GA Russell

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Everything posted by GA Russell

  1. Claire Daly - Rah! Rah!

    Claire Daly Salutes One of Her Chief Musical Inspirations On "Rah! Rah!," To Be Released October 2 By Ride Symbol Records Renowned Baritone Saxophonist Performs Eight Pieces Associated with Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Two Original Variations on Kirk Compositions In a Quartet with Eli Yamin, Dave Hofstra, Peter Grant August 7, 2020 Baritone saxophonist Claire Daly celebrates the music and influence of the great Rahsaan Roland Kirk with all the enthusiasm promised by the title of Rah! Rah!, her new album. Set for an October 2 release on Ride Symbol Records, it’s a quartet date featuring pianist Eli Yamin, bassist Dave Hofstra, and drummer Peter Grant. It also includes eight tunes from Kirk’s repertoire, as well as two original compositions in which Daly reworks a pair of Kirk’s seminal pieces. (Kirk, who died in 1977, would have turned 85 today.) Blind, eclectic, and larger than life, multi-reedist Kirk was also the musician who inspired the 18-year-old Daly’s direction in the music. “There was this spirit in his sound that I had never encountered,” she recalls. “He was such a force of nature. He made me so happy, and still does.” The spirit, the force, the happiness—all of it radiates throughout Rah! Rah! Whether in Daly’s sashaying, Afro-Cuban take on Kirk’s “Theme for the Eulipions,” her uproarious interpretation of “Volunteered Slavery” (which morphs in its middle section into Sly and the Family Stone’s “Everyday People”), or the hard-driving aplomb she brings to “Blues for Alice” (a Charlie Parker composition, Kirk’s 1962 cover of which was his breakthrough recording), one can feel the icon’s zest for life and for bebop—and the lessons in both that Daly soaked up from him. Daly also honors Kirk on the album, and indeed throughout her career, by playing multiple instruments. Her vocals appear on the aforementioned “Volunteered Slavery/Everyday People” as well as on Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Alfie,” both delivered with an understated charm. Kirk was also a key exponent of modern jazz flute, as Daly acknowledges with her agile fluting on “Serenade to a Cuckoo,” “Funk Underneath,” and “Momentus Brighticus,” Daly’s light-footed contrafact of Kirk’s “Bright Moments.” That said, Daly pointedly did not go overboard in paying respects to her idol. “I wasn’t interested in mimicking Kirk or playing two horns at once like he did,” she says. Surely, if there was any message Kirk intended to impart through his art, it was to be steadfastly, defiantly oneself. With Rah! Rah!, Daly manages to both adhere to that message—“I think he gave me the freedom to have my own vibe,” she muses—and to give the messenger his just deserts. Born in Yonkers, New York, Claire Daly was 12 years old when she picked up the alto saxophone in her Catholic school’s brand-new music program; however, she truly became a saxophonist a year later, in a moment so profound she’s never forgotten the date: September 23, 1971. That was the day her father took her to see a big band festival ending with a set by the Buddy Rich Big Band, and the sound of his saxophone section tearing into the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood” absolutely electrified her. Daly attended Boston’s Berklee College of Music as a saxophonist whose life changed when she encountered Rahsaan Roland Kirk through his 1976 release Return of the 5000 Lb. Man. She had not yet settled on the baritone sax, making her way through Berklee on alto and tenor. Upon moving back to New York, Daly had the opportunity to purchase Howard Johnson’s first bari sax, which provided the next epiphany of her life: “This is where I live. I am a baritone player.” In New York, Daly built a prolific freelancing career, including work accompanying the likes of Aretha Franklin, James Brown, Rosemary Clooney, and Taj Mahal; playing in saxophonist Sahib Shihab’s big band; and holding the founding baritone chair in Sherrie Maricle’s DIVA Big Band, which she retained for seven years. In 1999 she made her solo debut with Swing Low. In the years since, Daly has become an acclaimed soloist and bandleader. She is a three-time winner of the Jazz Journalists Association’s “Baritone Sax of the Year” Award and has made multiple appearances in the annual polls administered by Down Beat, JazzTimes, Hot House Jazz, and others. Rah! Rah! is her seventh release. “If there was ever an inspiration to me at this time in history,” says Daly, “it is the unstoppable, fearless courage of Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Let us all summon his energy to move forward and find our new reality. Dream on.” Photography: Judy Schiller  "Simone" by Claire Daly Web Site:  ‌ ‌ ‌
  2. 2020 #CFL hot stove league

