By Steve Weinstein
By Bryan Bierman
By Lindsey Rhoades
By Chaz Kangas
By Ben Westhoff and Sarah Purkrabek
By Jena Ardell
By Jesse Sendejas Jr.
By Katherine Turman
Joerg's modest persona results in him squirming when he has to talk about himself. He'd rather discuss AUM's newest releases: Farmers by Nature, a full-on improv unit led by the shape-shifting pianist Craig Taborn whose compositions juxtapose frenetic maelstroms and subtle nuances; the strident tenor blast of Planetary Unknown, featuring Ware's first-ever collaboration with Cooper-Moore and the recorded debut of late drums legend Rashied Ali's brother, Mohammed Ali; and Cosmic Lieder, Jones's and Shipp's otherworldly, soul-searching melding of alto sax and piano.
Most of these pioneering avant-gardists will be gracing the Stone's storied, mangy floor (on which Yoko fuckin' Ono writhed just weeks ago), as will improv guitar-picking purveyor Joe Morris, the furious punk-jazz terrorists Little Women (with Jones), and silky jazz-funk troupe Mike Pride's From Bacteria to Boys (with Jones, yet again). Joerg happened upon the omnipresent, talented Jones (who will be playing no fewer than three projects at the Stone) at the Williamsburg music pub Zebulon, something for which the fledgling alto composer is forever grateful. "Personally and professionally, Steven has been a blessing to me. When he first approached me to be a part of AUM, I had no idea what that would look like," Jones says via email. "After recording my debut Man'ish Boy with him, I realized I had found a friend and that necessary element to help my musical career blossom."
Joints like Park Slope's multicultural music nook Barbès, Gowanus's experimental haven Issue Project Room, and performance/art space Littlefield book Joerg's stable of musicians regularly. "Yes, I've played a role in getting the music world to know Ware and Parker," says Joerg. "But as far as creating a 'scene'? No. I'm happy to have been there at the right place and right time and been inspired to take action to introduce 'Jazz Now.' Every-body who loves music loves some part of Coltrane, right? I wanted to introduce people to these men and that remains the reality: These giants walk among us now, and you got to fucking pay attention."
AUM Fidelity's Steven Joerg curates the Stone June 16 through 30