Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Jazz Highlights of 2010 #2:
Other Side with poets David Meltzer & Michael Rothenberg, at Hallwalls

David Meltzer is one of the great Beat Generation poets, with a deep knowledge and love of jazz. In my first performance with him in November of 2009, he quickly teased out my tenor influences ("You, of course, are coming from Sonny...") within the context of a larger discussion of tenor players -- it was the kind of "insider" conversation that I'd expect to have with a very hip and well-studied saxophonist, which David isn't: he's just a very hip and well-studied poet who loves jazz. His book-length poem for Lester Young, No Eyes, beautifully evokes jazz rhythm and phrasing, and like Lester's playing it's heartbreaking sometimes and beautiful.

Other Side is my collaboration with drummer Doug Dreishpoon and a revolving cast of bassists; for this gig in September, we were joined by Danny Ziemann. Other Side is usually a very satisfying musical experience for me, and on this night the trio was clearly inspired by the poets. It was an honor working with David and Michael!

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