I shared some music Andrew and I recorded recently. A number of people asked for more.
A couple of years ago Andrew and I got together at Studio For with Terry Roleri (guitar) and Debra Craig (drums). Here are some cuts from that session.Tue, 09 Mar 2010
On Thursday (3/4) I attended the opening night of the Other Minds Festival of New Music in San Francisco (with Andrew).
The first piece was Jurg Frey's Steichquartett II (1998-2000) performed by the Quatuor Bozzini string quartet. A very minimal, quiet, spacious work with a touch of danger. Basically it's the quartet playing one chord after another for a little over twenty minutes. Here is an excerpt of the first two minutes:
If you like that you can get the CD of that piece and four others from Edition Wandelweiser Records.
The next piece was Chou Wen-chung's Twilight Colors
At intermission Andrew and I talked to members of the ROVA saxophone quartet, Andrew's old band. They will be premiering a piece at Other Minds later in the week.
The next piece was a short solo piano work, also by Wen-chung: The Willow Are New. It was a quasi polytonal minor pentatonic piece.
The final piece of the evening was Lisa Bielawa's Kafka Songs (2001-2003) performed by Carla Kihlstedt on voice and violin. It was composed of about five or six shorter pieces, each based on a sentence or two of Kafka's more introspect Meditation (1912). Sentences such as: "And this time I only recognized these old games after being with them for such a long time. I rubbed my fingertips against each other to erase the shame."
Carla, after saying the sentence, would then proceed to sing the words while simultaneously playing violin. A seemingly simple, sparse, but powerful presentation.
My favorite work of the evening was Frey's string quartet (I purchased the CD), with Bielawa's Kafka Songs a close second.Sun, 07 Mar 2010
On Wednesday (3/3) I heard the Cyrus Chestnut Trio at Yoshi's (the San Francisco location).
On Tuesday night (3/2) I got together with my longtime friend, woodwind player and composer Andrew Voigt and played music at his place in Oakland, California. We drank tea and then played a piece where Andrew mostly used bass flute.
We took a break and listened to some music recorded by Cookie Marenco of OTR Studios and Blue Coast Records. Cookie recorded our first "album" in the 80s and also recorded Trio-Tri-National with Flavia Cervino-Wood, Marilyn Lerner and myself in the 90s.
Then we did another piece where Andrew mostly played tenor sax.
It was great to make music with Andrew again. It's been a little too long since the last time. Plus it was great to play my San Francisco bass. I'm sure it's been lonely.
Oh yeah, I did not have a tuner nor a tuning fork so had to tune my strings up by ear (and they were completely loosened for storage). I used the high-G tinnitus as a guide. I guess, if I have to have that problem, I might as well get some use out of it!Fri, 05 Mar 2010
After spending the weekend in Portland with my granddaughter, Gwyneth, her mom and my daughter, Jasmine, and her husband, Bruce, I flew to San Francisco. On Monday night (3/1) I went with my friend, Andrew Voigt, to the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and heard La lontananza nostalgica upopica futura (1988) by Luigi Nono.
Luigi Nono (1924-1990) was an Italian serialist composer and Italian Communist Party activist. The piece was performed by Graeme Jennings, violin and Christopher Burns, sound diffusion (i.e., controlling when and which of the 8 tape tracks to send to one or more of the 8 speakers surrounding the room.
Graeme started playing on a second floor ramp then slowly made his through the audience to various music stands around the main floor. With his motion and the tape sound coming from 8 different speakers the music was highly spatial.Thu, 04 Mar 2010
I heard the Dave Holland Quintet at the Portland Jazz Festival last Saturday. The day of the concert Dave did a live radio interview in the lobby of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts (same venue as the concert) with Steve Cantor of KMHO
Dave mentioned his early influences: Ray Brown and Leroy Vinegar (who spent his last years living in Portland). Speaking of Lifecycle, his solo cello recording, he said that when he flew in to make the recording he secretly hoped his cello got lost on the airline---not permanently, just enough not to have to do the record (he was so nervous about it).
After his first gig with Miles the other band members told him at least he didn't faint like a guy did that they picked up in Seattle. He said Miles gave him lots of space to do whatever he wanted. So much space that, in his youthful enthusiasm, he was all over his bass the whole time. Finally, after about a year, miles, after a gig, just walked up to him and said, "Dave, you know you are a bass player." So, in another burst of youthful enthusiasm, he reverted to only playing functional bass. He says that he hopes that by now he has learned how to be supportive and interactive---to have a grounded dialogue with the other musicians.
His first album, Conference of the Birds was recorded in 6 hours door-to-door. The record is all one take except for two tunes where they did two takes.
He now travels with a David Gage Czech-ease bass because airlines won't take over 75lbs, no matter how much you pay them. He says TSA is mostly OK, and will let him work with them while they search the large case.
I went to the concert later that evening with my daughter Jasmine and her husband Bruce. Pharoah Sanders was being interviewed in the lobby when we arrived. The interviewer was definitely having a hard time. Pharoah's responses were:
Inside, the Dave Holland Quintet consists of:
The tunes they played were:
Afterwards Jasmine, Bruce and I went to the Tea Zone (Jasmine said that was great - a gig at a tea house instead of booze!) and heard a long time friend of mine, David Friesen.
We arrived in the middle of the first set. We all noticed that David, although he was playing beautifully, looked drawn. When we talked with him at the break we found out why: his son, Scotty died a week ago. Very sad. All I could do was give him a hug. We stayed for all the 2nd (and last) set. He mostly played his slow compositions.
Jasmine and Bruce drove home and I went to the midnight jam session hosted by Darrell Grant. I didn't have my bass with me so did not sit in (plus it was packed with players so not sure if I could have even made it to the front). The tunes that were played while I was there were:
I heard the Mingus Big Band at the Portland (Oregon) Jazz Festival last weekend. Different members play each concert depending on who's available, etc. The personal on this outing was:
Their set list was:
Afterwards I heard the Farnell Netwon, Marcus Reynolds Quintet in the lobby (of the Portland Center for the Performing Arts).