Eating up jam like soup

Joe Berry runs on the saxophone as keyboardist Brendon Lowe looks on during the first-ever Nebraska Mondays jazz night at Luna’s Café & Juice Bar.

Joe Berry runs on the saxophone as keyboardist Brendon Lowe looks on during the first-ever Nebraska Mondays jazz night at Luna’s Café & Juice Bar.

Photo By Nick Miller

Cornhusker jam:
Tony Passarell motioned to Scott Anderson and Joe Berry, fellow saxophonists, to kick off an improv. “I want to start something with them,” he relayed to Ross Hammond, on guitar, who shot back a blank look.

“You got to do your shit already,” Passarell joked. “Now it’s our turn.”

And so the brass players launched into a soaring sax intro so bright it cut through the night outside Luna’s Café & Juice Bar on 16th Street like a lone cyclist running reds all the way to Alkali Flat. Sharp. Unwavering. Shawn Hale, on stand-up bass, and Tom Monson, drums, soon joined in on the jam, followed by Hammond’s noodling. And then, like a dream you instantly forget, the first-ever Nebraska Mondays jazz-improv session was over.

Hammond has dedicated this jazz series to his friend, late local-jazz musician Byron Blackburn, who was born in Nebraska. And in the spirit of Blackburn’s commitment to the Sacramento scene, this weekly three-hour improv will take place in an ideal intimate setting, Luna’s, perfect for enjoying the city’s jazz crew as they hone their chops and stir up a fix.

The Nebraska Mondays series continues next week, November 9, with the Thin Air Quartet, 7 p.m., $5, worth every penny. (Nick Miller)

Dirty Sac:
Dirty Projectors aren’t boring. Music director, if you will, Dave Longstreth’s project of Projectors has always been a conceptual take on music, including the Don Henley-inspired The Getty Address and Black Flag-inspired Rise Above. With the release of Bitte Orca earlier this year, critics have already tagged it as one of 2009’s best. And the ensemble, now a sextet, is based in Brooklyn, but 50 percent of its lineup has direct roots in the Sacramento area—Angel Deradoorian, multi-instrumentalist and vocals; Amber Coffman, vocals and guitar; Haley Dekle, vocals—yet they still don’t get booked for shows in these parts.

So loads of Sacramentans flocked to see them at The Independent in San Francisco for their sold-out show in July, and there was a similar flocking to Bimbo’s 365 on Sunday, where, per usual, vocal acrobatics and complicated guitar work bowled everyone over, including opener Little WingsKyle Field, who simply said, “Dirty Projectors are going to blow you away,” as he left the stage.

The audience went the craziest for the stripped-down “Two Doves,” with just Longstreth on acoustic guitar and Deradoorian on vocals. Until, that is, they did the single “Stillness Is the Move” and the rapid-fire ping-pong harmonies of the new tune “When the World Comes to an End.” The crowd ate it like soup.

But some members of the audience were impressed by more than just the way the band sounded. For instance, the comments about drummer Brian McOmber, whose topless, sweat-drenched torso looked like a pornographic cologne ad behind the kit.

After barely a minute of encore applause, the crowd was treated with “Knotty Pine” and then disbelief when the Projectors promptly walked off stage, leaving hundreds of hands clapping for more. As fans filed out of the venue, the Sacto-tied band members appeared on the floor and Deradoorian, looking bewildered, not bored, at seeing all of the familiar faces, took snapshots with family and friends. (Shoka)

Another rap label … but a good one:
LMNH Records is a collaborative label run by Cawzlos and Chase Moore; Moore produces, Cawzlos networks, both guys rap. They’ve got four albums out in circulation under their label’s umbrella; Moore handed me three of them a few weeks back.

Right on Time is Moore’s own solo album, an epic 20-track release that’s both out-of-the-Sac box and loyal to the 916.

One of the stronger songs is “To the Top,” and upbeat jam track featuring C Plus on the second verse—“Send haters away to hell / Satan can deal with them / lots of snakes in the grass / but I can spit more venom”—rapping over a cool, glossy ’80s backbeat.

Kelcz’s Don’t Be Mad and Sacrafice’s Boarding Pass round out the label’s offerings; Moore produced both records. Find out more on Moore and Cawzlos at (N.M.)