The Bates Update: Mega Year End Appreciation Edition

It’s been an unprecedented year for feeling totally and completely overwhelmed by human stupidity, ignorance, violence and racism. Without going into any more detail I think we can all agree that our personal choices are the only thing we can actually control in these situations. I find myself engaging with people more directly on these issues and I feel I’m increasingly more aware of my own feelings and intentions now than ever before in regards to them. To that end I’ve noticed that 95% of the time that I address these thorny subjects as they arise I’m met not with resistance and anger but with openness and honest dialog. Face to face we become more equal and less mysterious. SO that’s where I’m taking it in 2016 – IN YOUR FACE! Not shoving it in your face just addressing people on equal ground in a living space, face to face. I’ll look for you in the world.

Here’s where you can find me this month:

1/5 – Bill Simenson Orchestra @ Jazz Central  8:30pm  $10  All Ages

1/6 – Framework @ University Club Hotel 340  NOON  Details here

1/8 – Bates | Nichols | Bates @ Walker West  8pm  Details here

1/9 – Golden Circle trio @ Black Dog  8:30pm  $10  All Ages

1/12 – Chris Olson / Chris Bates duo @ Black Dog  7:30pm  $5  All Ages

1/13 – Chris Bates w/ Joe Strachan & Matt Bucker @ Jazz Central  8:30pm  $10  All Ages

1/16 – Zacc Harris Group @ Black Dog  8:30pm  $10  All Ages

1/19 – Bryan Nichols trio w/ CB and Lars Erik Larson @ Vieux Carre  8:30  $5  21+

1/23 – Good Vibes trio @ Black Dog  8:30pm  $10  All Ages

1/31 – ???Bates | Nichols | Bates??? Still TBD @ Vieux Carre (post Winter Jazz Fest Jam)  9pm  21+

photo by Benny Moreno

photo by Benny Moreno


A few stats from last year:

176 gigs played

43 days in the recording studio

3 weeks of Jazz Improvisation Camps

1 week of clinics and workshops at Jazz Festivals and conventions

1 encounter each with Mark Dresser, Adam Kolker, Nick Videen, Scott Hesse, Rob Haight – google these guys!

10 days of vacation

1 new upright bass ordered and arriving in May 2016!

The highlight reel:

  • January – Recording the music of Jason Melek with Dave Melek, Jason Gerling, Kenni Holmen et. al. and embarking on a year long journey of healing with these folks. Drone (not Drones) set with Michael Rossetto.
  • February – Tall Tales recording and the Shifting Paradigm Jazz Festival
  • March – Wood In Bronze debut (CB/Epstein duo). KBEM Jazz Noir composing with Steven Hobert and Solomon Parham. My dad’s surgery and subsequent recovery (still in process)
  • April – Saw Wayne Krantz perform! Jazz Noir performance / broadcast. U of Mn Morris Jazz Festival with Scott Hesse, Rob Haight & Phil Hey.
  • May – Saw Daniel Lanois, Snakeoil and RUSH perform! Playing concerts with Nick Videen and Adam Kolker. Atlantis Quartet winning the McKnight Performer’s Fellowship.
  • June – Saw Brian Blade & Dave Holland perform! Tall Tales CD Release. ISB Convention. Performances with Tom Luer and the debut of the Golden Circle trio. Jazz Around Minneapolis and TC Jazz Fest.
  • July – Shell Lake Jazz and Improv camp. Mary Louise Knutson trio @ Wausau Jazz Festival. Bates | Nichols | Bates and Red Planet @ All Originals Jazz Series. Vacation!
  • August – New Quintet w Hagedorn, Graf, Milne, Hey and CB. Jezebel Jones @ Turf opening for Rasputina. Michael Rossetto recording.
  • September – Finally saw RON CARTER live! Swallows recording. 2 nights w/ Bill Carrothers, Jay Epstein & CB.
  • October – Olson/Bates duo debut. Fall of the House of Usher CD Release. Red Planet w/ Bill Carrothers recording and concert.
  • November – Jen Shyu performance @ Icehouse. Bates | Nichols | Bates @ U of Mn Morris. Molly Maher recording. Meant to Be band at Icehouse.
  • December – Atlantis 2 night stand. Bill Simenson Quintet debut. Nathan Bird Three Tenors Christmas. Star Wars, dude.

A few notes from my mind:

  • Atlantis Quartet won one of four McKnight Performers Fellowships. We’ve been at it for over 7 years now with this lineup and it is very rewarding to be acknowledged for our hard work and time invested. We’ll be continuing our hard work this year to bring you new music and a new release and we’re very excited about it.
  • I was fortunate to cross paths with one of my heroes Mark Dresser and glean some serious insight from him that really supercharged my will to improve myself as a bassist and musician. I attended the International Society of Bassists convention in Fort Collins, CO and heard several dozen astounding bassists perform and discuss the subtleties of the instrument. It is so awesome to be feeling rededicated to my chosen instrument and I look forward to channeling that into some serious new music in 2016.
  • I’m beginning a new adventure with my Magica Improvisada evenings over at Jazz Central and I’ll be featuring the same band three months in a row to start the year. Joe Strachan on piano and Matt Buckner on drums are two of my favorite young players that I want to get to know better so I’ve asked them to explore new music with me on Jan 13th, Feb 10th and March 9th. We’ll be workshopping everything over the first two months in an open rehearsal setting and then performing this new music for a digital release at the third session. Come and check out Improvisada 1 – Inventions & Dimensions with us!

I certainly feel quite lucky to be playing music for a living and to be able to advance creatively as a musician within this crazy business. Not everyone gets that luxury and it wouldn’t be happening without the support of you – the audience. I thank you deeply for supporting live music and I look forward to an immensely creative and productive 2016. Be excellent to each other!