Monday, November 29, 2010
A tune I originally wrote after going on tour to Italy, Greece, and France in 1995 with Ben Lapidus and Friends a/k/a Baldheaded Stepchildren. We met these crazy guys from Romania and I kept wondering about this one guy Virgil's hometown, Cluj-Napoca. Since then I recorded it with Companion Trio and Krill and I used it the other day as a little warm-up number.
2. Tasnifi Buzruk / Pilgrimage to a Distant Jewish Cemetery
Inspired by my recent trip to Uzbekistan. The opening motive is from the very beginning of the Shashmaqom Bukharan classical repertoire.
3. Spider Web (I am Chiasmus, Chiasmus am I)
4. He's Our Little Son / Alice is a Beautiful Person
Three improvisations for my two kids...
5. The Roadrunner (For Jonathan Richman)
Another "oldiebutgoodie" as my old upstairs neighbor Rod would say. This was a Companion Trio jam (on Our Customs) cum solo joint (on The Destruction of Evan Rapport).
6. I Looked at the Moon in Blue
"Moon in Blue" (née "Vernon-Jackson") is a ditty I wrote for my wife years ago. Me and Jerry used to jam on it a lot. The beginning has some new ideas inspired by Jonathan Kane's take on Fred McDowell's "I Looked at the Sun."
Friday, November 19, 2010
Thursday, November 18, 2010
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Friday, November 5, 2010
Oh, yeah! And what's-his-name, that congressman, I think he's fighting in there somewhere. Not sure about that. Help me out here.
Just want to take a minute to thank Sergio Martinez and Paul Williams. Got to hand it to these guys. First of all, fighting again within a year. Second, both unbelievably passionate, brilliant athletes who are willing to go to war, without compromise, for our entertainment. Third, a fight that matters, between pound-for-pounders, and not on PPV. In the current state of the sport, a bout like this is a real gift. Am I right?!? So thanks, guys.
Thursday, November 4, 2010
In this episode: how to get your song about the usage of "sunder" from Springsteen to the Black Eyed Peas, through Bob Seger and Bruce Cockburn ...
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Ezro Malakov singing in the Tashkent Synagogue
On the road to Samarkand
Cooking shashlik (kebabs) in Sangzor, outside the town of Jizzak
The Jewish cemetery in Samarkand
The grave of Levi Babakhanov (Levicha), court singer of the last Bukharan Emir, in Samarkand
The Gumbaz synagogue in Samarkand
The Sher Dor madrassa in Samarkand
Dancing at a concert in Samarkand
On the road to Shahrisabz, through the mountains
Entrance to the Jewish cemetery in Shahrisabz
Thursday, September 23, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Friday, September 17, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
New York, NY
Music for an IMAGINARY BAND
Music for an IMAGINARY BAND is a (real) 7-piece group led by Gordon Beeferman and comprised of some of New York's most uniquely creative musicians. The band explores the territory where classical 'new-music,' jazz and free improvisation intersect. Beeferman's compositions range from the gnarly to the operatic, and are both incredibly detailed and very free; the band's intensive improvisational explorations are tethered to highly structured frameworks. "[A] commanding avant-jazz ensemble..." Time Out New York
Gordon Beeferman - piano & compositions; Jacob Wick- trumpet; Jon Irabagon, Evan Rapport, Josh Sinton - saxophones; James Ilgenfritz- bass; Michael Evans- drums & percussion
Evolving Voice/Evolving Music
269 East Houston St (at Suffolk St.), New York, NY (F to )
Admission: $10 per set/ $15 for two / $20 for the night
student/senior: $7 per set/ $12 for both; RUCMA members: $5
More info: http://www.myspace.com/rucmanyc
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
Friday, September 3, 2010
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
B-ROB. The key. The cornerstone. The robust, turnkey solution. The leadoff man. The all-star. Age 32. Without him, putrid. With him, pulchritude (well, not quite, but definitely better).
SO... who are YOU picking?!?
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Office really hot and humid. Library time.
Hurray, a real title bout on Saturday: Bad Chad Dawson-Jean Pascal (Ring Magazine Light Heavyweight).
Send me your thoughts on best hip hop recordings of recent years.
ORIOLES!!! 6-1!!! NY Times made the accurate, if not ridiculously premature, comparison of Showalter with Earl Weaver, who also went 6-1 in his first seven games.
My LORD is it hot in this office. Bye.
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
41-0 is astounding, for sure, but even The Greatest lost the fight of the century. Anyway ... I knew this fight wouldn't happen in 2010 because back in Miami you referred to yourself in the first person. "I'm not really thinking about boxing right now. I'm just relaxing. I fought about 60 days ago, so I'm just enjoying myself, enjoying life, enjoying my family and enjoying my vacation." When "Floyd Mayweather" loses to "I", the fans lose too (and now Congressmanny's left at the altar for "No Room For The Groom, Part II").
