Greg Tate is a hero of mine. The Village Voice writer – whose work has appeared everywhere from Down Beat to the New York Times – has long been both incredibly eloquent and decidedly iconoclastic in his approach to writing about music. Tate grabbed me firmly with his writings about Miles Davis – in particular, that much reviled (critically, at least) period when Davis embraced electricity, groove and hip clothing, at the expense of a strict adherence to swing.
When I realized that Tate was a musician and that he had launched a band known as Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber, I took notice. The band’s “Making Love to the Dark Ages” revealed itself to me as a masterpiece, and the rest of the Burnt Sugar discography soon followed suit.
Thus, I feel completely comfortable suggesting that you carve out some time today and Saturday for the Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber experience. Thanks to Hallwalls, Tate and the band will be here for two days, offering an “open rehearsal” at 8 tonight in the Ninth Ward at Babeville (341 Delaware Ave.) and a full concert in Asbury Hall at the same address at 8 p.m. Saturday.
Just so you know what you’re in for, here’s how David Fricke described Burnt Sugar in Rolling Stone: “A multiracial army that freestyles with cool telekinesis between the lustrous menace of Miles Davis’ ‘On the Corner,’ the slash-and-om of King Crimson, and Jimi Hendrix’s moonwalk across side three of ‘Electric Ladyland.’ ”
Admission for the open rehearsal at 8 tonight will be $10 general, $8 students/seniors, $6 Hallwalls members. Saturday’s Asbury Hall gig is $18 general, $15 for students/seniors, and $12 for Hallwalls members. You can grab a ticket for both concerts for $25 at Hallwalls.
Rochester jam-ambient-funk collective Haewa will make its Buffalo debut at 10 tonight in the opening slot on a bill headlined by Free Henry in Mr. Goodbar (1110 Elmwood Ave.).
Brunner’s Tavern (3989 Main St., Snyder) recently launched its live music on Saturday nights series. This week, the Outlyers will perform beginning at 8 p.m.
Merchants will celebrate the release of its debut EP “The Red Room” with a show at 8 p.m. Saturday in the Vault (702 Main St.). Admission is $8.