Greg Abate and Channel One tear it up again
BY BOB GULLA
It’s hard to do anything with a broken rib, let alone blow the hell out of a saxophone, but that’s what local legend turned national celeb Greg Abate is doing these days. Fact is, nothing gets between him and his beloved instruments, except maybe his two young boys. "I played Saturday with the rib, and it felt OK. I’m flying to Ohio to do a string of six gigs and then I’ll be going to Germany and England in November."
Obviously, there’s no slowing Abate down. Powered by some high-profile recordings and a stint with Ray Charles, Abate has parlayed his massive reputation into gigs in every state in the union ("besides Wyoming and Montana.") He has also played Europe and Russia. In between trips, Abate will be doing something a little different for his local fans — reuniting with an old love of his, a little outfit called Channel One.
Greg formed Channel One in 1976 right after he left Ray Charles. The group gigged throughout New England, New York, and Philadelphia. Teo Macero, known for his work with Miles Davis, took an interest in the band and produced their debut recording. Unfortunately, that record was never released due to various economic factors. They broke up in 1982. Just prior to disbanding, Abate produced an LP with David Brown at Normandy Sound in Warren which did see the light of day. "We were playing fusion of sorts, some hard bop, too — real jazz," says Abate. "We burn up the music and create a spiritual thing in jazz, moreso than even rock ’n’ roll."
Greg and bass player Paul Del Nero, an original member of Channel One, have teamed up to write all-new compositions for this reunion gig and they’ll showcase them for the first time at Chan’s this weekend. The new version of the band features guitarist Bob Schlink, pianist Greg Wardson, Del Nero , drummer Matt Gordy, Abate on reeds, and John Allmark on trumpet.
"Originally, the idea behind Channel One was to channel the energy and my concept of life into a jazz band," says Abate, who is also an adjunct professor of jazz at Rhode Island College. "I thought the world could live with one channel of positive energy for peace. I couldn’t see any other reason for mankind. That’s how I like to think about life."
Abate and the legendary Channel One will perform at 8 p.m. at Chan’s, 267 Main Street, Woonsocket on Saturday, October 10. For reservations, call 765-1900.
PROJEKT KAOS. RattleHead Records is proud to announce the arrival of Projekt Kaos, "the first change in format for live music in over 50 years," as they humbly claim. Projekt Kaos is RattleHead’s vision of the future for live performances. It features a stage large enough for three bands, with no set break and, in this case, six sets of music in a single show. According to the folks at RattleHead, this allows for a large number of variations in presentation and collaboration amongst the musicians. Gone are the interminable breaks between sets so the bar can do more business. Gone is the waiting, the yawning, the tired legs after a long day of work. Now you can hear music, hear more music, hear still more music, and go home satisfied you’ve gotten your money’s worth without experiencing any pain.
Like many of RattleHead’s other musical concepts designed to make live music more attractive to average folk, Projekt Kaos is, in the near-term, a short duration experiment. Sean has booked one show a week for 11 weeks, the first of which we already missed. Eleven weeks is the deadline for determining the viability of the concept as well as the venue — Gallery Insane (7 Dike Street, across from Wes’s Rib House in the Olneyville section of Providence; go to www. projektkaos.net for more details).
"We have deliberately been unspecific about how many shows are in this ‘limited edition series of shows,’ " says Sean, "because we will continue past 11 shows if it’s viable. [Gallery Insane] is easily one the cleanest and nicest all-ages venues in the state. It is also the only place on the face of the planet [that we know of] that presents live music in this format."
All the music will be recorded for download from RattleHead’s libraries, as well as broadcast from their webstation, DownCitySignal (www.downcitysignal.com).
Here is the Projekt Kaos schedule through October. The November schedule will follow.
10/10: Train of Thought, Premonition, Sulfer
10/17: Digital Ruin, the Cringe, Blacklist Union
10/24: Routine8, Floodwaters, Paris
In addition, RattleHead Records will be holding its now-infamous high school talent scouting program, the Institute for Sonic Evolution, at Projekt Kaos. Open competitions are being held on November 14 and 21, but the registration deadline is October 15. All a band needs is one member in high school to be eligible.
JOE’S. You might have heard that, despite its incredible bookings over the summer, Sal’s R&B Club in Johnston has closed. But there’s a silver lining to that cloud. We’ve heard that the folks responsible for putting shows together there will continue to do events under the name of Sal’s Productions. But they’ll now take place at the American Legion Post 311 in Seekonk, Massachusetts (350 Fall River Avenue). Their first event under the Sal’s Productions rubric goes down this Sunday (the 12th). It’s the First Annual Bayou & Boogie Fest, featuring Louisiana’s Li’l Malcom & the Houserockers at 4:30 p.m. and Eight to the Bar at 9. There will also be complimentary zydeco and swing dance lessons— six hours of music in all. Get there and keep this version of Joe’s in the money! Call (401) 965-0849 for updates.
WANDERING EYE. Dave Dill and his band will play a free acoustic show at the Blackstone on Thursday the 16th at 9 p.m. The Caraher brothers, along with Grizzly Magic Entertainment (www.grizzlymagic.com), bring the sick (in a good way) avant-garde guitar wiz David "Fuze" Fiuczynski to AS220 on Saturday (the 11th). Caraher, the brothers’ own duo, will open the show with a set of funky electronica. Call 831-9327.
On Sunday at AS220, Black Forest/Black Sea anchors an intriguing night with semi legendary ’60s underground band, Sweden’s Trad Gras och Stenar and Boston’s innovative Cul de Sac. It’s the RI duo’s last local set prior to an immense 16-week Eurotour.
The ’mericans are playing a special acoustic set on Monday (the 13th) at 10 p.m. at AS220. Television Astronaut and Ten Year Drought will also perform. Meanwhile, Smokestack Lightnin’ plays Providence’s newest cool room, the Hi Hat (at Davol Square), on Wednesday, (the 15th).
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