Created by Daren Burns in 2006, Onibaba synthesizes its sound by using elements of the Chicago avant-garde, jazz, rock, world, techno, noise, and classical, to create a new type of fusion that is definitely not the smooth, funky jazz of the 80’s and 90’s, but a new living music. In live performance, the band is also committed to the use of live video images to expand the ensemble from sound to sight. The video doesn’t act as a narrative or as a background, but as a sixth element and contributor to the performance. Onibaba has been selected as one of Brick’s Picks in the LA Weekly multiple times and received the LA County Arts Commission for 2011-2014.


released 13 March 2013 
Daren Burns - Compositions/Bass 
Vinny Golia - Bass Clarinet, Clarinet, Alto Sax, Soprano Sax 
George McMullen - Trombone, Flute, Electronics 
Scott Collins - Electric Guitar, Electronics 
Randy Gloss - Tabla, Kanjira, Daf, Caxixi Shakers, Gongs and Metal 
Craig Bunch - Drumset 
Kio Griffith- Live Visuals

Pre-order the new Urban Nerds release, "Fear Is Not The Natural State Of Civilized People" CD for $12, download it now and when the CD is officially released on 3-15-12, we’ll send you a copy.


Recording features four new compositions by bassist Daren Burns, the mastery of trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, guitarist Scott Collins, pianist Sarah Phillips, and drummer Craig Bunch.


CD Cover

The Onibaba recording will include multi-reed player Vinny Golia, trombonist George McMullen, guitarist Scott Collins, and drummer Craig Bunch. Will be out by the Spring.


My band, Onibaba was selected as one of the select few bands to be included in its annual musicians roster. The commission will last for 3 years from 2011-2014. I'm very excited about this! See more info about LA County Arts here:
Thanks to Greg Burk and John Payne, two writers at the LA Weekly. It's great to be mentioned among the artists they covered and to be in the mag twice is fantastic! Once by Brick Wahl, between Billy Childs and Peter Erskine!: and by John Payne, "Laurie Anderson, Onibaba, Superchunk"! In print it says Also playing Sunday: Dudamel conducts Messiaen.... :)
This was a great set and the band played the hell out of the music. A great concert to send me off to AZ. We're playing in Eagle Rock on 10-17-10

Onibaba exists between composition and improvisation and is described as being somewhere between the light and the dark, the ethereal and the earthly - Creative Music. Created by Daren Burns in 2006, the band synthesizes its sound by using elements of the Chicago avant-garde, jazz, rock, world, techno, noise, and classical, to create a new type of fusion that is definitely not the smooth, funky jazz of the 80’s and 90’s, but a new living music. This is Onibaba's ( performance @ Royal/T ( , put on by Rocco Sommazi's Angel City Arts ( Performed on 08-07-10 and includes some of Los Angeles' best and most creative musicians. Enjoy. Onibaba is: Vinny Golia - woodwinds Geroge McMullen - trombone Scott Collins - guitar Daren Burns - bass Joe Berardi - drums/percussion Kio Griffith - live video
© Urban Nerds 2010

Onibaba exists between composition and improvisation and is described as being somewhere between the light and the dark, the ethereal and the earthly - Creative Music. Created by Daren Burns in 2006, the band synthesizes its sound by using elements of the Chicago avant-garde, jazz, rock, world, techno, noise, and classical, to create a new type of fusion that is definitely not the smooth, funky jazz of the 80’s and 90’s, but a new living music.
This is Onibaba's ( performance @ Royal/T ( , put on by Rocco Sommazi's Angel City Arts ( Performed on 08-07-10 and includes some of Los Angeles' best and most creative musicians. Enjoy.
Onibaba is:
Vinny Golia - woodwinds Geroge McMullen - trombone Scott Collins - guitar Daren Burns - bass Joe Berardi - drums/percussion Kio Griffith - live video
© Urban Nerds 2010

Excited and glad my band 3 Squares received a review in Cadence Magazine. Heres what Cadence Magazine says about me:

"Daren Burns is one of the few younger electric bass players I’ve heard who owes more to Steve Swallow than Stanley Clarke or Jaco Pastorius"-Jerome Wilson ©Cadence Magazine 2010. ph: 315-287-2852


Thats is huge for a fretless bass player and I am glad I seem to have passed the "Jaco Clone" hurdle! Jaco is a huge shadow to crawl out from under!

I'm writing two new blogs and I am determined to keep them going. They are both music related and have been kept up fairly well so far. The first is about the Southern California Creative Music scene. It will cover avant-garde music from Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, and San Diego areas, as well as everywhere in between. I also have my more personal blog about my various musical thoughts and what not. My band Onibaba in the LA weekly Read here:
Read here:

Had a great recording session with the Improvising Composers United last weekend and now back on the road with Kid and Nic. Going to be in NV for two weeks starting on Wednesday.


I am excited about a recording session I have coming up with Wadada Leo Smith, Scott Collins, Sarah Phillips, and Craig Bunch. We are recording 4-5 tracks of my music at Wayne Peets studio on the 23rd. The album is about political freedom fighters and prisoners of conscience over the past few decades with pieces being written for: Fela Kuti, Goyathlay (Geronimo), Mohandas Gandhi, and Aung San Suu Kyi.


I hope to get Onibaba recorded in the fall and start chipping away at other projects like 36 Ghosts and such.....

Pasadena Library 03-30-09: (Apprx. 50min.) Tribal Cafe 04-19-09: (Apprx. 43min.) Vinny Golia - Kaval, Soprano Sax, Bass Clarinet George McMullen - Trombone Scott Collins - Guitar Craig Bunch - Drum Set Me - Bass Segued Tracks: Van Gogh Hymen Lipman Anesthesia Non-Breakable Dogs Shorn Wryly. Stop! Hammertime!

A mighty thanks to Greg Burk and the two 'shoutouts' he gave on his MetalJazz Blog to two groups, the Improvising Composers United and the World Ambient Symphony, I am involved with:


WAS CD Review: Fall into the physical dream universe of World Ambient Symphony, the trio of multi-instrumentalist Matt Piper, electropercussionist Koorosh Daryaie and bassist Daren Burns. If I were unsure of WAS's honesty, I would have been incredulous about the group's claim that their album "Random Walk out of the Sun" was improvised live with no overdubs or edits -- it feels like a composed Symphony in a real sense. A cosmic whale calf moans, an electro-gamelan bongs, alien ululations zap across the sound field, digital monkeys chatter, effect following effect with steady purpose and natural blend. I was wrapped into a state halfway between attention and trance, buffeted and rubbed by a huge bass or yanked by the ears down stairsteps of echo. "Photosphere" would make a great alarm clock; its laptop skronks and gearbox tornadoes are irritating enough to wake you, yet comfortable enough to avoid cruelty. The 19-minute "Convection Zone," after making me feel I had been pulled upward into a spacecraft by some kind of alien beam, built a rhythm of psychedelic dance and squealing intersphere friction to accompany the inevitable lab experiment, painlessly conducted under semialert sedation. It's a trip indeed; turn off the lights and play it loud. Check out music samples and find purchase options here. - Greg Burk,


Also Thanks to all who came out to The Wulf last night, you made the event absolutely amazing!

Features four new compositions by myself and one I co-wrote with David Mills. The CD also include the fantastic piano playing of David Mills and drumming of Craig Bunch. Engineered and mixed by Wayne Peet at Killzone in Los Angeles.
<a href="">What Do You Know? by 3 Squares</a>
Interview of John 'Drumbo' French (Beefheart/Zappa/Crazy Backwards Alphabet) by Billy James Here Drumbo Interview. John was nice enough to give his current band, myself, Scott Collins, Eric Klerks, Craig Bunch, some kind words and some props.... Some shows to be coming soon!
World Ambient Symphony @ Royal/T's New Years Eve Party. Right click, or control click to see full size:
Royal/T - is a playful collision of spaces—café/shop/art space—presented in stunning fusion. An eclectic mix of retail and contemporary art reimagined in the surrounds of LA's first Japanese-style cosplay café.
Two new videos up from the Improvising Composers United (ICU) show last Saturday, enjoy! Ulrich Krieger-Sax, Andre LaFosse-Guitar, Me-Bass, Craig Bunch-Drums, Kio Griffith-Video:

We Are Not Alone from Daren Burns on Vimeo.

Misuzu Kitazumi-Piano, Motoko Honda-Piano, Sarah Phillips-Piano:

'3' A Piano Trio from Daren Burns on Vimeo.

Got a new hard drive so have had time and room to edit some more video. I re-posted the video of "Thirty-Six Ghosts" on Vimeo. It is a much better video of the performance. Enjoy!

"Thirty-Six Ghosts" by Daren Burns from Daren Burns.
I have to say, I never thought I would see an African/American becoming president of the US in my lifetime....It is almost overwhelming. The beauty is that Barack won 2+ to 1, a real mandate, not the fake one that GW said he recieved 4 years ago. The politics in the US will never be the same. John McCain should have been president 8 years ago, instead, his party pushed him aside in favor of the ignoramus that sits before us now. This time, McCain failed when he picked the equally ignorant "hockey mom", trying to grab at votes from various demographics, instead of picking someone he seriously believed in, who could show some leadership, and could move the country forward. What a great time to be alive!!
Please tell me this inbred, mongoloids comments are a joke...From community organizer to crack cocaine dealer? C'mon!!!! Oh yeah, thats right, racism is dead in this country....
Re-posted the videos of "Thirty-Six Ghosts", "Henry Miller", and "Rag For Saraswarti" from my recital on Vimeo. Vimeo allows you to post longer and less compromised video than Google or Youtube does. This means the actual video and sound are far superior in presentation. Enjoy!

