Natalie Cressman & Mike Bono – Tickets – World Cafe Live Philadelphia – Upstairs – Philadelphia, PA – October 20th, 2016

Natalie Cressman & Mike Bono

Natalie Cressman & Mike Bono

Chris Milam

Thu · October 20, 2016

Doors: 7:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs

$10 + Fees

Natalie Cressman & Mike Bono
Natalie Cressman & Mike Bono
A collaborative duo since 2014, trombonist and vocalist NATALIE CRESSMAN and guitarist MIKE BONO have developed a repertoire of vibrant and intricate originals that incorporate a multitude of genres. With its mix of jazz with folk and indie rock, the genre-bending music is complex yet very approachable. Cressman’s voice has an alluring smoky quality, and her singing style comes out of the tradition of vocal jazz but with a distinctly contemporary feel. Bono is an accomplished arranger and improviser.

Besides playing with their own bands, Cressman and Bono having been honing their duo chops for a while with regular performances in NYC. The duo recorded their debut album, ETCHINGS IN AMBER, in October of 2015 at The Bunker in Brooklyn, NY. The project was mixed by Nick Rives at Capitol Records in Los Angeles and mastered by Kevin Reeves at Sterling Sound in New York City. The 9 songs, featuring the intimate instrumentation of voice and acoustic guitar, combine Bono’s harmonic stylings with Cressman’s soulful storytelling. With Cressman’s and Bono’s strong musicianship and intricate but highly accessible compositions, ETCHINGS IN AMBER shows that the future of jazz is in good hands.

About Natalie Cressman
Raised in an eclectic musical household in San Francisco, Natalie Cressman has only continued to diversify and expand her musical universe. Natalie decided to pursue a career as a trombonist when she suffered a foot injury in high school after many years of studying ballet. Cressman moved to New York in 2009 to study at the Manhattan School of Music, and the following year was enlisted by jam band pioneer Trey Anastasio for his touring band. Cressman has spent much of the last six years touring the jam band circuit while also performing with jazz luminaries Nicholas Payton, Wycliffe Gordon, and Peter Apfelbaum. She currently tours around the East Coast with her own band and as a sideman for several other groups. ETCHINGS IN AMBER is her third CD, following Turn The Sea in 2014 and Unfolding in 2012.

About Mike Bono
Mike Bono is a NYC-based, sought after guitarist, composer, and teacher. He plays regularly around the city, and has performed at places such as Carnegie Hall, Town Hall Theater, Birdland, The Blue Note, The Bar Next Door, and Joes Pub, amongst others. He has also toured internationally as a leader and sideman in over 10 countries in Europe, and most recently, at the Cape Verde Kriol Jazz Festival in Africa. Mike has performed with a wide variety of artists such as Erykah Badu, Chris Cheek, Andra Day, Dayna Stephens, Julian Lage, Dick Oatts, Aloe Blacc, Leon Bridges, and Rich Perry, to name a few. ETCHINGS IN AMBER is his second release, following From Where You Are, with special guest Julian Lage, in September 2013.
Chris Milam
Chris Milam
What happens when a plan fails, or a path forward disappears? What happens as you walk your way back?

After a tumultuous year, Chris Milam went to the studio with a dozen new songs that tackle these questions and define his sound. He emerges after months of recording with an eagerly-anticipated slate of new material, a collection of songs called Kids These Days. Its first single is “Autumn.”

“2014 was a bad year.”

Following a broken engagement, Milam lost everything but what he could fit in his car. Then, while on tour, that car—and everything in it—was stolen.

“That was the lowest moment. I’d lost everything I owned and I’d lost what I thought my future would be. At a certain point, all I had were these songs.”
The songs became the turning point: Milam teamed up with Memphis producer Toby Vest [High/Low Recording] to begin work on what would become Kids These Days. To fund the project, Milam spent a year without a home–couch-surfing, pet-sitting, troubadouring—saving for studio time rather than rent.
He called in Memphis musicians Greg Faison (drums), Pete Matthews (bass), Luke White (guitar), Jana Misener (cello) Krista Wroten (violin), and Vest (keys, effects) to illustrate the tension and sense of loss in each song.

“We wanted the record to feel atmospheric, dynamic, and unpredictable. It was important to me that these songs were built around live takes. Memphis musicians have a way of filling a song with life—beautiful, weird life.”

On October 13, Milam releases the first single from this material, “Autumn.” As the first release on Milam’s newly launched label, Namesake Records, “Autumn” introduces the darker sounds and carefully-layered arrangements found throughout Kids These Days. These sounds evolved in the studio, but started with an atmospheric vocal, shimmering guitar, haunting strings, and a menacing drumbeat.

“Toby and I talked about combining elements of folk and classical with elements of rock and even hip hop. On one hand, there are strings and bright guitar tones. Then underneath, there’s this dark, driving beat. ‘Autumn’ was the first song where we found that sound.”

The song takes on the splintering of a relationship directly, pinpointing the pain of the break-up as “not the break, but the breaking.” It’s the moment of change; you can feel the knife’s edge the relationship walks and the chill in the air. The production punctuates the rawness; nerves are exposed.

“It’s a break-up song,” says Milam, “but it’s the actual conversation. You know you need to rip the Band-Aid off, but you’re struggling to do it.”
Fittingly, this break-up song introduces a record full of inflection points. Milam’s gift for melody and lyricism revisits the earlier comparisons to Paul Simon, but these songs draw heavier from other influences: Chris Bell, Damien Rice, and Michael Stipe. Reflecting the songs themselves, Milam’s voice has matured: plaintive vibratos shift in a flash to a shout, growl, or croon.

The album explores the ways in which Kids These Days aren’t kids any more. Each song has as its underlying question: “what now?” For Milam, the loss of a defining relationship carried with it the loss of youth. And it’s a break from that path, and that youth, that this record really mourns. Kids These Days examines loss while seizing the opportunity for change. For Chris Milam, this isn’t a break-up record; it’s a break from record.
Venue Information:
World Cafe Live Philadelphia - Upstairs
3025 Walnut Street
Philadelphia, PA, 19104