Monday, December 31, 2018

Whirlwind Catch-All 3 - The Incident

This post too, is going to be short. Much shorter than I intended, but I need to move along. I need to finish pruning the fig tree before it gets dark. Here's the deal: on Jan. 22, half a block from home, crossing the intersection IN the crosswalk, on a NEW GREEN LIGHT, when I was hit by a car turning left. I went high into the air and revolved. Time slowed, as it does in these situations. I said to myself, "Everything depends on how you hit the ground." Then I hit the ground. I was very lucky. I did not die. I did not hit my head and suffer brain damage. My spine was not damaged. I did suffer a fractured tibia plateau of my left leg. The tibia plateau is in the knee complex. Though this is better than the possibilities I listed, it was still catastrophic. I was bed-bound for months; I had months of physical therapy. I still am not back to normal. I often wonder if I will ever be. I won't dwell on the work I lost, except to say that I had been contracted to do a series of concerts with the Frankfurt Radio Symphony. That opportunity went down the drain. You can imagine what else, because of course, as soon as you become unavailable, everybody wants you. The way of the world. So it goes. are some shots from the ER and of the recovery. That will close out 2018. Here's looking forward to 2019, which already looks promising on some fronts.


Something had to be rigged up for me to get up those two steps with crutches. It became easier when I got the walker.

This is where I fell facedown the night (about 2AM) I returned from the emergency room.  Crutches are dangerous. You see that I could have been killed by that fall.

Whirlwind Catch-All 2

Here we go, November to the end.

Early in November Purple Gums did a performance and presentation at Cal State University, Fullerton, courtesy of Charles Sharp and Pamela Madsen. A day or two later we made an appearance on Open Gate's New Music Sundays series. The longest continuously running new music series in Los Angeles. 

Only days later I took off to Chicago for one of Francis' recording projects and to play in the Chicago Asian American Jazz Festival. And to eat.

Father and son - Francis and Kenjo.

Muwata Bowden, Edward Wilkerson and Francis at rehearsal.

The venerable Tatsu Aoki on bass...

and shamisen.

Melody Takata taking a short break. 

Francis and Kioto Aoki.

The ensemble. 
My last performance of the year was an open rehearsal with the Pan-Afrikan People's Arkestra. Yes, I am back with the Ark. I am enjoying it. Lots of new faces with a few familiar ones. The actual show is on January 6, in Venice, CA.

One more post for the year, in which I will give a short description of the incident.

Whirlwind Catch-All 1

Okay, it is the last day of 2018 and I am way behind. So...this post is going to mainly be photos from the last four months with little commentary. I use the "1," because I am sure it will take more than one post. This platform gets very clunky if the post are too long. So here we go...

First public performance after the incident. It was with old colleagues Anna Homler and Michael Intrere at Coaxial.

Later in the month Purple Gums took a trip to Bakersfield, CA at the invitation of Kris Tiner, to play on the Panorama Creative Music Festival at Bakersfield College. Of course, we stopped for food along the trail.

Big fig harvest. Jam and this year also jelly. I wanted to give it a try using the fruit from one of the later pickings. I am trimming the tree this year. It is getting too tall. Experience tells me there won't be much of a harvest next year, maybe no fruit at all. That's okay, I have enough.

Brad Dutz invited Bobby and I to play with him at Sun Space, in Shadow Hills. It is a nice, intimate space, far from the maddening crowd.

Vijay Anderson, got his Silverscreen Sextet project onto the Angel City Jazz Festival this year. We performed at The World Stage. The last two photos were taken by Chuck Koton.

Bassist Lisa Mezzacappa brought a group down from the Bay Area to play at the A.C. Jazz Festival. She, along with Charles Sharp and Jeff Schwartz put together a guided jam with musicians from L.A. and the Bay Area. This happened at Coaxial.

I also had a good crop of Peruvian apples this year. There are cactus in the neighborhood that fruit every year. The one here is stingy. Last year there were none.

The End of August thru October

This will be another whirlwind, catch-up post. 

Joe Mitchell and I meet up now and again in Chinatown to debrief and commiserate. We always park in the same lot. This BBQ trailer has been there for over a year. I finally checked it out. It is pretty cool on the inside. If I were going around hawking BBQ, this would be at the top of the list for rig choices. Behind it is a wall, on the other side of which there are some private gardens. There are some overhanging vegetables and fruit. I am not clear on what the fruit is. In the photo they look like they could be roma tomatoes, but that was not the impression on the spot. The other one is definitely a form of bitter melon. [] I considered taking one, but figured somebody had worked hard to grow them; the melons belonged to them, not me. 

On the last day of August I did some smoking of big pieces of meat.

As you know, I have many animal body parts made into instruments. It is easy to convert a horn or bone into an instrument, but success is not guaranteed. You can cut too much of the end off and then you are stuck with a piece of trash. It is better to make a short cut then work your way down. Think of cooking a piece of meat. If you undercook it, you can cook it more; if you overcook it...bring out the ketchup. No matter what I did, I couldn't make this gemsbok horn work as a lip reed instrument. It cost enough that I wasn't comfortable with throwing it out. So I thought, try an actual reed on it. No luck with a bassoon reed. No luck with a piri reed. Finally, I ordered a couple of duduk reeds, which are not cheap. That was the answer. It also became clear that I needed to make the finger holes larger. BTW, those holes are all in the wrong place, but when I put them in, I figured I was going to trash the thing anyway. If I do it again, I'll give it all some more serious thought. In any case, the horn kind of works. It has a timber somewhere between a tenor sax and clarinet.