"Thirty-Six Ghosts" by Daren Burns from Daren Burns.
Is it me or does this guys actually make sense?
I have to admit, my respect for Colin Powell dropped a bit under GW, although I do believe he was lied to and that is why he isn't an adviser anymore. This is one of the first government employees to actually make sense this election and he states it blatantly and concisely. No BS....
ICU had a great 3rd performance on the 4th. I wrote and performed a new piece titled "Tengu" for 2 quartets and video. The instrumentation and performers were Misuzu Kitazumi-koto, Megan Fong-violin, Casey Butler-soprano sax, William Roper-tuba, Scott Collins-electric guitar, Me-electric bass, Ingo Deul-drum set, and Famoudou Don Moye-percussion. Kio Griffith performed live video and the whole thing went pretty well. I come from the Miles Davis school of thought of picking your ensemble around your musical needs, I was extremely grateful to have such great musicians/artists involved and having the right people involved really brought the music to life. I have also still been rehearsing with John "Drumbo" French, we just about have his 12 song CD down and will start learning more. This band is a freaking amazing band and, John, Scott Collins, Eric Klerks, and Craig Bunch are fantastic to work with! We have started rehearsing without amps, just all in-ear monitoring and I think it is really helping. It is much easier to hear all of the parts and my ears aren't as fatigued at the end of rehearsal. Heres a video of Wadada Leo Smith, Scott Collins, Kathy Carbonne, and myself at the Imaginarias Fronteras workshop at the Centro Estatal De Las Artes in Mexicali:
Had a great performance with the ICU on the 16th at the Pasadena Library. We had six new, original works performed and had special guests Vinny Golia and Ulrich Krieger who performed with us and also played an original work each. At the end, we also played Rzewski's "Les Moutons de Panurge". My pieces went well and Kathy Carbone's dancing was outstanding as well as Mercus' reading of some of his text. I also had a great time on Tuesday playing with Bill Stuhlly, Dona Oxford, Frank Macchia, and Jayce some guests who sat in. It was a fun night and we were told that we were better than the Dave Matthews band.... I'll take it. On Wednesday i did a jam with Shin and his Midtones group at the Grand Star Inn in China Town and had a great night. I got to play with a bunch of great musicians. Finally, had a audition/ rehearsal with Scott Collins, Eric Klerks, Craig Bunch, and John "Drumbo" French. We were going over John's music, learning some of the finer points. It was a blast and I can't wait to develop it further. John writes difficult music in the Beefheart vein, but is fun at the same time. We may learn some Beefheart music as well which will be awesome.
Whats new you may ask? I've finished mixing the CD "Have We Met?" by the MBB Trio with David Mills and Craig Bunch. We recorded and mixed at Wayne Peet's "killzone" studios and it turned out well. We will be releasing shortly. It features all original compositions by Dave Mills and myself, plus one tune co-written by both of us. Wayne did a fantastic job with the recording, especially with our cheap ass budget. The Improvising Composers United group is starting to take off a bit. We did our first show at Zeropoint and we have a couple of shows booked at the Pasadena Library and the Taper Auditorium in downtown. Also, I have been working on music by John "Drumbo" French, from Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band fame. Stay tuned.....
Dave Carpenter was my teacher for a year and a half while I was at CalArts from fall 1995 through the fall of 1996. Not only was he a great musician and bassist, he was a gracious human being and a very encouraging teacher. We read Bach Inventions and even performed them on my recital, and he "corrected" my Real Book with all kinds of "hip" alternative changes and such. He even got me into the NAMM show to see him play with Allan Holdsworth and Peter Erskine. He told me, "Just come down and tell them you know me, they'll let you in." And of course when I got there he spotted me and my wife and pulled us in without a hitch. I didn't get to see him as often as I would have liked over the past few years as my own life got in the way. The last time was the Peter Erskine Trio playing at Redlands University, while my wife was completing her Masters degree. I always figured there would be another time and that I regret. Dave you will be missed... From the LA Times: Dave Carpenter, 48; jazz bassist co-founded Santa Monica-based Lounge Art Ensemble From a Times Staff Writer June 30, 2008 Dave Carpenter, a jazz bassist who worked with scores of legendary names, appeared on more than 200 recordings and was a founding member of the Lounge Art Ensemble, died June 23 of a heart attack at his home in Burbank. He was 48. Most recently, Carpenter had been playing in a trio with pianist Alan Pasqua and drummer Peter Erskine and had just released an album called "Standards." A native of Dayton, Ohio, Carpenter was born Nov. 4, 1959. He first studied the trumpet but switched to the bass at 12. After studying music at Ohio State University, he launched his professional career playing with three giants of jazz: Buddy Rich, Maynard Ferguson and Woody Herman. "Woody's band was the best, musically, because of the history that was in his repertoire, while Buddy was more like a life education," Carpenter told The Times some years ago. "I got so much confidence working with him." Carpenter moved to Los Angeles in the late 1980s and found work as a studio musician with leading names including Herbie Hancock, Celine Dion, Ringo Starr, Hubert Laws, Michel Legrand and Barry Manilow. In the mid-1990s, Carpenter joined drummer Erskine and saxophonist Bob Sheppard to form the Santa Monica-based Lounge Art Ensemble and performed frequently in venues around Southern California. The group took existing jazz standards, put new melodies on top of the chord changes and came up with new titles. "Dave Carpenter made any piece of music sound and feel better by his incredible musicianship, uncompromising beat and unerring ability to choose the right note at the right time," Erskine said. "His musical presence will be sorely missed by all who knew and heard him." In addition to his jazz and pop music work, Carpenter was interested in classical music and worked as a soloist with the Los Angeles and Berlin philharmonic orchestras. Survivors include his wife, Valerie, and two brothers.
Well, it's been a few weeks since I wrote here, but wanted to update. I had a nice gig @ Cafe Metropol last Friday with the great guitarist, Andre LaFosse, the amazing violinist, Todd Reynolds, and the always exciting pianist, Motoko Honda. Thanks to Rocco for helping us put this together! Here is a clip of Motoko and I playing duet: Motoko Honda/Daren Burns Duet Here is the Quartet playing: Andre LaFosse/Todd Reynolds/Motoko Honda/Daren Burns Quartet Also, I just found this clip from April:
Crazy! I played with Motoko, Joe Berardi, and Scott (I forgot his last name) at the UndergrounDNuos, put on by KXLU and Amoeba Records, It was a fun time. Mike Watt and Kira played right before us, it was great! Also, many things being planned and developed so stay tuned...
Here's a video of 'Thirty-Six Ghosts' from my Recital. It features, Joule Ladara-Vocs., Eric Klerks-Vocs., Vinny Golia-Woodwinds, Ulrich Krieger- Woodwinds, Scott Collins-Guitar, Misuzu Kitazumi-koto, Andrew Niven- Drum Set, Ingo Deul-Percussion, Randy Gloss- Percussion, Sarah Phillips-Conducting. The Dance is by Don McLeod & Rocio. The Live video is by Bo sul Kim. Video footage was taken by Jon Dunmore
Also, I had the privilege of working with composer, Jonathan Bepler last week, on a film project by Matthew Barney. It included about 50 marching band guys and gals from RCC, 50 guys dragging a car into a Chrysler showroom that was outfitted with bullet-proof glass to be shredded, a gold Trans AM, a mariachi band and one naked lady that was dressed as a scarab. It was quite the week as this all happened during my graduation from CalArts. Oh yeah..... I graduated from CalArts with my MFA in Performer/Composer, African/American Improvisational music, under the direction of Wadada Leo Smith. I'm glad to be done and to be able to move forward I have a lot to say and do with music.
Things have been extremely busy and school is coming to a close. My recital is over and it went well. Everyone involved played their ass off and I received a lot of great feedback. I also just came back from Mexicali to perform a concert and workshop on improvisation and collaboration at the Centro Estatal de las Artes that was put together by Carmina Escobar. It was a nice group of people that went, we had musicians, Wadada Leo Smith, Vinny Golia, Scott Collins, Sarah Phillips, Ingo Deul, and Megan Fong We also had visual artist Francisco Martinez, video artists, Bo sul Kim, visual artist Evelyn Serrano, and dancer Kathy Carbone. We performed a concert on Thursday night and then had a workshop on Friday and a performance with the workshop participants on Saturday. We worked mostly with dancers, theater people, and visual artists. The people we met in Mexico were very friendly, open, and talented. I think that my group learned as much as the artists of Mexicali did. Mexicali Workshop Pictures
First off, my recital is rescheduled for April 1st. No joke. Here is the poster that Kio Griffith, a great artist and graphic designer, created for the event. I think it looks pretty awesome and I am still finding some of the detail in it:
Everything else: Too much going on, my grandfather, Vernon Burns passed away last week, I'm going to miss him. He was a great strong man, who lived a long life. The upside is that I got to see a bunch of relatives I hadn't seen in a very long time. Yesterday was the first annual "Fresh Squeezed" Festival @ CalArts, put on by Sarah Phillips, Megan Fong, and Scott Collins. I think the event was a success . There were a variety of music students, writers, and video artists who played from 2 PM until 1 or 2 AM. Quite an event! I played @ Noon with Megan, Sarah and Carmina Escobar for a nice performance and then Vinny Golia did a collaborative work with video artist Caroline Kim and a dancer, who I didn't catch the name. Caroline told me it was a test run, but it was fantastic! I was finally glad to get to see her work as I had missed the last couple of performances she had done in LA. I then played a solo set in the Tatum coffee house and later, I played a set in the Main Gallery with Here No Evol, my band moniker, where we play time based pieces laid out over whatever time-limit is presented to us. This time it was 25min. and the band was made up of my wife, Misuzu Kitazumi on japanese koto, Carmia Escobar on vocals, Sarah Phillips on piano, Scott Collins on Guitar, Casey Butler on soprano sax, and Ingo Deul on drumset. I think it came off pretty well. Right after, Misuzu on koto, George McMullen on trombone, and I played a trio in Tatum that was quite impromptu and quite successful. Congrats to Sarah, Megan, and Scott again for putting on the great festival that all of the students will remember!
It is titled 'Ball Lightning Formation' and was recorded live last Wednesday, 03-05-08, @ the Nova Express closing party. Andre LaFosse played as well as Chris Opperman and it was a fun time! I went on at about 12:30am, played till 1:00am, and there were tons of people there. I'm sure I played to 50+ people, some coming and going, it was great! Have a listen here: 'Ball Lightning Formation' (30 min.)
...due to a power failure in Santa Clarita.The sound engineer, John Baffa said it was the first time he ever had to cancel an event in his time @ CalArts. I think this is the first time I have ever canceled an event as well. The whole thing will be rescheduled, the only real problem is getting all of the musicians back together to rehearse. Vinny Golia, Ulrich Krieger, and Randy Gloss are very busy players/teachers. Also, Don McLeod and Rocio, the butoh dancers (who gave their time for free, I might add) have hectic schedules and that is not to even mention the students own crazy schedules. The other bummer is that I had planned out my semester so the recital was done early and I could then concentrate on my thesis and other classes, now that has been thwarted and I am going to have to scramble around more than I had hoped. Oh well,
Had a crazy week that felt like a month last week. We had violinist, Mark Feldman (He gave me a pack of cigarettes and he had my favorite quote from the week "It's like when you go to a violin recital and the player sounds like Jack Benny" Ouch!!) , pianist, Sylvie Courvoisier, and pianist, Art Lande @ CalArts teaching workshops on improvisation. Also on the weekend was Wadada Leo Smiths Creative Music Festival @ The Redcat with The Art Ensemble of Chicago. If that wasn't enough, the NAMM show was in town as well. NAMM is a music equipment rtrade show with lots of rock stars, wanna-be rock stars, and excellent musicians all under one roof. A sampling of who I saw, was Stevie Wonder, Sting, my old teacher Jeff Berlin, Jonas Hellborg, Scott Henderson, the guitarists of Slipknot and Dragonforce, and a bunch of posers. I also saw some old friends like recording engineer Marty Beal. One things for sure, NAMM has nothing to do with music just gear. Now, Jonas Hellborg I actually talked to about classical Indian music for about 20 minutes and he was very nice. I was a little star struck and he wanted me to show him some Indian Tala I had learned, while he was making coffee at the Warwick booth (the makers of his new amp and bass guitar), but I declined. I have become interested in his music the last couple of years because he really gets the Indian thing and incorporates it really well with Western musical ideas. I asked him how he incorporated it so fast into his playing and it was nice to know that it has taken him 25 years to get where he is at with the Indian stuff. There's still hope! I also played in George McMullen's recital on Sunday. We played music to Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times" and an opus for Dr. Martin Luther King that was very touching.
LA Times Review-Betty Garrett, Closet Songwriter Alright, got my first ever mention in the LA Times yesterday. It is for this musical I started last week, most reviews never mention the musicians, but The Times did... "Musical director Paul Chipello, who also contributes live piano accompaniment, ably backed by bassist Daren Burns..."-F. Kathleen Foley, LA Times It has been a fun show so far, the cast is all great and working with Paul Chipello is always a good time.
My favorite new quote: "If you miss the sensual part of music, you risk becoming a gynecologist and not a lover" - Rabih Abou-Khalil On a sadder note, Joe Zawinul of the band Weather Report and Miles Davis' early electric bands, has died at the age of 75. Joe was not only a great pianist, he was also an early synthesizer adopter, and to my ears, is the only one in jazz; besides maybe, Herbie Hancock, that came up with unique, interesting, and usable synthesized sounds and textures in a jazz context. He was an original.
Just got done with an intensive 1 week rehearsal/recording session with Dave Mills on piano and Craig Bunch on drums. We recorded at Wayne Peet's studio called Killzone Studios in Mar Vista and recorded 11 written tunes and 3 improvisations. I think most came out well, but still in the listening stages. We have to go back in and finish slight editing and mixing to finish. I wrote 3 new pieces entitled "For Ornette", "Ear Caving Dread", "Marwa", and revisted an old piece called "Mimi Nashi Hoichi". Also, Dave and I co-wrote a new ballad called "Have We Met". This was a real learning experience for me to run a session. I'm usually just the side guy and record whatever people need. I can't wait to record more of my music in the near future. On Saturday, I also went to Brandon Toh's to hear some recording that Ingo Deul, Sarah Phillips, and myself did a few months back. It was interesting to listen to because I hadn't heard any of it since the actual session.....kind of Bitches Brew-like with some other oddities thrown in....
