AUSTIN, TX (Oct. 15, 2001) -- World-class jazz jam artist, El Buho (Gary Gazaway) is proud to assemble a team of reknowned improvisational musicaians for a two-night engagement at Antones in Austin. Featuring members of the on-hiatus mega-group Phish, the venerable jamband Max Creek, and a grandmaster from the now-retired Aquarium Rescue Unit, El Buho recently formed this one-of-a-kind ensemble of top improv artists, intending to explore the outer bounds of improvisational jamming and musical expression. Out-on-a-limb, free-form electric, and all-instrumental, the band will push the limits of progressive rock, fusion jazz, and jamband music. The line-up will consist of:

Gary "El Buho" Gazaway - trumpet, flugelhorn
Mike Gordon (Phish) - bass
Jeff "Apt. Q258" Sipe (ARU, Leftover Salmon) - drums
Scott Murawski (Max Creek) - guitar
Peter Schimke (Michael Franks) - keyboards

Gary Gazaway was given the nickname "El Buho," meaning The Owl, when he toured in South America playing latin jazz. Gazaway has also toured with Joe Cocker, as well as with his own band. An Arkansas native, El Buho has performed in Austin many times, with support from many talented players. Recently El Buho appeared at Antone's with Victor Wooten on bass. Wooten, Gordon, and Oteil Burbridge are just three of the talented bassists who contrib-uted to El Buho's first CD release, The Wham Bam Boodle 2000 (Ecotone Records).

On psychedelic trumpet (played through super-sonic effects), El Buho leads the band through original songs and heavily modified jazz standards, bringing a moving melody and texture to the music with beautiful tones on the horn. El Buho's songs are intense and melodic, but they contain wide open sections for free-form improvisation (not unlike Miles Davis' Bitches-Brew era style, crossed with a heavier modern rock dance-beat). Unlike free jazz, El Buho's songs maintain a danceable beat, while the musicians share the groove equally, allowing each personality to add to the jam loosely throughout songs stretching 15 minutes or longer. From the high energy of dance music, to the subtle expres-sion of jazz, El Buho takes jamming seriously.

Phish bassist Mike Gordon will anchor the line-up with El Buho. With popular jamband Phish on a hiatus, fans are hungry for live jam music. Phish fans will have the opportunity to see one of their musical heroes take the stage in a new role. If a recent El Buho performance at the Tulsa Jam Fest (featuring Gordon on bass) offered any indication, Gordon will find extensive opportunities for lead-bass and bass soloing. At Phish concerts, fans of the bassist, nick-named "Cactus," watched closely for his lead-bass work in songs like "Scent of a Mule," or the rare bass-duos Gordon performed in Phish (rabid fans keeping track of the band point to 12/29/95 and 9/17/99). At the El Buho concert, expect to hear Gordon improvising and walking the bass strings all over the place throughout the night at each concert. El Buho provides room for oodles of individual expression by the musical participants, and every instrument is called upon to lead the jam. El Buho has also joined Phish on-stage, including the infamous Halloween 1996 Phish show.

"Mike and I wanted to do some more shows together," said Gazaway of the bass-player turned independent film-maker. "Mike's been busy making movies, but we wanted to do the El Buho thing together again. He asked if I could get Jeff Sipes to play drums." Gazaway made some calls and a new band was born.

Jeff Sipe, nicknamed Apt. Q258 in the seminal jamband and H.O.R.D.E.-tour alumnus,Col. Bruce Hampton & the Aquarium Rescue Unit, was happy to comply with Gordon's special request. Sipe was the original eight-armed drummer in the Unit on the first H.O.R.D.E. tour; they opened the long days of music in 1992 when Phish head-lined some shows of the tour. The word backstage on that tour was, all the headlining bands watched Sipe and the Unit early each day of the traveling festival. Sipe is a musicians' musician, and although his bands have not achieved the fame that Phish found, he's leaving an indelible mark as a former member of the Unit, Leftover Salmon and Jazz Is Dead. Sipe is currently forging new paths in fusion-jamming with Project Z.

"The Colonel is what we all have in common," Gazaway said, referring to the grand-daddy of the jamband world, Col. Bruce Hampton, Retired. Gazaway is a long-time friend of Hampton, and he contributed trumpet to Hampton's bizarre recordings which appear on the Hampton release, Strange Voices: A History 1977-1987. Sipe was an original member of Hampton's dazzling Aquarium Rescue Unit line-up. Gordon, years after watching the Unit's antics on the H.O.R.D.E. tour and other collaborations with Phish, filmed an independent movie starring Col. Bruce Hampton as a guitar teacher. The result was an outstructional video called "Outside Out" that is available from www.outsideout.com. Ideas articulated by Col. Hampton in the movie (where he stars as himself ), may come into practice at the El Buho concerts. With the term "out" being used more frequently in the jazz world than in rock music, Hampton's slogan in the movie - "You have to go in to go out" - starts to become more comprehensible in light of El Buho's limitless capacity to jam.

After adding Sipe to the line-up, the next step was to find a guitarist. This time Gordon brought in an old friend to the line-up: Scott Murawski of the decades-old jamband, Max Creek. Murawski is the primary songwriter, and self-taught lead guitarist of Max Creek, one of the East Coast's most enduring live acts. Max Creek was popular in the Northeast when Phish was getting their start in Vermont, and Gordon has appeared on stage with Max Creek. The Antone's shows will be Murawski's first performances with El Buho, and the magic spark of improvisational fire is bound to shed new light on the future of music. When Phish's bass player hand-picks a lead guitarist - Murawski - to join him in an improvisational music setting, a guitar shredding is about to ensue.

Keyboardist Peter Schimke rounds out the line-up with a contemporary jazz sensibility. Schimke, a premier jazz pianist who has played with many jazz greats, recently produced Michael Franks' album. From Minneapolis, Schimke has performed with El Buho in Maui, Hawaii.

To combine Gordon with Sipe and Murawski, under the El Buho idiom, is to invite other worlds of alien music into our very atmosphere. The air in Antone's will literally be electric with the creative spark of improvisational musical genius, as the musicans lock into the El Buho groove and explore space jazz as an egalitarian unit. Destination: unknown.
Fans of improvisational music and jambands will not want to miss this exploratory concert and extraordi-nary line-up.

El Buho with Special Guests will appear Friday and Saturday, November 9th and 10th, 2001, at Antone's (213 W. 5th St., Austin, TX). This is an all ages concert event. Advance tickets $12, $15 day of show. Opening act TBA. For more information contact: Antone's in Austin, 512-474-5315.

[Published on: 10/22/01]

Take full advantage of all JamBase has to offer by signing up for an account!

You'll receive

show alerts

when your favorite artists announce shows, be eligible to enter contests for

free tickets

, gain the ability to

share your personalized live music calendar

and much more. Join JamBase!