    No word yet on government funding. There won't be any unless Health Canada approves. ***** Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson and colleagues have purchased the XFL out of bankruptcy. Johnson put up half the money. A fool and his money? ***** Vernon Adams, Jr., ranks the league's top quarterbacks and defensive ends. ***** The league is again this year asking players to name the best players in the league. At quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell. ***** The juniors have cancelled their 2020 season. ***** The Bombers have revealed their Grey Cup ring, and will give one to Bob Irving. ***** I don't believe polls, but...An Angus Reid poll says that the majority of Canadians support Edmonton's dropping the Eskimo name, but the majority of CFL fans and the majority of Edmonton fans do not. ***** TSN Friday announced its all-time Argonaut roster. ***** Vote now for members of the Special Team of the Decade. ***** The league reviews the 1996 Argo team (whom I saw in both the Eastern Final and the Grey Cup) on its website, and has conducted a virtual reunion.
  3. The day after the Grey Cup is the first day of the "fiscal" year vis a vis the salary cap. So today, the Lions cut Dave Dickenson. That doesn't mean that they don't expect him to re-sign with them, but it will be at a lower salary. As I recall, he made $400k this year. So the Lions won't pay top dollar anymore for a guy likely to be injured. edit 6/1/08 to change thread title edit 11/26/08 to change thread title edit 6/1/09 to change thread title edit 12/14/09 to change thread title edit 6/20/10 to change thread title edit 12/2/10 to change thread title edit 6/2/11 to change thread title edit 11/30/11 to change thread title edit 6/12/12 to change thread title edit 12/8/12 to change thread title edit 6/04/13 to change thread title edit 11/27/13 to change thread title edit 6/02/14 to change thread title edit 12/02/14 to change thread title edit 5/31/15 to change thread title edit 1/01/16 to change thread title edit 6/03/16 to change thread title edit 1/12/17 to change thread title edit 5/28/17 to change thread title edit 12/15/17 to change thread title edit 5/20/18 to change thread title edit 1/09/19 to change thread title edit 5/28/19 to change thread title edit 12/17/19 to change thread title
  4. Wayne Fontana, RIP

    As I always say, the purpose of a woman is to love her man. Wayne Fontana died Thursday at 74. RIP. The flip side of my copy of Game of Love was called Since You've Been Gone. Most copies had a different flip side. I went to high school with a kid named Wayne Fontana. He was always wearing shades even before Game of Love came out.
  5. Thanks. I've been looking at them.
  6. Lon, what is your opinion of Pangeia cables, in terms of both performance and value?

    House Oversight Committee Invites New U.S. Postal Chief to Testify on Nationwide Mail Delays
  8. Nina Simone - Fodder on My Wings

