Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Live Webcast Today at 10pm

Here is a day I have been waiting for. I will participate in a live webcast with my friends Eric, Jeanette, her husband Paul, and their daughter Tanya. We will be performing a live webcast tonight. Between 10 and 11pm is our start time. One of our aims is to give the sound guys stuff to do by switching up instruments and vocals. It ought to be interesting. I will be playing acoustic and standup bass, as well as guitar and violin, and I will be singing two songs. Please tune in to: www.expression.edu/sound_arts/webstreaming_camera/ between 10 and 11pm tonight

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Two Poems from Jazz Camper David Erdreich

Bassline 4/7/08 8:02 am

The bass is the bottom
Teller of stories
Outline, bare bones
Who was more solid than Ray Brown?
Who could express those uncomfortable feelings
Better than Charles Mingus?
A thousand other jazz bassmen and now jazz basswomen
Thumping those subliminals
Marking the mythos
Expanding the strand you stand on
Background foreground closure.

Chrysalis 6/5/04

Lost among the rushes
I appear full blown
A reed man
With no audience and no band
I arrange my bass line
And cast it into the water music
(Catch my Handl?)
A tune breaks the surface
Fog and mist rise from the past
A melody grabs the bait
Racing deep down into the future
I've been here all along
You just never noticed
My invisible song de

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Back from CCMC, on to "Music She Wrote"

What a remarkable day I have had in my musical life. After staying up until 1 or 2 am this morning, I awoke suddenly at 7:30 this morning. I immediately performed libations, packed up the car, and was putting the case on the bass when Jamie Stillwell appeared looking somewhat groggy. We had promised each other to play one of her tunes together and here was the opportunity, so I took the cover back off of the bass, she brought out her guitar, and she taught me one of her tunes. I like her music; it is slightly quirky, yet accessible, and deceptively simple, but certainly not easy to play. I got to play with Jamie a little at camp, and really enjoyed it. There were many other musicians with whom I enjoyed making music, especially Julian Smedley, Steve Smith, Tony Marcus, Mike Wollenberg, Christine Olsen, to name just a few. I had a fantastic experience there teaching and playing. I had fourteen bass students between two classes, and they were all phenomenal students who really worked hard and improved noticeably throughout the week.
Check out the original recording with Johnny Mercer singing "Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive" by Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer...
When I arrived home from camp early this afternoon, I prepared for an afternoon rehearsal at my home studio for "Music She Wrote",  a benefit concert for Oakland Public Conservatory, involving some wonderful and dedicated musicians: Angela Wellman, vocals and trombone, Sandy Poindexter, Yehudit, and India Cooke on violins, and Branice McKenzie on vocals. Not present today were Jaz Sawyer, drummer currently in NYC and Victoria Theodore, keyboardist currently on tour with Stevie Wonder. We who were present at today's rehearsal each contributed a tune or two to the program. The music that we created today at rehearsal is exciting and is a product of the warm rapport shared by all of us., The music has a strong emphasis on improvisation in the structure, and there is a wide variety of styles. The first piece we played was a contribution from India Cooke, who teaches music at Mills College. It is a string quartet with three violins and bass, and just a wonderful piece of music that came together like magic when we played it together today. The concert is to be held at the new Piedmont Piano store on San Pablo Avenue in Oakland on Friday, July 30, at 8pm. Get your tickets now, there are only 100 seats for this very special concert presentation.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Faculty Concert at CCMC week1

The faculty at camp put on a great show last night. There was much variety in style, and as the resident bass teacher, I was asked to play quite a few numbers. Each teacher was loosely assigned to a group of other teachers, and allowed to present two numbers for a maximum of 10 minutes for each teacher. I was so fortunate to not only accompany others, but to present own two pieces. I chose to perform "Out of Nowhere" for solo bass, and "Accentuate the Positive", with me singing and playing bass, joined by Tony Marcus. Connie Doolan's set was last, and she was joined by the fabulous Julian Smedley on violin and viola, the amazing Mike Wollenberg on guitar, and me on bass. I am so lucky to be able to play music with these wonderful musicians.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Off to Camp Again

I am preparing to leave for camp in a couple of hours. I will be teaching bass at California Coast Music Camp, and have been busily collecting materials all year. I do enjoy helping other folks discover the beauty and power of the bass.
Played a gig at the Mission City Coffeehouse last night with the Bolos, shared with the Honky-Tonk Dreamers. HTDreamers: What a great band! Tony Marcus, Jerry Logan, Charlie Wallace and Julee (forgive my spelling) on great guitar and vocals. It was great fun, and I sang Accentuate the Positive with the Bolos to a wonderful response from the crowd. It was the best Bolos gig yet. There were about 40 people there, a nice-sized audience. So, looking forward to this week, I will be enjoying the fabulous singing of Connie Doolan, and much incredible guitar playing. I love playing with guitars...