RECAP: Brian Haas @ Snug Harbor, New Orleans, LA 10/7/13

Jazz pianist Brian Haas is in the midst of a “Louisiana Residency” to promote and perform in full his excellent new record, Frames. Joined by New Orleans’ all around favorite drummer, Jonny Vidacovich, Haas is taking the minimal, yet epic, sounds of his new album to astonishing life onstage.

DSCF2853 Frames follows the life cycle of an imagined human, from birth to death and whatever happens after, as told by Haas’ dexterous piano playing and hypnotic melodies. Haas, the founder of the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, recorded the album with Grammy-award winning drummer Matt Chamberlain, but chose to team up with a variety of local drummers as he took the challenging album on the road. This decision makes for exciting and unique performances, despite each show featuring the same songs in the same order.

The first stop on the Louisiana tour was Snug Harbor, where the duo premiered their complex arrangements while keeping wide grins planted firmly on their faces. As the two musicians weaved in and out of gentle melodies and subtle dissonance, the crowd hung on to every note. Haas’ classical training is evident in his complex arrangements, but his speed and precision on the keys effortlessly produce jazz and borderline funk rhythms while remaining accessible enough to the average listener. Jonny Vidacovich proved a natural choice for Haas, as the duo fed off each others’ energy throughout the evening. Haas is clearly a fan of Jonny V, and was overheard crying out, “Yeah Jonny!” after especially impressive drum solos.

Frames will be released October 15, but fans can pick up an advance copy at any of the upcoming shows. Haas is also offering an exclusive pre-order incentive called “jazztrology” that features Haas recording a completely improvised song for every fan based on their name and astrological sign. Check out Haas at one of the dates below (he’ll be back in New Orleans this Thursday to sit in on Jonny V’s weekly Maple Leaf jam) for a completely unique, and thoroughly enjoyable, listening experience.

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Brian Haas & Johnny Vidacovich
Wed. Oct. 9 | Mud & Water | Baton Rouge, LA
Thurs. Oct. 10 | The Maple Leaf Bar | New Orleans, LA (Jonny Vidacovich’s weekly jam session)

Brian Haas & John Speice
Fri. Oct. 11 | One-2-One Bar | Austin, TX

Brian Haas & Josh Raymer
Sat. Oct. 12 | The Deli | Norman, OK
Sun. Oct. 13 | Record Bar | Kansas City, MO
Sat. Oct. 19 | Guthrie Green | Tulsa, OK

Brian Haas & Scott Amendola
Tues. Oct. 22 | The Low N Slow Low Rider Bar | Santa Fe, NM
Wed. Oct. 23 | The Low N Slow Low Rider Bar | Santa Fe, NM
Thurs. Oct. 24 | The Laughing Goat | Boulder, CO
Fri. Oct. 25 | Moxi Theater | Greeley, CO
Sat. Oct. 26 | Oriental Theater | Denver, CO
Fri. Nov. 1 | The Royal Room | Seattle, WA (Earshot Jazz Festival)
Sat. Nov. 2 | The Goodfoot | Portland, OR
Tue. Nov. 5 | Jambalaya | Arcata, CA
Wed. Nov. 6 | 50 Mason Social House | San Francisco, CA
Thu. Nov. 7 | Duende | Oakland, CA
Fri. Nov. 8 | Blue Whale | Los Angeles, CA

Brian Haas & Allison Miller

Thu. Dec. 5 | Rockwood Music Hall | New York, NY
Fri. Dec. 6 | The Lily Pad | Boston, MA
Sat. Dec. 7 | Radio Bean | Burlington, VT
Sun. Dec. 8 | World Café Live | Philadelphia, PA