Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Michael Brecker

Brecker is feeling better these days after a partial marrow transplant from his daughter. You can read more about that here. (on his MySpace page of all places!).

I was so happy to hear about his surprise appearance onstage at Carnegie Hall during the JVC Jazz Festival with Herbie! The last time I saw him live was on the 2nd Directions in Music tour with Herbie, Roy Hargrove, Terri Lynne, Scott Colley in Pittsburgh.

Brecker, thought his vibrato can drive me up walls, was a major source of inspiration to me as a saxophone player. Growing up and hearing the overtones he does on "Two Blocks From the Edge" totally changed how I looked at the possibilities on the saxophone. he man definitely got me through some rough shit in high school. Granted, there are like 3 or 4 people on Earth can touch Brecker technique-wise and those who read this blog know who at least one of those people is. I shouldn't have to say it.

But, man, only Brecker can do Brecker. He is so ridiculous and when he is in the groove with an adventurous rhythm section he can swing like a crazy M-F. JESUS! Listen to him play Oleo here way back in 1983 (the year I was born!):

For those of you wanting to see some newer rare Michael Brecker ish from before he got sick, here you go (I have no clue who that pianist is that they show on camera) but this is one of the definitive songs that changed my life:

If you didn't see it go pick up the June issue of JazzTimes at a library or music store or just purchase a pdf online (I have done so before) which ran a cover story of anecdotes from the jazz community on Michael Brecker and what he means to so many cats.

Ok. Going to bed thinking about how amazing Michael Brecker is. Thank God for Michael Brecker and we all continue to pray for his speedy recovery. Jews out there: Say a Mishebeirach for Michael Brecker if you are at a shul in the next few days or weeks! I wonder what Michael's Hebrew name is? Maybe someone can find that out and post it as a comment.

Apple commercials

Disclaimer: this post has nothing to do with jazz.

So after having seen the original Mac vs PC commercials, I got hipped somewhere in the blogosphere to go check out the spoofs of these witty Apple commercials. By the way, I wonder whose job it is to dream up these commercials. I know Google hires these "creative" people whose job it is to simply dream up this shit. Perhaps Apple does the same? Probably. They can afford it.

Here are some of the originals:

Despite some horribly bad-looking actors and screw-ups in dialogue, some of these things are insanely funny and had me ROTFLMAOing (or should that read RingOTFLMAO?). Anways, here are some YouTube vids of my favorite spoofs: some more posts in the works right now (something about supermarkets, something about Michael Brecker, and something coming up about Robin Eubanks). And a PODCAST from me will be coming very soon as I gather good audio content with not just my own voice!

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Chris Potter on YouTube!

Finally. A video of saxophonist Chris Potter with his own band to satiate my unending urge for new bootlegged Chris Potter. Can't wait to see this band again. I was looking IMN World's site and apparently they are coming to Philadelphia (Chris' Jazz Cafe) in February of 2007. But I'll have to go up to NY before then. Meanwhile I think I'll enjoy his albums and these two videos which another fan seems to have clandestinely taped with the camera under his table in the front row of the Jazz Standard in NY.

Saturday, July 15, 2006


woke up around 1:30 PM, started with the computer, talked to my dogg about JAMO and his blind date through, did my duty, got in the shower (with my glasses on), glasses fell off while shampooing, didn't worry about it, finished shower refreshed ready for a new day, crouched down to pick up glasses, found one lens and frames, other lens must've gone down the drain, SOL, looking at screen with left eye shut, guess I have to hobble to the closest pharmacy....(thanks google maps)

As Mindy of Animaniacs might have said, "Lens go down the hohhhl."

now listening to: Tim Hagans - "Are You Threatening Me (Kingsize Remix) off of Phonography (on newly updated "recommendations radio" player).

