by Loren. The wide range of material that they have at their disposal makes for some very interesting sets.
BLUE ROOM – SEPTEMBER 14TH, 7:00 P.M.
The quartet will be making several appearances in Kansas City leading up to the tour. On September 14th they will perform at the Blue Room on 18th and Vine. The group is also a recipient of the Jazz foundation of America’s “Jazz in the Schools Program” grant. Through the grant, the quartet will give concerts in Kansas City Area Schools at the end of September. They will be joined by legendary upright bassist and guitarist Bill Huntington, a native New Orleanian. They also plan to continue hosting the Sunday Night Jam at Y.J.’s Snack Bar, 8 p.m. - 12 a.m., as well as doing several other as yet unscheduled performances to raise money for the tour. For complete information on the tour schedule and any local performances please visit www.lorenpickford.com, www.johnbrewermusic.com, or www.micahherman.com.