Monday, November 29, 2010

Solo show recordings

Live set from a recent solo show in the neighborhood. Thanks to Kelly + Paul, David, and Ben! Let me know what you think . . .

1. Cluj

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


"We don't like this bird. We don't like his voice." --from A Magpie in Tashkent

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New Dimlite mix

Rocking Residents, Sun Ra, crazy prog rock ... !

Lit Paper Hats Forever

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


Will we see Juanma - Gamboa next year?!?
and all hail Glen Johnson.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Become enthusiastic! (TGIN)

Thank God It's November. (That's right, I didn't hyphenate it. Will I suffer the wrath of an angry deity? I hope not. On the other hand, internet posts seem to be eternal, so maybe I'm in the clear. Only time will tell. (It's OK to say "on the other hand" without "on the one hand" first, right?)) We--spectators of the sweetest of all sciences--finally have a few weeks to look forward to. Really, really look forward to. Huzzah!!! Lopez-Marquez. JMM-Katsidis. Khan-Maidana. Even Judah-Matthysse. The Ghost, Berto, Caballero, more Super Six, Canelo, Ricky Burns, Chavez Jr... Even some boxers that are older than me, and still great: Glen Johnson (will he school Allan Green?) and Bernard Hopkins (will he school Jean Pascal?). Hey guys, how about spreading it out a little bit? Could have used one of these back in October (shudder).

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

Start with Springsteen...

The Paul F. Tompkast just keeps getting better and better, and my commute gets easier and easier. Paul's stream-of-consciousness monologues are some of the funniest things I've ever heard.

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

Blast from the Past

Chuck uploaded this gem from 1999.

Friday, October 22, 2010

DJ Rob Swift!

Last night some of my students got a rare treat in the form of a lecture/demo with the legendary Rob Swift. A few pictures:

Thanks, Rob, and thanks, Will and Ivan at Scratch Academy!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


I returned from a two-week "ziyorat" (pilgrimage) trip to Uzbekistan with my Bukharian Jewish neighbors in Queens. Here are a few pictures:

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

Monday, September 27, 2010

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I was inspired to let loose with the refrain after seeing a bolt in the sky from the stunning view from Wollman Hall. Little did I know it would turn out to be a tornado soon to be zooming through our neighborhood. Anyway, hooray for Homeboy Sandman.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Someone took the time to make this


How did the dude on 6th Ave know I was a Cancer? And why was there a Hasil Adkins record amidst the Bohannon and Brothers Johnson?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shanah Tovah and Eid Mubarak

שנה טובה and عيد مبارك

Imaginary Band, September 27

Monday, September 27, 2010, 9pm

New York, NY


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 2nd Avenue)
Admission: $10 per set/ $15 for two / $20 for the night
student/senior: $7 per set/ $12 for both; RUCMA members: $5

More info:

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Friday, September 3, 2010





Oh, man, would I pay some $habzib$$$ to see this...!!!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010





B-HOP. About to face newly crowned Light Heavyweight champ Jean Pascal. B-Hop: age 45. Pascal: age 27. "I hold no malice or bad feelings to those who are concerned about me, but I've always been a son of a bitch when it comes to rising up to the occasion."

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 10, 2010


Tuesday GRABBAG!

City smells BAD today.
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

Ups (BlogTweetsTM)

Sarah made shoulder, Os sweep

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Enjoy it now

Buck: 1.000
[Os: .311]

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Open Letter to Floyd

Dear Floyd,
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

Great singers: The Supremes

And dig that crazy choreography! It's the most.

Buy the T.A.M.I. Show, finally available on DVD...

Great singers: RIP Shoista Mullodzhanova

Шоиста Муллоджанова, нар. арт. Тад. ССР (1925-2010)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Fracture: The Music of Pat Muchmore

Fracture: The Music of Pat Muchmore, the new CD from Anti-Social Music, is out! Collide Quartet (Jeff Hudgins, Peter Hess, Ken Thomson, and me) plays Pat's "brokenAphorism_15[-=] (Ghrmrooouctbiaknltegeete)" on it.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Be Like Mike

Joe Angel just informed us, during the 4th inning of the Rangers-Orioles game (Rangers 4, Orioles 0!) that the news is in: LeBron is going to be playing baseball next year.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Remembering Wendell

Eighteen years ago I began my college education at Oberlin as a jazz saxophone major. Wendell Logan was on sabbatical. During my sophomore year, after Wendell returned, I switched to jazz composition in order to study with Wendell during the rest of my time at school. He immediately struck me as the most serious teacher in the jazz department, and the person from whom I would undoubtedly learn the most. I still believed myself to be a saxophonist first and foremost, but I wanted to learn from this man. I don't know how many jazz composition majors he had before he passed away last month, but at the time we were only three (me, Dave Zoffer, and Scotty Vercoe). One of my proudest accomplishments, to this day, is the fact that I completed the program with Wendell as my private instructor.

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.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Imaginary Band, May 18

Tuesday, May 18, 8pm

Douglass Street Music Collective
295 Douglass Street (between 3rd and 4th Aves.), Brooklyn, NY
R to Union Street (or a slightly longer walk from the B/D/M/N/R/Q/2/3/4/5 at Atlantic Av/Pacific St)

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 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. 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, bass clarinet
James Ilgenfritz - bass
Michael Evans - drums

more info:

Friday, January 15, 2010

Portrait of a Legend

Repeaters: Sam Cooke - Portrait of a Legend, 1951-1964

Touch the Hem of His Garment

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Tierney: The Madness of Crowds and an Internet Delusion

Gentle reader,
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

Will Redman - Book

Free download or streaming:

Gordon Beeferman, Jeff Arnal, and me on track 5.


Doing lots of thinking about the "album" lately, probably as Mudang gears up to go in the studio. I love albums. Love them. Especially the record kind. I love to put a record on a record player and then listen to it. Never liked CDs that much. Always felt cheap. Too much plastic. Not a big plastic fan. Always seemed lame when they tried to spruce up a CD with slick packaging. Box Sets and what not.

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