fragments of a day

did the jazz clinic, trained to NYC, had meeting at blue note, shopped for expensive menswear, realized I left my MacBook at Blue Note, met agata, bought a TimeOutNY, chatted on a park bench, checked email on a park bench, agata left me, went to catch pianist michael weiss at the kitano hotel, a japanese destination in midtown, came to to the conclusion that steve wilson, the saxophonist, is an insane man. the guy is incredible, talked to kendrick scott of terence blanchard's band who was reading for michael's drummer chair and was masterfully sublime, chatted for a while about the biz, headed downtown to see if I could catch some of monder w/ rebecca martin at FatCat (who I keep wanting to call Kate McGarry because in my mind they sound similar, but in reality don't at all). what a bizarre place. pool tables, checkers, Mac minis, ping-pong courts, and live jazz behind mystery door #1? ok..... lost my wallet, found it, checked email, charged my MacBook, cabbed across to East Village, waited for Siffert to call me back, drank framboise in a bar called Burp Castle (which by the way had a stellar selection of imported bottles) with WRCT friends Anthony, Matt, and Matt's girlfriend Jen, took a cab to the Bronx for $35, found nothing to eat in Anthony's fridge, dranks some OJ, plugged in the laptop, entered the WEP key, tried to send email, failed, fell asleep writing this post....

now listening to: John Fahey's "The Transfiguration of Blind Joe Death" as inspired by the feature appreciation in the June issue of The Wire

white noise maker

white noise maker

This is my friend Sarah's blog. She is funny and smart. Read it.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Do You Feel Alive?

View from the Third Tier

Last night, the Perelman Theater at the Kimmel Center was transformed into an international dance fest as the king and queen of world music, Amadou & Mariam (a blind married couple from Bamako - the capital of Mali) energized a mixed-age audience into a really energetic set of fun.

The band definitely started out slow. But song-by-song for the roughly 75 minute set, the band built up the energy to a fever pitch by the end. Amadou was definitely the leader, as his wife and partner Mariam only came on-stage to join him for about 3 or 4 songs. Her visage was totally blank though except for a couple smiles when she rubbed Amadou's head while saying in English, "I love you, baby."

The other really funny part and the reason for this post's title is Amadou kept repeating the phrase, "Do you feel alive?" in his strong Malian accent. Obviously, he doesn't know much English and this was a genuine phrase that both fueled and captured the energy the band was generating for the enthusiastic crowd.

Highlights for me were from their latest album, Dimanche A Bamako. Some of the songs played included the title track, M'Bife (which I think has something to do with love), Liberte, and an engaging audience participation piece where the audience would repeat these words after Amadou uttered them in succession in the song's verse: "fatigué," "malheureux," and "misérable," which in French mean tired, unhappy, and miserable respectively (go 8 years of French!).

View from Stage Right

Anyways it was hot. This was all part of World Music Wednesdays that the Kimmel Center is hosting throughout July. Next week is a group called Daara J from Senegal, the week after a group from India called Musafir, and they are ending the miniseries with Tiempo Libre from Havana via Miami.

Friday, July 07, 2006

no Jazz Clinic today

I woke up at 10:15 today and called a friend to sub for me since I had to work anyways this afternoon. Rushing up there with 40 minutes to get there and prepare and then drive right back did not seem like a worthy prospect.

So please await the return of the Jazz Clinic to WPRB airwaves next Friday promptly at 11 AM.

Now listening to Grachan Moncur - Evolution (Blue Note)

Saturday, July 01, 2006 - amazing!!! is an amazing blog featuring full album downloads of rare jazz, avant-garde, psych-rock, and noize bands from the 60s through today.

I was hipped to this blog at 1:30 in the morning by a drunken member of the Dreadnots (the one who usually spits the rhymes and plays with various manipulation boxes), a Pittsburgh nerdcore experimental hip-hop band. They are three white dudes who have so much musical knowledge between them that it boggles my mind as why & how the hell they're still in Pittsburgh!

He dialed me arouund 1 AM with his number blocked and told me first he was Jonathan Winters, whom I googled and found was the famous the character actor. Then he started dropping knowledge on me at alarming rates about the Sun City Girls, the Sublime Frequencies series, The Residents, and various other psych bands whose names I had heard but whose music I had/have not really checked out. The discussion ranged from Frank Wright to Jean Claude Vannier to Soft Machine.

During the span of the call he told me about this excellent blog, but also about how he was recording an album with Alan Bishop of the Sun City Girls and that the recently split-up Sleater-Kinney girls were coming over to get high.

When I finally figured out who the guy was, I was congratulated by the Underwater Culprit and told that DJ Negative One had also beek punk'd earlier.

Thanks guys! Mighty entertaining!