Buttons Montgomery

Last summer I came home one day to find my friend and roommate, Zach Lane, working on some tracks in his room. He asked me to record some sultry sax on top and thus was born Buttons Montgomery! Here are the three tracks we made, and by “we made” I mean Zach played bass, drums, guitar, percussion, vocals, composed, engineered and mixed, and I improvised on sax. I recommend listening while sipping a finger of whiskey, laying on the beach or driving cross-country.

Be sure to check out Zach’s other project, Sleeveless Tina, and stay tuned for a release by his group Hitz and Bitz, featuring Curtis Macdonald, Travis Reuter, Jason Nazary, Zach and myself, coming soon!

SHWILSON Debut

SHWILSON Cover copy

It’s been a long road and I’m excited to announce the release of my debut album, SHWILSON, on Fishkill Records! Available at shwilson.bandcamp.com.

This debut album under my alias, SHWILSON, is the result of 15 months of collaborative work between myself and my talented friends. I was initially introduced to the Casiotone MT-100 keyboard by Claude Rosen, Anthony Lamarca and our old Webster Ave. family. Something about its 8-bit sounds and drum grooves reminded me of vintage horror movies and video games I grew up loving, and for some reason it was much easier for me to compose on than piano or saxophone.

It was challenging to break away from the “jazz” and saxophone world I’ve know for so long, but I purchased my own Casio on ebay for 40 bucks and began expanding my meager home recording setup with a few effects pedals and recording gear and started tracking. Much of this was done with Curtis Macdonald under his sonic tutelage, recording one part at a time, always tweaking things and discovering happy accidents.

Huge thanks to bossman Curtis Macdonald for his musical and technical gangsterism, time and patience. None of this would have been possible without him. Thanks to Tobia for putting up with our drunken late night sessions and supporting the project every step of the way. And big thanks to all the musicians on the record for eternally crushing it! Zach, Hayden, Corey, Travis, Claude, Peter and Alon; you guys really make this music come alive and give it the vibe it has.

Also thanks to Mom, Dad, the rest of my loving family, Ross, Danny, Ari, Big Butter and the Egg Men, Louise, Olive, Hundoozle, Philpott, Kev, JRat, Bob Price, Tom and Levon and the Tiny Montgomery crew, all my New School homies, Alex Overington, Chris Berry, Marina Oriente and all my other friends that make this planet a better place.

Watch out for Fishkill Records, coming at you with new releases by Sleeveless Tina, Ross Gallagher, and The Danny Fisher-Lochhead Large Ensemble. I’ll be giving more Fishkill updates soon.

I had a blast making this album and hope you get some sense of hilarity and feel-good vibes from it!

Utopian Dreams/Dystopian Visions

Ross Gallagher’s new album Utopian Dreams/Dystopian Visions has been released! We spent two days in Chris Hoffman’s studio this past summer tracking these gems, soon to be released on Fishkill Records.  Ross is a brilliant composer and bassist and I’m happy to have been a part of this project.  Available at rossgallagher.bandcamp.com.  Rad artwork by Ross’s dad too!

New Releases!

The year of the album release!  I am happy and grateful to be a part of these projects and share them with you all.

Big Butter and The Eggmen

I’ve probably been a member of Noah Garabedian’s Big Butter and The Eggmen longer than most groups I’ve been a part of, and I’m excited to announce that after recording this album over a year ago, it’s finally been released.  This group is a blast and Noah wrote some badass stuff, we hope you like it!

Big Butter


 

DFL Tools of the Abstract

Multi-reedist, cellist and composer Danny Fisher-Lochhead wrote some beautifully creative music for this large ensemble to perform and record last year and it has also just recently been released.  He utilizes some interesting and unconventional compositional and improvisational techniques that takes the listener on a sonic journey.  I hope you have as much fun listening to it as we did playing it.  You can listen to and buy the album at dannyfisherlochhead.bandcamp.com.

Stay tuned for a few other upcoming releases!