Finally, after beating my head against the desk and much, much, more procrastination, I got the calendar section up and running COMPLETELY. It now has working links to all of the past dates I have played since starting this site; if anyone is interested in checking them out. Huge props goes to Ryan @ Hostbaby for the technical support he provided in helping me sort this out. Again I have to say, if you are a musician looking to build a real website, not just a crappy, Rupert Murdoch owned Myspace one, Hostbaby is THE PLACE to host with. They make everything so easy and the price is right.
On the audio page, I put up a sound file of one of the Dangerous Curve pieces. I called it "Scratch Piece" because it seems I did a lot of scratching in it. Pretty deep... Overall, listening back to some of the DC gig, I am kind of proud of some of it because I was trying a lot of new things on the Echoplex such as multiple loops and creating some rhythm with the unit. More to learn for me... I also posted new, recent, photos from The Foundry and from the Dangerous Curve gigs. I also made some minor fixes to the site overall. In other news, I am almost finished with the Ralph Oyaga/LXIX new recording, which is being engineered/produced by Cris Boerin @ Ghostnation Productions. I think I have one song left to do. The album runs from typical rock stuff where I play with a pick, to some craziness where Ralph let me do my thing with it, and I ended up with three bass tracks and some North Indian meets Squarepusher influenced music...
I just heard from Neil Sadler that Kurt McGettrick passed last Sunday. Although I met, and played with the man only once, it was an experience I will never forget. I grew up listening to all the Zappa stuff with him on it and he was an amazing sax/woodwind player. When I got to play with the Neil Sadler band a few years ago, I was excited that Mike Keneally would be on the gig, but equally, I was excited that the gig would include Bruce Fowler and Kurt McGettrick!! There is some audio of the show where Kurt is playing a solo on contrabass clarinet and all I remember is how there were some intonation issues between my bass and Kurt's contrabass clarinet. My bass' frequencies and his clarinet frequencies were rubbing up against each other to create this tremendous, low-end, oscillation, reminiscent of two whales humping. It was an excellent time! Kurt touched the lives of; and will be missed by, more people than he could have possibly imagined.
The address is: It is going to talk mostly about improvisation and music. Should be interesting.
I just put up some audio files from my recent recital. I also reposted some old files and basically updated the audio link to your left. Enjoy, and feel free to give any feedback.
It has been busy, but nothing to really talk about, except I got to see Charlie Haden and Larry Goldings play a freakin' insane duet today!!!! Also Craig Bunch, David Mills, and I are going to record an album this summer. We are in the process of writing and we are going to spend a week rehearsing and recording in late June or early July. Marty Beal is going to engineer the date. It will be great to work with Marty again... more to come....
It has been really fuckin' crazy!!! Since my last post(It was along time ago), I have been to Sedona, AZ for a couple of gigs with my friend David Mills. I played with him and Teresa (Mercy Bermudez) of the influential, late 70's, early 80's band The Heaters. I also played with the Max Borjon Big Band on New Years Eve. The trumpet palyer siting next to me was in Sammy Nesticos band, back in the day. When they were popular!!! I also was in Kentucky for a show with A Tribute To The Rat Pack. Great times I love hanging with Scott Strecker, Drew Hemwall, and Mark Adam Watkins. Me and Mark have some interesting conversations. He is a great dude to hangout with. I then was rehearsing with the Butch Morris Conduction band he called SLANG (a 30 piece, improvising orchestra) @ CalArts for a week, We performed last night (2-3-07) @ The Redcat Theatre in downtown LA with the Michael Sessions run, Horace Tapscott band (They were smokin'!!), and it was a blast! (I also got to see Tracy Caldwell play sax, I haven't seen her in 8 years at least.) I received some incredible feedback for my playing and was extremely happy. It was an insane few weeks, I was picking up Butch Morris and Muhal Richard Abrams at their hotels and drove Muhal to LAX today so he could fly home and watch the Superbowl. He is an amazing cat and has a lot to say about the state of music and art. If you don't know, Muhal is an amazing pianist and started the AACM, a very influential musicians collective, in the 60's. In fact, it has been around for 40+ years. No other music organization can claim this. Also, my recital is happening in two weeks on Feb. 16th. It is going to be fun. Wadada Leo Smith is going to play as well as some amazing musicians from school. Sarah Phillips, Scott Collins, Ingo Deul, Ian Carroll, Tyler Yamin, Damian, Berdakin, Craig Bunch, and Ori Barel. Can't wait. much shit. I also have lessons this semester with Leo, Alphonso Johnson (my favorite Weather Report bassist, Jaco is second), and Vinny Golia (an incredibly prolific and advanced woodwind palyer). It is going to be a great semester at school.
You missed the show, but you can still listen... Onibaba Live @ CalArts 12-05-06 Ian Carroll-Trombone Ori Barel-Saxophone Tyler Yamin-Guitar Ingo Deul-Drumset Me-Bass Streaming: Hitotsu-Toya Kyoto Blues Sakkara Improv 1 Wilt Chamberlin plus Improv 2 Child King Improv 3 (Make it funky) Download: Hitotsu-Toya Kyoto Blues Sakkara Improv 1 Wilt Chamberlin plus Improv 2 Child King Improv 3 (Make it funky)
CalArts-Main Gallery 24700 McBean Pkwy Valencia, CA 91355
Real music is not for wealth, not for honours or even the joys of the mind... but as a path for realisation and salvation.-Ali Akbar Khan Also, I think more people need to read these: Henry David Thoreau's Civil Disobedience Martin Luther King' Jr.'sLetter From Birmingham
School is going well. I have my student group mostly together...after a couple of bumps. I am fortunate to have some really great players involved, maybe not necessarily "fortunate" as I am in one of the best music schools in the world. But these guys are above and beyond. Ian is the best trombone player I have ever heard. Period. He is so creative. He also does a Yamatsuka Eye kind of thing. Oh yeah, and he studied with Delfeayo Marsalis. Go figure. Ingo Deul is playing drums, and he is amazing. The only German dude I know from New Orleans. Ori Barel is playing sax and laptop. Ori is a great improviser, he just doesn’t know it yet. I am also fortunate to be studying North Indian music with sarode/sitar master. Aashish Khan, the son of Ali Akbar Khan, (who is considered the greatest sarode player ever, pretty much). Aashish is no slouch, jesus, not only is he a great player, he did the film score to Gandhi, hes played with George Harrison and Eric Clapton. He also told us he used to have a quartet with Alice Coltrane, Charlie Haden and his brother on tabla. I’m not worthy. But I like it. I am also taking solkattu (Indian, vocalized rhythm) with Paul Livingstone. He was at CalArts getting his masters degree while I was doing my undergrad, back in ‘97. It’s nice he remembers me. The Electronic Creative Orchestra, a 22-piece, electro-acoustic group with 12 laptop/electronic guys and 10 traditional musicians , run by, Mark Trayle and Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith, is starting to get really good. There are some truly creative individuals making up this group. I am especially digging this guy named Phil. While electronics guys are using laptops, Phil is using just stomp-box, effect pedals and a mixer to control self-perpetuating feedback loops. I think this guy has to be a genius. As for anything else, I am practicing 2-8 hours a day as my schedule permits. I haven’t loved playing bass this much since I can remember. I am trying to really get on the ball with my writing. I think it has been suffering tremendously. I’ll get all of this shit together. Word to your mother!!!!
...but I am. Met some cool people so far, reaquainting myself with some faculty I haven't seen in awhile, and adjusting to navigating the CalArts system. I am in Wadada Leo Smiths Performer/Compser Dept., and I am also his Graduate Assistant this semester. It's a job where I do various things for him, including, backing up his computer, recheduling classes, and even running his "Advanced Systemic Improvisation" class for him when he is away!? Talk about being thrown onto the fire!! On monday I have his private lesson, on Tuesday, I have Graduate Jazz Composition and North Indian Sargam class, which is a class where you work with North Indian melodic and rhythmic structures. Wednesday is a full day with Grad Theory review, and Creative Orchestra ensemble, headed by Leo and Mark Trayle. Will be good. Thursday I have Advanced Systemic Improvisation, which is a class devoted to improvising with various, creative structures. I am also trying to have independent study with Miroslav Tadic, working and studying Eastern European music and with Mark Trayle working with integrating electronics into my bass playing. A lot of stuff going on and it has just started.
Me and Misuzu are back from our two-week trip to Nagoya, Japan. My damn cell phone wasn't working; but oh well, it was more like a vacation. For your amusement , and mine, a list of the last ten books I've read: 1) In the Miso Soup- Ryu Murakami 2) Footprints (The Life and Work of Wayne Shorter)- Michelle Mercer 3) A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man- James Joyce 4) The Mysticism of Sound and Music- Hazrat Inayat Khan 5) Meta Hodos and Meta Meta Hodos- James Tenney 6) The Baby Jesus Butt Plug- Carlton Mellick III 7) Self-Portrait of a Jazz Artist- David Liebman 8) Give My Regards To Eighth Street- Morton Feldman 9) East Of Eden- John Steinbeck 10) Almost Transparent Blue- Ryu Murakami
To all, I am in Japan until Tuesday the 22nd. My phone was supposed to be working but it isn't right now. If you need to reach me, the best way is by e-mail. Sayonara! Daren
I went to see Sleepytime Gorilla Museum @ The Knitting Factory on Thursday night and what can I say about this group except that they were nothing but amazing, and even more incredible than I expected. I can't tell people enough about them. SGM's music is very hard to describe as they are truly original and although their influences are audible, they are very hard to pinpoint in any easily, dissectible way. Their sound is an amalgamation of Nursery Rhyme-like melodies, Brothers Grimm story-telling, Death Metal, Harry Partch (They make some of their own instruments), Avant Garde Jazz, a bit vaudeville, a bit prog rock, and very polyrhythmic-All rolled into one auditory and visual feast. Even with this strange concoction, I think; their music is still very accessible, just strange and very left of center. If Tool's music gets played on the radio station, KROQ here in Los Angeles, these guys surely could; and should, be played on there as well. I suggest checking out their CD's and the live show.
In the last three weeks, I played with John Pieplow at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater, warming up for Huey Lewis & The News and Chicago, and we played at The House Of Blues. Both very good shows. It was good to see some friends there. Misuzu and I also booked our trip to Japan in August to visit her family. We are lucky to be going during the Obon Festival, Japan's biggest holiday. Obon, or Bon, is a holiday where the Japanese celebrate their ancestors and as Misuzu says, it is like Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas all wrapped into one. It has been a few years since I went there to visit and I am really looking forward to it. When I come back, school will be starting very soon, like two or three weeks and it will be time to hit it hard. Exciting times. Also, a recording of "Quartet No.2" will be up very soon from the last Synchromy concert I did back in April.
Been over a month since I left any news here. It is only because I have been busy burning the candle at both ends, and I have never been happier. Last week Misuzu and I went to Motoko and Rocco's wedding at Cafe Metropol (Where Rocco manages). Congratulations to the both of them and their families and I wish them a long marriage. I ran into more people there than I expected. People like, Matt Piper, Lorca Hart, and Atsuki Inoue. It was a fun time and a good hang. I hadn't seen Lorca in quite awhile. More currently, I had a couple of decent gigs this weekend, which found me playing my NS Designs electric upright bass for the first time in awhile. Great bass and I am hardly worthy, but I promised myself to incorporate it into my practicing regimen. More about that later. This weekend I played with Igor's Og O Go group and had a great time. I think the audience had a great time as well. We were playing for an art exhibit for Ray Carofano and his large photo prints, which were quite impressive. This Og O Go group included, Igor on a guitar/bass instrument, KD on percussion, Rod Oakes on trombone, and the excellent rapping of Boss, who I hope to work with some more. Boss had never really improvised with a group like ourselves, but she rose to the challenge. Sunday, KD and I played a pretty good set @ Poobah Records as Dark Numbers and we may be going to Santa Cruz for Rick Walkers Y2K6 Looping Festival in October. Thanks to everyone who came out to these shows, especially in this crazy heat we had over the weekend. I'll go ahead and give a special shout out to Nathan Yagi, my number one fan. (Tongue in cheek, of course) This guy has seen me play more times than anyone on the planet, including my parents. He is a great pillar of support. Other than that, these days I am spending every extra moment practicing, preparing for school in September. I am spending about two to four, or six hours a day working on music. I have vowed to spend at least three sessions a week on piano and want to do it everyday. I have also decided to throw the acoustic bass into my regimen and try to hit it everyday for an hour, sawing away on Simandl trying to hone some technique on the beast. So far it is all working out great. I have been keeping a journal and I am on my third month of this intense schedule. Peace- P.S. Hang in there Andre...
in Music Connection with Chris Opperman's Special Opp's. I quote: "Burns and Bunch keep faultless time with demanding off-tempo progressive material."-Anne O'Neary (Say Wha?? I'll take compliments where I can get them though. I'll take references to faultless time, and or groove, over any other compliment.) This is something like the fourth time that a project I have been involved with was reviewed in this section of Music Connection. and it is always kind of nice, as any press is good press. And how Craig and I are able to play faultless time on "off-tempo" music is baffling to me. We practiced a lot for this show. We were supposed to be as off-tempo as the rest of the band. Can't win them all. I hope Opperman will perhaps write some on-tempo music to utilize Craig and I's talents more thoroughly. Ahh..just kidding. Thanks to Anne O'Neary and Music Connection for the kind words.
+ Ripped pants
+ Embarrassing computer re-boot
+ Poor interepretation of my music
= Good time