    ESSENTIAL LATE-ERA NINA SIMONE ALBUM, FODDER ON MY WINGS, TO MAKE LONG OVERDUE REAPPEARANCE ON LP AND CD PLUS WIDE DIGITAL RELEASE FOR THE FIRST TIME IN STANDARD AND HI-RES AUDIO “I SING JUST TO KNOW THAT I’M ALIVE” RELEASED DIGITALLY TODAY AVAILABLE APRIL 3 VIA VERVE/UMe Los Angeles – February 7, 2020 – Recorded in 1982, not long after she moved to Paris, Fodder On My Wings was one of Nina Simone’s favorite albums yet has remained one of her most obscure. Originally recorded for a small French label and only sporadically available since its initial release, Fodder On My Wings will be reissued in a variety of formats including CD and LP, as well as widely available digitally for the first time, in both standard and hi-res audio, on April 3 via Verve/UMe. The original album will be expanded with three bonus tracks from the recording sessions from a rare French reissue released in 1988. The effervescent opening track “I Sing Just To Know That I’m Alive,” a song that Simone often performed live in her later years, is available now to stream and as an instant grat download with digital preorder. A lyric video is also available now: A lesser-known but important part of Simone’s musical history, Fodder On My Wings contains deeply personal songs, including the aforementioned, “I Sing Just To Know That I'm Alive” and “I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them,” as well a searing lyrical improvisation about the death of her father on “Alone Again (Naturally).” At the time she recorded the album, Simone was living in France and extremely lonely; her mental illness was worsening and her family life was fractured. It’s out of this despair that one of the many album standouts, the near title track “Fodder In Her Wings,” was birthed. As Pitchfork wrote in their list of 33 of Simone’s most iconic songs, the composition “captured with startling intimacy the pain of this period, and she returned to it frequently through the next decade, cutting another studio version three years later (the synth-heavy take on Nina’s Back!) and including it on several live albums, including an awe-inspiring performance on 1987’s Let It Be Me,” continuing, “Simone’s vocal makes a song of weariness and defeat carry an air of defiance, a wise word from someone who survived to tell the tale.” Over the years, the album has been reevaluated and has received its due as a significant work in Simone’s prolific catalog. In a 2005 review of the album, Jazz Times hailed the record and especially her emotional performance on “Alone Again (Naturally),” writing: “At the core of the album is a rare, powerful example of Simone with all masks stripped away: Her personal pain explodes to the surface as she reworks Gilbert O’Sullivan’s “Alone Again (Naturally)” into a diatribe about her dying father that bravely progresses from venomously embittered to cautiously conciliatory.” Recorded at a time when Simone was feeling rejuvenated by her surroundings and by the African musicians she met in her newly adopted France, Fodder On My Wings is an essential Simone album that is making a long-overdue reappearance and can now be heard however you prefer to listen to music. FODDER ON MY WINGS TRACK LISTINGS VINYL SIDE A 1. I Sing Just To Know That I'm Alive 2. Fodder In Her Wings 3. Vous êtes seuls, mais je désire être avec vous 4. Il y a un baume à Gilhead 5. Liberian Calypso 6. Alone Again (Naturally) SIDE B 1. I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them 2. Color Is A Beautiful Thing 3. Le peuple en Suisse 4. Heaven Belongs To You 5. Thandewye 6. Stop 7. They Took My Hand CD/DIGITAL 1. I Sing Just To Know That I'm Alive 2. Fodder In Her Wings 3. Vous êtes seuls, mais je désire être avec vous 4 Il y a un baume à Gilhead 5. Liberian Calypso 6. Alone Again (Naturally) 7. I Was Just A Stupid Dog To Them 8. Color Is A Beautiful Thing 9. Le Peuple en Suisse 10. Heaven Belongs To You 11. Thandewye 12. Stop 13. They Took My Hand ____________________________________________________________________________________ Artist Title Time Nina Simone I Sing Just To Know That I'm Alive (NEW) 02:24
  9. 2020 #CFL hot stove league

    As the saying goes, the people who are talking don't know, and the people who know aren't talking. It appears that there will be no 2020 season unless the government provides financial assistance. The federal govt offered a short term loan at a high interest rate. The league turned it down, saying that the deal would make them even worse off financially. ***** The league suggested to the union that the regular season be six games, 33% of normal, with pay reduced to 33% of their contract amounts. Many players, especially Americans, are saying that the 33% pay amount just doesn't make any sense for an annual income. ***** This week's 40-minute game is the Week 9 contest between Hamilton and BC. This was Dane Evans' first start. ***** TSN has announced two more teams' all-time rosters. Ottawa Edmonton ***** Here is a video of a Duron Carter catch, just to remind us of what we are missing. ***** There are a number of guys who are still looking for a contract. ***** Ted Gerela has died at 76. RIP.
  10. Fumi Tomita - Celebrating Bird

