Friday, April 29, 2005

Jazz TV

Now here is something really cool. I have not seen it but according to the KCSM website, they are broadcasting jazz TV programming on Digital channel 43.2, 24 hours a day. You require an external digital receiver or a new TV with the receiver built in to capture this signal. The website says that they are in talks with Comcast to carry the station. If you want to help, contact Elaine Barden, VP of Sales and Marketing at Comcast: The program schedule seems out of date. Does anyone have any other information? More later after I follow up.

Jazz Datebook: If you listen to KCSM, you know that their Jazz Datebook is the most comprehensive source for daily live music in the bay area. Did you know that it is also posted on their website.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Profile - Lori Stotko

Profile is a regular feature (this is the first) on the Redhouse Jazz blog in which you get to know a San Francisco bay area jazz musician a little better.

When did you first start playing an instrument? Piano age 2, trombone age 11

Who/what were your first influences? MF Horn! Maynard Ferguson! How 80's is that! Weather Report and Dizzy Gillespie's Swing Low Sweet Cadillac. Also, I am ashamed to say, Chuck Mangione - Children of Sanchez and Feels so Good....HOW 80's is that? I did not get "Kind of Blue" until 1989, then my discography much improved: Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Horace Silver, Oscar Peterson, Eliane Elias, etc.

How did you get experience? In my youth? Playing Louisiana beauty pageants.....GOOD GOD. Playing in high school and college jazz bands, playing in small groups. We had one college group called Redskin Rhythm. We renamed it "Close enough for 25" (because the whole band often got only$25.) We played for drunken, BBQ sucking rednecks on metal barges that went down the bayou in Lousiana. Like the Delta Queen. Texas was a cultural waste land for piano trio gigs, so I just practiced and bided my time. Got a free piano and hauled it in a pickup truck. I started doing trio work when I moved to San Francisco.

What instruments do you play? Piano first, trombone second. I can play anything with a keyboard (Marimba, vibes, accordion.) A little guitar.

What instruments do you own? Three trombones, a grand piano, two electric pianos, an Accordion (the "gift from God") a guitar, several rusty harmonicas, a drum set and a nose flute.

Do you compose? Yes, but i don't write much down.

What is your fondest gig memory? Playing a wedding and being told I sounded like Oscar Peterson!

What was your worst gig from hell? The 1000 person start-up company bash where the CEO got his hair sprayed purple while being held in a headlock, and there were tambourines and assorted noise makers on every table, as well as a 180 decible DJ from hell.

What do you listen to now? Benny Green, Keith Jarrett, Herbie Hancock, Maria Schneider, Dave Holland, Thad Jones, Other contemporary big band stuff, all piano trio stuff, Conrad Herwig and Bruce Fowler for trombone! (But I listened to a LOT of JJ Johnson)

What projects are you involved in? Contemporary big band stuff, pick up gigs, trio casuals. Want to write some charts for the big bands I play with.

What would you like to plug? Our next concert is at Foothill June 7 at 7 pm!!!! (Editor's note: See my write up for the Foothill College Jazz Ensemble from March)

Lori Stotko's web site is at

Marie Daulne: Zap Mama

Zap Mama with Marie Daulne is playing the Fillmore in San Francisco tonight, April 28. This colorful and rich World Music artist combines African and pygmy roots with the East and West, jazz and rap influences from around the world. This is more pop then straight ahead but there is lots of syncopation.

KQED's Michael Krazny interviewed Marie on Forum this morning and her voice peaked my interest. The audio should be up in a day or two here. Another NPR interview can be heard here.

National Public Radio Jazz Site

National Public Radio hosts one classy web site devoted to jazz. Here you will find extensive and in depth interviews and profiles , links to NPR's renowned radio programs hosted by Marian McPartland and Dee Dee Bridgewater, their "must Have" record library, a radio station list by state and a high end Jazz web link list.

Also check out fellow jazz blogger Joe Moore at Jazz Portraits. He is the station manager and jazz programmer at the Fresno NPR radio station, KFSR for the inside scoop.

SF Jazz Spring Season

The San Francisco Jazz Spring Season is well under way. This Friday brings Shirley Horn at Nob Hill Masonic Center, Dee Dee Bridgewater at Herbst Theater on Saturday and the Tord Gustavsen Trio at the Florence Gould Theatre, also on Saturday.

Let me point out that Terence Blanchard is at the Herbst Theatre next Sunday, May 8. I wrote at length about seeing him in an amazing concert a couple of months ago and whole heartedly recommend this upcoming show.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Famous Feet On Stage

Ornette Coleman's feet are one of a collection of pictures taken by Roland Owsnitzk of musician's lowest extremity onstage. Most performers are rock stars but there are a half dozen jazz artists in the mix. It's all strangely intriguing as I fight the urge to pun.

