very cool improvisational music

Please see Dan Barbiero’s MySpace page for some very cool improvisational music. He plays double bass, sometimes as ‘prepared bass’ where the sound is altered by the addition of other implements. More information can be found on his webpage.  You can hear Dan perform in the Washington DC area.

His music has depth of feeling and intellectual engagement. Hope you enoy!


Takoma Park jazz

Takoma Park jazz band brawl: Click on ‘Jump to Jazz Band Brawl 12’. A rich quality of life in Takoma Park, a city about the same size as Aber but located just outside of Washington DC. playlist – revised

New additions – cuts from Herbie Hancock’s “River: the Joni Letters”, which won album of the year in the Grammy’s.

I’ve been listening to lately and building up/revising the playlist.  It is a rather eclectic mix, with musical styles and periods from bebop to trip hop with some folk and unclassifiable acoustic and electronic blends. 

It is evolving with both new and old material being added.  At the moment I am pretty happy that it is playable, even with an odd mix the tracks seem to work together pretty well.

If you happen to listen, tell me what you think.

What I’m listening to now…

Lagniappe Jazz – African jazz programme.  Very nice for a change of pace – even if you don’t know all the languages (except sometimes when it is in French).  On Sunday, they have this programming, based on New Orleans time (US Central):  2-4pm Cosmeaux’s Africa.  Some sounds like highlife, some sounds like John Coltrane with African-flavoured overtones,  and others.

I haven’t been listening to Lagniappe lately, mainly focussing on new acquisitions of my own over Christmas (partly thanks to my brother & sister who gave nice Amazon gift certificates – thanks!):  Walter Trout, Albert King with Stevie Ray Vaughan, 10-CD complete set of Charlie Parker, John Scofield and John Abercrombie (like the other two Johns but electric), Davy Graham.

Jazz Corner

Jazz Corner is a nice source of interviews, news, jukebox, videos.  You can subscribe to the podcast of interviews.  I’m listening to the interview with Herbie Hancock talking about his recent album of Joni Mitchell songs, River, and why her music appeals to jazz musicians. Lots of the music from the ablum is included.

I also enjoyed spending time listening to KJAZZ over the holidays.

What I’m listening to…intricate guitars

Erik Mongrain percussive guitar “Fates” – reminds me of “Ice Flowers Melting” Finnish zither tape that I brought with me to China in the 1980’s. You can hear samples and see videos of his technique on his page:

Al Di Meola, John McLaughlin, Paco de Lucia “Friday Night in San Francisco” – This is the original 1980 live recording.  Here is a clip from that show, and another.  The three got back together again for a reunion in 1996, which you can see here on YouTube.  We saw Paco in concert with his flamenco group in CA a number of years ago, quite amazing.

What I’m listening to now….

DIG Jazz Herbie Hancock’s ‘Maiden Voyage’ and remembering when I saw him play it live in San Diego in the 70’s…takes you to a different space. 

Before that….Martin Taylor ‘Stella by Starlight’ nice guitar….

Last week saw John Williams and John Etheridge at the Arts Centre from the second row …. like having them in your living room….could see their fingers clearly as they played.  Beautifully complex, yet minimalist at times.  Favourite piece ‘Peace Love and Guitars’.  Some of the African pieces reminded me of Philip Glass and Foday Suso performing ‘The Screens’ as we saw at UC Davis.

Staying in listening to music as today is a grey gloomy day, unlike yesterday.