Friday, July 22, 2011

Upcoming Recording Projects

The next few weeks are going to be a little intense, as I am embarking on two recording projects with bands that I've been playing with for a while.
NOOK will be recording our long-awaited 2nd album following our debut CD in 2008, Captain Momentum (Himself). Much has changed with the band since our last record. We have two new members, Jeremy Viner on saxophone and clarinet, and Ben Gallina on electric bass. The sound of the band has also evolved but needless to say, we still ROCK. Here's a live clip of one of our new songs.

And then Old Time Musketry is recording our debut album! We've been playing for about two years and we've amassed quite a bit of material. This recording is being funded by the generous and saintly people who contributed to our Kickstarter project back in June. We're very excited to document this music that we've been working on for so long!
We're also playing this Sunday at the Local 269 on Houston St. at 9pm.

Here's a live clip of a song we'll be recording.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The Two Of Anything Band and Niggenkemper/Takeishi/DiMeglio at I Beam

Here's some live clips from the aforementioned double bill at I Beam featuring the Two of Anything Band and DiMeglio/Niggenkemper/Takeishi.

This trio sounded great, playing compositions by each member of the group. There were some really nice 3-part chorale-type pieces with Satoshi Takeishi playing melodica. This was the first time I've ever seen Satoshi playing drum set, instead of his usual percussion set up.

You can see a few more Two of Anything clips here.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Kalashnikov : Jamie Saft and Mike Pride at Korzo

Until last Tuesday the only context I'd seen Jamie Saft in live was with John Zorn's Electric Masada, a large group that performs with Zorn conducting, leading the band through rapid stylistic changes like someone turning the dial on an FM radio.
It was great to see him playing acoustic piano in an intimate setting like Korzo, improvising with drummer Mike Pride. In addition to piano, Jamie played two Casio keyboards through effects and at very high volume. It was easily the loudest performance I'd seen at Korzo. Another notable feature of the performance was how Jamie kept a three note motif going for almost the entire set. It kept reappearing first in dramatic minor chords on the piano, later on the crazy Casio organ sounds, then again on the plucked strings of the piano. The music was also very grandiose and tonal, really reveling in the power and beauty of two chords and diatonic harmony. I always find this refreshing. The harmonic language of modern free improvisation and also in the compositions of improvisors is often too gray and atonal for my taste. It's nice to take a long bath in C major every now and then.
Here's a little clip, including the 3 note motif!

The Two of Anything Band at I Beam

A new-ish quartet project of mine will be returning to action this Thursday, July 14th at I Beam. Our set starts at 9:30pm. We'll be playing some new music that I wrote recently, as well as some classics that we played at a show at Barbes back in March. The compositions explore a non-linear approach to musical development. Especially in the newer pieces, I've been working towards a musical language that is more episodic and unpredictable. Using all different combinations of the instruments is also a priority, and the group ofter splinters into duos doing opposing things. In some ways this is inspired by the flow of modern dance pieces or film. The way that Tim Berne and Ellery Eskelin (especially his trio with Jim Black and Andrea Parkins) organize their music is also a major influence.

The Two of Anything Band

JP Schlegelmilch - Wurlitzer, Synth, Compositions
Jeremy Viner - Saxophone and Clarinet
Chris Tordini - Bass
Devin Gray - Drums and Glockenspiel

Playing before us at 8:30pm will be a trio of great improvisors!

Pascal Niggenkemper - Bass
Chris DiMeglio - Trumpet
Satoshi Takeishi - Percussion

Monday, July 4, 2011

Solo jazz piano tradition

A good article by Nate Chinen on the art and evolution of solo jazz piano. I really regret missing Craig Taborn's solo concert at the Rubin Museum, but I'm really looking forward to listening to his new solo CD, "Avenging Angel", which has been getting great reviews.