Thursday, May 10, 2007

A bunch of stuff. After all, its been 3 weeks since my last...

Its been almost a month since my last post. A whirlwind... seriously. Haven't had a moment to blog. Now's a good time to get back to it.

After lovely gigs with Steve Beresford et al (see previous post) I went to California for a week of various work.

Lovely Saris (duo with Sara Schoenbeck) concert at Trummerflora's Spring Reverb Festival in San Diego.

Wonderful, productive day at Bakersfield College teaching drumset lessons, music appreciation and ensemble classes for my good friend Kris Tiner. Showed videos from West Africa in the appreciation class and brought transcriptions of 70s mbalax and afromanding tunes for ensemble class.

Had a cracking CD release concert for The All Seeing Eye + Octets, out now on Poobah Records, in LA.

Then I flew to Portland Maine to start an 8-gig tour with The Bill Horvitz Band, with myself and ROVA mofo/great guy Steve Adams.

One of the stops on the tour was Toronto. Was great to play for family and friends. I realized I hadn't played in Toronto since 1999! Canada's national newspaper, The Globe and Mail, ran a nice feature article on me here.

That culminated in three days of rehearsals, performance and recording of the Bill Horvitz Expanded Band. We played program of music in tribute to Bill and Wayne's youngest brother Philip Horvitz who passed about two years ago. It was a deeply touching, sad and joyful concert. Bill wrote some beautiful music and put together an incredible band.

Last night Sara and I had the good fortune to go see/hear Bjork at the Apollo Theater. A friend of a friend was in the band, and so graciously put us on the list. Thank you so much Sylvia! What can I say... It was an astonishing live performance and we were 10 rows from the front of the Apollo Theater, stage right. Wow wow! They played their asses off. The touring band consists of two electronicists, drummer, keyboardist, and an all-Icelandic, all-lady brass tentet. Bjork rules! She brought out Min Xia Fen and Antony (from Antony and the Johnsons) each for a tune. Respek! And she played Hyperballad. I'm a sucker for Hyperballad.

Watched The Last King of Scotland recently. I don't know, Forest Whitaker is incredible, but I'm not down with the fictitious white co-lead. The implication being that Hollywood and North American/European(?) audiences need the vantage point of a white character to legitimize the film... to understand it... to go to the theater at all? Frankly I would like to have seen more screen time for Whitaker. I know he was all over each scene that he was in, but I wanted more. Oh well, congrads Forest. You definintely rocked it. I'm just not down with whoever greenlighted the script.

Been reading Paul Bowles' Let it Come Down. More as I get into it but a pleasure so far.

Been enjoying listening to Sade's beautiful record Lovers Rock. Think I might have mentioned it in a post from Dakar. I imported it from my friend Mohammed Sao who incidentally turned me on to tons of killin' Afromanding, Mbalax, Afro and more as we dug through his incredible vinyl collection one night a month and a half ago. Lovers Rock has been getting a lot of spins. The production is impeccable, the songwriting is fantastic, and her voice (like Bjork's) is so powerful.

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