Month: February 2006

Tonic on Thursday

Tonic on Thursday

This Thursday my friend and old classmate, tenor saxophonist Quinsin Nachoff will be having his U.S. CD release at Tonic at 8pm.

I had a chance to see Quinsin at the IAJE this past January and it was good to hang with him for a minute. I haven’t heard any of Quinsin’s new music and I’m very excited to check it out. Quinsin was always searching for something different when we were in school. He was really into 20th Century composers plus all the jazz greats and his compositions and playing were strongly influenced by them. I deeply respect him as a musician. He has a beautiful musical vision and his work ethic is amazing.

Quinsin’s new release from Songlines has great NYC bassist Mark Helias and drummer Jim Black in the rhythm section, along with a string quartet from Canada.

Hope you come out and support great live music and Tonic.

The First Storm

The First Storm

Saturday night was the debut perfomance of my E String Band. It was yours truly, singing away; Jacob Sacks on melodica; Khabu Young on eukelele and Thomas Morgan on my child size E string guitar. We played at the Crossroads Cafe in Brooklyn (in my old hood). We just had a blast playing Hank Williams, Hoagy Carmichael, Bob Marley, Depeche Mode, New Order, the Everly Brothers and tons of other crazy stuff. The music went in all different directions and it was so much fun. The owners of Crossroads are just fantastic and the food is real nice. The attendance was small because that night through to Sunday afternoon, New York City had it’s biggest snowfall in over 50 years. Being Canadian you get use to the big snowfalls. This one was pretty and not too cold.

On Sunday I was forced to have a snow day. My gig with the Andrew Rathbun Big Band was postponed and my best friend Jacob was stranded at our place (his car covered in 26 inches of snow). So what do you do on a snow day? You take your dog out (who happens to love snow) and go out for long walks and watch him have fun, spend two hours shovelling out your best friend’s car, watch TV show DVDs (I love Law and Order… it’s a weakness); cook,bake and play music.

It’s now Thursday and all the snow is melting away. It’s been over 50 degrees for the past two days so the snow doesn’t have a chance. It’s been rather disgusting crossing streets with all the slush. You have to make sure you don’t land in a huge puddle of slush when you think it’s pavement, ugh!

I’m looking forward to the next week. It’s winter break for schools and that means no teaching for a few days. I love to teach but I haven’t had a day off (until last Sunday) in over six weeks. I need a break. I’m looking forward to practising, writing music, cooking, watching some movies and hanging out with Coltrane and Chris. Life is good.

One Brief Moment

One Brief Moment

Well it’s been more than two weeks since 4inObjects had their CD Pre-release party and I am still gasping for air. We had a great night and it was a wonderful crowd. Dave (bass) was stuck in Chicago’s Ohare airport and didn’t make it till the second set but the night was really great with some fantastic music. We were all very pleased at the end of the night.
Unfortunately I went home with a migraine and experienced unpleasant dry-heaving over the toilet for about 20 minutes. (Maybe I should have kept that to myself). Anyways, I really didn’t realize how stressed out I was over the past month but it was worth it. Here is a photo of us at the 55 Bar.

On Friday, February 3rd, the Restless Spirit Music Series returned to the 5C Cafe with Jacob Garchik as our special guest. Now, I don’t want to sound biased just because Jacob Garchik plays in 4inObjects but I think that he is a brilliant musician. It can almost be intimidating to play with him. His knowledge of music is astounding and his musical vision is forward-thinking and innovative. He is one person who really elevates you to a whole new place. Whenever I play with Garchik I know that I can’t do my “usual” things at the “usual” times. I have to leave my comfort zone and go somewhere else because if you don’t Jacob will. It’s very exciting actually. I rediscover what is possible within myself and find new things that I am capable of.

Some of my young aspiring piano students came to the show. Here’s a photo of us gettin’ into it (like that?):

The blonde is Sarah and the brunette is Veronica. It was probably the weirdest show they’ve ever been to but I think they all had a great time. I believe that some of the best audiences are children. The don’t have preconceived ideas about music and it’s amazing how many of them love free improvised music. I think it because that’s the way they started. I always have my piano students improvise on the piano and it’s never thought out songs with tonal melodies, it’s emotional outbursts of expression. They don’t know what notes to play but that doesn’t seem to matter. It’s the sound and how the sound is played that matters. They have an idea in their heads and they try to let it out the only way they know how. I love it and I always enjoy watching my students play.

I love performing and its the only thing I’ve really dreamt of doing my whole life, but I realize that teaching is extremely important to me. I learn a lot about myself as a musician, educator and how to communicate with other human beings. I have become more perceptive about child behaviour and psychology ( but I do not claim to know a lot). Also, kids are great (most of the time) and they are just fun to hang with. Their perspective on life is so different from mine, it actually makes me feel younger when I speak to them. I can remember those feelings I had when I was a kid.

I could spend a long time writing about teaching music but that will have to be another day.

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