    Fumi Tomita Explores The Musical Conception of Charlie Parker With the September 25 Release of "Celebrating Bird: A Tribute to Charlie Parker" On Next Level Records Bassist's Recording Features Contrafacts of Parker Standards, Composed by Tomita & Saxophonist Dave Detweiler & Performed by a Quartet That Also Features Pianist Art Hirahara, Drummer Jimmy Macbride July 30, 2020 Bassist Fumi Tomita celebrates the 100th anniversary of jazz icon Charlie Parker with thoroughly Parkerian flair and resourcefulness on Celebrating Bird: A Tribute to Charlie Parker, set for a September 25 release on Next Level Records. Tomita, along with tenor saxophonist and longtime collaborator David Detweiler, presents an inspired set of contrafacts—new melodies, composed upon familiar chord changes—of tunes in Parker’s repertoire. Bird was a legendary creator of contrafacts. One of the bebop revolutionary’s key innovations was the language with which he reimagined songs like “Cherokee,” “Lady Be Good,” and even the basic possibilities of the blues. It’s this spirit that Tomita and his quartet (Detweiler, pianist Art Hirahara, and drummer Jimmy Macbride) channel on Celebrating Bird, both in terms of writing original songs on classic changes and the expression of those songs in a bright and upbeat bebop aesthetic. “I’ve always loved Charlie Parker’s music,” Tomita says, musing on the idiom Bird did so much to create. “It’s a style rooted in a certain language but very open to other styles.” That openness is very much evident on Celebrating Bird. Whether in the subtle calypso echoes of “Like Sigmund” (a contrafact of Parker’s “Segment”), the Latin charms of “Intersection” (based on “Repetition,” a tune from the famous Charlie Parker with Strings sessions), or the funk suggested by Tomita’s doubling of the melody line with Detweiler on “Oceanology” (a blues in C, a favorite Bird framework), the album offers a unique insight into the vast reach of Parker’s musical ideas. Then again, any jazz performance is also about the musicians performing it in the moment—and Tomita and company do not disappoint as artists in their own right. The glory of Detweiler’s sustained solo on “Bird’s Yard” is immediately rivaled by Hirahara’s piano chaser; Macbride makes punchy but sleek statements on “Bird Dreams”; and the leader taps into fathomless depths of soul with solos on “Alice Changes” and “Intersection.” As ever, the high point of Parker’s genius is in how it enables the individuality of visionaries like Tomita. Fumi Tomita was born November 26, 1971 in New York. Fittingly for the era, his first musical loves were progressive rock and jazz fusion, which led him to begin on the piano in high school. He soon took up guitar and bass; the latter instrument gained his commitment, which in turn gained Tomita a spot in the jazz performance program at McGill University in Montreal, Canada. He spent some time as a working musician in Montreal; spent a year in Portland, Oregon; then returned to his hometown in 2000 to earn a master’s degree at Manhattan School of Music (studying with Jay Anderson and Larry Ridley). Being at MSM put him directly in touch with the New York jazz community, and Tomita began working with the likes of Joey Baron, Vincent Herring, Jeremy Pelt, and Art Hirahara. All the while he continued pursuing musical scholarship, finishing his master’s and going on to study ethnomusicology at Hunter College and jazz and contemporary media at Eastman School of Music (where he met tenor saxophonist Dave Detweiler). He ultimately gained a tenure-track position in the jazz program at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, where he currently teaches. Tomita’s debut recording, Untold, appeared in 2011, with Impromptu appearing that same year. (The albums were recorded in 2003 and 2004, respectively). He and Detweiler made their first record together in 2015 on the saxophonist’s Dave Detweiler Trio. In 2019 came the ambitious The Elephant Vanishes: Jazz Interpretations of the Short Stories of Haruki Murakami, through which Tomita explored his Asian-American identity. (His father was Japanese; his mother a Chinese-American.) The new Celebration of Bird is, in a sense, another examination of identity: that of a contemporary jazz musician who is building on the foundation Charlie Parker laid. “Conceived before the pandemic, this tribute record to Charlie Parker will, I hope, still be relevant in the new normal with the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Tomita. “The sweeping changes for social justice for African Americans that have dominated the summer of 2020 were a dream that Parker, living during the pre-Civil Rights era, was denied. Yet he still led a musical revolution known as bebop that contributed to the great music known as Jazz. His music can be viewed as a form of protest during an era when African Americans could not voice their opposition to racial discrimination, segregation, or lynchings. During his centennial year, I hope that Charlie Parker will continue to be remembered and that his music will resonate with listeners during an age of protest.” Photography: Sara Pettinella @littlecombproductions  "Oceanology" by Fumi Tomita featuring David Detweiler Web Site:  ‌ ‌
  11. Roberta Piket - Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz

