Ricardo Ochoa & The Art of Tango
Like many of us in the local live music scene, Ricardo Ochoa wears many hats. Known to some as the Sav. Music Fest’s Production Manager, to others as one of the owners of high-end booking agency New Arts Ensembles and to others as a gifted violinist who’s worked with such established area classical, jazz and fusion combos as the Roger Moss Quintet, the Jazz & Tango Kings, the Richard Leo Johnson Trio and ARTillery Punch. A driven musician with a eclectic tastes and an inquisitive nature, he’s also contributed keyboards, synth and even theremin to experimental art-rock projects GAM and Blackwurm.
This month’s installment of the Jepson Live Concert Series finds Ochoa curating (and taking part in) this special program featuring the combined talents of three more local luminaries: jazz and Latin pianist Eric Jones, veteran jazz guitarist Bruce Spradley and cellist Annelise Nelson. The quartet will salute this seductive “marriage” of 20th Century Argentinian and French music and dance by interpreting a wide swath of selections composed over the past 90 years. In addition to works by Piazzolla and Gardel, both pro and amateur tango dancers from Charleston and throughout the Southeast will be on hand to add yet another level of intrigue and visual energy to the proceedings. Plus, as usual, all of this contemporary art museum’s galleries will be open for viewing during the concert, and food and drink will be available for purchase. Learn More: telfair.org, 790-8800. $15 (free to Museum Members). Fri., 5 pm, Jepson Center for The Arts – ALL-AGES.
Jason Isbell & The 400 Unit ***
The last time this former member of neo-southern rock royalty The Drive-By Truckers played the low stage at this Broughton St. venue with his latest band, they had just released their debut CD, and were just starting to gel as a potent live act. Now, they’re touring behind a terrific second album that finds the group coming into their own. That first record was tracked piecemeal over a lengthy period, as opposed to this one, which showcases the kind of sympathetic, road-earned camaraderie that’s practically a requirement for ballsy, passionate roots-rock and alt.soul. Isbell’s a gifted working-man’s songwriter with a husky, hardscrabble voice that reeks of truth-telling (think Springsteen via Muscle Shoals, Al.), and the hard-hitting, guitar-heavy hooks of the band’s eponymous sophomore effort is one of the most bracing and vicariously thrilling listening experiences of its type since Cracker’s Gentlemen’s Blues, Steve Earle’s I Feel Alright, The Wallflowers’ Bringing Down The Horse and Webb Wilder’s Doo Dad. Plus, the welcome addition of keyboardist Derry deBorja (late of Son Volt) kicks everything up a swirling, “wild mercury” notch. Get there early for a good view of the stage. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/jasonisbellmusic. Fri., 11 pm, Locos (downtown).
Orange Tulip Conspiracy, Sinister Moustache ***
Up for a heady, double-whammy of challenging, avant-garde fusion that defies easy categorization? Avail yourself of the rare opportunity to see the latest project from Jason Schimmel (Secret Chiefs 3/Estradasphere), a respected, eattle-based multi-instrumentalist known for sweeping, genre-defying compositions. His current evenelope-pushing group stands near the cutting edge of inventive and complex mood music.
Orange Tulip Conspiracy is a flat-out baddass instrumental quintet whose touring lineup (of tenor and baritone sax, guitar, electric and upright bass and drums) somehow manages to incorporate gypsy jazz, mod Italian soundtrack-esque flourishes, surf music, technical metal, balkan grooves and nightmarish prog-rock. In other words, they're much like locals Sinister Moustache, who open for them at this newish, DIY venue in the Starland area that's quickly becoming known for hosting the most quirky range of acts in town.
What this no-frills room lacks in terms of production value is offset by their desire to facilitate niche-oriented shows that nowhere else in this area would likley present. To that end, this night is actually split into two parts, with the first half of the night taken up by the first-ever show from a new local indie punk and hardcore promotion group, Take Control. Their triple-bill includes Austin, Tx. street punks Capital Scams, Jacksonville, Fl.'s Whiskey Kills and rising locals Tim McClean. Pick your poison. Listen & Learn: myspace.com/thecapitalscams, myspace.com/orangetulipconspiracy, myspace.com/sinistermoustache. $5. Tues., 8 pm, The Wormhole.
Victor Wooten Bass Clinic
Over the past few years, our community has seen an uptick in the number of educational clinics given by visiting, internationally known musicians, such as guitarist George Lynch (who appeared at Portman’s Music Superstore). Now, the recently opened Ga. Music Warehouse welcomes legendary bassist Victor Wooten (of Bela Fleck & The Flecktones) for a “Groove Workshop” that’s bound to appeal to listeners as well as those who also play bass themselves.
The Grammy-nominated Wooten is an inspirational, iconic figure in the world of modern jazz, pop, rock and fusion whose stunning proficiency on his instrument (and his unique, versatile approach) keeps him in high demand for studio and concert work. He’s collaborated with the likes of Bruce Hornsby, Branford Marsalis, Chick Corea, Prince and Dave Matthews. At press time, seats for this event were said to be going fast… Listen & Learn: victorwooten.com. $7 adv. tickets at 631-0211. Wed., May 13, 7 pm, Ga. Music Warehouse (5205-A Waters Ave.).