First off, my pants ripped, on the backside, about 30 minutes before the show started and that was embarrassing enough, but then, when we went on stage to perform, my laptop went into sleep mode and I had to reboot the entire machine, restart app’s, and reconfigure the audio card, all on stage why the Director of The Empty Stage, Stan Wells, made jokes and I assured the audience (tongue firmly planted in cheek) that it would all be well worth the wait. Interestingly enough, people gave me a lot of compliments after the performance. The performance was good and I enjoyed it, all of the players, Misuzu, Cavit, and Koorosh did an exceptional job, but we didn’t really play what I wrote. Oh, well what can you do? I think this was the strongest Synchromy concert yet and I enjoyed almost all of the performances. Daniel has done a great job setting all of this up as it is no easy task.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Special Opp’s show @ the Knitting Factory last week. It was great to see all of your smiling faces and a few people I haven’t seen in awhile. The last obstacle was removed from me attending CalArts. I received my funding and everything is A-OK, and on course for enrollment. Admissions costs look very daunting this day and age, and they seem way out of your reach financially (Tuition is almost double the cost of when I attended school in 1997); but then, the J. Irvine Foundation steps in and saves the day! I’ve had to think long and hard about whether accumulating these expenses and debt are worth it, and I came to the conclusion they are. My friend Dr. Rod Oakes told me that this upper degree will benefit me in ways that I can’t imagine right now, but I should trust that I would definitely glean benefits in the long run.
I was accepted into CalArts African American Improvisational Music (MFA) program for the fall 2006, and I am excited to be moving forward with my education. I will be studying under the tutelage of Wadada Leo Smith and with any luck, James Tenney, and Arthur Jarvinen as well Indian music and some electronics. I was hoping to go up to Oakland, but I honestly think that this will actually be a better place for me. No hassle of moving, friends at CalArts already, and some attending with me in the Fall as well. Plus, I don't have to give up all of my teaching/gigs and Misuzu can keep her teaching roster which she has developed quickly in the last year. Exciting times are ahead.
I have been writing pretty steadily since November, and I am enjoying the pace and output. My newest project has been my quartet music. At first, I wrote Quartet No. 1, for bassoon, piano, bass, and percussion, as a compositional exercise for my studies with Wadada Leo Smith, but I really am enjoying the sound of this electro-acoustic combination and decided to expand on it and do a second piece for the Synchromy, April 9th concert. Instead of ending there, I have decided that I am going to write a quartet for the quartet. The piece will be four movements total. All with different shapes, textures, and velocities. I am also going to introduce electronics into the piece, as I have been working with Plogue Bidule and programming some devices that I hope to implement into this work. In addition, I have some possible performance opportunities that I am very excited about. Will keep posted if any develop further. WAS II had it's third performance, fourth get together, on Sunday @ Poo Bah Records. I must say the group is developing nicely. I listened to the recording yesterday and there is some really great music, plus there is some things which are completely outside of anything we had ever done previously. Nice contrasts. We hope to have a recording out in the next few months.
I made a bunch of updates, which were long overdue, to the website yesterday. I added some pictures, audio files, PDF's of my sheet music, and an Anthony Braxton transcription I did. There might be more, but I can't remember. Spent the weekend visiting my Mom in Yuma and finished my taxes up and will turn into the CPA today for the Cal Grant March, 2nd deadline. What a busy weekend. I have been getting e-mails from people asking about the J.S. Bach Experience CD I did about 8 years ago. I am thinking that the band should at least reprint the disc and see if we can sell a few copies. I think I might ask the guys what they think. Sayonara!
Let's see. What has been going on... Sunday was the performance of my latest composition creatively titled "Quartet No. 1" @ the Synchromy show. Click the title to listen to a stream. The performers are: Cavit Celâyir-Monezis on bassoon, Misuzu on keyboard, Koorosh on percussion, and myself on bass. Overall it went well, but still, we are slaves to the keyboard instead of having a real piano. It sucks because I actually envision the music on a piano, but what can I do. I also recently dumped down a improvisation that Misuzu, Craig Bunch, and I peformed @ Misuzu's high school, Happy Valley in Ojai, CA. "Improvisation 1" This performance went well and was the first time the three of us ever played together. It has a Cecil Taylor quality to it, which is great. Here Misuzu gets to play a baby grand piano(albeit, a shitty one) and is phenominal. I am using the Echoplex with my bass, and Craig is on drumset. Enjoy the tracks. P.S.- Today is the day that my Mom is moving back into her own home after her brain operation, exactly a year ago on Feb. 11th. I remember watching over her on Valentines day with my sister and brother in Phoenix. It seems so long ago...but only a year. She has been doing great and thanks to everyone who has been asking about her.
It has been busy this year and 2006 promises to be life changing and much brighter after a very dismal 2005. ..See ya,....don't let the door hit your ass on the way out.... First, I have been taking composition lessons with Wadada Leo Smith, truly eye opening, and writing music, on a regular basis, again. Currently, I am writing a bassoon, piano, bass, percussion, quartet for a Synchromy concert on Feb. 12th @ Beyond Baroque. I will have audio of the performance posted soon after. Second, the return of W.A.S., very much a different ensemble sound-wise and attitude-wise, with Koorosh, myself, and Matt Piper, is on the horizon as we do an instore @ Poo Bah Records in Pasadena. Third, new recording sessions with Brandy Repairs Utah this week as Merkus Alcus is back in town for a few days! I can't wait. There have been new recording sessions and rehearsals with John Pieplow already, and some shows to be booked in the near future. Exciting times...
Stream of my piece entitled "Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi" from the December 4th Synchromy concert, with my wife, Misuzu Kitazumi on keyboard and KD on percussion, is now up as well as a better version of "Inside The Machine", my solo piece from the 2005 Y2K5 festival. Yesterday, I also learned of Derek Baileys death on Dec. 25th. He was a large figure in the improvisation world, with his performances, recordings and books, and will surely be missed. He was one of a kind.
It's been a longtime, been a longtime, been a... Things have been busy here. I have been playing non-stop and it seems to be getting busier. I have been turning down gigs! I have been writing a lot of music lately, seems the writers block has been, well, unblocked. Some of the interesting things coming up are that I have a piece I wrote, entitled "Mimi-Nashi-Hoichi" being premiered at the Synchromy concert this sunday evening. The piece includes KD on percussion and my wife Misuzu playing piano. This is only the second time we have ever performed together. I am also finishing up applications to enter a Masters program. I am applying at various colleges and universities, including, Mills, Wesleyan, and Manhattan School of Music. This has been a lot of work, each school requires so much, it is tiring. And I have the GRE coming up next week. I also have a gig in Gary, Indiana for New Years Eve. They are flying us out for a two hour performance and flying us back home. Should be a great time.
I just uploaded a stream of my soloY2K5 performance. (Thanks to Rainier for recording and KD via Kris Hartung for letting me know it existed.) The performance was created with an Ernieball Stingray V fretless, Echoplex EDP, Ableton Live, and assorted effects like a Zoom 505 and EBS octave divider. The loops I triggered in Ableton, were created in Cecilia and were comprised of the 30 second "Giantrobot" theme intro, followed by a woman saying "jigou jitoku" translated from Japanese as "You get what you deserve" (which was subsequently turned into a 10 minute drone and kind of reminds me of Gyorgy Ligeti’s music, Lux Aeterna, Requiem, or Atmospheres, which were used in the movie 2001 A Space Odyssey). Allow me to put on my art hat for a moment: I used this drone as a springboard for improvisation and upon listening back, I felt that the works output and process evoke the ironic feeling of isolation, aloneness, and helplessness, one has when “trapped” inside various types of machines even though they are our own constructs and designs. This is irregardless as to whether or not these are social (cliques, political parties, religion) or physical (automobiles, computers, government run offices (think INS or DMV), the planet) conditions. These are also despite the fact of the symbiotic relations of the individual’s own contribution to; or use of (consciously or unconsciously), the machines themselves. These ideas are manifested in this performance by the fact that the Machine, a combination of my laptop running Ableton synched to my Echoplex controls sounds and yet, is controlled by me. I am alone with the machine, a paradox and a symbiotic relationship. Bass sounds get recorded, or trapped, inside of the Echoplex, a machine, and are recycled around and manipulated by machine functions, which I control, but with limitations to the items functionality (the machines control). Though I am stimulated to dialogue from the machines output, the sound coming out would not exist without me. I am conversing with the machine yet I am still alone. Paradox. The machine is me. I am the machine. Symbiosis, or maybe even Cyborg?
Last week at the Y2K5 Festival in Santa Cruz, I played my first solo gig ever. Although not the happiest with my performance, there were moments that were decent and I definetly didn't make a fool of myself. My operation of the Echoplex is getting more refined and second nature-ish. Ableton went off without a hitch and I plan on incorporating it into more things ASAP. It is such an intuitive, powerful and easy to learn program. The performance went well considering all of the BS the city was giving Rick (Even though the mayor himself was going to be there to proclaim it "International Looping Day" and give keys to the city to three of the performers). They had to change the venue at the last second to be within the city's codes and it almost didn't happen. I really enjoyed spending time in Santa Cruz, eating the most amazing fish and chips at the Irish Pub, and seeing and hearing all of the performers on Saturday. Many different approaches and styles. My favorite performances were of Ghost 7, Hoopla, Pushing Air, Andy Butler, and Matt Divignon. Thanks again to Rick Walker for having me at this years festival. On another note, I guess the 2004 Neon Venus Tour section of my site was down and I spent some time on Friday reloading pages and making a few refinements. The pictures and blog are back up if you are interested.
Allright, this is going to be interesting. On Saturday afternoon, I am playing solo at Rick Walker's Y2K5 "looping festival" in Santa Cruz. Dark Numbers was scheduled to play but KD had something come up which he can't get out of. I thought about turning the gig down, but decided that maybe it is an opportunity to use the 30 minutes of performance time to try some solo stuff out. I have been working with Ableton Live and my Echoplex to use them together to create an unholy alliance in music making. Shall be interesting. On another note, played with the Ruben Ramos "Groove-tet" last Saturday and had a great time. The band consisted of Craig Bunch on drums, Chad Edwards on keys, Dave on sax, as well as the namesake on guitar. It's great to play with guys who are really listening. Hope to have more gigs booked in the future.
Last Sunday I recorded with percussionist KD and guitar/keyboard player Matt Piper. We recorded at Ghost Nation studio in Arcadia with Chris engineering. This was exciting since it was the first time the three of us had ever played together and we got it imortalized in 0's and 1's! From what I remember it sounded good. I had a great time. I will be getting the tracks in a few days to give them a listen. Tomorrow, I go to Paso Robles to help out The Real D'Coys, a friends band that really needed a bass player. Should be interesting. I have never been there and we are playing at Cass Winery of all places.
Lets see..... Tons of crap happening. Have recorded 4 sessions with with my brother Jayce for John Pieplow. Sessions included Kevin Valentine enineering and playing drums. Kevin has a gold record from the Kiss album entitled "Psycho Circus". These have been painless sessions and everyone is easy to work with. I also went to Theo Mordeys' B-Day bash in Val Verde on Friday night. Had a great time. Drank too much. Met a lot of cool people saw some people I haven't seen in a great while. Played a jam session for about 2 1/2 hours straight with three drummers and four musicians playing all together. (Sorry, I had to do it.) It even had a Gwar-ish, scream duet somewhere in there... I have started recording 5 songs with Ralph Oyaga from LXIX for a fundraising CD for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation (I think that is what it is called). Will be afun project and it is for a really good cause. we will be playing at two of their walks in October. One in Oxnard and the other in Santa Monica. Short notes....Been working on some of my own music finally. KD and I have been getting together again doing some Dark Numbers stuff. A new and improved World Ambient Symphony group may appear on the horizon. I'm inspired to start reworking on the Brandy Repairs Utah tracks after hearing some of KD's output. (Go to the Brandy site to hear. You can't miss it.) And last of all, I heard that Carla Bley and Steve Swallow are going to be at the Jazz Bakery soon.!!! I hate that place, but no way in hell I'm going to miss that.
Been recording with John Pieplow, with my brother Jayce playing guitar and Kevin Valentine engineering. More details to come. Also, I have put the Neon Venus 2004 tour pictures and blog back up; plus, a Dark Numbers MP3 file of "Building Pyramids" in the Audio section.
Allrighty... Being true to my word, I have a revamped Bio up, which I just realized has some bad grammar and needs to be rewritten again, and a PDF of my almost, complete, CV. There are also some small enhancements and such going on and I am working to get the rest of this crap-ola (i.e. Music charts, Pictures, MP3's, and all of the Neon Venus Tour stuff) back up. RSS feeds and some Podcasting on the horizon....
The musical, "Saturday Night at Grossingers", which I have been playing for about the last 10 weeks, has finally come to a conclusion, yesterday. It was fun and the cast was truly outstanding. Playing with Musical Director/Pianist Paul Chipello, drummer Craig Fine, and June; Paul’s sub, was a memorable experience. They each made it so easy to show up week after week. I thank Mark Tavarez for the opportunity to do the show and I also thank Aaron Coen for subbing when I was out. Saturday night was the debut performance of The Ruben Ramos Groovetet, Ruben Ramos on guitar, Dave Price on Sax, Craig Bunch on Drums, at Beantown in Sierra Madre. The show went great and the group has a pretty good chemistry from its outset. I really enjoy playing with this caliber of musicians, as it is very stimulating. Saturday was also my last rhythm lesson with Aloke Dutta. (It was a three-month course) I have enjoyed the lessons immensely and have learned a lot. Aloke’s view on art and music are surprisingly very close to my own. This guy has the balls and dedication to be pursuing his solo tabla vision, turning a deaf ear to the nay sayers and their snide remarks. Not many people in the world who are willing to focus in and embrace their own clear-cut vision of what they want. To the exclusion of anything else and at all costs.
Wonder why radio sucks and the music on it sucks even more? Ever wonder how J. Lo and Good Charlotte got on it? Read below:
Sony BMG faces the music in payola settlement By Chris Morris and Alexander Woodson Tue Jul 26, 3:26 AM ET Addendum: Heres a good article about the Grand Theft Auto "controversy" as well: I even find it interesting that no one raised as much of a stink about this game until the characters in it were black. Again, the Democrats leading the way like they did with the PMRC in the 80's. Neil Sadler, Jason McKenzie, Bruce Fowler, Kurt McGettrick, Me, Mike Keneally
I have nothing to say and I'm saying it. Working on finishing up the site. It has been a wild year with little time for anything. Some music charts, MP3's, my resume', and Neon Venus tour photos, and other photos will be back up shortly
Okay another update, last Saturday was the CalArts 35th reunion. CalArts is a small school so they hold one reunion for the entire school every 5 years. Amazingly enough, it was also the Chouinard Art Institutes 85th reunion! The Chouinard Art Institute (founded 1921) and the Los Angeles Conservatory of Music (founded 1883) were put together in 1961 by Walt and Roy Disney to form CalArts. Misuzu and I saw a few people we haven't seen in awhile, including John Bergamo, David Johnson, Kevin Patterson, Yasmine Fleming, Theo Mordey, Dennis Willis, Agnus Chu, "Naked" Jason Shanks, Jim Lovelace (from the Val Verde Rainbow House) and flautists Tanya and Marla. Overall it was a goodtime; however, it was the first time I ever had to pay for a drink at the school.
Wow, my friend Yasha pointed out that I haven't updated my site in awhile and I guess it has been a longtime since I updated what’s been going on with me. The musical, "Saturday Night At Grossinger's", I had subbed on in May was extended until the end of July and the musical director/pianist, Paul Chipello, asked me to do these two months since bassist, Mark Tavarez wasn't able to do most of the dates. It's great. The cast is all extremely talented and has been wonderful to work with. The show runs three times a week and I only have to drive about fifteen minutes from my apartment to get there. Steady work and close by a rarity! Chris Opperman is still working on his recording and I haven't heard any of it. He mentioned that I may need to go back and do a couple of overdubs, we'll see. I did play a impromptu show with Chris a few weeks ago at BB Kings @ Universal City Walk. It was for the Los Angeles Music Awards for some reason and was pretty funny. The line-up for Chris Opperman & the Monster Truckers included Jeff "Pesci" Grey on electric guitar and Clark Freeman on drums. We were supposed to play for about 20 mins, but some band or something pulled out so they asked Chris to play both sets. Chris had planned on just improvising so that is what we did. I think it was a little out for the LAMA crowd. Even funnier was when two host/"spokes model" type girls came up after we were done to introduce the next thing going on stage and they were telling the crowd "Weren't they great?" and stuff like "You know, they were i-m-p-r-o-v-i-s-i-n-g" like they were reading the word phonetically for the first time. Hilarious stuff.