    Dear friends, The Downbeat Readers Poll is now open and I’m on the ballot in two categories: Organ (18) and Piano (16). If you feel I am deserving, I hope you will consider voting for me. It’s a small niche so, unlike in some elections, in this one every vote really counts. While you don’t have to be a paid subscriber to vote, you at least have to subscribe to Downbeat's free newsletter which you can do quickly and easily. You don’t have to vote in every category but I recommend checking out the following artists who are nominated in the poll this year: Tenor Saxophone: Virginia Mayhew, Tony Malaby Baritone Saxophone: Lauren Sevian Flute: Jamie Baum, Andrea Brachfeld Guitar: Vic Juris (the great guitarist we lost at the end of 2019) Miscellaneous Instrument: Scott Robinson (bass saxophone) Female Vocalist: Dena DeRose The link below will take you directly to the poll: As always, thank you for your support! I hope you are staying safe and healthy, and those around you are wearing masks! Sincerely, Roberta Get Some Good Music and Help Two Great Causes Thirteenth Note records is continuing our donation campaign. Get some good music and help a great cause. If you purchase anything from the 13th Note Records web site in the month of July or August, we will donate the total proceeds to either Doctors Without Borders or the Jazz Foundation of America. We have CDs featuring great side musicians like Billy Mintz, Cameron Brown, Joe La Barbera, Tony Malaby, Steve Wilson, Karrin Allison and more. So please check out the site. We won't even subtract the shipping charges or taxes before sending in the money. We will donate those charges out of pocket. This offer applies to downloads as well as CDs. Please stay safe and healthy. Mr. Mintz is an underrated composer, and these performances convey a warmth that goes beyond the collegiality of most jazz.” –Martin Johnson, Wall Street Journal My first solo piano CD since 2015, my new recording features the music of my husband, composer and drummer Billy Mintz. Listen and Download! Here's a video we did back in 2011 that still makes me smile. I hope it brightens your day. Check out the Video EPK for Domestic Harmony Find me on social media and share jazz with your friends: ‌ ‌ Thirteenth Note Records | 751 Palisades Ave. #62, Teaneck, NJ 07666
  12. Pianist Roberta Piket Showcases the Composing Talents of Husband & Collaborator Billy Mintz on "Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz," Set for December 6 Release By Thirteenth Note Records Piket's Third Solo Piano Album Features 10 Compositions by the Acclaimed Drummer In an Intimate Performance Originally Meant Only for Mintz's Ears Appearing at Mezzrow, NYC, Thursday, January 16 Playing Billy Mintz Tunes with Several Duos Including Virginia Mayhew, Mike Fahn, & Mintz October 21, 2019 Pianist Roberta Piket presents a truly intimate musical offering with the December 6 release of Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz on her own Thirteenth Note Records. A solo piano performance (her third, following 2012's Solo and 2015's Solo Volume 2), the album assays ten intriguing compositions by Billy Mintz, the highly regarded drummer who regularly collaborates with Piket -- and who is also her husband. The intimacy on display throughout Domestic Harmony is authentic: it was intended for an audience of one. Piket originally conceived the album a few years ago as a birthday surprise for Mintz. (She allows that it was "a milestone year" for the intensely private Mintz but declines to say which.) She arranged to record it while he was on tour, completed the editing later, and successfully surprised and delighted him when the big day came. "It was just something I was doing for Billy, and not for anybody else," says Piket. "It was only later that I started to think about putting it out." It's a beautiful glimpse of art at its most direct. Every nuance of Piket's lustrous touch, chord voicings, and improvisational energy -- and, on "Destiny," her tender, haunting vocal -- radiates with warmth and fondness for its recipient. Of course, the recipient in question also played no small part in the creation of this music. "[Billy] has a very personal voice," says Piket. "He has a natural talent for looking at the big picture and going beyond just his instrument.... He writes in a very simple, direct way that's incredibly appealing." He has been honored before by musicians performing his compositions, including saxophonist Adam Kolker, pianist