Thursday, February 1, 2007

At Gimme Coffee in Williamsburg about to rehearse with Kevin Uehlinger's 4tet for a gig Saturday at The Stone. Should be fun. Looking forward to playing Kevin's pieces. Gimme Coffee is on Lorimer and Powers. Some of the best espressso I've had in New York, period. Worth a visit. The unofficial free wireles is nice too.

Been tearing through J.M. Coetzee's Slow Man. Walked by it on the Strand table by the checkout repeatedly, as it was beyond my self-imposed "No more than $10-per-book" deal I try and adhere to when I visit that wonderful, dangerous store. "Slow Man" is a beautiful, quiet meditation on life after loss. Coetzee treats his characters so fairly, so gently. Really lovely, deceptively simple writing. Actually started Coetzee with his book Elizabeth Costello after meaning to read him for awhile. So funny to find Costello as a character/meta-character in Slow Man.

As far as visual stimulii, been enjoying the first season of HBO's Rome. Poopooh to the ripoff theme from Carnivale, but it otherwise stands alongside Deadwood, Carnivale, and The Wire as an ambitious, grand-scale HBO endeavour. Not as good as any of the aforementioned, but guilty pleasure nonetheless. Funny, I enjoyed the classic BBC TV plays I, Claudius, very much - partcularly the stunning Derek Jacobi as Claudius, but am a sucker for the 21st century Rome-on-TV rendering rather than the 20th . Brings up another show I've been checking out: the BBC TV plays Elizabeth R. How is she not the mayor of London yet? Glenda Jackson for prime minister! She may be a ball-breaker as Elizabeth R, fending off Spain, France, even her own inner circles of advisers, but she also displays a touch of vulnerability that brings her character to life.

And from an audio perspective, though I actually haven't touched the 70s in my post70s blogged favorites so far, I must mention the soon-to-be-released (label tba) solo effort from Nate Wooley. Nate said there'll actually be multiple solo recordings coming out, so I'll have to mention it in a new blog and reference this one when I know the record title, but until then, kudos to Mr. Wooley for his focused, thorough explorations of trumpet extremities. I must take issue with his myspace disclaimer "wrong shape to be a storyteller." these pieces are thorough and satisfying individually and as a collection of short stories.

Up to Woodstock (for the first time) to meet with WIllow Williamson, my co-composer for our upcoming Meet the Composer Global Connections grant project in Dakar, Senegal, beginning February 14. We'll be collaborating with Dakar filmakers and musicians, details tba. Imagine I'll be blogging pretty heavily from there.

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