Of his 49 projects this year, Matt Merewitz works with at least four that I have strong sense of. The artists, if not these new works. Not yet.
One, is Dave Douglas, for “Brazen Heart” a quintet that features Jon Irbagon but not Donny McCaslin, but I had brief mentions in Plastic Alto about his 2001 project “Witness” (RCA, at the time his 18th such effort) and for the composition from 2004 Bluebird set “Strange Liberation” “The Frisell Dream.”
Two is Jacob Garchik, for “Ye Olde” a self-release, but I saw him recently at Stanford where he was in the brass section i.e selfless, of a Darcy James Argue project. I don’t know Jacob. I sometimes say hello to his mother the journalist Leah Garchik, out and about (and in fact she sat behind us for the post-show Q&A) and I sent him a note once a couple years ago about my “Palo Alto” call-waiting project (there is a jazz composition by Lee Konitz called “Palo Alto” and I was trying to get them to play that at 250 Hamilton our city hall while you are on hold; I wanted someone to produce a performance for that purpose; Garchik sort of passed). *
Three is that Aaron Goldberg the pianist was John Ellis’ pianist when we recorded at Mike Brorby’s studio in Brooklyn, in 2004. My big role was to go into Manhattan in his car and fetch his keyboard from the shop — that didn’t merit an associate producer’s credit, but I did ask (“By A Thread”, 2nd of three on Hyena, by JAE that is). Aaron Goldberg who might have gone to med school, from a family of doctors. I think everyone who worked as a sideman for John in those days now also has a release or two as a leader. See Aaron Goldberg “The Now” on the classy label Sunnyside.
Four would be Ben Goldberg who I know and say hello to and arguably have done a tiny bit of work with or for via Tin Hat, Clarinet Thing but not “Go Home” which I’ve only seen. I saw Ben not so long ago at the DeYoung. And I did mention IN A VERY CONVENTIONAL WAY, OR SEE BELOW, his project debuting at Yerba Buena, “Orphic Machine” which is the group that Fully Altered Media is or was promoting or publicizing, which has among others Carla Kihlstedt, a founder of Tin Hat Trio (and Carla once opened for Steve Lacy in Berkeley, on my suggestion to the promoter — because she was booked elsewhere alas the night before, my Lacy show in Palo Alto — Ben loved Steve — see this all fits!)
Good luck to Matt and Steve(Buono, not Lacy). Matt cut his teeth in Philadelphia helping the pr great Don Lucoff.
*from the artist’s CD Baby page:
Imagine a 2015 cover of the soundtrack to a 1970’s remake of a 1930’s movie about the Middle Ages.
YE OLDE IS:
Jacob Garchik – the Barrel Maker – trombone, alto horn, tenor horn
Brandon Seabrook – the Trickling Stream – guitar
Mary Halvorson – the Guardian of the Rock – guitar
Vinnie Sperrazza – the Merchant of Iron – drums
Jonathan Goldberger- the Mountain of Gold – guitar, baritone guitar
The epic tale of which I tell below
Takes place In Flatbush, 1000 years ago.
Our heroes met and formed a merry band
in order to defeat the evil plan
of architect Mortise Mansard the IVth
whose castles dotted the landscape South to North.
Upon a springtime walk around the town,
the Barrel Maker gazed upon the brown
and limestone ornaments he’d seen before
but never stopped to wonder what they’re for.
The architects of old hid secret meanings
in stonework, visible only by gleaning.
Acanthus, suits of armor, family crests,
led to the start of what became a quest.
Read together lurked a message hiding:
Mansard’s recipe for vinyl siding.
Flatbush would be a town of brick no more
But a sea of yellow vinyl from roof to floor.
To fell a foe with such a sinister scheme
The Barrel Maker had to build a team.
The Stream, The Rock, The Iron and The Gold
Together make the band which is YE OLDE.
I was just gonna leave it at saying I met Mary Halvorson once in Philly at a John Thicai show and Brandon in Santa Cruz with Paul Brody klezmer. Aaron Goldberg and Ben Goldberg should play together someday, as Goldberg Variations, perhaps with Scott Amendola on drums. And1: FAM has 6,000 twitter followers, which is very good (while he retweets Ted Gioia, who has 16.2K wow! Ted who used to work on Uni Ave in Palo Alto)
edit to add, a month later, and two days after Chanukah, a week before X-mas: NPR has a great piece on Garchik, “Ye Olde” which, if you didn’t get clearly from above, is about the old houses in Brooklyn that were designed to lure Jews. And David Harrington of Kronos, his kids went to high school with Jacob, in SF: which school? I’m guessing Lowell, but it could be an arts magnet. Leah? “Lowell….thanks for noticing. LG”