No Room for Improv-ment
Brian Haas returns with some serious gunslingers
Both longtime readers and jazz aficionados will no doubt be familiar with pianist Brian Haas. He’s a bit of an eccentric and an absolute beast of a musician whose improv strategies play out in solo shows, numerous one-off bands and with heavy-hitter projects Nolatet and Jacob Fredd Jazz Odyssey. To put it lightly, Haas is not fucking around—particularly with his newest act, Tephra Sound.
Originally assembled in New Orleans by cellist Helen Gillet (who has played with Arcade Fire and Iron & Wine, just to name a few), the trio also features Haas on piano and Beyoncé drummer Nikki Glaspie laying down the beat. For Haas, such musicians are longtime friends; for Santa Feans, they’re some of the most brilliant players to come through in ages, and Tephra Sound’s upcoming show at Leaf & Hive Brew Lab should, by all logic, become a massive affair.
“It’s fully improvised, but it’s also totally cohesive,” Haas tells SFR. “A lot of times, people think we’re playing written songs. It is full-blown, but listenable. Helen and Nikki GO OFF.”
Haas has been on the road of late, even renting a home in New Orleans as his working HQ. Santa Fe remains home base, however, especially when he’s not working, and he says the years he’s spent living in the foothills and hiking have given him a psychedelic appreciation for nature and the mountains that works its way into what he’s playing these days.
“I very much bring my own thing to the scene,” Haas explains. “I’m very much the shamanistic nature boy in that scene.”
So there you have it—something strange and unexpected, something that very well may never be reproduced again and in a small listening room in little ol’ Santa Fe. Expect also a performance from Haas side project Fat Minotaur (a play on Pat Benatar) featuring drummer Mikey Chavez. They don’t play publicly terribly often, according to Haas. Catch ‘em while you can. (Alex De Vore)
Tephra Sound with Fat Minotaur: 9 pm Saturday, July 17. $25. Leaf & Hive Brew Lab, 1208 Mercantile Road, Ste. A, (505) 699-3055
Hometown Home Runs
Santa Fe is home to the highest diamond in all semi-pro baseball, and while our home team the Fuego isn’t associated with the MLB, it still provides the classics: hats and jerseys; hot dogs and beer; organ music and the only turquoise color scheme in the Pecos League. What it doesn’t have is expensive...anything. Fuego games are accessible and affordable, plus, our Fuego is 14-2 at home, meaning it’s likely the team will win right before your very eyes at one of its upcoming four games in four days. Santa Fe’s thin air, we hypothesize, makes pitches easier to hit. Says Pecos League Commissioner Andrew Dunn to that theory: “Uhhh, yeah!”
Fuego Baseball Home Games: 6 pm Wednesday-Saturday, July 14-17. $7.50. Fort Marcy Park, 490 Bishops Lodge Road, santafefuego.com
Meet Mother Nature
Into the mountains and through the woods, to your plantcestors’ house you go! Zia Elemental School of Permaculture and Herbalism hosts a variety of classes this weekend on how to identify and forage plants, as well as how to understand and implement their many benefits. Get in touch with all four elements, all six flavors, the world around you and, through meditation, maybe even your own body. This is a great way to get to know your forest neighbors—just know you need to sign up for this right now: The deadline is at noon on Thursday, July 15. (CLM)
Foraging and Wildcrafting in the Forest: 10:30 am-2:30 pm Saturday, July 17. $40. Zia Elemental School of Permaculture & Herbalism, 396 Hwy. 87, Chimayó, (575) 613-5514, eventbrite.com
Belly Dance Now
Tired of sitting around, alone, waiting for the world to restart? Well, friend, the world is getting back at it with a passion, and in this instance, that passion comes from Areena (y’know, like Cher) and the art of belly dance. Trained in Egyptian raqs sharqi, oriental belly dance and a dozen or so others, Areena has performed over 750 times throughout her career. In other words, she has more than enough experience to teach you how to work out those muscles you didn’t even know you had, as well as those you haven’t used over the last year. (CLM)
Bellyreena Bellydance: 1 pm Sunday, July 18. $15. MOVE, 901 W San Mateo Road, dreamingolypsis.com/areena-belly-dancer