Credit to Boing Boing.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Brian Parker's Streaming Jazz

While searching for jazz stations on the internet (see the links in the right column) I came across All That Jazz. This internet only "station", owned, programmed and run by Brian Parker, streams jazz 24 hours a day.

Brian is essentially sharing his enormous record collection with the world. As you listen, there is no telling what song or style will play next. The quality of the broadcast is excellent and there are absolutely no commercials. His credentials include gigs on broadcast radio, extensive interviews with famous musicians, experience organizing clubs and festivals and he is also an accomplished bass player.

Brian put together this station 4 years ago, shouldering the entire expense and is now needing help to stay online. Give this truly unique station a listen to and see if it is something you are interested in supporting.

Friday, April 22, 2005

Bela Fleck in Africa

Maybe you think you hate the banjo, but Bela Fleck transcends all the jokes and brings a musical quality to the instrument that jazz aficionados can appreciate. He has taken a sabbatical from the Flecktones and spent 2 months in Africa exploring the roots of his instrument. Listen to a 4 part interview and audio diary of this fascinating musical journey on the BBC's The World.

Unusual Trio!

Trio! with Bela Fleck, Stanley Clarke and Jean Luc Ponty will create a unique sound when they tour this summer. I expect they will be warmed up by the time they play the Mountain Winery in Saratoga, CA on August 19.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Ceremonial Bugle...

With all due respect for our veterans, I present the Ceremonial Bugle.

"With the bugler shortage in mind, Congress passed a law that took effect in January 2000 and allows a recorded version of Taps using audio equipment if a live horn player is not available. Molino said the push-button bugle is a 'dignified alternative' to prerecorded taps played on a stereo or compact disc player."

How it works with a short video. "The device, slides snugly deep into the bugle's bell. The device plays a high-quality recorded version of “Taps,” taken from the 1999 Memorial Day service at Arlington National Cemetery. The resonating tones inside the bugle create a realistic horn quality."

This model only plays taps but think of the programing possiblities.

Michael O'Neill

Mid Pennisula's own Michael O'Neill is having a CD release party at Yoshi's, Tuesday, April 26 with Kenny Washington.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Chick Corea Elektric Band

It is not surprising that there are very few tickets left to see The Chick Corea Elektric Band at Yoshi's in Oakland, Wednesday, April 27 through Sunday, May 1.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Jazz Musicians, After the Spotlight Fades

“I wasn't thinking anything about my future the way I should have been. The way I was living, I thought I'd just have fun while I'm here.... I had no idea that I would live beyond 50.”

Saxophonist Frank Foster

Felix Contreras hosts a four-part series on the plight of aging jazz musicians. Listen to the broadcast and more interviews on NPR.

Monday, April 18, 2005


I want one of these! Strobopick is a miniature stroboscopic guitar tuner that is just too cool. They are made for a variety of stringed instruments and the company will custom design them to the frequencies of your choice. Reasonably priced too. Check out the video on the home page.

If you have ever tried one of these, please leave a comment.

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Apocalypso Now

Extricate those tax demons with a dose of Tiki. Apocalypso Now is playing thier brand of calypso at the Conga Lounge this Saturday.

Saturday April 16, 9pm
Conga Lounge
Upstairs from Cafe Rustica
5422 College Ave

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Milt Hinton

I was transfixed by the new documentary "Keeping Time: The Life, Music and Photographs of Milt Hinton" shown on the PBS production Independent Lens. I believe the video states that Mr Hilton took over 16,000 photographs and 16 mm movies in his life. The one hour show chronicles his life with interviews of Milt and many musicians, constant music and of course, his photos. This web site talks about the film, has a gallery of his pictures and more.

If you are a bass player or any musician and/or a photographer, you will find this documentary absolutely fascinating.

This video is not currently available for purchase and I recommend you catch it while you can. Quickly check the schedule for your local PBS stations here.

Sunday, April 10, 2005

Dave Holland Big Band Part 2

If Big Band were an extreme sport, this band would be a gold medal quality Olympic team. Lori and I attended the early show at Yoshi's on Friday hoping to stay for 2 sets. Both shows were sold out solid.

I must admit I know very little about Dave Holland and contemporary big band music. Checking out his discography, I am embarrassed at my ignorance. If nothing else, I should know that he played with Miles on Live/Evil and Bitches Brew. Steady exposure from Lori and friends and the Foothill College Big Band has enlightened me. Let's move forward.

