Monday, May 01, 2006

This month at Yoshi's

There is a strong showing of local artists playing at Yoshi's this month.

A native of Brazil, vocalist Celia Malheiros plays tonight, May 1. I really know nothing about her but I know Mary Fettig is in the band playing flute.

Vocalist Natasha Miller sings from her new CD tomorrow night, Tuesday, with another handful of bay area musicians.

Wednesday brings us the Jon Jang Seven. We saw this group at Monterey last year and I thought they were having more fun then anyone else we watched. Of course friends John Worley and Wayne Wallace will be there on trumpet and trombone.

The Northgate High School Jazz Band performs next Monday, May 15. I'm guessing this is the band from Walnut Creek and not a hundred other Northgate bands I found on Google.

"Pianist, organist, composer and arranger" describes Tammy Hall on her web site. The list of influences and performance experience tells me this will be one fine show. Catch her on May 16.

Rebecca Mauleon has a CD release party on May 17 for Descarga en California. Rebecca always delivers a dynamic and passionate performance.

Opie Bellas vocalises on May 22.

The Mel Martin Quartet plays a Tribute to John Coltrane on May 23.

Get more details from the Yoshi's web site at yoshi'

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum

We visited the San Francisco Performing Arts Library and Museum last week to see the "Harlem of the West" exhibit (More about that in the next post) and discovered this little known resource. The name of the library says it all. It archives information on the history of the performing arts of San Francisco, from circuses to opera, a portion of which is online. You will find performance recordings, photographs and information on individuals, theatres and companies.

They display their collections in a series of galleries using the halls of the 4th floor surrounding the Herbst Theatre. Currently, one hall displays a history of theatre, which I know nothing about. The second hall is dedicated to an exhibition of photographs by Tom Zimberoff of 50 world renowned conductors. These dynamic black and white portraits capture the personalities of both the conductors and the photographer.

Another gallery documents the history of San Francisco in song, displaying original sheet music of any song that uses the city as a theme. The artwork of this old sheet music is captivating.

Gallery I is dedicated to the "Harlem of the West" exhibit (on view until June 10th) and features pictures from the book of the same name, a video and background music documenting the life and times of the people, the architecture and especially the jazz clubs of the post war Fillmore district. See my next post for more on this.

The Library and Museum are well hidden on the 4th floor of the Veteran's building at 401 Van Ness Ave in San Francisco. This is the same building that houses the Herbst Theatre, is next to the Opera House and across the street from City Hall. The old site of Kimball's is a block away (Lori and I had our first date there) as is Max's Opera Cafe and A Clean Well Lighted Place for Books, all favorite places to hang.

Open hours are limited, Wednesday to Friday from 11am to 5pm and Saturday from 1pm to 5pm. Check the web site for scheduled closures. If the lobby guard tells you the Library is closed, ignore them and look for yourself. The elevators are the only access to the 4th floor and only one of them may be unlocked to go that high. Try them both.

The Library is non profit and you can leave a donation if you like, but what they appreciate most is if you can contribute something real, from artifacts to identifying the many unknown people and places in their collection of photographs. Check it out, you will be glad you did and while you are there, stick your head in the Green Room on the second floor for a little eye candy. Maybe you've played a wedding there before.

SFPALM web site
Harlem of the West exhibit

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Barry Wood's NAMM 06 Oddities

Unusual instruments seen at the 2006 NAMM show are chronicled at Barry Wood's NAMM '06 Oddities.

A bit of history...
After attending the Winter NAMM show for a number of years I've noticed that the exhibitors seem to fall into two categories: the established company showing their new (and sometimes vaporous) products; and the independent start-up company looking to be noticed by distributors, music stores, potential investors and the music press.

It seems that every year I spent more of my NAMM cruising time checking out the various small companies that all get stashed off in some side room. Many of the products from these companies are never seen the by the mainstream either because their potential market is too small, or most people simply can't figure out what the hell to do with it.

That isn't to say that these products are ill-conceived or poorly executed, it's just that sometimes they're, well, a little odd. This situation made me think that there ought to be a place for people to come marvel and wonder at all of these products, thus, the NAMM Oddities was born. -Barry


NAMM '06 Oddities

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Jazz Camp West 2006

It is time to sign up for the Jazz Camps again (here is last year's roundup). I just received the brochure for Jazz Camp West 2006 scheduled for June 24 - July 1 and wanted to mention that enrollment is limited. This camp is total immersion, living in cabins in the redwoods for the week with other musicians doing nothing but talking, listening and playing music.

I'll try and gather all the Bay Area camps together in one post again shortly.

Rhythmic Concepts proudly presents the 23rd annual Jazz CampWESTJazz CampWEST is an eight-day jazz immersion program for instrumentalists, vocalists, drummers and dancers held in the beautiful redwoods of La Honda in Northern California. The combination of workshops, personalized instruction, student performances, faculty concerts, late night jams, and beautiful surroundings with new friends and mentors creates an inspiring and memorable week.At Jazz Camp, 45 all-star faculty members and 250 participants of all ages, backgrounds and levels come together for a creative experience that is profoundly rewarding. The majestic setting mixed with musical immersion, inspiration, encouragement and support set the stage for magic at Jazz CampWEST.


