Trumpeter Jamie Breiwick is a tireless promoter of jazz in Milwaukee. He is also a prolific performer, too. On top of that, he releases recordings – as a leader, as a sideman and with his group Choirfight – at a pace that recalls the golden age of jazz record labels.
His latest disc is called "Spirits" and was recorded, like many of his works, at the Jazz Estate on Murray Avenue, back in November.
"Spirits," says Breiwick, " features a chordless quartet a la Ornette Coleman, except with tenor not alto saxophone.
"Myself on trumpet, Tony Barba on tenor saxophone, Tim Ipsen on bass, and Andrew Green on drums. All of the dudes are from Chicago, and it is being released on Chicago's BluJazz.
Blujazz is an independent jazz imprint that has also issued music by Milwaukee’s Curt Hanrahan.
"The owner of the label, Greg Pasenko, and I had been in contact about collaborating a little bit between the Chicago and Milwaukee scenes – i.e. getting the Chicago musicians involved up here and vice versa," recalls Breiwick.
"I sent him the recording and he dug it enough to help me out with it."
Never one to discriminate, the musician has always woven non-traditional – read "rock" – material into his repertoire and again on "Spirits" Breiwick and his compatriots dish up an eclectic blend of material.
Having previously performed a dusky reading of Death Cab for Cutie’s "Brothers On a Hotel Bed," here he takes on "I Will Follow You Into the Dark," before shifting gears and venturing even further out to tackle Taylor Swift’s "Safe and Sound."
Breiwick adds some original material – including a work by former student Philip Dizack – alongside Wayne Shorter’s high-tensile "Capricorn" and the title track, composed by tenor man Barba.
You can get a copy of the record and hear the quartet perform live at the "Spirits" CD release party, Saturday, May 4 at, natch, The Jazz Estate, 2423 N. Murray Ave. Showtime is 9:30 p.m.
Breiwick plays the following afternoon at 3 at Frank’s Power Plant, 2800 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., with the Lesser Lakes Trio with bassist John Christensen and drummer Devin Drobka. The performance is part of "Unrehearsed Fest."
And you can always catch the Breiwick-Davis Duo – with pianist Mark Davis – every Tuesday and Wednesday, from 5:30 to 9 p.m., at Mason Street Grill, 425 E. Mason St. There’s no cover for those gigs.
Get a taste of "Spirits" here.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.
He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.
With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.
He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for OnMilwaukee.com and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.
In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.
He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.