On a recent morning I made the trek to musician Brian Haas' self-described "jazz compound" off of West Alameda Street. The founder of psych-jazz trio the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has lived there with his girlfriend for somewhere in the neighborhood of five years, and it's a gorgeous space complete with large house and detached studio apartment that seems ready-made for his piano.
This was one of those interviews that generally makes me nervous—with a world-class musician who has toured the world. Plus, everyone I know who is into his stuff is like, really into his stuff, but I was looking forward to it. Turns out, Haas has been coming to Santa Fe for decades to see family and he was already well aware of our, uh, situation well before he moved here.
"It's just one of those incredibly gorgeous places," he says. "I've been smitten with it here ever since I was 8; I remember being a kid and walking around the Plaza and touching the rounded edges and thinking, 'This looks like Tattooine!' ... I remember sort of going, 'Woah!'"
And while you can definitely pop over to this week's SFR Picks page and read about Haas' upcoming show and be secure in knowing that I'm paying close attention to this dude from now on, I feel it my civic duty to announce that he improvised several mini-pieces of music just for me. According to Haas, his label often reminds him to focus on higher preorder numbers when his albums are coming out, and so, in an effort to make that worth the music buying public's time and money, he created the concept of Jazz-trology. Those who preorder Jacob Fred albums can also provide Haas with day, date and time info for their births, and he will improvise pieces of music based on their specific star charts.
Of course, why just sit here and tell you about it when I can show you:
It's a very cool bonus gift in a sea of boring preorder swag items and one that is entirely unique. Improvisation is a major driving force behind much of jazz and its countless subgenres and outlying styles, but to have a well-known improviser and jazz explorer create something specifically for you? Well, that's just amazing.
Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey plays Meow Wolf Thursday Sept. 8 at 8 pm. Get your tickets here. Don't miss it.