From Moscow into MARCH 2010

Dear Friends,

I hope  all is well with you all!

I felt I was long overdue for a web posting, not realizing that I put nothing up since early February. There’s much to share for what has past and for what’s to come in March. But let me say first that this Winter has been rough and I can’t wait to say goodbye to it.  I am not a winter person and I get ‘weird’ without sunlight for too long so how happy was I that my recent trip to Moscow was not only mild (by Russian standards) but sunny too.  Just returned home from a three night run at the Union Club of Composers at the end of February after a great little run last year. It was a blast!

I don’t sing jazz standards that much anymore, but they are my jazz roots and I love them.  So when the opportunity comes up now and again to sing standards, I really look forward to it.  Especially with a group as good as the Oleg Kireyev Quartet. We hit the day I came off the plane, me without any sleep and all this pent-up plane energy.  The band was ready to go and the audience that night was intimate, and they were WONDERFUL. It was a great show…with three patrons coming to sing to ME they were so appreciative! Some friends I met last year came by to hang out and I left that night feeling thrillingly exhausted – if one can feel that way.  All this without vodka. The next two nights were very different, Friday starting out with a little difficulty connecting with the audience then having the thing just open up in the end.  My last night was PACKED with a warm and expressive audience as well.  Three encores they called for and I sold some CD’s.  After that…an early airport call back home just yesterday. In between..checking out the city as much as I  could on my own and with a friend.  Great experience and here are some links to photos…here and here.

I had a good time at a couple other gigs in February.  A Super Bopwl Sunday  hang as part of Lola Danza’s Think Tank Series (FEBRUARY 7th). Performed a free improvised set with guitarist Simon Jermyn and bassist Ken Filiano at Goodbye Blue Monday and a wonderful night at the 55BAR on FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 12th with the Jazz Vault Project having Ratzo Harris joining guitarist Anders Nilsson and reedist Michael Attias and myself.  Thanks to all that came out the gigs!

This March finds me mellow on the gig scene until later in the month as I am terribly honored and deeply humbled to be part of  the Trillium E Project, an opera by the legendary Anthony Braxton.  I’m one of 12 vocalists on this massive project (replete with 45-piece orchestra)  and we’ll record this month…so my life is dedicated to that until then aside for a small duo performance with drummer William Hooker as part of his “SALT” project.  The day after the Trillium E Opera wraps, I’ll play on The Evolving  MUSIC/Evolving VOICE  Series with The ExPosed Blues Duo (w/Anders Nilsson) on MONDAY, MARCH 22.  We head to Chicago in early April to bring our blues and play with Chicago based musicians.  Plus the digital version of BARE will be out this month so we’re celebrating that.  A couple days later on WEDNESDAY, MARCH 24 the Jazz Vault Project is back in the 55BAR with Oscar Noriega standing in for Michael Attias on reeds.  All info up on the PERFORMANCES section of the site !

Thanks again for your support and I hope the winter hasn’t gotten you down.  Daylight Savings Time is already next week..spring is in the air!

Sending blossoms,

Fused Blues and February’s Gigs

Dear Friends,

The New Year was off to a great start until the utter devastation of the Haitian Earthquake hit Hispaniola on January 12, 2010.  Many people are so saddened and enraged by what happened and what has taken place since…I’m thinking a lot about what more I can do as obviously so many of you are  by the abundance of benefit concerts and exhibitions for this great cause. I’d love to hear more about what everyone is thinking and what can be done.

At moments like these, I tend to find solace in music and the ability to express feelings that words and perhaps tears cannot even convey.  But through music I can open a portal and letting that flow gets easier and easier.  I felt like a unique door opened this past Saturday at the Brecht Forum where I performed a double bill with the marvelous Kyoko Kitamura.  What a night we had. Kyoko had a great set with dancer Mark Lamb fusing show tunes, art song and clever originals with his movement and words…sorta like sexy cabaret meets the avant-garde.  After that cellist Tomas Ulrich met guitarist Anders Nilsson for a fused blues set and a lot of pain came out of the music and disappeared into the air.

Both sets received standing ovations from a well attended house! Thanks to all that braved to cold to come and share a very special evening with us.

A few days before I was fortunate enough to perform two of Darius Jones’ very soulful pieces at Roulette/Location One as part of Darius’ three-day residency there. A thrilling experience playing his music, pieces with great structure but room to flow and unfurl.

For February 2010,  I’ve a couple gigs in town, gently trying something new.  This coming SUNDAY, February 7th, I’ll appear as part of Lola Danza’s Think Tank Series at GoodBye Blue Monday playing an improvised set with bassist Ken Filiano and guitarist Simon Jermyn. Then on FRIDAY, February 12th, I play the 55BAR with the Jazz Vault Project.  Bassist extraordinaire Ratzo Harris will join us along with Michael Attias on alto & baritone saxophones and Anders Nilsson on guitar.

Near February’s end, I head off to Moscow for a three-day run at the Union Of Composers Club with tenor saxophonist Oleg Kireyev!  Was there last year and had a blast! I just pray it is not COLDER than it was last year…that’s a blast I can live without.  Click here for more info on the club and more.  See you out and about….or on Facebook…or on Twitter…or via email.  Preferably out though, in person, in the flesh.  Much nicer.

in music,