In Germany last year playing the Moers festival, I participated in a “morning session” an improv lottery where they put a random group of musicians together to perform some spontaneous music for festival goers, in the morning of course. I was paired up with Gravity bandmate Ava Mendoza, along with New York based multi instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily who I knew about through Carla Khilstedt, and the great NYC drummer Tomas Fujiwara who I had only heard about through Mitch Marcus. Well, the set went smashingly. I had a blast, and thought it only fitting we should get together and play again, seeing as we all live in New York now. So there you have it. And if you come to Trans-Pecos NY next Wednesday, you will indeed have it. Opening the night will be a duo with Gao Jiafeng, a great saxophonist and throat singer who just moved here from China, doing a duo with Yi Xin Tong called “Siwen Saodi” i hope you can make it.
I’ve been making drawings of Philip Pullman’s twitter feed for a little over a year now. For New Years I offically fell behind one year, so it was somewhat good timing that I got to post his tweet from last new years on the same day. Here is the drawing I did, plus Philip’s response.
And finally here’s a glimpse of the reach twitter can have. A post in french that makes special mention of a drawing that contains a ‘Northern Lights’ mug in it, the British title for ‘Golden Compass.’
Jeffrey our resident fly is the most polite insect I’ve ever met. He leaves our food alone but sits on my shoulder to read the Oxford Times
Well here’s something that has been building up for a while. What to do with all of this music that has accumulated over the years. Labels are harder and harder to find, and let’s face it, there is no money to be made in this ole music biz of ours.
So here are the fruits of many years of labor. I plan on releasing a collection of songs every month for the entire year of 2013. It feels like a good time to do this. We missed the end of the world, so we are all living on borrowed time. It feels like a good time to give. It feels like a good time to clean out the closets. It feels like a good time to make room for new ideas.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. My first offering is from the band Thorny Brocky, a band that was active through most of 2010 and 2011. I started this project as a “cover band” to perform music by every other past band of mine, and the pastiche like quality of our early gigs, performing everything from head/solo/head jazz forms to conducted improvisations really honed our listening skills, and clued me in early on that this band could indeed do anything. The chemistry between the players was immediate and radiant.
When local label Porto Franco expressed interest in putting out some of my music a few years ago, I handed Peter Varshavsky about 4 cds worth of music (most of which will end up in this year long project) and he ended up becoming smitten with this vocal project of mine, recorded by the band Floating World. The only problem was there was only 25 minutes of music. We decided to go back into the studio, with my new working band Thorny Brocky and finish off the record for him to put out.
I somehow convinced Peter to add a second record to the deal, an instrumental record that we would also record and call Vol. 2. (It’s the second part of a series, how could he say no?) I booked two weekends at New Improved and we recorded the second half of the vocal record in two days, and recorded these 9 instrumentals the following weekend, live, with very few overdubs.
Well Floating World volume 1 came out and we were all happy with it, but things ended up slowing down for the Porto Franco label, and Peter finally decided that he no longer wanted to put out records, so he returned the rights back to me. What a guy!
There you have it, and if you click on the link, you will indeed have it. Every month’s selection is free for the month of its release, then becomes 5 dollars as an archive. Each months music is a completely different collection of songs. So please stay tuned all through the year. I hope it is a good one for you too.