This past weekend, I went to a fundraiser put on by The Rotary Club for my mother. It was successful as they raised at least $5000 to help my mother out. It was very generous of everybody at the organization and all of those who attended the event. Everyone in my family extends a thank you for your efforts. Besides dealing with family and personal problems, a lot has been going on lately I started rhythmic lessons with tabla master Aloke Dutta so I can try to get a firmer grasp on polyrhythms. It is amazing to realize how much you don't know about rhythm when you focus in on it. I don't take my bass to the lessons, just myself and we clap rhythms and feel phrases. It has been highly worthwhile so far. Tonight I am going to Steve Vai's studio, The Mothership, to record with Chris Opperman. Drums , guitar, and woodwinds were layed down on Friday and Saturday and now it's my turn. Chris said so far everything is great. Craig Bunch, Chris Spilsbury, and Frank Macchia tracked everything great. I can't wait to hear!
Misuzu called me from Japan today to let me know that her father; my father-in-law, Yo Kitazumi passed away from lung cancer yesterday just before Misuzu landed in Nagoya. Yo was a great father-in-law and I will miss him dearly. He was always so happy to drink the scotch and whisky I would bring him from the US. He also was the one who introduced me to raw chicken and raw whale. We found out about his cancer in October of '04 and things went relatively fast. I am at least thankful he didn't suffer for an unnecessarily long time.
Well, on short notice; and an abrupt Saturday Night off from Saturday Night at the Grossingers show I have been subbing on, I went to go see Mike Keneally's band @ The Baked Potato. Keneally's band sounded heavy and darker than the last time I saw them. The band played great and the standout for me was his drummer, Joe Travers. It was nice to be there as I also ran into a few friends. I saw Chris Opperman, Neil Sadler, "Tabla" Jason McKenzie (who I haven't seen since the Sadler gig; believe it or not, a year ago!!), and Eric (a recording engineer who recorded the Sadler gig last year), as well as Dave and Jennifer MIlls who decided to drive up from Temecula for the show. Was a fun night.
Wow...what a week. I think this is the busiest I have ever been. I had an audition on Saturday, performances of the musical Saturday Night at Grossingers continue, and had a debut performance with the great violinist, Chris Murphy on Saturday night, plus rehearsal with Chris Opperman on Sunday night. The Chris Murphy gig went well I think. It was at a Sushi Bar in Pacific Palisades called "The Pearl Dragon". The band included DJ Bonebrake,of the band X, on drums. Nice guy and great player. We didn't have any problems locking in together and made some good music. On Sunday, my wife and I went to eat breakfast at "The Lamplighter", a local coffee shop kind of place in Sherman Oaks, and who should the host sit us next to? Vinnie Colaiuta, the great drummer with Frank Zappa, Chick Corea, Sting, and many others! Now, I don't like bothering people, especially when they're eating, but thanks to Chris Opperman, I got to shoot the shit with one of my all-time favorite musicians, Vinnie Colaiuta! The reason I say thanks to Chris for this, is because he simply called me about rehearsal. This caused Vinnie to start a conversation with me because it turns out that we both have Miles Davis' "Bitches Brew" set as our ringtone and he thought it was his cell phone ringing! I introduced myself and told Vinnie I was a fan and he asked if I was a drummer, I told him no I was a bass player and I think he was relieved by hearing that. He thought that it was whacked out that someone else had the same ringtone and we talked about how some subversive employee at T-Mobile was probably behind putting that clip up to download. He said he has been really busy, just came back from Japan and is going out on the road with Faith Hill for a couple of dates and doing more dates with Chick Corea. Since yesterday was my B-Day, that ended up being a pretty nice birthday present.
Besides being in Estradashere, The Fishtank Ensemble, and Secret Chiefs 3, my friend Kevin Kmetz also has a band called "God Of Shamisen", a fusion of Metal and traditional Japanese music!! Kevin is also competing in the "All Japan Tsugaru Shamisen Championship" event in Hirosaki City in May. He will be the first "gaijin" to ever compete in the contest and this is after starting Shamisen in just April 2003! Kevin also appeared on a NHK TV program which features a famous Tsugaru Shamisen player, Yamagami Susumu. Kevin was interviewed and performed live with the master. Kevin is a great guitar player, who I played with extensively @ CalArts and with the JS Bach Experience, and just got tired of playing it and took up shamisen with a vengeance. Checkout his music and buy his CD's.
Thanks to all that came out to the Chris Opperman show onTuesday night. It was good to see Woody Aplanalp, Trey Ceager of Blaudo, Edwin Duterte and the old standby, Nathan Yagi. Had a pretty good show, at least the improvised bits. We had 2 drumsets, guitar, cello, keyboards, and vocals by Talia on a couple of songs. It's interesting playing with two drummers. Luckily they were bith listening to each other and it worked out well. I am also mourning the death of I had been a member for about two weeks and received some incredible music. This site will truly be missed.
For everybody who thinks Michael Moore is a kook and his film Farenheit 911 was a sham, here is todays story from AFP via The New York Times: And believe me, I am no Michael Moore lover, in fact Farenheit 911 is the only movie of his I have ever seen. Who voted for these crooks that are in our govts. top offices? Was it you?
Booyakasha...respect...or as we say in Kazikstan... You are now looking at version 3.0. Thanks for visiting. The site features an even more streamlined look and coding. I am using CSS and PHP to format most of the pages. This translates in to faster download times for you. It is still a work in progress and I will be filling in more info over the next few weeks. Stay tuned...
Just wanted to say, I had a great time at the Chris Opperman gig last night and thanks to everyone who showed up and stayed late to hear us. I thought the band sounded pretty good, even Andre's "Peanuts Theme" insertion during the last improv. Drummer, David Gaziel and I did this strange drum and bass solo/interlude that was really kind of cool and full of energy. It was really good to see some friends in the audience, some I haven't seen in quite awhile, like Marty Beal, Nathan Yagi, and Julian Cummings. The musicians and I really appreciate the support. We know that 11 PM on a Tuesday is really tough to do sometimes. In other news, my mom is doing well. She was moved to a rehab hospital in her hometown of Yuma, AZ last Friday and is receiving a barrage of visitors now. Thank you to everyone that asks me how she is doing. Your support really does mean a lot to my mother, Misuzu, and me.
{beep} ....This is not a test....Stay tuned for an Emergency Broadcast Submission...... ....Just in..... Ace Reporter Neil Sadler has e-mailed me this incredible eyewitness account..... Alert!!!!!! VONS ...... 6-pack Newcastle $5.99 That's something for your 'News' page. Cheers, Neil ....This is not a test....If this had been a test you could just go back to watching your network television show, but since it is not, you should get off your butt and buy some Newcastle. ...Transmission over....{beep} ###
Thanks to all who have been asking about my mother. She is doing reallywell now and is out of ICU and in a regular room. She has started Cognitive therapy, occupational herapy, and some physical therapy. After talking to someone who went through almost the same exact thing, I am confident that Nancy, my mom, will make a thorough recovery and be back to almost 100%. It will only take some time.
Well to anyone who is reading this, after having the tumor removed (which we are 99% sure is benign and non-cancerous), my mom is doing better and making some steady recovery. After almost dying last Friday night, she is up eating pretty regular food and talking. Although not always 100% coherent, I would say say that she is 70% and she remembers everybody's names. She just doesn't realize exactly what is going on and confuses some words. Thanks to everyone for their support and kindness. I will try to keep some updates on here as much as possible.
Well, in a cruel twist of life (thanks god), not only are my wife and I dealing with her fathers cancer, but my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumor on this past Monday and I am in Phoenix with my brother and sister as I write this. We are waiting to see if it is cancerous or not; no official word, but the doctors are leaning towards cancerous and are trying to figure out where it came from. Thanks to Greg Pearson and Andre LaFosse for helping a brother out with my piano moving situation and more. Thanks to all of my students, Richard and Ed @ Woodlowe music for putting up with this stuff. I would also like to thank everybody at Freddie Mac. The phone calls from friends and family are much appreciated. My mom, Nancy, will be undergoing brain surgery tomorrow or on Friday, as soon as they can, to remove the tumor. She is at the finest Neurological Center in Arizona, the Barrows Neurological Institute at St. Josephs Hospital in Phoenix. She doesn't deserve this all she ever did was work her ass off to try and get better financially. Please keep some thoughts for her quick recovery. If I haven't contacted you very quickly, this is why.
Booyakasha! Well, this geezer's been up to a lot recently, I suppose. KD and I have been recording more Dark Numbers material (which is coming out great!), I deleted all of my song files from my hard drive and all of the vocals I fixed in Bias Peak from the Brandy Repairs Utah sessions by accident, have rehearsed with Chris Opperman, Andre LaFosse, and David Gaziel for our upcoming Feb. 1st gig at Level One, and been studying Cascading Style Sheets so I can design a much improved website. Audi...
My favorite quote of the week: "This new jazz is perfect for the age of the CD, relatively hip background music that is now safe enough for a neighborhood fern bar or just a pleasant game of Trivial Pursuit." - Eric Nisenson, from Ascension: John Coltrane and his quest, talking about Wynton Marsalis and the jazz neo-classicist's.
Remember, Motherfunkers Keep the funk alive in 2005
Happy New Year
Well, what do you know? I just went to and saw that it was his birthday today. Frank would have been 64.
WARNING / GUARANTEE This album contains material which a truly free society would neither fear nor surpress. In some socially retarded areas, religious fanatics and ultra conservative political organizations violate your First Amendment Rights by attempting to censor rock-n-roll albums. We feel that this is un-Contstitutional and un-American. As an alternative to these government supported programs (designed to keep you docile and ignorant), Barking Pumpkin is pleased to provide stimulating digital audio entertainment for those of you who have outgrown the ordinary. The language contained herein are GUARANTEED NOT TO CAUSE ETERNAL TORMENT IN THE PLACE WHERE THE GUY WITH THE HORNS AND THE POINTED STICK CONDUCTS HIS BUSINESS.This guarantee is as real as the threats of the video fundmentalists who use attacks on rock music in their attempt to transform America into a nation of check-mailing nincompoops (in the name of Jesus Christ). If there is a hell, it's fires wait for them, not us.
KD and I have been recording some Dark Numbers material at the Urban Nerds Sanctuary(tm). 2 sessions and lots of material to go through. More to come. I Hope to have a Dark Numbers website happening in the next couple of months, as soon as I get Dreamweaver in so I can keep my webs updated properly. First I was doing it by hand and then was using the crappy Frontpage and have had enough. On to some real web page authoring software. Saw Andre LaFosse last week and must say it was a mighty fine performance. One of the best performances of his I have ever seen. Remember, Keep the funk alive in 2005
Went to Disney Hall last night for the first time. What brought me out of the apartment was Ornette Coleman playing in LA for a very rare performance. I thought it had been 30 years since he played, but I guess it has been more like 10. I went with Merkus, Kyoto, and Igor to San Francisco to see him in 2002 because it is really unlikely that Ornette would be here in town, but he made it! We got there early and saw a bit of the pre-performance lecture with Matt Harris, faculty of CSUN. He seemed like a nice guy and he tried, but he didn't know much about Ornette and even stated as such. A major turn-off when you are sitting there listening to an "authority". I wish they would get someone in who knows about the music they are talking about. There has to be somebody in LA that knows volumes of information about Ornette. I'm sure I know more about Ornette. At least I've listened to his music and read some books about him. Just before Ornettes group took the stage, I told my wife, "Watch to see how many people get up and leave during the performance.", and by the end, 1/3rd of the audience was gone. At the SF performance, I don't recall even one person getting up to leave. Go figure. Maybe American Idol was on or something. This two-bass quartet was a better performance than the SF trio. It consisted of Ornette on sax, trumpet, and violin, Deonardo on drums, and bassists Tony Falanga and Greg Cohen. They played really well together. I had problems hearing either of the bassists though. We were seated behind the band and they put up one of those plexi-glass barriers in front of the drums so we were getting a lot of drums reflected back at us. For the retards that left, they missed a truly great moment as Charlie Haden joined the group for an excellent performance of Ornette's "Lonely Woman" a quintet with 3(!) basses! Easily the most inspired performance of the night. Also, Charlie Haden's group played first. It was an ensemble of eight musicians, including Larry Koonse on guitar (one of my teachers at CalArts), saxophonist Ernie Watts, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, an excellent drummer (I wish I could remember his name, he was my favorite on stage) and three other horn players whose names I can't recall either. Their set was performed with a high level of musicianship, but not very exciting. I would have loved to hear the band as just a quartet sans horns. The rhythm section really shined on solos and accompaniment. All in all, a great way for me to inaugurate my Disney Hall experience.
Elections are over. Not much of a choice as usual. It was either that guy from the Re-Animator movie, or monkey boy. All hail the Simian King! Remember folks it was a 2-3% "mandate" from the american people. Updated my "resume" page. It's actually a bio, but I put up a real bio instead of that half-assed one I had. I will actually put up a resume in the near future too. Went to a Halloween party with my friend Dave Mills and his wife Jen. This was Kimberley Lockes party. You might know her from American Idol, I don't. I can honestly say that I have never seen the show and don't much care if I ever do. Kimberley is reallynice however and Dave says she is a great singer. Dave has been playing with her band for the last couple of months on the east coast. She was having a house warming/Halloween party at her new Van Nuys digs, and he invited me to go. It was fun and had a great time. Lots of interesting costumes and an open bar. Plus, I got to find out what a merkin is from ol' chestnuts.
Thanks to everyone who has asked about my father-in-law, Yo Kitazumi. He is recuperating, but the doctors are still running tests, so no real updates except they removed the brain tumor. Recording News: 1) I have been working on some recording that will turn out to be a full-length, solo CD in the near future. I feel like I am finally getting the recording chops down to pull this off. No details but I can say it will be a cross between N'Sync, Nine Inch Nails, and Burt Bacharach, with an 80’s metal sensibility. 2) I am also starting to work on the Brandy Repairs Utah CD again. I have been so busy with other gigs that things get sent to the back burner, also, I think I can achieve what I wanted to create with the raw material, which is creating new tracks with the improvised material. KD will also be contributing some tracks for this. Maybe I can talk Lyle into doing something as well. 3) Dark Numbers is in the planning stages of what will become our first recording. KD and I have been busy with other gigs, but we are getting back into the groove. and I have at least two other projects I wish to do...I need more time.
Neon Venus Tour Photos Here:
Gonna vote?
Okay a couple of days to relax and I am getting some shit done. I have Neon Venus Tour Photos Posted Here: They cover the entire tour. Turkey, Italy, Spain, Italy, Egypt, and some miscellaneous airports thrown in. They are all in chronological order. Also, I must apologize for my writing on my tour updates page. I just reread some of it and damn does my writing suck!!! Bad grammar, spelling, and short sentences. Hard to believe I went to kollage. (Thats a joke)
When The Lies So Big...Don't forget to vote.
I'm back!! Arrived home yesterday at 1:30pm. Finished up my tour updates today. They are @ I'm glad to be home. Will post pictures asap. While on tour, I found out that my father in law, Yo Kitazumi, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. He had the operation and is doing okay so far, but it does not look good. Cancer has been found throughout his body. If you all could please keep him in your thoughts, my wife Misuzu, her family, and myself are having tough time dealing with this. After three weeks on the road, I arrived to an empty apartment and Misuzu is in Japan, having to deal with a major family crisis. When life rains, it pours.
Don't forget to vote.
I have put up a new page @ With a link from my home page. This is where I will keep you posted about the Neon Venus tour progress. I plan on posting what I see, feel, and experience as well as pictures of the band, troops, and countries I visit.
"Don' let them make a monkey out of you"- Frank Zappa ...and don't forget to vote.
Rehearsals with Neon Venus have been going great and we are about ready to take off in less than 2 weeks. The group is getting excited about having rewarding trip.

