Guitarrist Wolfgang Muthspiel performed at Jazzklubb Facshing, Stockholm, on April 22nd, 2010 accompanied by Larry Grenadier on bass. Muthspiel is a very versatile player with superb technique and feel. In the concert, he featured an electric guitar and a body-less nylon with abundance of effects, live dubbings and electronic percussion. Awesome playing by Muthspiel. Grenadier outstanding, as always. Video clip recorded on the Canon EOS 7D and EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens. A selection of photographs taken during the concert can be seen HERE.
A remarkable concert featuring Vijay Iyer Trio live at Fasching on April 13 2010 in full power. Here is Vijay in full concentration at the piano (pic taken with my EOS 7d and the 100-400 L, which I took by mistake thinking that it was the 70-200L 2.8!). In addition to Iyer on piano, the trio includes Stephan Crump on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums. Their most recent album is “Historicity” (2009) on the ACT label. Several of the pieces of that album were featured at the Fasching concert. Vijay Iyer uses thick chords sweeping across the keyboard generating an orchestral backdrop onto which melodic lines navigate. Improvisation remains the central theme. From Vijay Iyer’s website: “his powerful, cutting-edge music is firmly grounded in groove and pulse, but also rhythmically intricate and highly interactive; fluidly improvisational, yet uncannily orchestrated; emotionally compelling, as well as innovative in texture, style, and musical form.”
After subscribing for over two years to the Nature, Science and Cell podcasts, my preference falls clearly with the former. The Nature podcast is snappy, lively, fun to listen to and has great interviews. The journalists have human voices, sound like real people and manage to confer the excitement of science with a touch of humor.
The Science podcast has several problems, the biggest one is podcaster Robert Frederick. I can not imagine a more unnatural, robotic voice on Earth. Does he speak like that to his friends? Even the text-to-speech voice in my Mac sounds more human that this guy. I also find the usual bit about science policy terribly uninteresting. As in the World Series, this is only concerned with US policy, of course. If listening at night in bed, I am surely asleep by this moment. Both Nature and Science have another feature in common that I think takes unnecessary space, that is the bit on news at the end in which one journalist interviews another. This practice has become very popular in TV talk shows and news programs, and sometimes I can see the point of asking questions to a journalist deeply specialized on a particular topic. But those are not the guys at Nature or Science. I find it totally uninteresting, I much rather have the actual scientists telling the story.
A few dishes from one of the landmark restaurants in Beijing, the Xiao Wang’s Home Restaurant at Ri Tan Park. Serving superb food from across the whole of China, some personal favorites are the lamb ribs with cumin (Xinjiang) and the fish with chilli simmering in oil (Szechuan). Also featured here are the traditional Pekin duck, prawns with cashew nuts and fried aubergines with peanuts. The images were taken using available light on the EOS 7D with the 24mm f/1.4 L II lens.
Guitarrist Jonathan Kreisberg played with his quartet at Jazzklubb Fasching, Stockholm, on March 18, 2010, along Will Vinson (saxophone, piano), Joe Martin (bass), and Mark Ferber (drums). The two sets included most material from Kreisberg’s latest album of originals “The South of Everywhere” (2007, Mel Bay Records) and pieces from his Criss Cross 2009 ballads album “Night Songs”. Kreisberg demonstrated very strong playing and virtuosity, feeling at home just about everywhere on the neck of his hollow Gibson guitar. A taster can be seen in this video -recorded on the Canon EOS 7D and EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens- also featuring fellow drumer Ferber raising to the occassion. Photographs taken during the concert can be accessed from the the link under the photo gallery on the left side bar.
Here is the 2010 Nobel Committee for Physiology or Medicine photographed by the Canon EOS 5D MarkII. It is the same photographer that comes every year for the committee picture, and he always works hard to get some smiles. The last couple of years he has used the EOS 5D MarkII with the 24-70L “brick” lens and a couple of external strobes. I was shocked to learn that he shoots jpg, not raw, and does minimal or no post-processing. As in the classiscal school, he wants to get the picture right already in the camera.
The Jazz Session featured drummer and composer John Hollenbeck in a recent podcast. I was really struck by his music so I got his “Eternal Interlude” CD. It is a work for a large ensemble, too long crew to list here but available from Hollenbeck’s website. The CD is sonically poweful with incredible textures, beautiful lines and cadenzas. One of the many hidden jewels that I discover through Jason Crane and his terrific podcast.
Featured here is the 19:21 minute long title track. An amazing piece.
Pianist and composer Myra Melford appeared with her Be Bread Trio at Jazzklubb Fasching, Stockholm on March 4, 2010. The Trio is a scaled-down version of Myra Melford’s Be Bread Ensemble whose most recent release “The Whole Tree Gone” appeared in the Firehouse label this past Janurary. Along with Myra Melford in piano and harmonium, the Trio fetaured Stomu Takeishi in bass and Brandon Ross in acoustic guitar. The Trio sounds definitely more intimate than the full ensemble with an even stornger improvisational compononent. Main highlights were the delicate tones from the harmonium, dramatic solos by Stomu Takeishi, and tempered guitar harmonise by Ross. Listen to Jason Crane’s interview with Myra Melford at the Jazz Session website. View the photo gallery of the Fasching concert.
I just have to log in this one. Recorded January 27, 2010, at House of Peranakan, Pan Pacific Orchard, Singapore, with the Canon EOS 7D and the 24L II prime lens. We could just not believe what our ears where hearing. We had a great time, mostly due to the company, since the food was so so and the music was … well, this video tells the whole truth. Saying that it was “out of tune” would be a total understatement. Here it is in all its glory for the record of generations to come. Sit down on your favorite chair, and enjoy!
Argentinian guitarrist Luis Salinas and his band gave a concert at the Gran Rex theater in Buenos Aires on November 26, 2009, followed by Brazilian multi-instrumentalist and composer Hermeto Pascoal. Having taken distance from the Buenos Aires scene, Salinas was not in my radar. But I must say that I was very impressed about his musicianship, honesty and freshness. Technique does not get in the way for Salinas to convey the melodies and rhythms from his home country in an inspired jazz-folk fusion with solid support from a 5 men strong band of accomplished musicians. Not at easy with words, Salinas explained to the audience his affinities and admiration for the master Hermeto Pascoal, who appeared later in the evening with his own band including young wife Aline Morena in voice and percusssion.