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FuturePorn Keeps The Jazz Estate’s Tuesday Night Tradition Alive

Jul. 2, 2014
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Milwaukee’s jazz scene received a shock in January when the owner of The Jazz Estate (2423 N. Murray Ave.) announced that he was selling the venerable establishment. The East Side club has been home to internationally recognized jazz musicians, as well as a staggering array of homegrown talent and highly regarded regular bookings. Thankfully, Matt Turner, a longtime member of the Jazz Estate’s house band The Erotic Adventures of the Static Chicken, stepped in along with another buyer to rescue the club and keep a staple of the Milwaukee music scene alive.

Along with the new ownership came another change to the venue: a new band that stepped in to fill the Tuesday night slot long held by the Static Chicken. Over their decade-plus reign at The Jazz Estate, the Static Chicken brought an improvised potpourri of music inspired, but never bound, by jazz that attracted a large group of regulars and became a must-see show in Milwaukee. They boasted of never having once rehearsed.

Filling the void left by the Static Chicken is FuturePorn, an equally provocatively named quintet of musicians from the Milwaukee area that includes members of The Delta Routine, The Alex Wilson Band and The Kevin Hayden Trio. Like the Chicken, the members come together as FuturePorn only on Tuesdays at The Jazz Estate for a completely improvised show mixing together the considerable range of influences the band brings.

Kenny Reichert, who plays guitar in the group, said that he enjoys the challenges and opportunities improvising with a group of people from different backgrounds offers.

“Tomorrow night might sound completely different—and that’s what we want,” he said.

The group prioritizes groove above all else, he said. Their main focus is less on creating music that fits a specific genre than on making music that makes people want to get up and move. Jay Anderson, who plays saxophone with the group, echoed the sentiment, saying, “If there is a goal it’s to make something people can dance to.”

The members of FuturePorn have all been part of the Milwaukee music scene for at least a year now, and they bonded as a result of playing together in various groups. Turner was the bassist for the Chicken, and he has been very supportive of the new group, the members said.

So far it’s been a smooth transition. Turner and the group wanted to keep the vibe that the Chicken created going and preserve the tradition of eccentric and danceable jazz Tuesday nights at the Estate. FuturePorn is a band that is very comfortable performing with little rehearsal and open to allowing their music to evolve as it will, according to guitarist Kenny Reichert.

The members said that they enjoy the ability to improvise and flow with whatever mood is in the air that night. As most members are also part of bands with rehearsed songs, they said that it allows them the ability to experiment and create in a laid-back environment.

“With this gig, there’s no such thing as being musically wrong,” Anderson said. As long as the music grooves and people are dancing, FuturePorn has done its job.


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