Don't forget to vote this fall, regardless of who you pick. For any retard that stills believes in the Democrats vs. Republicans bullshit, I suggest that maybe you become more informed about the issues. They both have major problems. I'm not saying I know everything, but America has some real image problems in the rest of the world and we are in danger of being handed over to religious whacko’s that are putting us on the slippery slope towards Taliban and Al Qaeda type extremism. (Remember the Religious freaks shooting abortion doctors anyone? That's terrorism.) And, they think that EVERYONE should follow their idiotic, Christian, cave dwelling, values, instead of letting individuals follow their own beliefs and letting medical research be performed for the benefit of the human race. P.S. Support Our Troops. Unless he happens to be running for President of the U.S. And spoke out against a very publicly unpopular and unjust war. (At least most people think so...except maybe the two guys in office who never went and the three-toed, banjo playing contingent.) And got purple hearts, (but they are only for scratches the Viagra poppin’ veteran Bob Dole says. Hmm…how did ol’ Bobby’s arm get that way? Spankin’ the monkey, slappin’ the salami, chokin’ the chicken one too many times, I wonder? I wonder if he was wearing a purple band-aid at the convention?)
So..I am going on tour for 24 days with a latin/rock band called Neon Venus. We are leaving on Sept.15th and coming back on Oct. 8th. We will be in Egypt, Sinai, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, and Italy during this time. I am really looking forward to it. They have good original songs and some interesting covers. (I get to play "Flashlight" and "Sex Machine" for three weeks!!! I will try to step into Bootsy's shoes on these, but they are so high off the ground.) Rehearsal starts tonight. Other news, is that I saw the new version of my former band, muzzleLoader at Zen Sushi on Sunday night. They are now called Blaudo. They were really tight and sounded good. My friend Kentaro Otsuka has stepped into the bass role and is an extremely talented player. I wish them the best.
Finally some news... Saw Bucketheads Giantrobot band last Saturday and it was pretty damn entertaining. He had Brain (who was dressed up like Bruce Lee in Game Of Death) and some guy named 'House'(or 'Butthouse') playing bass (Hey he played "Teentown" that makes him pretty damn good in my book). Not a bad band at all and Brain is incredible. They referenced many movie tunes while playing and played a dub version of "Ghost Riders In The Sky". As an encore, Buckethead showed off his "nunchuk" skills and did 80's robot/breakdance moves before passing out action figures to the crowd and launching into a Led Zeppelin riff-medly. The band that opened up was a post John Zorn/Naked City band who although their music was somewhat lacking content, was a complete blast to watch. They are insane, I wish I could remember there name, but oh well.(Wow that last sentence was a bit of poetry there) Of special note, Jack Black was in attendance and was seen rocking out. On the personal front, I just did some recording with KD on percussion and with Igor engineering. Igor will be playing later and this is cool as it includes Gia Scott-Heron, daughter of Gil Scott-Heron on vocals stay tuned...
So..., this weekend was a blast!!! The gig on Friday with i2eye went exceptionally well and we were playing rather musically, I think. There was stuff coming out of nowhere like a 6/8 african improv, that turned into Wayne Shorters "Footprints" without a hitch. Was great to be playing with Ruben, Craig, and KD. It was also nice to finally play with sax player, Mike Bagasao. The group played with a very mature sound, especially for really being our first time to play together in this ensemble. Saturdays gig with percussionist/composer Neil Sadler went amazing! Neils music came off pretty damn well, I think. We finally got to rehearse around 6 pm that night, with the exeption of Bruce Fowler, who was in the Spiderman 2, soundtrack session. He arrived @ 7:30!!! A half hour before the start!! You wouldn't have hardly known it. Kurt McGettrick, on Contrabass clarinet and Bass sax, was playing some great solos! I was really digging what he was playing. Some of his notes would actually be in my Basses range(!) and we would get these cool unisons and dissonances. Mike Keneally was really friendly/funny, and was really playing his ass off! He is a very vesatile player and not just a shred-wanker, also, he's a guitar player who can read. Is the world coming to an end? Jason McKenzie is a man on fire. We had to play 300+ bpm bebop, an uptempo drum n' bass groove, a rock/funk groove in 4/4 + 7/8, and another uptempo, double-kick induced, rock groove during the two sets and Jason never faltered. In fact, he was kicking my ass for most of the night! Milen Kirov, the pianist, was exceptional as well. He came in reading almost everything and did a spectacular job. Milen plays with a great touch/tone and balance between both of his hands and he really listens and picks up on things. So, all of those out there who didn't come and see these gigs, missed some great nights of music. I know I'll be playing with i2eye again, and I sure hope Neil is able to play more dates with his band and keep this going.
Whats been going on lately? Not only have I gotten older, but I've been practicing my ass off for this gig I am playing on Saturday, thats what! I am @ Harbor City college with the Neil Sadler Band. Includes Jason McKenzie on drums (A dynamite drum/tabla player), Bruce Fowler- trombone, Kurt McGettrick- Bari. Sax/Bass Clarinet, Mike Keneally- Guitar, (the last three of Frank Zappas band plus many others) Milen Kirov- (of the band Artificial Intelligence) on piano, and, of course, the main guy, Neil Sadler on percussion/synth/and composition. Should be a wild show! All of these guys are top-notch musicians and I am fortunate to be sharing the stage with them!! Thanks to my friend Andre LaFosse for refering me to this gig! If you don't show up to this, you're a chump. Just like what everyone says about you behind your back!! NEIL SADLER BAND feat. Neil Sadler - perc/synth. Mike Keneally - guit. Bruce Fowler - trb. Kurt McGettrick - bari/ Milen Kirov - pno. Daren Burns - bass Jason McKenzie - drms/tabla SATURDAY, MAY 29th, 2004 @ 8PM LOS ANGELES HARBOR COLLEGE MUSIC RECITAL HALL 1111 FIGUEROA PLACE, WILMINGTON, CA $10.00 General Admission More line-up details coming soon! Info: (323)267-1830 - PHONE (24 HOURS)
Another year older and deeper in the song says. Yesterday was my b-day and I also started composition lessons with Wadada Leo Smith. What a great experience! I studied privately and played in Leo's bands @ CalArts and now I'm trying to get some direction with my composing skills through him. He is able to pinpoint my composing problems immediately and show me ways to change and develop ideas in a very organic way. It's a thrill and an honor to be studying privately with a true improvising legend/master. Today I started rehearsals with Neil Sadler for his gig in may. Neil has a great drum/tabla player named Jason McKenzie playing. Jason just moved here from Texas and went to school at the University of North Texas. I also met a cool trumpet player named Lisa Edelman who will be graduating from CalArts this semester. I guess Neil has confirmed that Mike Keneally will be playing guitar on this gig. You might know this great guitar player from Zappas last band and his own Beer For Dolphins group. Neil also might have some of the Fowler brothers and Albert Wing (also from Zappas band) playing horns! I'm excited and nervous at the same time! My thanks to my friend Andre LaFosse for referring me to this gig. Later... I gots ta practice...
Last night WAS played @ Beantown in Sierra Madre and had a pretty good performance. Ruben, KD, and Dusty all were playing great. Thanks to all who came out to check us out. Also, I'm in the middle of updating my website. So there will be some things moving around.
Well, KD and I just got back from Santa Cruz, performing as Dark Numbers. Had a great time. We were opening up for Rick Walker, for the release of his Faux Voix CD. Rick played with Deepak Ram, a great Bansuri player, guitarist, Bill Walker tweaking Deepak electronically, and we all had great accompaniment by David Tristram, a great 3-D images improvisor and really nice guy whom KD and I will be working with in the future. We played at the Next Door art gallery which, well, is next door to the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz. (I might add that there was some really cool artwork in there as well. I wish I could remember the artists name.) The crowd was very attentive, something which is really lacking in LA. Hell, having a crowd in LA seems to be a rare occurence. As our first road trip with the group, I have to say it was a complete success. We met some cool people, played a good show. I was also able to hook up with my friend Kevin Kmetz, whom I had played with in the JSBX group. Kevin is playing Tsugaru Shamisen in Estradasphere now and I guess is playing with Trey Spruance in Secret Chiefs 3. It was good to see Kevin again. It had been way too long. He is a super talented musician.
New List: 1) Ornette Coleman - Love Call 2) Tears For Fears - Raoul And The Kings Of Spain 3) Fantomas - Delirium Cordia 4) Ornette Coleman/Charlie Haden - Soapsuds Soapsuds 5) Death In Vegas - Scorpio Rising 6) Pink Floyd - The Wall 7) Roscoe Mitchell and The Note Factory - This Dance Is For Steve McCall 8) The Flaming Lips - The Soft Bulletin 9) Miles Davis - Birth Of The Cool 10) Stevie Wonder - Innervisions
Had a good gig this past Saturday. Played with singer, Takako at the Bric Montrose in La Crescenta, the first time playing with her. Takako is really good singer. That night included a really good band which consisted of Atsuki Inoue on drums, who I hadn't played with in a couple of months, and a Bill Frisell'ish guitar player named Kata, who I really dug. We played some jazz standards and a few Japanese songs like, Sukiyaki Song and Aka Tombo. The band came together well, especially since we hadn't rehearsed or played together before that night.
New List: 1) Cibo Matto - Stereotype A 2) Buckethead - Day Of The Robot 3) David Torn - What Means Solid Traveler 4) Frank Zappa - Shut Up And Play Your Guitar 5) The Charlatans - Melting Pot 6) David Bowie - Reality 7) Koorosh Daryaie - Abstract Heart 8) John Zorn/Naked City - Grand Guignol 9) Axiom - Axiom Remixes 10) The Beatles - Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band
I have now, finally started work on the Brandy Repairs Utah CD. Brandy is Lyle Tharp (aka Merkus Alcus) reading his writings, KD (aka Game) on percussion, and myself on bass. The concept. We got together and improvised over a few nights at Urban Nerds Sanctuary, recording it using Emagic's Logic Audio program. The idea was that we could have a CD of our little improvisations for fun. I got to thinking, (owwww!!!) "What if I use the source material as a launching pad to create a whole new music which none of us played but all of us contributed to?" And this is where I am at now. Cutting up samples and creating loops; deconstructing our improvisations, with my Powerbook to make completely new tracks out of our recordings. I guess it is sort of along the idea of David Torn's Splattercell, which I just found out about a couple of months ago (and I like it), but I'm sure it won't sound anything like it. (Hey no jokes) It just shares a conceptual idea. I will post some samples up on the site in the weeks to come.
New List: 1) Death Cube K - Dreamatorium 2) Fela Kuti - Coffin For Head Of State/Unknown Soldier 3) David Torn/Splattercell - Oah 4) John Zorn/Naked City - Absinthe 5) Genesis - Lamb Lies Down On Broadway, Live Bootleg 6) David Torn - Tripping Over God 7) David Bowie - Heroes 8) Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet - The Year Of The Elephant 9) Axiom Funk - Funkronomicon 10) Arcana - The Last Wave
After 4 months and a week, my gig at Bobby London has finally come to an end. They blamed low business as the reason. I'm going to miss playing with Kayo and Andrea, but we will play again at some point. Oh well, I am looking forward to practicing, writing, and finishing all of my other little projects with all of the free time I now find myself with.
New List: 1) Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet - The Year Of The Elephant 2) Ikue Mori/Tenko - Death Praxis 3) Ornette Coleman - Skies Of America 4) Fantomas - Book 1 5) David Bowie - Hours 6) Parliament - Greatest Hits 7) Weather Report - Live In London 198? 8) Naked City - Torture Garden 9) Tool - Lateralus 10) Arcana - Arc Of The Testimony
Happy New Year New List: 1) Naked City - Leng Tche 2) Mark Dresser - Invocation 3) L. Shankar w/ Zakir Hussain - Raga Aberi 4) Ikue Mori - Painted Desert 5) Kinky - Kinky 6) Rufus Wainwright - Poses 7) Fela Kuti - Coffin For Head Of State/Unknown Soldier 8) The Ruins w/ Derek Bailey - Sairoso 9) Painkiller - Guts Of A Virgin 10) James Brown - Funk Power 1970:Brand New Thing
Hello, About a week ago, I performed with percussionist KD and guitarist Ruben Ramos as a trio. It was the first time for me to use my Jamman live. (Click the link to find a more detailed overview of it).

