Born: October 9, 1970 Primary Instrument: Trombone
Jeff Albert is a trombonist and improviser based in New Orleans, LA. Free jazz is the most accurate generic descriptor for his music, which places high value on melody and interaction, but is informed by his multi-faceted background and experiences. “Unreal, gorgeous, crazy, rudely alive,” is how author David Biedney has described Jeff’s music, and according to Cadence Magazine,”he maintains an ever flowing sense of continuity and enthusiasm.”
The Jeff Albert Quartet is Albert’s primary artistic outlet. The group released One on the Lakefront Digital label in 2005, and will be making a new recording in the summer of 2008. The new quartet material is focused on guiding and focusing improvisation. While the group does play some song form compositions and occasionally uses the standard jazz theme/improvisation/theme structure, the newest material Albert has composed provides settings to stimulate the improvisations, with the goal of maintaining musical interest and diversity over the course of a performance, while still allowing as much creative space as possible for each individual musician. The Jeff Albert Quartet consists of Albert on trombone, Ray Moore on saxophone, Dave Cappello on drums, and Tommy Sciple on bass, although other participants have included Nobu Ozaki, Quin Kirchner, Jimbo Walsh, Dave Rempis, Greg Ward, Robin Boudreaux, Jason Roebke and Frank Rosaly.
Jeff co-leads the Chicago based Lucky 7s with fellow trombonist Jeb Bishop. The formation of the Lucky 7s and the recording of their critically acclaimed 2006 CD Farragut, were in part a result of the effects of Hurricane Katrina and the ensuing levee failures and flooding of New Orleans. The other members of the Lucky 7s are Jason Adasiewicz, Josh Berman, Keefe Jackson, and former New Orleanians Quin Kirchner and Matthew Golombisky. The Lucky 7s appeared at the 2006 Chicago Jazz Festival, and continue to perform and record. A new CD is due from the band in early 2009, most likely. As part of Jeff’s frequent journeys to Chicago to perform with the Lucky 7s, he has also had the pleasure of performing with Jim Baker, Mike Reed, Josh Abrams, Tatsuya Nakatani, Tim Daisy, Jason Stein, and others.
In New Orleans, Albert has performed in improvised settings with Hamid Drake, Rob Mazurek, Wolter Wierbos, Tim Green, Jonathan Freilich, Helen Gillet, and many others. Jeff founded the weekly improvised and creative music concerts known as the Open Ears Music Series, and co-curates the series along with Justin Peake and Dan Oestreicher. The series is presently housed in the upstairs room of the Blue Nile on Frenchmen St. in New Orleans, on Tuesday nights. Open Ears has hosted many of New Orleans and the world’s finest improvisers.
Albert has had many varied experiences in his nearly 20 year journey as a professional musician, and all of these experiences inform the music that he is currently making in one way or another. Jeff is fortunate to have been able to play with some of the first generation of artists that defined the New Orleans rhythm and blues and funk sounds. He appears on recordings like Deacon John’s Jump Blues (that features Dr. John, Allen Toussaint, and Wardell Quezergue) and George Porter, Jr.’s It’s Life. He is a member of George Porter Jr. and the Runnin’ Pardners, and while playing with Wardell Quezergue’s Big Band, Jeff accompanied Dr. John, Gatemouth Brown, Aaron Neville, and many other New Orleans greats. The spirit and soul of these experiences permeates Jeff’s music.
Jeff is currently a member of Martin Krusche’s Magnetic Ear, and has performed regularly with Michael Ray and the Cosmic Krewe, The Naked Orchestra, Tony Dagradi and Inside Out, and The John Mahoney Big Band. He has played in horn sections behind Stevie Wonder, Bonnie Raitt, and Ronnie Milsap, and toured with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra conducted by Buddy Morrow, and the Harry James Orchestra led by Fred Radke. Jeff has worked on cruise ships, in salsa bands, and as a member of the award winning reggae band Cool Riddums and Sista Teedy. He plays as an extra and substitute with the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, and was their acting bass trombonist for most of the 2007-8 season. He has served on the faculty of Xavier University of Louisiana, Loyola University New Orleans, and the University of New Orleans. Jeff has a Bachelor of Music degree from Loyola New Orleans, a Master of Music degree from the University of New Orleans, and is currently working towards a Doctor of Musical Arts degree at Louisiana State University. Jeff writes a blog called Scratch My Brain.