Mash UP brings two Midwest artists or bands together to do one thing: create something new. Musicians have an hour to mix their styles and come up with an original song, tweak an existing track or work out a cool cover. After the hour is up, Urban Plains captures the performance. This week: NOLA Jazz Band and Patrick Tape Fleming.
NOLA Jazz Band
NOLA Jazz Band’s clarinet player, Jeff Kane, has loved New Orleans music since he was a young boy listening to his grandfather’s records. At 11, he fronted his first New Orleans-style band and later went on to lead a national award-winning group as a music student at the University of Northern Iowa. In June 2014, Kane formed the NOLA Jazz Band for the Des Moines Arts Festival Jazz & Wine Tent. The group plays a monthly New Orleans Jazz Party every first Friday at the Des Moines Social Club and released its first album, “NOLA Jazz Band Vol. 1 Genesis: Live from the Ark,” in March of this year. While all of the members of the eight-piece NOLA Jazz Band couldn’t make it, Kane brought along John Spike (drums), Josh Gorman (guitar), and Brad Sparks (trombone) to jazz up Patrick Tape Fleming’s “Constant as the Sky.”
Patrick Tape Fleming
Pianist Patrick Tape Fleming has been involved in the Midwest music scene since founding The Poison Control Center in 2005. The band released three records, opened for bands like Pavement and Of Montreal, and was named 2011 Live Act of the Year by Steven Hyden at the AV Club. After a 13-month tour, the band went into hibernation. With the music gone and no artistic outlet, Fleming fell into a depression. So, he started painting. His first painting, depicting his emotional and mental state at the time, was titled Gloom Balloon. When Fleming decided to make his solo debut back into music, he took Gloom Balloon as his stage name and enlisted the help of co-producer Christopher Ford (Christopher the Conquered) and arranger H.D. Harmsen to mix classical music with modern electronics. For Mash UP, Fleming worked with NOLA Jazz Band to revamp his new tune “Constant as the Sky.”