In short, the Jamman is a looping/recording device that lets you overdub and replace parts on the fly to create loops which you can play on top of and/or alter at any moment. I have been working diligently to learn how to use this device and have been finding that it opens up a whole new world of spontaneity and creativity for me.

When KD is using his Echoplex and Ableton Live software and I am using my Jamman synched to him, we are able to make the trio sound like a lot more like a 6 or 7 piece band. As well as looping my bass, I have been using Miraton with my laptop running into the Jamman to create loops which are a mixture of bass and samples. I am big fan of Ikue Mori and have been trying to emulate some of the stuff she does with sound collages in my own way. New List: 1) Susie Ibarra - Flower After Flower 2) Karlheinz Stockhausen - Kontakte 3) Wadada Leo Smith - The Golden Quartet 4) Iannis Xenakis - Electronic Music 5) Kinky - Kinky 6) Tetsu Inoue/Carl Stone - pict.soul 7) Sidestepper - 3 am 8) Gagaku - Gagaku 9) Miles Davis - Bitches Brew 10) Praxis - Warszawa

New List: 1) Peter Gabriel - Up 2) Steve Reich - Early Tape Works 3) The Dandy Warhols - Welcome To The Monkeyhouse 4) Susie Ibarra - Songbird Suite 5) David Torn - What Means Solid Traveler 6) David Torn - Splattercell Remixes 7) Karsh Kale - Liberation 8) Torn, Bozzio, Karn - Polytown 9) The Beatles - Abbey Road 10) Miya Masaoka - Compositions And Improvisations
New List: 1) Gary Willis - No Sweat 2) Gyorgy Ligeti - Atmospheres, Lux Aeterna 3) Olivier Messiaen - Quartet For The End Of The World 4) Labrosse/Mori/Tetreault - Ile Bizarre 5) Rufus Wainwright - Want One 6) John Zorn - Kristallnacht 7) Jin Hi Kim - Komungo 8) Miya Masaoka - Compositions And Improvisations 9) Fantomas - Fantomas 10) Weather Report - Live In London 198?
A little late for this entry, but here it goes. I went to see Living Colour on this past Tuesday night at the House Of Blues in Hollywood with KD, his girl Doris and Amanda. It was good to see them get back together after about 10 years; as well, I have to say it was refreshing to see a rock band that can actually play and singer than can really sing. It was the second, original line up with Vernon Reid on guitar, Doug Wimbish on bass, Will Calhoun on drums, and Corey Glover on vocals. They played for two hours straight, and were totally on top of their game. They played a lot of old material plus most songs off of their new CD. They also did as their second song a version of "Back In Black", which turned it into a joke within a joke, within a joke. The band is so tight, they play their material really lose and have some fun with it. It doesn't just sound like the record. It sounds better than the record because it has a different, more full throttle, kind of direction which is hard to capture. If you have the chance to see them and are a fan of this type of music, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend them.
The Bobby London gig has changed dramatically. We now have Kayo Yoshida on piano and Andrea is going to start singing while Atsuki is back in Japan for a few weeks. I have Ruben Ramos filling in for me on tues. and wed. for the next two weeks. New List: 1) Rufus Wainwright - Want One 2) Buckethead - Bucketheadland II 3) John Zorn/Naked City - Torture Garden 4) Dresser/Mori/Frith - Later... 5) Allan Holdsworth - Road Games 6) Weather Report - Procession 7) Ornette Coleman - Love Call 8) David Bowie - Heathen 9) Wadada Leo Smith & Thomas Mapfumo - Dreams and Secrets 10) The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots
Here is some more stuff I've been listening to: New List: 1) Andre LaFosse - Normalized 2) Vinnie Colaiuta - Vinnie Colaiuta 3) Weather Report - Live in London 198?. Don't go looking for this one. Came from Erskine himself. 4) Praxis - Transmutation(Mutatis Mutandis) 5) The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots 6) John Coltrane - The Complete Afica Brass sessions 7) John Coltrane - Coltranes Sound 8) Nine Inch Nails - And All That Could of Been 9) Praxis - Warszawa 10) Keith Jarrett Trio - Up For It
Some quotes I enjoyed while reading John Cage's book, Silence: "Beethoven now is a suprise, as acceptable to the ear as a cowbell." - John Cage "This end is just as important as the other end." - Schoenberg, while using an eraser of a pencil. "That is none of your business." - Schoenberg, answering a students request to explain his technique of twelve-tone composition. "Composing, if it is writing notes, is then actually writing, and the less one thinks it's thinking the more it becomes what it is: writing. Could music be composed (I do not mean improvised) not writing in pencil or ink? The answer is no doubt Yes and the changes are prophetic." - John Cage
The Atsuki Inoue Trio gig, now known as Isoceles, has moved. We are now playing Mon. thru Wed. @ Bobby London in Koreatown from 9pm -12am. Come on down and join Mr. Happy, Ice, and The Tower Of Bass for some jazz. New List: 1) Andre LaFosse - Normalized 2) John Cage - The Perilous Night 3) Roscoe Mitchell - Sound 4) Praxis - Transmutation 5) Miles Davis - Relaxin' 6) Jin Hi Kim - Komungo 7) Cornelius Cardew - The Apartment 8) Buckethead - Somewhere Over The Slaughterhouse 9) Jeff Berlin - Takin' Notes 10) Last Exit - KOLN
New List: 1) John Zorn - Kristallnacht 2) Ornette Coleman - Virgin Beauty 3) David Bowie - Reality 4) Ikue Mori - Labyrinth 5) Thelonious Monk - 'Round Midnight 6) Wes Montgomery - The Incredible Jazz Guitar Of... 7) Anthony Braxton Quartet - (Coventry) 1985 8) Mark Dresser, Fred Frith, Ikue Mori - Later... 9) Charles Mingus - Ah Um 10) Allan Holdsworth - Road Games
My gig with the Atsuki Jazz Trio @ Bobby London will be moving to Mon thru Wed. in two weeks. I have been writing music quite a bit recently, formulating ideas in hopes of recording by the end of the year. Maybe it will be a X-mas album... New List: 1) Cecil Taylor - Unit Structures 2) Anthony Braxton - Six Compositions(Quartet)1984 3) The Beatles - Abbey Road 4) Mark Nauseef/Miroslav Tadic - The Snake Music 5) Peter Erskine/Alan Pasqua/Dave Carpenter - Live At Rocco 6) Ronald Shannon Jackson/Decoding Society - Barbeque Dog 7) Sidestepper - 3AM 8) Andre Lafosse - Normalized 9) Wadada Leo Smith - Procession Of The Great Ancestry 10) Bill Frisell/Kermit Driscoll/Joey Baron - Live
WAS had a great performance on this past Saturday night @ Urartu Cafe in Glendale. I felt we were really playing with each other and developing ideas. I had a great time! The Atsuki Inoue Trio @ Bobby London is getting better and better every night we play. John DePatie is playing his butt of, as is Atsuki! Last night a guy named Cho sat in and played piano on Stella by Starlight, he is great player! We play every Sun-Mon-Tues. Check my calendar for the address. New List: 1) John Coltrane - Coltrane 2) John Coltrane - Coltrane Plays the Blues 3) John Coltrane - Live At the Village Vanguard (The Master Takes) 4) John Zorn - Naked City 5) John Zorn - IAO 6) Weather Report - Mr. Gone 7) Wadada Leo Smith - Luminous Axis The Caravans Of Winter And Summer 8) John Scofield - Time On My Hands 9) Bill Evans Trio - Paris Concert, Edition One 10) Miles Davis - Miles In The Sky
Subbed Friday and Saturday night for my friend Ruben Ramos with the Frank Jansen Quartet. The guitarist, whom I've met off and on through various, mutual friends, was Ken Song, a great player. A great conga player named Miguel played with us on friday. On drums was Burgleigh Drummond. Burgleigh is the drummer from the band Ambrosia. They had a bunch of hits in the 70's and 80's. He is a real great guy and great player. New List: 1) Chick Corea - Now He Sings, Now He Sobs 2) Charles Mingus - Ah Um 3) Mephista - Black Narcissus 4) Wayne Shorter - Ju Ju 5) Wayne Shorter - Adams Apple 6) Weather Report - Black Market 7) Wayne Shorter - Speak No Evil 8) Weather Report - Mysterious Traveler 9) Gyorgy Ligeti - Organ pieces and 100 metronomes 10) George Antheil w/ others - Ballet Mechanique
After 5 shows @ Bobby London, the Atsuki Inoue Trio is doing well and getting tighter. John DePatie is a great guitar player and musician. He is always a pleasure to play with. Atsuki Inoue is an outstanding drummer and he and I are starting to really lock-in together. Come on down food is good, bar is nice. Check my calendar for details. New List: *Andre LaFosse - Normalized Check this out. It is great. I just received a copy so this time it's 11 CD's 1) Death Cube K - Dreamatorium 2) Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters 3) Elvis Costello - When I Was Cruel 4) Paul Motian - Electric BeBop Band 5) Wayne Shorter - Schizophrenia 6) Keith Jarrett Trio - Live At The Deer Head Inn 7) Nine Inch Nails - The Fragile 8) Thelonious Monk - Monks Dream 9) Frank Zappa - Man From Utopia 10) The Eels - Shootenanny
Starting a new gig on Monday, September 1st @ the Bobby London Club in Koreatown. It is located at the corner of Beverley Blvd. and Western Blvd. It is a jazz trio w/ Atsuki on drums, John Depatie on guitar, and yours truly on bass. We play 2 sets from 9pm-12am every Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. Bobby London is an upscale Korean bar and restaurant with good food, good drink, and beautiful bartenders.
Session with the Black Nile Ens. went well, will be finishing up in the next couple of weeks. Until then, heres some music I've been listening too: New List: 1) Dengue Fever - Dengue Fever 2) Leo Smith - Procession Of The Great Ancestry 3) Albert Ayler - Witches And Devils 4) Sidestepper - 3am 5) Buck Jam Tonic - Untitled(Old Dragon?) 6) Death In Vegas - Scorpio Rising 7) Radiohead - Hail To The Thief 8) Ornette Coleman - Broken Shadows 9) White Stripes - Elephant 10) Kinky - Kinky
The WAS CD is now available @ Please support this group by going there and purchasing. WAS is an ambient-groove, jazz group, including guitar, trumpet, electronic percussion, and bass, whose music is mostly improvised. Saturday, the 23rd we will see my Black Nile Ensemble recording. We will be @ Aunt Mac Studios in Los Alamitos w/ Greg Pearson engineering. New List: 1) The Dandy Warhols - Welcome To The Monkey House 2) Buck Jam Tonic - Untitled (Laswell/Zorn group w/ Tatsuya Nakamura on drums) 3) The Taj Mahal Travelers - July 15, 1972 4) David Bowie - Hours 5) Leo Smith - Procession Of The Great Ancestry 6) Wadada Leo Smith & Thomas Mapfumo - Dreams And Secrets 7) Radiohead - Hail To The Thief 8) Ornette Coleman - Broken Shadows 9) The Flaming Lips - Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots 10) Zillatron - Lord Of The Harvest
I'm back from Japan and I had a great time. It was nice to see my In-laws and run around Nagoya for a few days. The big news today is that I have left my band muzzleLoader. I had been with them for four-and-a-half years and we recorded one full length CD and are in the process of finishing up a 5 song demo. There are no hard feelings and I hope to work with all of the guys in the future. I feel it is just time for me to move on and try something else. In other news, the WAS CD is done and sounds great! Everyone did a great job, I just played on it. Should be up on CD Baby in the near future.
Konban wa! Heres a list before I take off for Nagoya, Japan. I will be out for two weeks drinking Yebisu beer and Sake. New List: 1) Beach Boys - Pet Sounds 2) Wadada Leo Smith & Thomas Mapfumo - Dreams And Secrets 3) David Bowie - Hours 4) Sonic Youth - Dirty 5) John Zorn - The Big Gundown 6) Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters 7) Tool - Lateralus 8) Ikue Mori - 100 Aspects Of The Moon 9) Radiohead - Amnesiac 10) Radiohead - Hail To The Thief
Whats new on the CD player: New List: 1) Radiohead - Hail To The Thief 2) Radiohead - Amnesiac 3) Charles Mingus - Ah Um 4) Gary Willis - No Sweat 5) John Zorn - The Big Gundown 6) Jaco Pastorious - The Birthday Concert 7) Led Zeppelin - Prescence 8) Painkiller w/John Zorn & Bill Laswell - Buried Secrets 9) Radiohead - Kid A 10) Beach Boys - Pet Sounds
Not much news but, lots more listening. Trying to finish up the Brandy Repairs Utah stuff. It's coming out good. New List: 1) Radiohead - Hail To The Thief 2) John Coltrane - Giant Steps 3) Buckethead - Some Where Over The Slaughterhouse 4) Pink Floyd - The Wall 5) Tin Machine - Oy Vey Baby 6) Miles Davis - Stella By Starlight 7) Brad Mehldau - Largo 8) Weather Report - Heavy Weather 9) Charles Mingus - Pithecanthropus Erectus 10) Gary Burton - w/ Pat Metheny, Dave Holland, Chick Corea, and Roy Hanes
Had a six-piece band last Sunday at The Equator. Including John Depatie on guitar, Dave Mills on keys, John Whinnery on Alto sax, Phil Smith on drums and Koorosh on Udu. I thought the band sounded great. New List: 1) Ornette Coleman - Tomorrow Is The Question 2) Ikue Mori - 100 Aspects Of The Moon 3) Fantomas - Fantomas 4) Wadada Leo Smith - Luminous Axis The Caravans Of Winter And Summer 5) Wayne Shorter - Soothsayer 6) Naked City - Heretic 7) The Beatles - White Album 8) Mephista - Black Narcissus 9) Tin Machine - Tin Machine 10) Pink Floyd - Meddle
Things have been extremely busy. Went to the E3 show on Thursday and met the guys at Conspiracy Games. They said they might have another game for KD and I to do. If you ever get a chance, go to this show. It is crazy!!! All of the games are out, including the ones that will be available for christmas. Saw Dave Navarro (was the guitarist of Janes Addiction)acting really Rockstar and counter culture by having his picture taken with the Xbox logo. would think Mac or a Gap ad. muzzleLoader was recording last weekend at The Headway Complex in Garden Grove. Marty Beal was again engineering. It's always a pleasure to be in the studio with Marty. The man knows his shit, everything went extremely smooth and sounds great. On Monday I had a session with Monica Mayhem. We recorded a three song demo at Beckers Studio in Burbank. All I saw was that they did a few Neil Diamond CD's there. My mom will be happy. Thorsten was great on guitar and Mike Calenza was slammin' on drums. Top Ten (In no particular order): 1) 100 Aspects Of The Moon - Ikue Mori 2) Disco Volante - Mr. Bungle 3) Live in Tokyo - Bootsy Collins Rubber Band 4) The Soft Bulletin - Flaming Lips 5) Bone Crusher - GE Stinson 6) Ju Ju - Wayne Shorter 7) Black Narcissus - Mephista 8) Let It Be - The Beatles 9) Garden - Ikue Mori 10) Stellar Regions - John Coltrane
