Algernon brings experimental jazz-rock to Red Cliff Saturday night |

Algernon brings experimental jazz-rock to Red Cliff Saturday night

Charlie Owen
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily

Music means so much to guitarist Dave Miller, he performs in eight different bands. After just finishing a tour with one of those bands, Blink, he’s hitting the road again with another of his bands, Algernon, this week. Algernon, a kind of experimental jazz-rock band, will perform in Red Cliff at Mango’s Mountain Grill Saturday night.

Skilled in all types of genres and musical styles, Miller said he tries to incorporate elements from all over the musical rainbow into Algernon’s sound ” much like Frank Zappa used to do with his band.

We spoke with Miller during his brief interlude at home in Chicago before the Algernon tour began.

Dave Miller: It’s a lot of budgeting of time and trying to get everything together basically. But it’s cool. It’s a lot of fun. It keeps me on my toes.

DM: I guess there’s maybe a kind of general similar aesthetic. That being mostly instrumental with a kind of experimental tilt to it ” any(thing) between jazz, rock, free improv, stuff like that.

DM: I’ve been playing since I was 11 years old. I started playing rock music and I was really into bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam and Soundgarden and Smashing Pumpkins, and also bands like Jimi Hendrix and The Doors, like psychedelic ’60s rock music. And I kind of did a lot of that stuff up until shortly before I went to college. I started listening to jazz through bands like Frank Zappa, who definitely did some rock music but also is very eclectic where he did stuff that resembled jazz and had some improvisation involved in his music and also had a fair amount of classical influence, so that kind of bridged the gap for me between rock and what I would later get into, which is jazz.

DM: What led me to playing the type of music that Algernon does was I kind of was still very interested in all these genres, at the very least rock music and jazz music, and kind of in my own way wanted to dissolve all those influences and come up with something that referenced those things, but was hopefully uniquely my own.

DM: For me that’s just ” most of the time ” the way I hear music. I, a lot of times, will start with a melody that I write and then write a song based around that … or sometimes it will be opposite. I personally am not a lyricist, so whenever I write I want to come up with a complete song that has a melody and chord changes and everything else. So for me it’s a very natural way to write because I’m not a singer.

DM: The going term that we have right now ” kind of half joking, half serious ” is neo-psychedelic-post-rock-jazz. That’s all we can come up with right now … usually I just say ‘I don’t know, you should listen to it and see what you come up with.’

DM: A good time. That’s all we’re really trying to be. And for us, too, being on the road, especially playing this type of music, is not making us rich by any stretch of the imagination so we’re out there to just play our music and have a good time and hopefully get other people to have a good time too, and experience that positive energy.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or

What: Jazz-rock jam band Algernon.

When: Saturday at 8 p.m.

Where: Mango’s Mountain Grill in Red Cliff.

Cost: Free.

More information: Call 970-827-9109 or visit

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