Russ Lossing, and Piket herself, who has previously recorded a few of the tunes on Domestic Harmony. The context, however, transforms Piket's interpretations of them into something more personal and frank. If "Destiny," with Piket's vocal, is pointed in its expression, her thoughtful piano playing on "Ghost Sanctuary," "Flight," and "Your Touch" is no less so without it. As well, it's difficult to imagine a more perfect balance of affection with the inherent playfulness in "Shmear" and "Cannonball," both of which (uncoincidentally) feature some of the pianist's most assured and inventive improvisational work. Her unique birthday gift for her husband is now their shared gift to the world. Roberta Piket was born in New York City on August 9, 1965 to a father who was a classical composer father and a mother who was a traditional pop singer. Needless to say, it was a musical household, made more so when at 14 young Roberta stumbled across a secondhand copy of Walter Bishop Jr.'s Speak Low at a synagogue bazaar. It began her journey into jazz piano. Completing a joint double-degree program at New England Conservatory (in piano) and nearby Tufts University (in computer science), Piket first spent an unfulfilling year in software engineering before deciding that music was her true calling. She returned to New York in 1989 and began building a career and a reputation as a pianist. Within a few years she had established relationships with Marian McPartland (appearing on her National Public Radio program Piano Jazz) and Lionel Hampton (who provided her with her first professional recording session on his 1995 For the Love of Music). Piket has since established herself as an adventurous and versatile pianist, ready and able to try anything. Her albums (of which Domestic Harmony is the 13th) and performance projects have ranged from straight ahead to free jazz, from solo piano to big band, from chamber jazz ensemble with string quartet to the electric Alternating Current, and any number of other adventures as both leader and sidewoman. In addition, she maintains a working trio with Mintz, in which she has also begun to feature herself more prominently as a vocalist. In the 2018 Down Beat Critics' Poll, Piket was voted Rising Star in the Organist category and placed 16th in Rising Star Piano, while in the publication's 2018 Readers' Poll she placed 8th in the Jazz Artist category, 7th in Piano, and 5th in Organ. Billy Mintz and Roberta Piket Piket will be performing Billy Mintz's music with several duos -- including saxophonist Virginia Mayhew, valve trombonist Mike Fahn, and Mintz himself -- at Mezzrow, NYC, on Thursday 1/16/20. Other upcoming shows: the Roberta Piket Sextet celebrates the music of Marian McPartland, with special guest Karrin Allyson, at Flushing Town Hall, Friday 12/6; a set of duos with Virginia Mayhew at Maureen's Jazz Cellar, Nyack, NY, Sunday 12/15; the Roberta Piket Organ Trio plays the music of Billy Mintz (featuring tenor saxophonists Tony Malaby and John Gross with Mintz on drums) at Quinn's, Beacon, NY, Monday 5/4/20. In addition, Piket will be a sidewoman on piano and organ with the Billy Mintz Band (also including Rich Perry on tenor saxophone, Adam Kolker on saxophones and woodwinds, Curtis Folkes on trombone, and Hilliard Greene on bass) at Balboa, Brooklyn, Wednesday 12/18; Quinn's, Beacon, NY Monday 12/23; iBeam, Brooklyn, Friday 12/27; and Smalls, NYC, Saturday 12/28. Photography: John Abbott (Piket), Jason Kahn (Piket & Mintz) Domestic Harmony: Piket Plays Mintz Web Sites:,
  13. Eva Kess Presents A Unique, Ambitious Ensemble & Composition on "Sternschnuppen: Falling Stars," Set for August 28 Release By Neuklang Records Bassist-Composer Offers an Intricate, Suite-Like Program Written For & Performed By a Septet Comprised of String Quartet & Jazz Rhythm Section July 24, 2020 Bassist, composer, and bandleader Eva Kess unveils a remarkable expanded sonic palette on Sternschnuppen: Falling Stars, to be released August 28 on Neuklang Records. The Swiss/German musician heads a septet that also features pianist Simon Schwaninger, violinists Vincent Millioud and Susanna Andres, violist Nao Rohr, cellist Ambrosius Huber, and drummer Philipp Leibundgut—a wholly original take on the concept of chamber jazz. It’s no mere matter of semantics that Kess calls her ensemble a septet, as opposed to the more common “trio plus string quartet.” The bassist did not simply fuse two working ensembles together but assembled the group from