Saturday, January 27, 2007

Blue Cranes CD Release at Holocene!

Here's the Blue Cranes doing their CD release party at Holocene. The band was completely rocking! I revisted my blurry art-crap roots by shooting with 400asa Fuji Provia pushed to 1600 and cross-processed. I hadn't been wild about the way the Provia looked when cross-processing- I did it a bunch on the Rome trip, and they mostly came out looking dull- but pushing 2 stops seems to give it the kind of look I like. It helps to be shooting at Holocene, which has a a lot going on with the lighting. I got a lot of stuff from this show, which I'll be posting over the next couple of weeks.
Reed Wallsmith, the alto player, also played great.
I missed this guy's name- he was sitting in with the band for the CD release, and had a nice rocking free-jazz type approach. I believe he plays with the Decemberists.
Bill Athens, sitting in for Keith Brush on bass had a big solo feature that was very nice.
Ji Tanzer, blew my mind with some burning breakbeat shit. More stuff to practice...
Keyboardist Rebecca Sanborn.

Poster for February gigs at Tony Starlight's.

I put this together this afternoon.

February club dates

I'm playing Thursday, Feb. 1st with my new favorite guitarist Dan Duval and co. at the Red & Black Cafe on SE Division. It should be an evening of loose, fun music.

My swing group, The Notables is doing a bunch of gigs at the new Tony Starlight's Supper Club & Lounge in February. Our first date there last week was pretty lightly attended, so I'm hoping all my friends in Portland will come on down and say hey, particularly on the Feb. 9th show. Here are the dates:

Every Wednesday in February. The quartet plays snappy tunes of yesteryear! $3 cover.

Friday, February 9th. Special guest Gracie Holloway (I'll be posting her pictures on the blog soon) will be joining the band to sing a bunch of great old tunes including "My Baby Just Cares For Me", "Let's Get Lost" and "I'm Beginning To See The Light". $6 cover.

Wednesday, February 14th. Tony Starlight joins the band to sing a bunch of special Valentine's Day tunes from the '40's and before. This night's going to fill up, so make your reservations early. $10 cover.

Tony Starlight's is located at 3729 NE Sandy Blvd. in Portland. Call (503)517-8584 for reservations. There's convenient parking across Sandy at the Banfield Motel, and there's valet parking on weekends and on Valentine's Day. See you there!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Kerry Campbell at Kicknbaque!

I went down and sat in with Mr. Campbell's group at the Kicknbaque on NE MLK & Fremont. A very raucus scene with people dancing, rappers sitting in with the group and such. I hadn't been in the place 2 minutes when a half-mad Russian named Vitaly accosted me to enthuse about my leather coat. I didn't really move around much- just sat at my table and grabbed a few shots.

KC 2

KC 3

KC 5

Saturday, January 13, 2007

RIP Michael Brecker

From the New York Times:

Michael Brecker Dies at 57; Prolific Jazz Saxophonist

Published: January 14, 2007

Michael Brecker, a saxophonist who won 11 Grammy Awards and was among the most influential musicians in jazz since the 1960s, died yesterday at a hospital in New York City. He was 57 and lived in Hastings-on-Hudson, N.Y.

The cause of death was leukemia, said Darryl Pitt, his manager.

Having taken a deep understanding of John Coltrane’s saxophone vocabulary and applied it to music that merged with mainstream culture — particularly jazz fusion and singer-songwriter pop of the 1970s and 80s — Mr. Brecker spread his sound all over the world.

For a time, Mr. Brecker seemed nearly ubiquitous. His discography — it contains more than 900 albums — started in 1969, playing on the record “Score,” with a band led by his brother, the trumpeter Randy Brecker. It continued in 1970 with an album by Dreams, the jazz-rock band he led with his brother and the drummer Billy Cobham.

His long list of sideman work from then on wended through hundreds more records, including those by Frank Zappa, Aerosmith, James Brown, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell, Lou Reed, Funkadelic, Steely Dan, John Lennon, Elton John, and James Taylor, as well as (on the jazz side) Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, and Papo Vasquez. His 11 Grammys included two for “Wide Angles,” his ambitious last album, released in 2003 with a fifteen-piece band he called the Quindectet.

His highest achievements were his own albums, both under his own name (starting in 1986) and with the Brecker Brothers band, as well as his early 80s work with the group Steps Ahead. Mr. Brecker was scheduled to tour with a reunited version of Steps Ahead in the summer of 2005 when his condition was publicly announced — initially as myelodysplastic syndrome, a bone-marrow disorder, which finally progressed to leukemia — and much of his work had to stop.

Mr. Brecker grew up in a musical family in Philadelphia; his father was a lawyer who played jazz piano. He started playing the clarinet at the age 6, switched to alto saxophone in the eighth grade, and finally settled on tenor saxophone in the tenth. He started to attend Indiana University — as did his brother Randy. After initially pursuing a music degree and then briefly switching to pre-med, he quickly discovered he preferred to be playing music. He left for New York at 19.

For most of the 1970s and through the mid-80s he worked hard in studio sessions, becoming a fixture on albums by the Southern California pop singer-songwriter movement, including those by Jackson Browne and Joni Mitchell. But for hard-core jazz enthusiasts, it was his work of the early 80s — on Steps Ahead’s first two albums, when the band was simply called Steps — as well as Chick Corea’s “Three Quartets,” from 1981, and Pat Metheny’s “80/81,” from 1980, that cemented his reputation as a great player.

His tone was strong and focused, and some of his recognizable language echoed Coltrane’s sound. But having worked in pop, where a solo must be strong and to the point, Mr. Brecker was above all a condenser of exciting devices into short spaces. He could fold the full pitch range of the horn into a short solo, from altissimo to the lowest notes, and connect rarefied ideas to the rich, soulful phrasing of saxophonists like Junior Walker.

In the 1980s and 1990s he experimented with the electronic wind instrument called the EWI, which allowed him to blow through an electronic hornlike device, play a range of sampled sounds, and multitrack them in real time. He began experimenting with the instrument again in the last few years.

With the onset of his illness, he and his family called for bone-marrow donors at international jazz festivals, synagogues, and Jewish community centers around America; tens of thousands responded. Working sporadically over the last year, he managed to complete his final album two weeks ago, Mr. Pitt said.

He is survived by his wife, Susan, of Hastings-on-Hudson; his children, Jessica and Sam, of Hastings-on-Hudson; his brother, Randy, of Manhattan; and his sister, Emily Brecker Greenberg, of Philadelphia.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


My apologies for the lack of posts recently. Blogger has been flaky in the extreme and not letting me log in. Ennyways, here are a couple of things I shot on Portland's glorius esplanade a couple of weeks ago. Ilford Pan F with the Nikon.

Under a bridge.