Chris Potter - tenor saxophone
Antonio Hart - alto saxophone
Mark Gross - alto saxophone
Gary Smulyan - baritone saxophone
Robin Eubanks - trombone
Josh Roseman - trombone
Jonathan Arons - trombone
Taylor Haskins - trumpet
Duane Eubanks - trumpet
Alex Sasha Sipiagin - trumpet
Steve Nelson - vibraphone &marimba
Nate Smith - drums
Dave Holland - double bass

The band is the tightest, in tune big band I have ever seen. Even as the soloists spiked out in their own directions, the band moved and played as one, harmonically and rhythmically. I could not imagine a richer tone.

The saxophone section alone displayed extraordinary skill and talent. Every chord, every melody and every solo was spellbinding. It is difficult to single anyone out but since I love the baritone sax, let me mention Gary Smulyan. His sound and musicality were as gratifying as his playing ergonomics were fascinating.

Nate Smith on drums is like a metronome from another dimension. A really good dimension were rhythm is the life force. (Maybe I have been watching too much anime.) You can see that this man walks, talks and sleeps in the groove, locked into the odd meters and dynamics of Dave Holland's mind and he drives this band like an Italian sports car.

Indeed, the whole band is tuned into Mr Holland as he stands center stage, captain at the helm of this ship, playing impeccable bass. His only directions are to start and stop and his music just pours out of this band and over the audience.

I partially expected to grow tired of a lot of wailing and even though enjoying the show, I would be happy when it was over. Far from it. When Dave announced the final song of the first set, Free for All, I was alarmed and dismayed of how quickly the time had gone by and sopped up every note. When it was over, the entire audience immediately jumped to their feet, clapping and screaming. I am serious.

Something else to note. I have been to a lot of shows at Yoshi's over the years. This band attracts an interesting and eclectic audience. Enough said about them. The band itself enjoyed the evening as much as the audience did. Also of note: You may recognize Jonathan Arons as the Dancing Trombone Player. Lori just had to meet him and is tickled pink that she did. We are very glad to have caught this great show.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Dave Holland Big Band

The Dave Holland Big Band is at Yoshi's in Oakland, tonight and tomorrow. I expect this to be one outstanding concert. The lineup of musicians is incredible and Dave Holland is one of the top contemporary big band composers alive today.

My total exposure to his music is via the Foothill College Big Band as mentioned here last month. Now I get to see the real thing and will write more about it on Saturday. I need to talk more about Yoshi's in the future too.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Leslie Speaker System

The Leslie has added so much to the Hammond B3 performance that you never see (or hear) one without the other. Here is an interesting short history about the origins of the speaker invented by Don Leslie. This will lead me to the Jazz Organ Fellowship, staunch supporters of, what else, Jazz Organ which I just can't get enough of. But more on that later.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Streaming Commercial Free Jazz

You can't beat streaming commercial free jazz and there is plenty of it from all over this cool blue planet. This is the start of a long (I hope) list and I intend to hunt them down. We will start with what I know. It wouldn't hurt to help them out either.

KCSM from the College of San Mateo, CA 24 hours a day

WRTI from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA. Jazz from 6pm to 6am Eastern with Classical during the day.

WXPN from the University of Pennsylvania. Traditional and progressive American music.

KMHD Public Radio in Gresham, Oregon playing jazz 24 hours a day for 20 years.

WBGO from Newark, NJ is another top choice for 24x7 jazz.


The JazzSchool begins it's Spring semester on April 11. The JazzSchool, located in Berkeley, CA is an "innovative music school" that has relocated and expanded in the last few years. They include an extensive faculty with private and group instruction, a weekend concert schedule and the JazzCaffe which serves food and drink and is available for external events. There are a few "for credit" courses associated with the University of California, Berkeley Extension. They also run a Summer Youth Program. The Bassment is their outlet for Jazz books and records.

Founder Susan Muscarella continues as the head of the organization providing this unique and rich jazz cultural experience that is intimately connected to the entire East Bay jazz scene and beyond.

Santaurios Studio Pictures

This website contains a great collection of electronic music studio pictures. The picture above appears to be Herbie Hancock and Patrick Gleeson at the Different Fur Recording Studios in San Francisco in 1970, although my Spanish leaves much to be desired. There appears to be a lot more information regarding electronic music available from the home page. Good luck.

Blindfold Test with Charles Mingus

"Rating? Well, let’s put it like this. If I were in a record store and I’d listened to all the seven records you’ve played me so far ..., I wouldn’t buy any of them. And I’ve got some money."

Here is Leonard Feather giving the Downbeat Magazine Blindfold test to Charles Mingus, April 28, 1960.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Piano Puzzler

Pianist Bruce Adolphe offers a new puzzle for classical music fans. He re-writes a popular melody in the style of a classical composer and challenges listeners to identify both. This is a weekly show, every Wednesday on NPR. You can listen to the current puzzle and the archives here.

Friday, April 01, 2005

If you liked Belinda, you'll like this.