scratch especially for Falling Stars—whose nine tracks she always performs in the same sequence as is programmed on the album. The music is a complex program that depends not on strings accompanying a jazz band, but on all seven members listening to and following each other with as much care as they give to playing Kess’s written notes. “This is highly contrapuntal music,” she explains, “where every player holds a high degree of melodic and rhythmic responsibility.” There can be no doubt about that. Whether in the kicky bossa nova of “Porto Alegre,” on which the violins play as integral role in the groove as does the drummer; the bassist’s dramatic enmeshing with the other strings on the pianoless “The Subsequent Use of Yesteryear and Futility”; the every-which-way syncopation of “Experimental Dreaming”; or the bold interactions of “Penta Piece,” it’s clear that Kess’s conception is one that makes great demands on each of her musicians and gives none priority over any others. This includes Kess herself. Except in her compositional voice, the bassist is no overweening presence on Falling Stars herself: she can emerge from the ensemble with a lustrous solo or powerful obbligato, then disappear again into the groove. “As a double bassist I’m in a team providing rhythmic as well as harmonic information,” she says. “For me it’s about the music as a whole, not only the bass.” In the case of Falling Stars, the music as a whole is both a reimagination of strings as jazz instruments, and of the fuller possibilities of a jazz ensemble. More than that, it is a scintillating work of art. Eva Kess was born Eva Patricia Kesselring on April 10, 1985, in West Berlin and grew up in Bern, Switzerland (after spending a few years in Porto Alegre, Brazil). As a child she played piano, advancing enough that as a young teenager she was able to perform a Bach concerto with a symphony orchestra. At 17, however, her world shifted radically. First, she fell in love with the double bass after hearing a street performance by a bass quartet; soon afterward, a friend took her to her first jazz concert, where she fell in love once again. Taking lessons with bassist Lorenz Beyeler—the bassist she had heard at that first jazz show—and later with fellow Bern bassist Thomas Dürst, Kess made the rounds of the local jazz scene, acquainting herself with both Bern’s musicians and the American and European artists who passed through the Swiss capital. She was soon able to form her own trio. After studying at the Music Academy of Basel, she returned to her hometown where she entered the University of the Arts Bern’s prestigious master’s program in music composition and theory. Among her teachers were pianist/composers Django Bates and Guillermo Klein, both of whom became her mentors. In 2010, Kess won a scholarship to study in New York, adding the U.S. to Germany, Brazil, and Switzerland in her array of musical and cultural experiences. That same year she also recorded her debut album, Wondering What Is Coming. After seven years came her long-awaited second recording, Flying Curly, followed by last year’s unaccompanied album Bassexperiment and, now, Sternschnuppen: Falling Stars. “Usually, I am an optimist, so I try to see the pandemic as a time found instead of time lost,” says Kess. “A time in which it is very important to keep going no matter what. At the start I’ve been asking myself: What can I do now for my future? And then I’ve decided to write some music, going for long walks in the forest or at the river, talking more with my parents, watching movies and reading some books. Of course the jazz aspect of interactive music is not possible during social distancing, so the communal experience is missing; many things have become a bit abstract lately. Music live and music online is not the same experience. As humans we are social creatures, it is a deep human need to be around others. Yet compositional processes are still the same and composition is pretty solitary and needs a lot of patience anyway. “So many things are happening at the same time everywhere around the globe. As creators we take and we convert outside influences as well as inside feelings, experiences, convictions, beliefs, etc. All in all it is a very unique time for creators in which it is very important to stay inspired and to be compassionate with yourself and with others.” Eva Kess: Sternschnuppen/Falling Stars EPK Web Site: ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
  14. MLB Season 2020

