February 25, 2015

Yep, it’s been cold.  And the winter weather buried our first attempt at the beginning of an exciting new project.  In January, in my new year state-of-mind, I contacted cellist Tomeka Reid with an idea.  About 15 years ago, Leroy Jenkins gave me a copy of a string quartet he wrote:  Themes and Improvisations on the Blues.  I felt it was about time to get to that score.  It’s difficult to round up the right players who possess the right combination of discipline and spontaneity, but I knew Tomeka would be the right place to start.  She picked up on the idea with fresh energy and before I knew it we had a rehearsal scheduled for Feb. 6 in Chicago with a couple of violinists.  I had also mentioned to her that there are recordings of Ornette Coleman string quartets, maybe we could find those.  We both entered into a fascinating search process that mined both of our contact lists and left me with some amazing new finds, but no Ornette Coleman parts.  A winter snow storm grounded me in the suburbs and kept me from our rehearsal….but we have vowed to pick up the project again once things warm up and Tomeka gets back to the states after some travel this spring.  We’ll keep you posted.

Since my last post there have been a few releases that I am very proud to be a part of:

One of my favorite musicians, percussionist/composer Tim Daisy, invited me to play on a project of duos (Review)

October Music Vol. 1, 7 Compositions for Duet.  Tim Daisy.  Relay Recordings 009.

And two releases from Ken Vandermark’s Audio One.  They both got 4 star reviews in October 2014’s issue of Downbeat Magazine:

An International Report and The Midwest School.  (A review) Both on Audio Graphic Records.

This spring has me sticking close to home and getting some work done in Madison.  Quartessence string quartet has me busy playing weddings and special events.  The symphony has some amazing concerts lined up this spring and Milkhouse Radio is keeping things fun and rambling on the bluegrass/country fiddling front.

Huggs and I are working on a few fun projects in the home studio.  Hoping to have some interesting new sounds to share soon.