Jazz Camp West 2006 web site

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Inside Home Recording

I recently stumbled across the "Inside Home Recording" podcast which explores the world of recording music in your home. The program features James Devon and Paul Garay, two experienced recording musicians who speak casually yet very intelligently about hardware and software used by home recordists.

They dedicate segments to topics such as microphones, I/O devices, ear training, virtual pianos, interviews, reviews, recording techniques and they read and answer email questions. They explain terms without speaking down to their listeners or sacrificing details for commercial or time restraints.

They just began the show in October of last year and have about a dozen podcasts available with 20 to 25 planned for this year, truly a labor of love. I highly recommend this podcast to anyone building any level of home studio, which is very timely for me. I wish I knew more of their background which is something they might want to add to their blog.

You can subscribe and download the programs for free from their website or find them in the podcast section of the ITunes Music store, again, for free. Unbelievable. Thank you guys. Your work is greatly appreciated

Inside Home Recording web site

Robert Ullman

Not San Francisco and not even jazz but you can view the fun cartoon art of Robert Ullman at

Thursday, March 23, 2006

WorlView Blog

John Worley has been updating his blog again. He talks in glowing terms about last Tuesday's Foothill College Contemporary Big Band concert in which, I'm told, he had some fine solos and a small rant about the dearth of places that such a heavy band like this has to perform in the bay area.

Scroll down his blog to February 12th to read his (and other's) thoughts about the closing of the BoAs jazz club in Cupertino.

John plays a lot of diverse and interesting bay area gigs and his blog is the place to read about them. Thanks John.

WorlView Blog

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Mimi Fox

Bay Area guitarist Mimi Fox is interviewed for a deservedly flattering article in last Sunday's SF Chronicle's Pink Section. (Photo by Raj Naik) It speaks of her new CD, "Perpetually Hip" and the CD release concert at Yoshi's on March 27th, her experiences with her record label, Favored Nations, her rising status as music educator both at the Jazz School in Berkeley and the New York University's jazz guitar studies program, her upcoming appearance on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz and more.

MIMI FOX plays at 8 and 10 p.m. March 27 at Yoshi's, 510 Embarcadero West, Oakland. $10-$14. (510) 238-9200,
9 p.m. March 31 at E3 Playhouse, 435 Front St., Santa Cruz. $13-$15. (831) 466-9033,
7 p.m. April 2 at Little Fox Theatre, 2209 Broadway, Redwood City. $14-$16. (650) 369-4119,

SFGate Pink Section Article
Mimi Fox's web site

Rhoda Scott B3ist in the Bay Area

I must confess that I do not know jazz organist Rhoda Scott, but then reading the article on her in last Sunday's Pink Section, not many others have heard of her either.

While revered by her B3 peers, Scott is largely unknown in the United States, an unheralded status explained by her almost four-decade residence in Paris. Some high-profile stateside gigs in recent years have helped let American audiences know what they've been missing. Under the auspices of San Jose Hammond B3 maven Pete Fallico, Scott hits Northern California for a series of performances this month, including Thursday and Friday at Jazz at Pearl's, Saturday at Copia in Napa and March 30 at Kuumbwa in Santa Cruz. She's working with her regular drummer Lucien Dobat, and will be joined at each concert by Kim Nalley on vocals.

I'm a sucker for jazz organ and I if I can fit her into my schedule, I'll write about it here.

SFGate Pink Section article
Rhoda Scott's web site
Jazz at Pearls
Kuumbwa Jazz Center
The Doodlin Lounge

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Bay Area Jazz Podcasts

If you go to the Podcast section of the ITunes Music Store and search for "Jazz" you will find a few free bay area based features.

One is titled "Jazz West Coast" is a video podcast and is "devoted to Jazz education with an emphasis on interviews." 2 interviews are available, an interview by Richard J. Newhouse, creator of JWC with Jazz DJ Arzell Johns and Herb Wong interviewing Bob Dorough.

Also look for "Radio Sausalito's Bay Area Jazz Spotlight" showcasing bay area musical talent and "Radio Sausalito's Brilliant Corners" featuring Poetry and Jazz.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Kitty Margolis on Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz

The Bay Area's Kitty Margolis was on Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland last week, which I missed. There is a short bio and songs performed on Marian's web site.

Singer Kitty Margolis is a true California girl. Her family has been in the state for four generations, and her formative music experiences were shaped by the musical milieu of San Francisco in the 1960s.

I also found short podcasts of Piano Jazz supplied by NPR, updated on Tuesdays at 5 pm. You can subscribe here.

Piano Jazz on Kitty
Piano Jazz Home
Kitty Margolis
NPR Piano Jazz Podcasts

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Miles and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Miles Davis will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Monday night. There is an audio story on NPR's Morning Edtion with commentary on the web site about 3 albums that spanned the gap between jazz and rock.

When we hear the story of how Davis earned a place in the rock Hall of Fame, we learn something about the way popular music evolved into the songs we hear today. Steve Inskeep talks with music journalist Ashley Kahn, a regular contributor to Morning Edition and one of those who votes on Hall of Fame inductees, about how Davis spanned musical genres.

NPR's Morning Edition