    I am reading Luis Tiant's book Son of Havana, and a thought occurred to me. Do major leaguers play Winter League ball anymore?
  15. 2020 #CFL hot stove league

    Edmonton announced Monday that they will no longer be called the Eskimos. They would like to keep the logo, and promise no prompt decision on a new name. I think they should call themselves the Edmonton Rough Riders. ***** The league is said to be considering playing a regular season of six games, with eight teams making the playoffs. All of this would be done in a hub city. Winnipeg, Regina and Calgary submitted bids to be the hub city. The league Monday tentatively chose Winnipeg. No formal decisions have been announced about anything. I have refrained over these past weeks from posting the many articles which are merely speculation. ***** It is now time to vote for the best o- and d- linemen of the past decade.
  16. R.I.P. Annie Ross

    RIP. I remember seeing her once on an episode of The Saint!
  17. 2020 #CFL hot stove league

    I hope everyone has clicked on the Cookie Gilchrest link in the previous post. He was an interesting character. Here are the final three feuds. ***** TSN on Friday named its all-time Sask roster. What say you, Dana? ***** Speedy Banks tweeted that he will not play this year, and will plan to play next year on the terms of this year's contract. ***** The Eskimos are considering changing the team name, even though the majority of the team's Eskimo fans have no objection to it. This even made's headlines! ***** Five stars from the 2011 BC Lions relive the season.
  18. 2020 #CFL hot stove league

    The Hall of Fame announced its 2020 inductees today. Henry Burris Freddie Childress Clyde Brock John Hufnagel Larry Uteck Greg Vavra ***** This week marked the 26th anniversary of Matt Dunnigan's passing for 713 yards. ***** This week's 40-minute game is last year's Week 2 Sask v. Ottawa. ***** More of the Top 10 feuds. ***** Edmonton posted a C$1.1 million loss for 2019, mostly because it spent C$950 thousand to keep Montreal afloat.
  19. 2020 #CFL hot stove league

    JC Abbott of 3 Down Nation is compiling a list of Top 10 personal feuds in league history. ***** Wade Miller is willing to play the season in the winter. ***** TSN has listed its all-time Montreal team. ***** Voting is now open for the 2010s best running back and linebackers. ***** This week's 40-minute game is November's Grey Cup. ***** The league is now seeking C$42.5 million from the federal government to help it pay for this year's games without ticket sales.
  20. Unknown Jackie McLean Tina Brooks record.

    The top photo is an odd shape. Is it a distortion of an LP?
  21. Bargain Audio Equipment

    Jamo S 809 Floorstanding Dolby Atmos Ready Speakers, Black, Pair - $239.00 (54% off) ***** Jamo S 807 Floorstanding Dolby Atmos Ready Speakers, Walnut, Pair - $169.00 (67% off)
  22. Bargain Audio Equipment

    Let's start a thread for when something good goes on sale. Tivoli Audio Model One M1CLA AM / FM Table Radio, Classic / Walnut - $83.32 ***** Sony SSCS5 3-Way 3-Driver Bookshelf Speaker System (Black) (a pair, apparently) - $73.00
  23. Jazz CD bargains

    Tubby Hayes - Grits, Beans And Greens: The Lost Fontana Studio Sessions 1969 (2 CDs) - 6.89 GBP