Mel Bay Podcast Interview

I recently had the pleasure of recording for the Mel Bay Podcasts, which has a treasure trove of interviews from many great New York-based musicians.  This briefly touches on my new love for the Casiotone MT-100 and includes a short solo version of one of my tunes.

Mel Bay Podcast Interview

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I also want to highlight a few recently published Mel Bay books written by some friends of mine that are definitely worth checking out:

Curtis Macdonald – Introducing Extended Saxophone Techniques

Curtis Macdonald Extended Techniques

“By studying extended techniques, we open ourselves to a very subtle and delicate process of fine-tuning our instrumental abilities, resulting in the discovery of new resonances and sonic prowess. The exercises presented in this book and accompanying audio disc are designed to help cultivate the exquisite skills of refining saxophone sound through a practice of focus, balance and patience that can be applied to any performance style or aesthetic.”
curtismacdonald.com

Travis Reuter – Compositions

Travis Reuter Compositions

“Guitarist, Travis Reuter’s compositions focus on abstract forms, complex rhythmic structures, timbre and polytonality, while continuing to explore the improviser’s role in a traditional setting. His music is inspired by contemporary classical music and draws heavily on influences from the music of composers Elliott Carter, Brian Ferneyhough, and Jason Eckardt. Each composition experiments with combinations of form, counterpoint, and new devices for improvisation. Underlying this approach is an implicit skepticism of the aesthetics of the mainstream jazz establishment and a deep hunger to integrate elements from other forward-looking genres. Reuter’s integration of the motivic and rhythmic language of the classical modernists sets him apart from other young guitarists from the modern jazz lineage, and such material drawn from outside of the jazz tradition acts as the glue that holds this music together conceptually. This volume contains nine original compositions that give the reader insight into the compositional language of Travis Reuter.”
travisreuter.com

Garret Lang + New Group/Music

It’s been more than awhile since my last update, and as I sit here watching a documentary on Michelin 3-star restaurants, I figured I’d let the interested listener know what’s been keeping me busy.

California/Garret Lang

This Friday I’ll be headed back to sunny California, both to spend time with family and go into the studio with bassist, composer and friend, Garret Lang.  Some of the music recorded will be somewhat of a reunion for a group we used to have named Dejahbu!, which was two tenor saxes, two upright basses, and drums.  I’m super excited to make sounds with these guys once again.  We’ll also be playing a show at The Blue Whale in LA on Tuesday, July 16 at 9pm alongside the INIMITABLE Ari Chersky and his trio.  If you haven’t heard Señor Chersky, you should take a cross country ride on his recent album “Scenes from the Zephyr“.

Check out a beautiful tune Garret wrote, Heart in the Palm Desert, that was recorded about a year ago with Garret and Ross Gallagher on upright bass(es) and myself on tenor.

 

New Music/Group

In other news, I recently had the pleasure of performing with my brand new group at Sycamore in Brooklyn.  This was the unveiling of a handful of new compositions that originated as short sketches written on piano and casio keyboard (my new favorite toy!) in the past year.  Thanks to Jon De Lucia for asking me to be a part of that night of great music, his band rocked it too.  As these sketches became more developed, I began thinking about the appropriate and desired instrumentation and musicians for the music, which included Travis Reuter on guitar, Noah Garabedian on bass and Craig Weinrib on drums.  My hopes are to go into the studio and record soon…

Here are two tracks from the show (Love, from Disney’s Robin Hood, features some raw and emotional vocals from the entire group):

Professor Brian O’Blivion

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Love (from Disney’s Robin Hood)

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Frame of Reference

Hot off the press!  Great musician/saxophonist and flying dutchman, Ben van Gelder, has just recently released his debut album, Frame of Reference.  It features Aaron Parks/piano, Peter Schlamb/vibes, Rick Rosato/bass, Craig Weinrib/drums, and Ambrose Akinmusire/trumpet and myself/tenor sax on one track.  I feel fortunate to be a part of this project and everyone should check it out!

benvangelder.com

I’ve also included a throwback track of us playing Thelonious Monk’s Light Blue at the 55 Bar from 2009: BVG/alto sax, KW/tenor sax, Ben Street/bass, Craig Weinrib/drums

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