Flyer for a John Tilbury solo performance in Vancouver
For the longest time I relentlessly saved all manners of ephemera – ticket stubs, theater bills, promotional flyers, concert programs and the like. I amassed piles of these papers which for a time I organized in hanging files, then folders then just stacks of paper. Periodically some of it would get sorted and discarded. I held onto these items because they were aide memoirs – physical manifestations of memories. I found myself burdened by all this material and became highly selective of what I kept and a lot more merciless in my discards. But there was a bunch of material from what I think was kind of a golden age of music in Seattle.
Critters Buggin Concert flyer
In the late 90s though the early aughts there was what I thought at the time an actual creative development in jazz. It was a sort of post-downtown movement brought about by the relocation of Wayne Horvitz and Bill Frisell interacting with local luminaries who had been raised on electronica, hip-hop and grunge. They played out music with a dance beat, or with hard rocking energy or unexpected world music influences. This all faded away by around 2005 or so with a number of the principles moving to NYC, LA and other places and through a number of others getting sucked into Jam-Band-ish fusions, dumbing down the music to simpler rhythms, less out passages and instead of the unexpected became all too predictable.
The Mad Tea Party weekly event
For a while though it was a musical renaissance where I was seeing shows 2-3 nights a week and were even the most regular events were constantly dosed with the unanticipated as Skerik might drop in at 1am or Reggie Watts might join in for some vocal freestylin as an unannounced guest. By the time this scene had fizzled out my interest had shifted to forms of improvisation that was driven by experimentation but also my drive for the collection of ephemera was waning. So I’ve scanned and uploaded my archive of concert flyers that I’ve held onto and there is a good sampling from that short creative period in Seattle and then a number of more random things.
The whole archive, which I’ll add to if anymore turns up can be found on Flickr here: