Jeff Lofton
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Jeff Lofton

Austin, Texas, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2008

Austin, Texas, United States
Established on Jan, 2008
Band Jazz Fusion

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This weekend there's jazz, there's an “out of the house” concert and there's metal. Get busy.

Jazz ala Miles

When Trinity University's KRTU kicked off its “Year of Jazz” in October, the station and its community organization partners aimed to stage a well-rounded concert series to showcase the station, the city's nonprofit organizations and a whole lot of varied jazz. The aim has been true.

Saturday the “Year of Jazz” moves to the East Side, to the Jo Long Theatre in the Carver Community Cultural Center, a building that has been a hotbed of jazz for decades. Austin trumpet ace, composer and bandleader Jeff Lofton will present his tribute to Miles Davis and the trumpet legend's '50s-era music.

Back in the day, when Jo Long, the theater's namesake and the Carver's founding director, was on the job, she tried to book Davis at a Carver jazz festival. Long tells the long story well, but the upshot is complex negotiations with the trumpeter broke down for good when Long refused to rent a forklift for Davis.

It's unlikely a forklift will be part of Lofton's requirements. The much-heralded Lofton and his band, Ray Charles Orchestra alum, noted player and educator James Polk (piano), Ed Friedland (bass) and Steve Schwelling (drums), will play Davis compositions and other songs made famous during the 1950-1959 part of Davis' career.

During a couple of festival appearances in S.A., Lofton has earned a large, loyal following with a mixture of sheer talent, repertoire and personality. Downbeat is 8 p.m. Admission is free to members of the Carver and KRTU; $15 at the door for others.

Out of the house

In '09, music fan and area music supporter Tim Slusher started Riff House Concerts. While house concerts aren't unusual, Slusher's are a bit different because he features the singer/songwriter and alternative sides. Some of the acts he's booked for Riff House are decidedly acoustic, but others are full-on rock bands.

Friday, Riff House will move from the house to the stage at Sam's Burger Joint. Showtime is 8 p.m. The lineup is set to include the Chris Taylor Band, The Rosedale Highs, The Canvas Waiting, Mobley, Little Brave and Pop Pistol. With that lineup, patrons get a bit of everything from Taylor's inventive take on the troubadour tradition to Pop Pistol's nuevo psychedelia. Tickets for the all-ages show cost $10 in advance at Sam's, $15 at the door.

Machine Head metal

It has been more that four years since Oakland-bred metal monsters Machine Head released the CD “The Blackening.” When the pounding outfit last year turned loose of “Unto the Locust,” Machine Head served notice the quartet remains one of best of the hard-edged bunch.

Masters of tension and release, Machine Head with the new disc makes full use of dynamics, punctuating brutal assaults on the eardrums with more quiet, beautifully played guitar interludes that serve to build suspense until lead singer/guitarist Robb Flynn unleashes more fire and fury.

The Backstage Live walls might well shake Sunday when Machine Head stops in on its The Eighth Plague Tour with Suicide Silence, Darkest Hour and Rise to Remain. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Jim Beal Jr.'s Night Lights covers the area music scene. He also plays bass in the local band Miss Neesie & the Ear Food Orchestra. Send e-mail to jbeal@express-news.net. Beal is the host of the “Third Coast Music Network” show from 3-7 p.m. Thursdays on KSYM, 90.1 FM. Check the Music Beat blog at mySA.com; @jimbealjr on Twitter. - San Antonio Express News


"... Lofton's tightly woven post-bop, disciplined but spirited. Last fall's Austin debut, Jazz to the People, his second CD, braised local Top 10 lists with the lyricism of his silver horn. " Raoul Hernandez, Austin Chronicle - Austin Chronicle


"Did jazz trumpeter Jeff Lofton really immigrate to Austin just three years ago?... " Michael Barnes, Austin American-Statesman - Austin American-Statesman


Although Lofton is already an Austin institution, his latest record, "Chasing the Voodoo Down," has helped cement him as Davis' heir and a unique, wonderful figure in the jazz landscape." Gabino Iglesias, Austin Post - Austin Post


" ...a versatile, mature musician overtly combining straight-ahead jazz with fusion. His appealing, laid back character and soulful playing has certainly earned him a rising recognition not only in Austin but across the general jazz circuit. " Josep Pedro, AllAboutJazz.com
- AllAboutJazz.com


"Dirty Dozen Brass Band, which later played a set featuring Austin trumpeter Jeff Lofton, set out from HBO's Treme party at the Ghost Room led by the fancy heel-toe skipping of Darryl "Dancing Man 504" Young and Big Chief Monk Boudreaux, resplendent in full green and gold traditional Mardi Gras Indian regalia." - Thomas Fawcett, - Austin Chronicle


"By the time Dirty Dozen took the stage ... And, by the time things started to wind up, Henry Butler and Austin jazzman Jeff Lofton were sitting in with DDBB, followed by Big Chief Boudreaux exhorting the crowd with the Longhair anthem “Go To the Mardi Gras” ... 504 in the house, indeed." - SXSW review: HBO ‘Treme’ day party at Ghost Room - John T. Davis - Austin American-Statesman / Austin360.com


"... his sound is something out of the 1950s and 1960s bebop of Chicago and New York." - KUT 90.5 FM, Austin, TX


Heavenly Music: The annual Jazz at St. James Festival, November 14 - 16, in Austin, will feature 3 days of excellent live jazz programming, including trumpet player Jeff Lofton (right), legendary trombonist Curtis Fuller with saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman, pianist James Polk, and vocalist Pamela Hart. Sunday jazz masses feature the Leah Zeger Trio, Newman and Fuller, Buscando El Monte, and The Jeff Lofton Quintet. For additional details, check http://jazzatstjames.org or www.stjamesaustin.org

Texas Highways
- The Travel Magazine of Texas,
(11.08) - Texas Highways Magazine


"... jazz to the people and people to the jazz: Jazz musician Jeff Lofton is one of Austin music's recent overnight successes, even though he's been playing the trumpet for more than 30 years. The 42-year-old musician moved here from South Carolina in 2007 and within a year built himself a name in the Austin jazz scene for his lyrical, ebullient playing...."

XL ENT, Austin American-Statesman (1.15.09)
In the clubs with Jeff Lofton by Joe Gross - Austin American-Statesman


Daily Texan, Austin, Texas (04.28.08)
Local performer channels Miles Davis by Jack Frink
"...channels Miles Davis. ...Throughout the night, Lofton replicated Davis' trademark style very well, but still managed to bring his own personality to the music. …an expert example of how jazz music is always reinventing itself." - Daily Texan


"a phenomenal jazz trumpeter." - Michael Barnes, Out and About

Austin American-Statesman/Austin360.com, Jeff Lofton at the Driskill Hotel Bar (5.30.09)

I nominate Forrest Preece and Linda Ball as Best All-Round Downtown Residents.

Jeff Lofton CU Studio4-09.jpg
At home in the 360 Tower, they walk everywhere, taking in Austin�s nightlife and daylife, parading from lounges and cafes to theaters and concert halls. Preece and Ball show up at parties, haunt wine bars like Taste and spread the word about artists like Jeff Lofton, who played the Driskill Hotel Bar for the first time Friday night.

You may recall that I posted about Jeff�s wife, Dean, earlier in the week. Soft-spoken, extravagantly dreadlocked Jeff�s a phenomenal jazz trumpeter, playing with a bassist and a drummer at the Driskill. Keeping the tone soft and the song selections drawn from the ballad repertoire, the trio matched the room optimally.

I watched the faces of the bar and hotel guests, astonished to find such a snazzy act in what essentially operates as an over-decorated hallway for the establishment. As Preece and Ball kept saying, �In New York, you�d be paying a stiff cover for this!�

You bet. - Austin American-Statesman


" ... you can catch a night of jazz that pays tribute to the recording from which the exhibition takes its name: Miles Davis' landmark 1957 LP, Birth of the Cool. Trumpeter Jeff Lofton, who blows a pretty frosty horn himself, leads the show, which covers Miles' 1950s output in three sets. Sharing the stage with Lofton at the Elephant Room, 315 Congress, will be saxophonist Russell Haight, pianist Rich Harney, bass player Mark Nelms, and drummer Masumi Jones. The show is Saturday, Feb. 28, 9:30pm."
Austin Chronicle (2.27.09) - Austin Chronicle


"Jeff Lofton seems to be BLOWING UP. ... Fans say his shows are crazy good and crazy crowded." - Joe Gross, Austin American-Statesman / austin360.com (Jul 31, 2008) - Austin American-Statesman


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

Photos