Thursday, November 12, 2015

All Hallows Eve

In early October I did a gig on a concert of Creative Alarm Inventions Festival of new music and improvisations. I was a guest of two duo ensembles: Medicine Show (which now seems to be a trio with me as an actual member) and Orange Peal Vibrations. Medicine Show is Jonathon Grasse on guitars and Tom Steck on drums/percussion. Orange Peal Vibrations is Gabriel "Slam" Nobles and Joseph Mitchell on percussion. Both groups gave fine performances. Before the show I ate at R & R Soul Food. Eating there has the tradition associated with playing at Cal State University Dominguez Hills. You will see by the photo that I had beef short ribs. 

Halloween was interesting. I always try to get out of the house on Halloween. I am not interested in answering the door and handing out candy. The deal is that the kids are only supposed to go to house with the porch light on. I have discovered that they pay no attention to this rule. If I stay at home, I have to keep ALL the lights in the house turned off if I don't want the doorbell ringing. This I got out of the house by doing a gig with the ensemble Decisive Instant, in Pasadena. There were four ensembles that played. Decisive Instant is a large ensemble. This performance was a tribute to Sun Ra. We did only Ra tunes. A great time was had by all and we got to dress up. 

This month I got one of those strange calls. The owner of L.A. Eyeworks wanted a tuba player to play at the store during an event that all the shops on the block were putting on. Why? Why not? Turns out that her father was a trombone player. That is plenty of justification in my book. I played outside of the shop. It turned out to be a very enjoyable gig. It didn't have to be that way. When you play on the street, anything can happen. Only good things happened. It was cool. 

In amongst those things I did a session for a song for the band "Diamond Baby," having Matt Sorum and Ace Harper as the main members. I liked the tune. We'll see if it gets released and if the tuba is still on it. My experience is to not trust that you'll survive editing until the project has hit the streets. 

R & R's and the performance

Decisive Instant
Brad Dutz and Kaoru Mansoor, along with Will Salmon
played in one of the small ensembles.

Now we get to the honoring of Sun Ra.

Will and Ted did a performance with puppets.

L.A. Eyeworks gig 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Loopy Jazz and Whacky Dance_October 10 & 11

Last weekend was busy on the musical side of things. Saturday night was a gig with Steve Weisberg and his orchestra. It is a fun orchestra to play in. There are always singers. Steve does arrangements for them. For a lot of them, it is their first time singing in front of such a large ensemble. Suzy Williams is the singer in these photos. She knows how to sing in front of a band. I usually do an extemporaneous spoken word solo on a tune. I'll know what the song is going to be so I can review the lyrics and give some thought to the vibe of the song. I don't usually go beyond coming up with a persona for the solo. For this show, all I knew was that it was a new song that Steve had written for his wedding anniversary, which happened to be that night. I had to leave the rehearsal before they got to it, so I had no idea of the tune or the lyrics. I decided to go back in time and be the Rabbi at wedding. That is the get-up I am in, in the photo with the polka dots. It went over well, got some good laughs. 

Sunday I did two performances with the Heidi Duckler Dance Theatre. The piece was "Sophie & Charlie - Intensive Care." The piece is a dance telenovela. "Intensive Care," was the third episode. Heidi's dance company specializes in doing site-specific pieces. Each episode of "Sophie & Charlie," takes place at a different site. This episode was located at a partially functioning health care facility. There were five dancers involved. I put together a trio of percussion, trombone and myself on tuba. The music was improvised with a few sonic signposts. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

La Feria de Los Moles

Yes, things move along. All these reminders that another year has past. By chance, I found out that the Mole Festival was happening today. Fortunately, I was able to get downtown for a couple of hours. It was pretty much the same as last year, as you would expect. I bought a bag of fried locusts. It is not likely that I will actually eat them.

The women are going to wear those floral arrangements on their heads.

The woman in the red is the Mole Queen.

A lecture/demonstration by the chef.

An emergency at the train station.

A lot of dancing in the street was going on.

The bugs.

They are pretty tasty, but it is an effort to get past what you are eating. 

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Cereus repandus Harvest

Remember those shots of the Cereus repandus in bloom? If the blooms get pollenated by a moth, when the flower falls off, a fruit will grow. Last year there were a lot of flowers, but I got only one fruit. This year is better. I got a few today and there are more on the cactus. I took these off before they were fully ripe. They are tasty, but not as sweet as when more ripe. Waiting for them to fully ripen can be problematic, because the birds like them too. You have to keep a sharp eye out to protect your fruit. Driving around the city, I see a lot of these cactus with fruit. I am sure that in most cases the people don't eat the fruit. They probably don't know that they are edible. I am sometimes tempted to ask if I can harvest their fruit. Here is a link with a lot of information about Cereus repandus:

Friday, October 2, 2015

From May 6 to Now (Oct. 2)_#3

Shots from a walk around Altadena, where I live.

I belong to a burger eating club with some heavy-hitting musicians and artists: Kio Griffith, Carl Stone, Roland Kato and Alan Nakagawa. On 08/04/2015 we tried Hawkins. It was happenin'! And then a stop by the nearby Watts Towers.

Heidi Duckler asked me to do the music for a performance of her dance company. The performance will be in October. Heidi specializes in site-specific pieces. This performance will be at a partially used health care facility. Judicanti Responsura (Joseph Mitchell and myself) will provide the music, with special guest artist Michael Vlatkovich on trombone.

The burger group went for hot dogs on this day.

Jazz legend Bobby Bradford has formed a new group, the "Tete-a-Tete." Our premiere performance was at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art.)

In Los Angeles, the Obon season ends with Nisei Week. You know that from last year's entries. Then dinner at a Oaxacan restaurant.

The Cereus repandus are blooming.

The burger group strayed again. We tried out a barbecue place is passed on the way home from Hawkins. This place is called Randolph's. It was pretty good. 

Finally! Up to date. Hopefully it will never be this long between posts again.