77: Mob Town Tour Vol. 1 - The Search for Meaning
Sometime in February this year I looked at my calendar and saw that there was nothing booked in August.It occurred to me that summer would be a good time to book an old fashioned road trip with a band, to check in with the jazz scene in the heartland and see what’s happening in the cities that generated so much history and music in the first place.
I booked a tour for my father’s quartet with the intention of capturing the experience and sharing it here. I wanted to talk to folks who are involved in the jazz life, club owners, musicians, the guys in our band. I also wanted to explore going on the road a bit in the midwest; it’s is a path that was at one time well worn.
Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Indianapolis, St. Louis, Kansas City...What is left of these beacons of American music? And what is left of the road? These were the kinds of questions that lit my fire and motivated me to harass and harangue club owners in these towns, to persist and proceed in the face of neglect and ambivalence. Not all of it worked out. But much of it did, and in every city I had a chance to sit down at length with at least one local hero and hear their story.
This is the first in a series of road documentaries capturing our journey, some conversations about it and what it means. It traces the route from our starting point in Madison, Wisconsin, up into the north woods of Door County, Wisconsin, and then to Minneapolis.
Notably it features an in depth conversation with Minneapolis based jazz saxophone player Irv Williams, the oldest working jazz musician alive. And as it turns out, we met on his 98th birthday to talk about his near century on the planet and life in music.
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