more to come
more to come
Just now jazz in this afternoon the dj back-announced two tracks I half-heard that she said have a loose Beat theme. One was Roy Glenn reading from a Philip Whalen poem, from an album, I soon suss, called “Jazz Canto Vol. 1”. The second is from a Kenny Dorham album recorded in 1961 at the SF Jazz Workshop called “Inta Something” a track “The San Francisco Beat” which you can also find as a bonus track on a more recent set called “Matador”.
I would listen again or read the Philip Whalen by way of Roy Glenn.
But I would quibble with or point out that it is a pun or trope and maybe a put-down when even contemperanous to the very brief “Beat scene” and recorded in SF they title a track the SF beat — they are referring to beat meaning rhythm or timing or melody of the pulse per se and not the “beat” sense of exhaustion or “beatitude”, I don’t think. Or, like wow man i am splitting hairs.
That plus the paper says that a smart lady named Michelle Kraus pulled papers but did not file for Palo Alto City Council, and I learned recently, and mentioned to her that I hope she injects some of her experience working with or for Allen Ginsberg into her campaign. Maybe I should, between now and local election day, do a “what would Ginsberg” do review on the local race. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by the developers. Moloch! Moloch! Moloch!
Back to the music, I found links to the two tracks I heard:
edit to add: there’s also Tom Parkinson, “A Casebook on the Beat” I’ve written about previously, and here I found his New York Times obit, 71, from 1992 and he’s also in the Berkeley poetry installation in the sidewalk near Freight and Salvage, Berkeley Rep; he’s the guy who was the target of a murder attempt from a right-wing-nut-job, around that time. And Steve Lacy, the Beat Suite, from the late 1990s — adding to the scene or extending it. And Shig Murao, who lived in Palo Alto and has a shrine of sorts at Bell’s Books. And I am carrying in my cellphone a citation of Lew Welch’s Palo Alto address on Fulton, if memory serves. I did a presentation of the history of jazz here, in Palo Alto and have threatened to do something on the even more obscure “Beat History of Palo Alto”.
You don’t have to finish your work
But you can’t quit either.
2. A reviewer mentioned, in his Amazon piece, that the Jazz Cantos performers were affiliated with early Pacifica Jazz label –its on Red Cherry the reissue from 2009 or so; whereas the Dorham piece and set is on Pacifica Jazz label proper, unless that’s redundant.
3. On KCSM it’s Jayn Pettingil and the track is “Big High For Somebody”, the Roy Glenn Philip Whalen.
4. Poetry foundation write-up on Philip Whalen says he’s more zen than beat.
5. Blink-182 on Colbert last night — to come: it’s punk not beat, although vaguely nihilist the new song, on “California”
6. New York Times, Steven Korff, a former punk drummer, and his exemplary collection of japanese contemporary ceramics — bowls not sculpture “Up To His Neck In His Obsession” by Robin Pogrebin who is Yale 1987. And this is becoming a rain basin of arts ideas. There’s also a draft in here — plastic alto, itself an ornette reference — about George Packer and “be kind rewind” which is a reaction to “The Unwinding”.
7. weird dust-up on PAW about Cory Wohlbach right of center young Palo Alto council member and the redeeming true fact that he played trombone in the Gunn jazz group, I learn from my own voluminous files. A Mr. GJ, of Palo Alto, since 1961, trolled me then we somehow hooked up by phone and became pals. But I complaintiffed that I am the only one deleted and censored on PAW who posts under his own name. This:
Well, actually Mr. Johnson, Cory is an excellent musician, and in fact I saw him play, some years ago, with the illustrious Gunn jazz band. It’s a metaphor. “Woodshedding” in jazz parlance means “practice.” I stand by my comment.
My father passed away about a year ago, thanks for asking. His obituary appears in these pages.
I knew your twins sons, slightly, back in the day. I’ve been to your house. (Near Ross and Louis, right?) Normally I appreciate your sage opinions on these forums.
The vote was 8 to 1 with Cory Wohlbach the lone dissenter. I made a music-based simile, which relies on the fact that while at Gunn, Cory played in the trombone section. I was alluding to the sound of one voice in contrast to the other eight. Why is that controversial?
I am the only person in Palo Alto who posts under his own name and is consistently censored by the Weekly.
The Weekly should do some woodshedding!
How do you get to 450 Cambridge? Practic, Plactich, #@^iceplick
and and: heard from Gary Meyer founder of Landmark Films and should link to his wordpress essay on old theaters but instead will post a screen shot of my log-roll:
which made me day
Hans Delannoy, approaching 500 career wins, coaching boys and girls in Palo Alto and San Ramon / Danville / Dublin, called and asked me to research the exact number of those came in 1973, at Cubberley. I went to Steve Staiger’s office the next day and consulted the Totem, the school yearbook, with limited success. For yucks, or hermetic reasons, or as a profound tribute, I squeezed into Kent’s game-worn jersey, #25, which he had sent me in 2007, when we were organizing a tribute to Danny McCallister.
