Recording session, Day 2

Day 2 of the Hamid Drake & Bindu III sessions was equally cool, fun, and rewarding. It is so nice to get to spend all day with really cool people, who also happen to be fabulous musicians.


Studio munchies are important. Hamid made a Trader Joe’s run before we went to the studio. The salsa and the cherry tomatoes were particularly good.


Hamid and Jeff Parker getting ready for the first take of the day.

Hamid is one of those guys who you have to be careful what you say around him. I commented that an organ bubble and skank would sound good one one particular track, and by then end of the day the organ was plugged in and I was tracking an organ overdub. A real case of watch what you wish for, but it was fun, and playing organ in a reggae band has been a long time dream of mine.

I am back in New Orleans, but the rest of the band is in Chicago today mixing it. I’m sorry that I am missing the mix session, but another feeling that ranks with making good music with great friends, is the feeling of your daughter who you haven’t seen in a couple of days screaming, “Daddy!!!” and running into your arms.

We ended up putting some really good music together in these two days. I can’t wait for you all to hear it. Look for it sometime early next year probably.

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Brief airline rant

WTF with the charge for the first checked bag? Just raise the ticket price by $15 or $25. On this morning’s flight, it seemed to me that significantly over half of the passengers had some sort of wheeled suitcase as a carry on. It’s a freakin’ suitcase…CHECK IT. But, you can’t really blame the passengers because the airlines penalize you for being considerate of cabin space and checking your smallish suitcase. It just seems so stupid.

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Recording day 1

I’m in Chicago working on Hamid Drake’s next Bindu recording for Rogue Art. It is a reggae improv vibe, and we had a blast on the first day in the studio. We are recording at Soma Electronic Music Studio in Chicago. John McEntire is the owner/engineer. It is a very cool hang, he has great mics, and tons of cool old school electronic music gear.


The cool AEA ribbon mic I am using.


Jeb Bishop in the “trombone corner” standing in front of some of the vintage keyboard gear that we aren’t using.


Hamid is playing tablas on one piece.


Napoleon Maddox (beat boxer/rapper/singer), Josh Abrams and Hamid working out an arrangement.


Traveling light…sans trombone stand.

More soon.

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Fun with store samples

Lucky 7’s: Pluto Junkyard: Squidco

This might look like a shameless mention of the fact that the new Lucky 7s CD is now available at Squidco (and that could be an accurate assessment), but it is also a heads up for a little John Cage style fun. The Squidco store has embedded players with mp3 samples from each disc. There is a separate player for each sample, so you can play them all simultaneously. Have fun, start them at different times. Open tabs, and mix and match bands. Enjoy!

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The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time MP3 Downloads: The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums of All Time

Ok, this should probably be titled “The 100 Greatest Jazz Albums you can download from Amazon,” but still, I’m a sucker for lists. I usually go in looking for what I will scream about, but this one hit me with a pleasant surprise. Kind of Blue is not #1, but it is in the top 5 and rightfully so. They have Ornette rockin the #1 spot. I’m not sure that The Shape of Jazz to Come is even my favorite Ornette record, much less my favorite jazz record, but it is a seminal recording, so I’m cool with it. There’s plenty of other stuff to argue about further down the list, but I’ll leave that alone and bask in the glow of Ornette getting props.

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Social internet TMI

I am fascinated by some of things people will write on Twitter or Facebook. I think sometimes we forget that these are more public places than we realize. The dilemma is: when we see people being hypocrites, are we obliged to call them out? Publicly or privately?

Case in point: a recent Facebook status update was “vindictive people suck.” This was posted by someone who has given people grades in an apparently vindictive manner. (I would say obviously vindictive, but I’ll leave the benefit of the doubt.) To call this person out would seem equally vindictive, so I guess just quietly enjoying the irony would be the best course of action. The middle road between the full on call out and the quiet contemplation must be the vague blog post.

I think I may be reading too much Gowder, although I imagine Paul would just rock the call out and be done with it.

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Dial “M” for Musicology: Thinking with the ear

I just recently started reading this blog, and I can’t remember how I got turned on to it, but I really like today’s post. There’s a fairly long quote below. Click the link to read the whole thing.

Dial “M” for Musicology: Thinking with the ear:

“Last time I wrote about performance as a series of deliberative acts vs. performance in a ‘flow state’ and thought about what understanding of self and volition these two states entail. It got me thinking about an old friend — let’s call him Chuck — who was a music undergrad at the same time as me and with whom I played a little chamber music. This guy was one of the smartest people I’ve ever met in my life, a sponge for languages, ideas, literatures, whole fields of endeavor. His intellectual restlessness manifested itself in his approach to music; he was a seriously deliberative musician. When we played together, he would plan out everything that would happen in every phrase, every little pause and inflection worked out along the axis of a carefully-prepared analysis. And I, being at that time convinced that such an analytical orientation was indispensable for proper interpretation, went right along. I enjoyed the crossword-puzzle aspect of our rehearsals, the satisfying feeling of figuring out and verbalizing what he and I were to do at any given moment of the piece. But Chuck’s playing never lost a certain stiffness, a certain lack of organic cohesion—everything he played sounded as if it were made out of Tinkertoys. And it never really grew past a certain point, as Chuck admitted himself, which is why he ended up doing something else with his life (and meeting with a great deal of success). 

I’d go so far as to say that those musicians like Chuck, musicians who think of performance as a highly deliberative act, are at a disadvantage.”

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Rob Mazurek – Lisa Sokolov

These discs deserve reviews, but I don’t really have the time to get to them. They have both been in my player quite a bit lately. Mazurek’s disc is full of great textures. Come to the Lisa Sokolov disc with out jazz singer expectations, and you’ll get to some good music. If you look at the titles of the songs, and expect something similar to what you’ve heard before, you might have a hard time with it. Let it be what it is, and you’ll be treated to a great new experience.



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