Mads Tolling Quartet plays the City of Palo Alto parks concert series, The Twilight, Saturday August 16.
To my mind, as someone who has run Earthwise Productions of Palo Alto for 20 years, and produced more than 200 shows here, this is a highlight of the series. I did go full Carlos last week, dancing in the street, for Leo Hernandez’ Caravansarai, but this show is more tasteful and more timely.
Mads Tolling is a Danish emigrant who went to music conservatory back East, then moved to the Bay Area, played on two Grammy-winning “classical crossover” albums with Turtle Island String Quartet, left that group and got the jazz bug. He is a jazz fiddler in the realm of Stuffy Smith, Jean Luc Ponty, Jenny Scheinman and Regina Carter.
I sat next to him last night at Stanford Jazz Workshop, when he wasn’t on stage, and we watched Chick Corea, Julian Lage, Larry Grenadier, Peter Erskine, Dayna Stephens and more. Well, I mean, he jammed with those guys and sat between Gunn grad bassist / instructor Josh Thurston Milgrom during the part of the show that he wasn’t on.
I told him about the Palo Alto Danish nexus that operates in and around Smith-Andersen, thanks to Paula Kirkeby and the recently deceased Philip Kirkeby. I had the honor of describing for him Anne-Mette Iverson, a Danish jazz bassist and composer out of Brooklyn, who Paula and I have discussed, who I had corresponded with (she works with my former client the sax player John Axson Ellis).
I am working thru Mad’s recent cd, “The Playmaker’ featuring Stanley Clarke and Stefon Harris as guests, which I bought for a song-cycle about athletes including “The Contemplator (for Zinedine Zidane). We discussed the art-film about the French soccer star and head-butt-performance-artist, the one by Doug Something featuring the music of Mogwai that I saw at SFMoma or Yerba Buena. (I went into a digression into the Christian Marclay four-screen art film on music that was at Stanford, not sure why).
I will probably semi-spam this preview to my email list, beyond those who stumble into Plastic Alto proper.
The photo above was at the after-hours jam that characterize, and it some ways epitomize and are the acme of the Stanford Jazz Camp / Workshop / Institute / Series / Festival. I watched a pretty good fiddle player take the stage, was drawn more into it, then realized or at least thought to ask, in a dawning sense “Is that Mads Tolling?” I had never seen him before, but knew his name and rep. (By the way, my neighbor and fellow prep basketball legend Matt Beasley, Mac’s son, books Mad Tolling, if you want to help set up a show).