Monday, July 26, 2010
Monday, July 19, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Sunday, July 4, 2010
Wendell was an amazing teacher. He was also one of the most intimidating people I ever met ... and I don't get intimidated too easily. He had no time whatsoever for bullshit. His bullshit detector was beyond compare. This man's knowledge was so incredibly vast and deep, and his bullshit detector so intense, that he had a tendency to alienate wide-eyed Oberlin undergrads. Learning to navigate the FORCE of Wendell was an education in itself. My heart still races when I think about going to knock on his door to show him the compositions I'd been working on. Or when I think of the poor (other) souls who would show up late for Afro-American Music History class, AFTER he'd locked the door. (Try again next time, pal.) That class, by the way, continues to teach me. The only class from which I saved my notes. I realize now, but I didn't then, what an unusual thing it would be to learn about not just Congo Square, James P. Johnson and James Reese Europe, sure, but Nathaniel Dett, Williams & Walker, William Grant Still.
Composition lessons with Wendell usually went like this. He would generally ask me to compose something for a specific instrumentation. That was about it. I would come the following week to show him a few pages. He would circle two bars and tell me to work on those--and throw out the rest. "The trash can is your best friend." If I played him something that I'd composed outside of lessons, especially if I was shooting for something avant-garde or experimental, he would immediately identify some precedents to shoot down my pretensions of originality. He had me study a number of compositions, which now seem quite an assortment. "Sippin at Bells." "The Three Marias." Oliver Lake's "Rocket."
I remember fondly his criticisms. Leading the big band through a chart of mine, he stopped at the end: "I ran out of paper!" (Write an ending, you idiot!) But when Wendell gave you a compliment, he meant it. He wasn't one for the empty words and platitudes professors sometimes offer students now to avoid hurting their feelings. The fact of the matter is that music is a brutal profession. Students in college are fortunate to have time and freedom to experiment and grow. But they also need to have thick skins for what awaits them. For Wendell, college was still part of the real world; even if that college might be a bubble for some students, it wouldn't be for his. He encouraged students to teach at Cuyahoga Community College. He brought the Oberlin Jazz Ensemble to the prison, reminding us that anyone of us could be in there one day. This also meant that he really treated us like adults. And at this point, it was hard to realize how much he had worked to carve out a space for jazz at Oberlin ... almost singlehandedly, it seemed. He loved his students and simply demanded as much from us as, now I realize, we demanded of him. Some of my best college memories are of the yearly Bar-B-Q's at his house, where we all relaxed and just enjoyed our community.
I was so happy to see Wendell a few years ago at a conference on Black music in Chicago. I had been hearing about some of his health problems and we had emailed a bit, and he looked good. I'm so glad that I had the experience of working with him and that I have so many rich memories.
Thursday, July 1, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Douglass Street Music Collective
295 Douglass Street (between 3rd and 4th Aves.), Brooklyn, NY
Tickets: $10 at the door
Music for an IMAGINARY BAND, led by composer-pianist Gordon Beeferman, is a (real) 7-piece group comprised of some of New York's most uniquely creative musicians. The band explores the territory where classical 'new-music,' jazz and intersect. Beeferman's compositions range from the gnarly to the operatic, and are both incredibly detailed and very free; the band's intensive improvisational explorations are tethered to highly structured frameworks. The music spans varieties of melody, rhythm, and sound.
"[A] commanding avant-jazz ensemble..." Time Out New York
Gordon Beeferman - piano & compositions
Jacob Wick - trumpet
Evan Rapport - alto sax
Jon Irabagon - tenor sax
Josh Sinton - baritone sax,
James Ilgenfritz - bass
Michael Evans - drums
Friday, January 15, 2010
Thursday, January 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
I thought this interesting:
The Madness of Crowds and an Internet Delusion
"'The basic idea of this contract,' he writes, 'is that authors, journalists, musicians and artists are encouraged to treat the fruits of their intellects and imaginations as fragments to be given without pay to the hive mind. Reciprocity takes the form of self-promotion. Culture is to become precisely nothing but advertising.'"
Friday, January 8, 2010
Repeaters: samplings of those albums I listen to over and over, for whatever reason.
Andy Partridge (XTC) and Harold Budd, Through the Hill. CD, but it looks nice. Enjoyable unfolding card doohickeys inside. Petite, surprising, sometimes mysterious compositions that avoid new age nonsense. Sum is greater than the whole of its parts, but here's a sample anyway.
Through the Hill