July 3, 2019
Summertime is officially here. It’s hot and humid today and I have a cold… Lately, while trying to rest, I’m giving the bass a break and spending time with this
This book is a goldmine of rich harmony and melody seamlessly interwoven. Couperin wrote all the music for Harpsichord, but modern arrangements of his music exist and work beautifully. Thomas Ades, for one:
Other pieces I’ve been looking at include Ernest Bloch’s Meditation and Processional and Copland’s Short Symphony (arr. for sextet), the latter which came of interest after discovering that it’s one of the composer’s own favorite, lesser-known works. I think the 2nd movement is the prize in this piece.
Some gigs coming up in August: Bar Lunatico, Rockwood Music Hall, The Press Room (Portsmouth, NH). Also, I will be on David Wade’s great program Juke Jive n Jazz to talk about my chamber music/improvised response ensemble. Check in with the performance page for details.
june 3, 2019
Over the last few weeks I’ve become more familiar with Debussy’s songs for piano and voice - a medium of his writing I’ve neglected until now. In particular I’m enraptured by the enchanting La Flute de Pan. Marked pianissimo throughout with the occasional rise to a piano, listen how Dawn Upshaw handles the presque sans voix ('almost speechless’) expression marking of the final vocal line.
New Recording! Hear + Now
March 22, 2019
I’m very happy to announce a new live recording of Hear + Now, my ensemble that plays original chamber pieces followed by improvised responses. The music explores the similarities of language between thru- composed chamber music and free improvisation; the known and the unknown. I recommend listening to the whole Concert Program, but you can also listen to pieces individually.
Hear + Now was recorded by my good friend Adam Chilenski at the Grand Hall of the Brooklyn Conservatory and features Jeremy Viner, clarinet; Zach Lapidus, piano; Tara Hanish, cello; Kyle Wilson, saxophone; Allan Mednard, drums; and me, bass.
Here is Stalagmites: a short, fast piece followed by it’s improvised response. All can now be listened to at the Music page
Feb 16, 2019
Looking forward to lots of upcoming projects this Spring
A few notables:
-In March, I’ll be recording some of the chamber music I’ve been writing over the last two years.
-In April, The Danny Fox trio heads back to the studio to record our third record. Excited for this!
-I’ll be recording bass on new music by songwriter John William Watkins.
-I’m returning to the Swiss Alps in May for two weeks of piano/bass duo at Hotel 7132.
-Gigs, including shows at Mezzrow and The Owl. Check out the Performance page
May 29, 2018
On Sunday, July 8th, I'll once again put on a concert at The Owl Music Parlor, one of my favorite places to make music in Brooklyn. This will be my 3rd time presenting chamber and improvised music in the same concert, and at this point I feel a few words could help to clarify some things.
I lead a bit of a double life as a musician. I am a bassist who plays mostly improvised music - usually jazz. I also write music, most of which might be called modern classical or new chamber music.. at least I think. In any case, it's for instruments more commonly found in orchestral music, and almost all through composed. To put it simply, I often feel like two musicians in one body, constantly pulled by strong currents in either direction. I struggle with dividing my time between practicing music that I don't write and writing music that I don't play. I love both worlds but I've felt a growing need to find more of a connection.
This brings me to the upcoming concert in July. As I've done before, I'll have both chamber and improvised music, but instead of two separate sets I'll have one set with two trios. A chamber trio (piano, clarinet, cello) will play a number of short original works, each followed with an improvised response by a different trio (bass, drums, saxophone). It's sort of an experiment and not fully fleshed out, but as a starting point I hope it helps make a more cohesive statement than before. At the very least, I think it could be a really interesting night. More to come soon.
May 16, 2018
I love Benjamin Britten's arrangements of folksongs for piano and voice, and I've orchestrated his arrangement of The Trees They Grow So High for piano, trumpet, bass, and voice. I'll be part of the ensemble performing it tomorrow night at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3, 10:30pm. We will be led by the magical voice of John William Watkins.
April 20, 2018
Jan 10, 2018
Happy New Year!
I have some fun things coming up in 2018. On January 22nd I'll be doing the CD release show with the DFT at Mezzrow, featuring all the music from the upcoming CD and more. We’ve also released a new stop-motion video of one of the songs from the record. The concert proceeds an upcoming February tour of California. Check performance schedule for dates
In other news, I've started a new group called the Flamingo Trio with old friends Kyle Wilson (s) and Hayden Hawkins (d). We had our first concert on Jan 8th as part of the Jazz for a Cause series and we raised over $300 for the homeless.
November 28, 2017
friday, Dec 8th at 9pm at The Owl Music Parlor! the premier of a brand new chamber piece of mine called The Heartland, a trio in three movements for clarinet, cello, and piano. followed by quartet with drums, playing the music of Thelonius Monk.
join us, i’d be delighted to have you. and come early, Kim Anderson and her band play at 8pm.
w/ jeremy viner, tara hanish, zach lapidus, vinnie sperazza
October 28, 2017
I just got back from Vals, Switzerland, where I played a duo gig in the Alps. Life is quite simple out there.
June 23, 2017
Jan 5, 2017
This Tuesday, Jan 10th, I'm happy to announce I'll be doing a night of my own music at The Rosemont, a cocktail bar/performance venue in Williamsburg. The 1st set will feature chamber music for small ensembles and I'm especially looking forward to the premier of my new trio for piano, cello and clarinet. The 2nd set adds bass and drums for a quartet. I'm pleased to be joined by some very fine musicians.See the rather dark promo photo below for further info. Please join us!
The Danny Fox trio in the studio in July
Ring of Bone
Anne Dearth is an excellent flutist and interpreter of contemporary classical music. She asked if I would write a piece for solo flute and spoken text and extended technique. I'd never done anything like this but I jumped into he deep end. Like some Steve Lacy music written for the same poem, I wrote a piece called Ring of Bone.
The Danny Fox Trio
The DFT is jazz piano trio led by pianist Danny Fox, with Max Goldman on drums and myself on bass. Danny's original music is really fun, and over time I've added a lot of ideas to help arrange and firm up the structure of a lot of his tunes. Occasionally I'll bring in one of mine to the group if it seems to fit the sound.
Check out this stop motion music video of Sterling, one of the songs from the 2nd cd Wide Eyed.
For several years now I've played a steady gig as one of the house bassists for Sleep No More, an adventurous interactive theater production based on Shakespeare's Macbeth and Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. I've met a number of talented dancers, actors and musicians through this association.