I explained to Steve who Kent was, for the sake of history.
(I think I once argued, here there or in the aether, that 3137 Greer, with the rock garden built by Kent Lockhart and Marlinda Fitzgerald, should be an historic site).
On the way back from Cubberley / PAHA Guy Miller Archives, I popped in at the Ross Road Y, still wearing the Lockhart jersey, and climbed on the stair-master, elliptical trainer. I was wondering if anyone would notice the jersey, remember Kent, and ask me what was I doing. (Meanwhile, or previously, this blog, Plastic Alto, had become the best source of info on Kent’s amazing career in basketball and art). This was January. After a few minutes, yet before breaking a sweat, I felt silly and moved on.
Just yesterday, as in eight months later, I saw Katie Foy, of the famous Foy family, and she asked me if I was the guy in the Lockhart jersey she saw that day. Katie was a cheerleader at Gunn and Cubberley, while I was at the end of the bench for varsity in 25-3.
So thereby proving Chaos Theory. Not that nobody noticed but it’s hard to tell.
Driving past the landmark Stanford Theatre, and noting the upcoming marquee news of the cinematic classic, I am moved to compare the famous Margaret Mitchell-based movie to the situation here and now about Buena Vista mobile home park.
How would watching the movie “Gone With The Wind” shape perception of the local land-use and policy issue regarding the future of the Palo Alto mobile home park?
The latest news is that the county-based Housing Authority might use eminent domain to save the park as a source of affordable housing, for the 117 families and 400 residents there.
Meanwhile, a federal judge threw out the case by right wing property advocates challenging the legitimacy of the local policy that protects mobile home residents and would enforce an $8 million fee on the closure of the park.
My first thought is that the 1960s era local laws that protected the rights of the mobile home residents may be archaic to the extent that there is not an obvious consensus that a local Democracy should protect the least among us. That is, did the Palo Alto of 2014 (when I ran for office and spoke out, and wrote, in favor of government intervention, on behalf of resident, including possible condemnation) change so much since the laws were written that we do not really mean to enforce this? So, in effect the idea of a Democracy that would protect this community is, like the antebellum South, gone, a thing of the past, archaic?
Am I therefore saying that the speaker for the current owners is like Rhett Butler? (i.e., materialistic, opportunistic).
Does that make Winter Dellanbach (leader of the community support for BV) Scarlett O’Hara? (or is she the Olivia DeHaviland character — the Stanford Theatre notes that July 1, 2016 is Olivia’s 100th birthday).
Or is Joe Simitian Rhett Butler, i.e. the hero of this story?
I’ve seen the movie — always thought it was too long, or glad for the intermission. I can’t say I quite get it. We think of the Confederacy as representing obsolete or undesirable values (slavery, for one) yet we admire the principles of the residents of Tara?
I don’t strictly mean to compare the BV residents to the ante-bellum underclass.
I think it would be interesting if there was some kind of romantic intrigue between the young-ish leader of the ownership group (i.e. the son) and the young-ish female speaker for the residents — but I don’t think that is happening. (I do always scoff at the use of the word “family” to describe the ownership group when my research shows that as of 2010 or so a corporation or LLC bought out the so-called family owners).
D.P. of the local biased rag wrote a crappy editorial against the promise of eminent domain which makes me want to say “D.P.” back: due process.
I recommend we all flock to Stanford Theatre to see “Gone with the Wind” if only for the insight into this important policy issue (and for subsidized pop corn: or is my notion a Let-Them-Eat-Pop-Corn kind of thing?)
On a Tuesday, from 9:59 a.m. to 11:14, at Coupa Cafe, Palo Alto
Twenty years ago, or so, I produced a music series A Quantum Decoherence of Jazz shows. The series (not a festival) comprised five shows and ten acts. The acts, in order of billing were: Charlie Hunter Quartet, Will Bernard Quartet, Broun Fellinis, Anibade, Galactic, Stephen Kent, Eda Maxym and Friends (Members of Trance Mission and Beasts of Paradise), Toledo, Action Plus, Mingus Amungus, and Dave Ellis Quartet. I made a poster for the event — my concept, graphic design by Michele Nelson. Yes, that’s an appropriated photo of Stephen Hawking, the physicist.
