Archive for the ‘Live Music Musings’ Category


“Into The Eddy” (Meditative and devotional music and poetry.)

Enjoy the meditative grooves, experimental music and soft sounds of “Into The Eddy”.

Dip your thoughts into  the mystic poetry from around the world and throughout the ages.

Enjoy a sample of an early version of Reflections.

Here is a video clip of “Falling Leaves” from the vespers service “The Mystery You Embody”.

More video clips and recordings will be coming soon!

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September 18    Dancing in Pink!

I saw the “Dancing in Pink” benefit dance concert in Torrington last week.The performance was at the Nancy Marine Studio Theatre. I live in Connecticut and this theatre complex was a real find. It seems to be a vibrant little complex with a lot going on.

I haven’t seen much dance lately so this was a real treat.  I love the combination of thoughtfully chosen music and  visually interesting movement. Hmmm is that what dance is? I like pieces that are organized like a good piece of music: there are places where the ensemble works together as a unit and places where an individual or individuals move to the attentive forefront and the rest of the ensemble is active but in the background. I like modern jazz that works this way as well. Not so much, play the head-solo-solo-solo-play the head, but a more interactive ensemble that solo together and alone building and coming together and breaking apart and coming together.

There were a couple of pieces that stood out to me:
In Particular “Wings of the Sparrow” Choreographed by Anthony Manuel and danced by Anthony Manuel and Emily Wiadro. This was a lovely duet with music by Angleique Kidjo. The dancers were focused and fluid with a seemingly effortless grace. I guess I need to tap into the modern dance scene a bit more because I would like to see more of Anthony’s work.

Also: “Preserve Me” choreographed and danced by Lacey Byrne and Valerie Rodgers was a moving and visually interesting piece.  “Healing Dance” Choreographed by June Can of Clarke Dance Theatre was also a cool piece. This piece had a nice mix of group  and solo or small group movement. The dance was contemplative with a strong grounded presence.

OK good good good good stuff but, where is the live music? Come on people there are enough talented musicians around willing to lend their vision to the mix. Get some live music!

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I have been listening to Bill Frisell for quite a few years now. What the heck kind of music does he play? I really like most of what I have heard, especially his interpretations of folk and traditional music. I never thought to much about what to call his unique type of music, mostly because to me his playing is in its own category, but I know I like it. 

Bill Frisell - live at Jazz Alley, Seattle - 2...

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I heard him play last year with Eyvind Kang & Rudy Royston (a violist and drummer respectively) and it seemed true to what I expected and know of his work. I went to hear him play at the Village Vanguard in New York and boy howdy what a treat that was. I went with a sense of unease because I have never heard him play with horns and wasn’t sure about the whole bebop/jazz thing with Bill. The drummer and saxophone players seemed steeped in what I hear as modern bebop but Bill Frisell was well, Bill Frisell. 

I can only think of how Thelonious Monk approached the piano; bare, sparse, and angular. Bill’s playing captured that same bare and open playing. I really appreciated the space in his playing, it wasn’t blazing cascading mountains of fast notes but an intriguing angular almost melodic line with the notes placed just right. Something I strive for in my playing. 

Here is an interesting interview with Bill by Scott Nygaard: http://www.acguitar.com/issues/ag113/feature113.html 

Bill Frisell - Joe Lovano - Paul Motian

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A picture of the Japanese 13-stringed koto.

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I went to the first set at The Stone on Sunday the 22nd. The set was with Miya Masaoka (koto, electronics) Mary Halvorson (guitar) Satoshi Takeshi (percussion). It was my first time to The Stone. It is a small club on the corner of Avenue C and 2nd Street. It was a rainy soggy day and I was glad to get in out of the rain to hear some music. The koto is an instrument that seems to be all about nuance and subtlety and and at times that element was evident. Other times the ensemble created a wall of sound that brought the instrument into another dimension. Mary Halvorson is a great young guitarist. You should check her out if she comes through your town in any one of her many projects.  I enjoyed Satoshi Takeshi’s percussive additions. He played in an understated quiet way that supported the other musicians. His kit was unconventional in that he sat on the floor and had a series of cymbals and other percussion laid out before him.

 I’m looking forward to seeing more shows at The Stone. A cool little venue with interesting music every night.  I love unconventional combinations of instruments so this was a perfect fit for my tastes.

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