Monday, November 28, 2011

Goodbye Paul Motian

The great jazz drummer Paul Motian passed away last week at age 80. He was such a special musician, it's hard to put into words exactly how I feel about it. I saw him play so many times over the years, most often at the Village Vanguard with Bill Frisell and Joe Lovano. That band has always been a personal favorite of mine, they always sounded great but if you caught them on a really inspired night it was otherworldly. I remember seeing them one night where they played a ballad that was so mesmerizing and beautiful that after the song ended there was a moment when the audience seemed to collect themselves, as though waking from a dream. People often talk about Paul Motian as a very abstract player, a kind of painter of sound at the drums. But he had such an incredible beat! When his trio with Frisell and Lovano would play a Monk tune like "Epistrophy" Paul would really dig into it, playing with such joy and near abandon and swinging like hell. There's a lot of Motian's music that I have yet to explore, thank goodness. The Vanguard won't be the same now without him.

Monday, November 21, 2011

"A Little Feast" of new media at Cameo Gallery

Last night I went to an event of multi-media performances at the Cameo Gallery in Williamsburg curated by Amy Koshbin. I was very excited to see Michael Clemow and Ben Simington's collaboration in a multi-media piece called "999", which was based on a story by Jorge Luis Borges. A short clip is below. Amy Koshbin performed a piece called "Practice" which was a very impressive one-woman show based on her family's history. Michael has some shows in the works as part of the Abbatoir Projects organization. Michael and I are collaborating for a performance at I Beam on January 7th which will feature electronically processed piano.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Minerva at I Beam with Jonathan Moritz Trio

Minerva is playing at I Beam tomorrow night on a double bill with saxophonist Jonathan Moritz's trio. In our rehearsals lately we've been taking a break from playing compositions and focusing on improvisational concepts. We'll be doing an all-improvised set tomorrow.