That run of shows was part of a six-year tenure, 1994-2001, during which my small company, Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto, brought roughly 150 similar events to Cubberley, the former high school turned community center. The series was eclectic, but was mainly rock. Charlie Hunter more than any other artist encouraged me to continue to book jazz shows there; he said it was a listening room and not a bar; he felt a connection to his fans there. Charlie appeared in five different shows, in five different configurations: trio, quartet, quintet, Pound for Pound and T.J. Kirk (in fact, the only joint appearance of CHT and T.J. Kirk, in September, 1995 — and the first actual sellout of the 300-capacity room).
This series in some ways was an elaboration of my relationship with Charlie, if you look at it as building four other shows (and booking 10 other acts) around his availability as an anchor. Also, the summer before, 1996, I produced a run of shows, not quite a thematic series, and a poster called “Warm Weather Series” that included an appearance by Medeski Martin and Wood. The MMW was a huge hit, in that it sold clean — there were really no walk-ups, or, rather, we turned away 50 people — and the band seemed in rare form. The weekend that MMW appeared, we also booked dates with Cake and AFI.
Galactic was added to the Broun Fellinis bill. The agent, either Mike Luba on referal from Adam Shipley was adding to an anchor in SF on likely their first Bay Area tour. The were definitely paid support money not headliner money, even on this scale, although they did have core followers (there was an after-party on Olive Street, in one of those live-work lofts, off El Camino). Anibade was the showcase for Ledisi Young, that Ledisi, who later moved to New York, first for Broadway (“Caroline or Change”, I saw) and then for Verve and eventual Best New Artist nom, for soul or funk rather than jazz, and a career. I remember I got her autograph on one of those little paper belts that wrap a stack of 20s. The jazz series was eclectic, pushing towards funk and world music rather than just the Charlie Hunter – Broun Fellinis axis that was my introduction to the scene (Elbo Room, Up and Down Club, Prawn Song records, Ubiquity and the like). Later, and partly thru Charlie and his team my jazz tastes broadened to include, at shows: Bill Frisell, Danilo Perez, Steve Lacy, Leon Parker, Oliver Lake, Taylor Eigsti and others.
The poster lists four sponsors who paid a tiny percentage of the risk. Gerald Brett, an arts commissioner and father of a teenager, arranged for for those and was supportive of the initiative during its ebb and flow. Tickets were sold via “Drapers, Groovesmith and CD Land” all casualties of the gentrification of Palo Alto retail, or displacement of retail by tech workers.
The shows had a uniform price of $12, in an era when my typical event was $8 to $10. In reality, I might have charged $20 or so in order to re-coup. A subsidy of Earthwise in those days was me living with my parents and getting free office space and rooming. Earthwise continues into its 20th year and includes an artist management legacy although it is relatively inactive compared to the Cubberley days. My tax return from 2015 I filed last month included income versus expenses Schedule C for two events. Potentially I would someday re-focus on something as intense as The Cub, but more realistically that boat has sailed. I was indie (and jazzy) in the nineties; today I am somewhere looking for, but certainly not hiring and hipping people to the Galbraithian “countervailing power” to restore a Democracy. Writing about music and culture (and my own footprints, from years ago) is less satisfying than producing concerts.
The peculiar name came from an article I saw in the New York Times about a purported breakthrough in our understanding of science. My lay understanding (I’m also a former ad agency copywriter) means that just as you cannot predict exactly where a particle is (or is that Heisenberg?), you might be surprised to find, on a given night, that if you walk into a music venue (or defunct high school auditorium) amazing music. I guess by extension, but to a smaller likelihood, non-zero, if you read about “a quantum decoherence of jazz shows” in Palo Alto and Cubberley, on a social media page or forum, it does indeed increase your likelihood of hearing this music. (or is that Sapir-Worf?). I hope it does.
When I saw the biopic about Steve Jobs and Apple it suddenly occurred to me the possibility that either he or one of his key people might have attended one or more of the Cubberley shows and had an “aha moment” of his own about how the proliferation of computers could bring a quantum change in how consumers experience music. The way I, with a certain amount of time and money, more than talent, could personalize my playlist, and share it, could, due to Moore’s Law and all be a type of model of how to shift that company from business machines (competing IBM) to music (competing with Sony and then Universal). There was definitely a handful of hipster VCs who I met at the Cub and signed my mailing list. Which is ironic if part of my motivation (or delusion) was to counter industrial advances with direct experiences. The Cubberley Sessions could have been a model for the IPOD in the way that a Turing computer predicted and “precursed” various advances in computer science and industry. I thought of this when Jobs and his daughter were on the rooftop, in the parking lot. In the movie.
By the way I recently destroyed all the extant and overrun copies of that poster, minus 40 or so that I am putting into sets. I have 60 lots of 40 copies each, destined to be reconfigured as 40 sets of 60. I hope to sell 20 and gift 20 to museums and archives. Meanwhile, they are in my storage space. Or, cyber space.