Many things have been brewing lately. First, KD and I have finished the XBox game and the guys at Conspiracy Entertainment loved the music and we might do the rest of the game. I might try to get an MP3 file up of it soon. Next, muzzleLoader is getting ready to go into the studio to record a five song EP. Has been sounding really good at rehearsal. Last but not least, I have been doing some rehearsals and will be recording a 3 song demo with Monica Mayhem here in L.A. you might know her from many of her feature films. The band includes Thorsten Kober on guitar and Mike Celanza on drums. New List: 1) Thanatopsis - Buckethead & Others 2) Axiom Funk - Funkcronomicon 3) King Crimson - Power To Believe 4) Wadada Leo Smith - Luminous Axis The Caravans Of Winter And Summer 5) Dave Douglas - Witness 6) John Zorn/Ikue Mori/Mike Patton - Hemophiliac 7) The Residents - The King And Eye 8) The Residents - The Gingerbread Man 9) LXIX - Naked Ecstasy 10) Squarepusher - Maximum Priest E.P.
KD and I are busy writing music for a videogame called "Great American Bass Fishing"; or something similar. It will be a drum n' bass track and will hopefully feature banjo on top for a techno/Deliverance type sound. It is supposed to come out on the Xbox format and hopefully others. Stay Tuned! New List: 1) Zillatron - Lord Of The Harvest 2) Stevie Wonder - Innervisions 3) Stevie Wonder - Songs In The Key Of Life 4) Wadada Leo Smith - Luminous Axis The Caravans Of Winter And Summer 5) Wayne Shorter - Night Dreamer 6) John Zorn/Ikue Mori/Mike Patton - Hemophiliac 7) The Beatles - Revolver 8) Parliament - Greatest Hits 9) John Cage - Piano Works II 10) John Scofield - Flat Out
Well, my gigs with LXIX on April 28th and May 31st, will be my last. My schedule has become just way too busy for me to keep up. There's no animosity; quite the contrary, I hope to work with Ralph and the others in future. In fact, KD and I work together in other projects, and... well one of the guitar players is my brother! On another note, KD and I are finally getting the "go ahead" to write music for a video game. We hope that this is the first of many more to come. Stay tuned for more info! *Just finished reading a book called Arcana:Musicians On music, which was edited by John Zorn. It is out of print, but a must have for any fan of improvisation or the "Downtown" music scene in New York. I have seen it for as much as $145 (seems unreasonable), but I've seen it for $16.95 as well. Look around.
Brandy Repairs Utah just finished up our second recording session on Monday. There will be "rough" mix MP3's up in the very near future. Went to see King Crimson on March 29th @ The Wiltern. It was the best KC show I've seen. They played mostly stuff off of their last two CD's and didn't play any of the "hits". Which is fine by me. I've heard them a billion times before and their new stuff is so difficult, it's entertaining to see them pull it all off live. CD List: 1) King Crimson - The Power To Believe 2) Praxis - Metatron 3) Mike Dresser/Dave Douglas - The Cabinet Of Dr. Caligari 4) Fela Kuti - No Agreement 5) Funkadelic - The Electric Spanking 6) David Shea - Classical Works II 7) Painkiller - Execution Ground 8) Sun Ra - Outer Spaceways Incorporated 9) Material - Seven Souls (Bill laswell/William Burroughs) 10) Frank Zappa - Them Or Us
Hey kids, It's CD List Time!!: 1) King Crimson - The Power To Believe(Growing On Me) 2) Praxis - Sacrifist (Yes!!!) 3) Living Colour - Times Up 4) Trilok Gurtu - Bad Habits Die Hard(Kind of bad) 5) John McLaughlin - Electric Guitarist(No more Jew's Harp for Mclaughlin? Damn!) 6) Slave Master - Under The 6 (Sounds Like Rage Against the Machine, If they were Black instead of from Irvine.) 7) Painkiller - Execution Ground. (Bill Laswell/John Zorn. Great!) 8) Phonopsychographdisk - Turbulence Chest (Live @ Slims) Bitchin'! Les Claypool, Brain, Buckethead, DJ Disk, Others Japanese Import. Try to find, it's great.) 9) Joe Pass/Niels-Henning Orsted Pederson - Chops (Just like it says folks) 10) W.A.S. - Rough Mix (You can't wait for the recording can you?)
Misuzu; a pianist here in LA, had her mid-residence recital last night at The University of Redlands and she performed great! She played a piece by Haydn, Jeau D'eux by Ravel, Aaron Coplands piano variations, and Liszt based on Paganinni.(Don't remember full titles. I'm not really a classical buff.) Misuzu has really been practicing her butt off.
New Improv group, Brandy Repairs Utah have had their first recording session at the Urban Nerds Sanctuary in Sherman Oaks, CA. This project includes Mercus Alkus- Spoken word, Koorosh Daryaie- Percussion, and myself. Look for some downloads to appear in the near future. On another note, Tabla Beat Science w/ Zakir Hussein, Karsh Kale, and Bill Laswell are playing at UCLA this Saturday, and KD and myself were able to get tickets by the skin of our teeth! Can't wait. Heres another CD list: 1) Arcana - Arc of the Testimony (Great CD. Tony Williams, Pharoah Sanders, Buckethead, and others.) 2) Axiom Funk - Funkcronomicon 3) Mandingo - New World Power 4) Allan Holdsworth - I.O.U. 5) Albert Ayler - Witches and Devils 6) Radiohead - Kid A 7) Zillatron - Lord Of The Harvest 8) John Zorn - Xu Feng (w/ Fred Frith, Dave Lombardo(!) and others) 9) Keith Jarrett Trio - Tokyo '96 10) Bahia Black - Ritual Beating System (Super group. Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and many others.)
My sisters, son of grandmas, twice removed, CD's I've been listening to list: 1) Zillatron - Lord Of The Harvest (Bootsy Baby!) 2) Praxis - Collection 3) Buckethead - Giantrobot (Hey, he ripped off my song title) 4) Ikue Mori/Tenko - Death Praxis/Mystery 5) John Zorn's Cobra - Tokyo Operations '94 6) Bootsy Collins - Jungle Bass 7) Arcana - Arc of the Testimony 8) Bootsy Collins - Blasters Of The Universe 9) Pat Metheny - Bright Size Life 10) Bill Laswell & Jah Wobble - Radioaxiom: A Dub Transmission
I have had the privelege of talking to Billy Sheehan twice in the last two weeks. He's a real cool guy and even complimented me on my tone and groove! I guess he lives like a block away from The Sherman Oaks Lounge and Dear Jon was playing. Not quite the situation I would like him to see me play in, but he's done the same shit. Billy said that he is doing a record with Steve Vai and a Bay area drummer (I didn't catch the name.) and, I think, another Niacin record. Goes to show you, you never know who's out there in the crowd.
10 CD's I've Been Listening To: 1) Buckethead - Monsters and Robots 2) David Bowie - The Man Who Sold The World 3) Steve Coleman - Drop Kick 4) King Crimson - Heavy Construkction 5) Ornette Coleman - Dancing In Your Head 6) Herbie Hancock - Headhunters 7) David Bowie - Heroes 8) Meshell Ndegeocello - Cookie: The Anthropological Mixtape 9) Rabih Abou-Khalil - Blue Camel 10) Wadada Leo Smith - Red Sulphur Sky
Saw past Ornette/Prime Time guitarist, James "Blood" Ulmer on Wednesday night with friends of mine, Igor and Kyoto. This was special treat for L.A., as I have been living here since 1989 and don't recall that James "Blood" Ulmer has ever played here during this time. Even better was the fact that I had just seen Ornette Coleman back in November, so I'm definetly getting my "Improvised Music" jones fulfilled. This show had him performing with longtime Cecil Taylor drummer Andrew Cyrile and "I've played with just about everybody" bassist, Reggie Workman. It was a really great performance. They started off each playing solo. First, with Ulmer laying down some really cool "avant-blues" Singing Muddy Waters/John Lee Hooker style; even doing a version of Muddy Waters "Cool Water" (I believe its called.) Next Cyrile came out and played His Ghanian style Jazz. Andrew Cyrile blew me away with his use of poly rhythms. He is an incredible improvisor and I am am greatful to have been able to see him perform. Thirdly, double-bassist, Reggie Workman came out and played around the bass like it was a toy. He is a complete joy to listen and watch. Here is a guy that truly enjoys making music. It seeped out of him like an overfilled sponge. His intonation was a little off but whats new in the world of the acoustic bass? Besides, in the second set, after warming up, it was much better. He had some impressive sounds and textures he extracted from his well-used instrument. They then played collectively for about 30 mins and it was great! Andrew Cyrile was on top of everything in an ESP-like way. He truly was uncanny. There were hints of some of Ornettes Harmolodic ideas coming from Blood's kalaediscopic guitar and Reggie was laying it down. They played with a mutual love and respect an it did really come through.
More CD's I've been listening to: 1) Project X- Heaven and Earth. Those wacky King Crimson guys. 2) Ikue Mori- B/Side. God damn, I love this womans music! (And her artwork) 3) Boredoms- Super Roots 6. Not as out as some of their other stuff. 4) Adrian Belew- Inner Revolution. Cross between The Beatles, Frank Zappa, and XTC. 5) Henry Threadgill- Too Much Sugar For A Dime. This is a cool record with interesting instrumentation. All I can say is TUBA!!! 6) Beth Orton- Daybreaker. Merkus Alcus turned me onto this singer/songwriter. 7) John Zorn/Naked City-Heretic. Great, great band. Bill Frisell, Wayne Horvitz, Joey Baron, Yamatsuka eYe. 8) Cecil Taylor- Unit Structures. Believe it or not, this is on Bluenote... 9) Led Zeppelin- Remasters. What can I say these are classics. 10) Ruins/Derek Bailey- Saisoro. Collaboration between an improvising master and notorious Japanese group.
I just learned yesterday that a local, brilliant pianist named PJ Oh succumbed to stomach cancer on January 13th. I, like everyone who knew him, am completely shocked by this news. We talked only a few times, but he was one of the most upbeat and energized people I have ever met and genuinely friendly. PJ will be sadly missed by many as he touched many lives at CalArts and in the Los Angeles area. We never got to play together, but we kept talking about it. I am sorry it will never happen now. My memories of his smile will live on.
The funniest shit happened at a gig I was playing on Saturday night with the band, Dear Jon. First of all, Mr. Dunmore decided to get "punk" and sang incoherently and danced around the stage; during our version of the Rolling Stones classic "Brown Sugar", as an imitation of Mick Jagger! This had the band in hysterics and the audience wide-eyed and dumb-founded! Quite a sight to behold! Then, at the end of the night, a drunk, middle-aged woman came up and; I think, complimented the band. She told Andre LaFosse, the guitar player, that he was great and that he "looked like this nerd but could really play." and that the singer; Mr. Dunmore, "had to be gay" because of the way he "danced and prounced" around the stage! When I inquired as to who I was, she told me I was the "Focused One"(?), and that Phil Smith, the drummer, was "the partier". Right on, and look out KISS... Strange night.
10 CD's I've been listening to: 1) Ikue Mori-Hex Kitchen(New to Ikue Mori. One of the best CD's I've listened to in awhile.) 2) The Flaming Lips-Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots 3) John Zorn/Naked City-Torture Garden (This used to be just crazy "out" to me now it just sounds beautiful. Hope I'm not going off the deep end.) 4) Keith Jarrett-Live at the Deer Head Inn (I like the regular trio with Jack Dejohnette, but damn does Paul Motian sound good on this). 5) Mr. Bungle-Disco Volante 6) Wadada Leo Smith/Henry Kaiser- Yo! Miles 7) Squarepusher-Music Is Rotted One Note 8) David Bowie-Diamond Dogs 9) Frith/Kato/Mori-Death Ambient 10)Frank Zappa-The Yellow Shark
Went to see AJ Croce last night at The Mint as my friend Phil Smith was playing drums. Nice club. I have never been there before. Croces band was smokin'! If you ever get a chance to see them do not miss. At the same show I was introduced to Danny Carey, drummer of the band Tool, by Phil. I guess they lived in Kansas together long ago. We all rapped for awhile about Simmons drums and Dannys new brass(!) drumset. Real nice, funny guy and not as dark and mysterious as you would believe! One more thing. On Wednesday night, I was fortunate enough to see Peter Gabriel at The Staples Center. Do yourself a favor and if he is coming to a town near you, go see him. This concert is unbelievable and not to be missed. For bassists all I have is two words--Tony-Levin. The band was insanely tight and theatrics were spectacular. Stages which are round and in the center of the arena are completely where its at!
Just got back from San Francisco about a week and a half ago. What a great town! I went with Merkus, the singer of muzzleLoader, and while there we saw Ornette Coleman w/ his son Denardo Coleman on drums and Charnett Moffett on bass. The last time he was on the west coast was 1994.(Also in SF, as he had a miserable time in LA earlier in his life and doesn't come here at all anymore. I believe he hasn't been to LA in 30 years or so.) Ornette is 73 years old and still he played for about 2 hours and 20 minutes! He premiered all new music and it was well received. The consensus was that the only bad part was the bassist. He was downright annoying. He had three tricks and detracted from the rest of the trio by showboating and not knowing how to use his effects pedals. I expected much more from him. I was embarrased to watch and listen to him. Oh well, I am glad I was able to see one of the truly great Jazz legends.
Still building site. Put some new MP3's up from LXIX today. Be sure to visit the Rocco Prestia fund. This influential bassist from Tower Of Power really needs your help. This past saturday, I saw the Peter Erskine trio w/ Dave Carpenter on bass and Alan Pasqua on piano. What a great band and what really nice guys.
A ha! Just an expression , not the band. I finally have streaming and downloadable MP3's up and available. A couple from my recital at CalArts which a bunch of great musicians, a few from a band I was in called The J.S. Bach Experience, a Rock and Roll tribute to the great contrapuntal master, and a few from my current band muzzleLoader More to come...
Remember folks; no news is good news. Audio will be up soon.
Hello, I am in the process of setting up the new website. Guestbook, calendar, news, and forms are operational. Feel free to use. Downloadable and streaming MP3's shall be up shortly. Thanks for visiting!

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