Month: May 2005

Memorial Weekend

Memorial Weekend

I can’t believe that it is the end of May and that six months of 2005 have passed. The weekend (I should really say Saturday) was filled with lots of fun. On Saturday we had our annual picnic in the park and about 15 of us met at the lake and had a few hours of feasting and laughing and playing “little slugger” baseball (just a plastic ball and bat for some laughs). I made oven fried chicken and brought lots of watermelon. There was ceasar salad, fruit salad, california rolls, crab pancakes, cheese, tuna casserole, turkey sandwiches, guacamole, black beans, collard greens, chips and salsa and brownies and cookie bars (from dessert man, Jacob of course).

After hours of stuffing ourselves silly and hanging out in the great outdoors, we departed and some of us went back to my place and took a nice long nap. After our slumber we went to the Cornelia Street Cafe to hear Open Loose Mark Helias’ trio. The music was really great! So creative and open, I loved it.

If you can believe it, at 10:30pm we went and ate at Po (great Italian restaurant) and had some gnocchi and a mustard green salad. It was a day and night filled with food (my kind of day!)

So Much Music

So Much Music

Well, I am overwhelmed by all my music news. The past month has been great for music. First, I started off with Nancy King in town (the post before this one).

Friday May 6, Jacob and I were doing our Restless Spirit Music Series at the 5C Cafe with special guest Mat Maneri (The Magician). That was an incredible night of music. We did some free improvisations, a Canadian folk tune and some jazz standards. It was a real blast getting to perform with Mat again. I will have a download of the folk tune soon (if the sound of the recording is ok).

On Friday, May 13th, 4inObjects performed at the Jacob Sacks’ New Music Series at the Friends Seminary. Jacob wrote four new compositions and transcribed a great Neil Young tune, “Don’t Let It Bring You Down”. I also composed a new tune for the band that we performed that night. Jacob’s tunes were really hard, especially when you’re sightreading them on the gig. They were really great and I’ll be practising them for the next year! The Neil Young tune was so much fun to perform (yeah Canadians!)

Monday, May 16th, the Sacks/Weiss Trio performed at Detour and all the tunes were written by Dan Weiss or Jacob Sacks. That was a fun night of music. Besides for hearing those boys play in 4inObjects, it was a real treat to hear them play their other compositions. This is the only group where I can hear compositions by Dan. Dan writes music with beautiful harmonies and difficult rhythms.

On Wednesday, May 18th, it was Chris’ (my main man) birthday and I was also doing a show with Rob Garcia’s Sangha at the 55 Bar. It was great to see all those guys in the band. They are good folk and they make me laugh a lot and they are talented musicians to boot!

After the gig, Chris, Raahool (one of Chris’ best friends) and I went to this wonderful oyster bar called “Pearl” in the village. Raahool and I had the steamed lobster (to die for) and Chris had the lobster roll (too yummy). I had one of Raahool’s raw oysters (very erotic), Chris and I shared the clam chowder and ceasar salad. For dessert we all shared a buterscotch parfait (I nearly died when I took the first bite, it was so good) and a chocolate fudge sundae. All in all, the food was fantastic and we all left full and blissfully happy.

This past Tuesday (May 24), Chris, Jacob and I went to Nublu to see our friend Thomas Morgan play with saxophonist, Bill McHenry. It was a really good show. It was trio (RJ Miller on drums) and the tunes were a mixture of standards, originals and other modern day musician compositions. Thomas sounded beautiful. It was so nice to hear him play with no chordal instrument. He is so creative and he has a beautiful sound. Bill performed an original composition that just knocked me out. I was so impressed with it that I just had to tell him as soon as he finished the tune.

After the gig, Jacob, Chris and I went back to the house and I made some Korean duk gook and a piece of Chris’ left over birthday cake which Jacob had baked for him. It was a good evening.

And finally, last night (Wednesday, May 25), I went to my friend, Eivind Opsvik’s CD release party at the 55 Bar. Jacob was playing and my friend, Tony Malaby was performing plus Craig Taborn and Kenny Wollesson. It was a night of fantastic music. That band has really grown into something so special. Those guys are really gifted musicians and Eivind is one of my favourite fellow colleague composers. Craig played this Farfiz(?) organ which was soooo cool! They mostly performed tunes from the latest release and they also played two of my favourite pieces from the previous CD, “Redford” and “Punchball”.

After the gig we hung out till everyone left the bar and we finally said good night. It was a late night for me (3:00am) and I’m feeling the effects of no sleep. So I say good night to you all. This month has been a great time for music and June is going to be happenning too.

I hope you all keep dropping by to find out.

Didn’t you know the King was in town?

Didn’t you know the King was in town?

On Thursday, May 5th, there was a surprise show of Nancy King in New York City. This was a very special event since she is rarely in NYC, and that Nancy came with her musical partner Steve Christofferson from Portland, Oregon and they performed one set at the Duplex in the Village (Greenwich Village for all those who don’t live here).

I was disheartened to see that there were less than 20 people in the audience. The last time Nancy played in NYC it was a sold out show. This performance was an event since it was the first time both Steve and Nancy have come to NYC. Their real purpose of being here was for our dear friend Deidre Rodman’s wedding, which they were performing at. I feel very lucky that I got to see them twice in one week.

Nancy and Steve did a wonderful collection of standards and originals. The two have been playing together for almost 30 years! There is a magic between them that I can really relate to ( I feel that magic when I play with Jacob Sacks). They know each other so well and there is a musical understanding between each other that is their own language. It was a real treat to hear them together.

There were moments when I thought I was going to start weeping because the music was so beautiful. Once was when they played Nancy’s original tune Moonlight to You. Nancy’s musicality and sense of delivery is so deep that she could sing the phone book and make someone cry. The hour set was too short but it was so wonderful to hear Nancy King with her lifelong musical partner Steve Christofferson. I’ve listened to all the recordings I could get my hands on but it’s unbelieveable when it’s live.

Thanks Nancy and thanks Steve.

The following Saturday was our friend, Deidre Rodman’s wedding up in the Catskills and it was glorious and sunny and the whole day was wonderful. The food was great (I went for two helpings of steak and all the fixings!) The evening was filled with music and a lot of love. Nancy and Steve played at the reception (that will be the classiest act at a wedding I will ever witness).
It made me feel so good to see Deidre and Ben get married and to be with them and all of our friends. It was also great to get out of the city (whoopee!)

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