Steve Cohen sent me a screen capture of a social media page which covered Palo Alto cultural history from Dave Brubeck at the Bandbox to someone’s curation of my poster, which spurs this recollection. Elsewhere in Plastic Alto (which is itself an Ornette Coleman reference) I have a long (rambling) history of jazz here and or a poster gallery, either of which could have been the source of the social media recent cite. (Unless Colleen S was one of the nearly 1,000 who attended one of those shows and saved the poster!)
It occurs to me that a quantum decoherence of jazz shows could comprise five dates in 1997 and several more,for instance, in 2017, twenty years later. Stay tuned. Or, as Royal Stokes might sign, “keep swingin’”.
Likewise if I cornered Joe Gore somewhere and reintroduced myself he would likely remember Cubberley, but not that it was part of a series (or the decoherence part, although he is quite technical) — he may have also played the room with Steven Yerkey. He’s not really considered a jazz guy, just a guitar god. In his words:
First: My attitude about guitar changed. I’d witnessed musicians without a shred of conventional skill creating sounds that left me breathless. I’d heard players with more ability than most of us could acquire in ten lifetimes disgorge dismal puke. I stopped caring about things I couldn’t do and embraced my quirks. I realized that playing expressively was more important than playing “well.” Second: I started getting invited to play on cool records. First, Big City’s old roadie, Les Claypool of Primus, recommended me to Tom Waits, and I went on to contribute to seven of Tom’s albums. I worked on two PJ Harvey albums and toured with Polly’s band for a year. I got to work with Jon Hassell, Lisa Germano, Stephen Yerkey, Meat Beat Manifesto, and the late Kathy Acker. I was signed to Rykodisc as a member of the quasi-jazz band Oranj Symphonette and made two Action Plus albums with my most frequent collaborator: Elise Malmberg (a.k.a. “wife”). Eventually I quit my grueling day job. I think Elise was known as “Ursula” when in character as the “action” part of Action Plus.
by German guitarist Leni Stern will perform with her quartet Wednesday evening at a Chanukah Schmooze at the Crowne Plaza Cabana, 4, The event, which begins at 7 p.m. with entertainment at 8, is sponsored by the Jewish Bulletin and Earthwise Productions.
That includes Stern’s childhood — she grew up a few miles from what remains of the Dachau concentration camp — and her successful battle with breast cancer some years ago.
Stern is actually best known as a jazz musician. She is a three-time winner of the Gibson Award for best female jazz guitarist. She once aspired to a career in the theater. However, “the guitar was always my first love, and I didn’t want to just play a little.”
The recording artist has just released her 10th CD, “Recollection,” which features a collaboration with David Sanborn.
She left her homeland in 1977 to study at the Berklee College of Music in Boston and relocated to New York in 1980.
Jazz critic Bill Milkowski wrote in the liner notes for her “Recollections” that “as her muse continues to take her farther afield from jazz, she has come to express herself more genuinely and deeply.”
But “I’m still a jazz musician,” she told Boston Globe writer Bob Blumenthal, who called her “one of jazz’s most lyrical and distinctive guitarists.” She added: “Or maybe now something of a rock musician.”
She will be accompanied at the Schmooze by drummer Kenny Wolleson, saxophonist Dave Binney and bassist Don Falzone. Tickets to the event are $15, with discounts for those who place personals in the Bulletin’s “Such a Match” section.
Mark Weiss of Earthwise Productions said his intent is to build community using music.
“It’s a Jewish-themed holiday event, but it’s open to music lovers of all backgrounds,” he said.
For information, call (650) 949-4507 or (415) 263-7200. Oy. This was a two-part experiment in using the Cabana Room of the hotel, near the pool, about 150 capacity but these events drew slightly less. The other show was Joey Baron band. At the Leni Stern event, all the Jewish single girls were hitting on the sound man, Mark Svein, the Norwegian-American co-worker of Andy Heller of LDR Sound, he reported.
9. There is a new Stephen Hawking series about science and I watched and taped two episodes this week.
10. Joe Gore the producer, writer and guitarist, with or without Toledo Diamond the choreographer and bandleader in LA, what about not film noir and pulp fiction but literary influenced, circling back to a further not-actualized concept, a musical adaptation of the Wallace Stegner short story “Pop Goes the Weasel” (which makes reference to a fairly odd and mysterious bit of music and verse history). The Stegner story was 1930s Los Angeles, race and class issues. Gore meanwhile has a book about the music industry. In a parallel universe, we can already see and hear all of the above. By the way, didn’t Joe Gore play with The Eels? (The Eels, bandleader narrates a film on parallel universe theory)