Something Else! sneak peek: Mike Dillon, “Hero The Burro” from Band of Outsiders (2014)

The irrepressible vibraphone-playing jazz guerrilla Mike Dillon is prepping his latest album Band of Outsiders for an April 1, 2014 release (Royal Potato Family Records), where he introduces on record a new band he’s been busy breaking in on the road and firing up audiences everywhere with the hip-hop attitude they bring to experimental/improvisational music.

We’ve already seen the well-oiled Mike Dillon Band in action last year with knock-your-ass-silly live performance of a new tune called “Carly Hates the Dubstep.” That’s going on the new album, as is another wicked blend of jazz, rock and hip-hip dubbed “Hero The Burro.”

Dillon and his band of outsiders performed this live at the Aura Music & Arts Festival Studios from south Florida earlier this year, and it’s captured in the video above. On board is his drummer Adam Gertner, bassist Patrick McDevitt and the focal point of “Carly Hates the Dubstep,” Carly Meyers, on trombone and xylophone.

Here you see one of Dillon’s unique talents. Bobby Hutcherson, Gary Burton and Stefon Harris are masters of the four-mallet technique, but can they play the vibes that way and rap and sing at the same time? Dillon can!

Dillon can be a brash stage presence but he’s also savvy enough to encourage his band to let it all hang out, too, and they always look like they’re having even more fun performing as we are watching. Meyers’ own stage presence is a match for Dillon, something that the leader himself seems to relish. She prances around playfully as she works the swerving trombone and then goes toe-to-toe with Dillon in a vibraphone vs. xylophone face-off. It’s almost not fair as Meyers is using only half as many mallets but the little lady holds her own.

Soon, the Mike Dillon Band will be touring the West with the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Check dates and places below to see when Dillon’s band and their batshit ways come to your town.

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Mike Dillon Band & Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey Tour Dates:

March 19 – Boulder, CO – Shine
March 20 – Fort Collins, CO – Hodi’s Half Note
March 21 – Denver, CO – Other Side
March 25 – Moscow, ID – John’s Alley
March 26 – Moscow, ID – John’s Alley
March 28 – Missoula, MT – Top Hat
March 29 – Richland, WA – Emerald
March 30 – ZigZag, OR – Skyway
April 1 – Seattle, WA – Tractor Tavern
April 2 – Olympia, WA – Urban Onion
April 3 – Portland, OR – Goodfoot Lounge
April 5 – San Francisco, CA – Boom Boom Room
April 7 – Long Beach, CA – Lava Lounge
April 8 – San Diego, CA – Winston’s
April 10 – Santa Fe, NM – Warehouse 21
April 11 – Norman, OK – The Deli

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is a CPA and mid-level data analyst for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. Contact him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews.com.
  • John Gallant

    The Mike Dillon Band is something best seen live to understand. Enough energy to light a city!