Racer Sessions

Sundays, 8-10pm at Cafe Racer in Seattle, WA

Jon Armstrong & Slumgum - April 24th


Musicians are such social creatures, obsessed with hangs and scenes. Creating and attending events where the sole purpose is to mutually exist through collective listening. We dedicate our lives to the abstract pursuit of organizing frequencies so that other humans will listen to our work and nod their head; forget about the rest of it for just a second.  

It is difficult to leave such a scene because your musical identity is wrapped up with the people, the growth happened together through bar-b-ques and jam sessions it’s not something you just re-create.  It will be new.  I had a beautiful experience while living in Seattle and I miss dearly playing with those musicians on a daily basis.  Facebook has provided a voyeristic channel for me to celebrate the success of my dear friends.
I left Seattle in 2006 to pursue a graduate degree in jazz music in california.  I have met and played with some very unique and talented musicians and this band Slumgum is a great representation of the musical community we have cultivated.  Our session will be focused on mutual scenes, an exchange between like minded cultures of improvising musicians.  

First, Slumgum will play a continuous set, weaving in and out of our original compositions so that we can introduce ourselves to the cafe. The session will be split into two parts.  

From our five years of playing together, Slumgum now has a healthy book of original music. Each chart is composed by one of the four members but it is through rehearsals, performances and reimaginations that the ink grows fuzz like cheese left in the fridge for too long.  

For the first part, we want to see what would happen if we passed out copies of our charts to unsuspecting musicians for the session. Any combination of players, sometimes each with a different chart. Each musician should pick a theme, or melody or whatever off the page and develop it through the improvs. See where it goes, don’t worry about form so much, just listen and develop your motif.

For the final song of the night, every musician in the house will perform. We will spread the musicians all over the space and each person will get a different Slumgum chart. I will be conducting the madness from the center of the room using a basic language of hand symbols to control the arc of the improvisation. For this, I ask that each musician stick to a very simple motif. I will go over the hand symbols just before we start. If you all follow me closely for this, it should be a great spectral experience for everyone.
Thank you for having us at this inspiring session, it has been a pleasure to listen to past shows and read the impassioned concepts. I look forward to being back in Seattle and seeing familiar and new faces.  

music makes me lose control.love slumgum