News & Rumors
January 21, 2012
According to the Chinese solar calendar, we just entered "Major Cold" which precipitates the wisdom of endings. Endings occur when you can go no further and there is no resolution in sight. What can be done when confronted with the impossible? Realize you have reached a dead end. Stop pushing. Let go. Walk Away. Never an easy thing to do. And now that I'm "officially" middle-aged I'm curious to see how this pans out for me. Even at this early stage of the year I find my 2012 nearly completely booked and I'm having to say no to other gigs, dinners with friends and 3-day whiskey binges. The year is only three weeks old and already I've made four recordings and performed with seven different bands. I certainly can't complain about being busy but sometimes I feel like I focus on nothing. Jack of all trades, master of none as they say.
I don't really know much about Chinese medicine and philosophy but my good friend and drinking buddy Travis Laplante does. At the end of this month he and I will venture to the West Coast for a 10-day double solo tour, each playing a 30 minute solo set. I've only played solo a handful of times but I felt like the last time I did it I was onto something. Playing solo, I feel, is one of the most vulnerable and cathartic things a musician can do in front of an audience. As I turn 44 in Portland in a few weeks, I expect to find myself drunk, hopefully stoned and closing down Union Jacks before continuing on what I expect to be a well-balanced and spiritually enhancing tour.
Upon arriving home from that tour, after licking my wounds, I need to dig into learning music for the new Tomahawk record. And yes, it seems as though I'm joining yet another band. This will probably make the fifth band with which Mike Patton and I have shared the stage. Duane Denison and I have been speculating about playing some music together for a while. So, Nashville, here I come.
Following that I go on a brief tour in the States with Larry Ochs' Kihnoua quartet with Scott Amendola and inimitable Korean vocalist Dohee Lee.
In April Endangered Blood will be hitting the South Eastern US on a tour that I painstakingly booked myself. We will be hitting some cites that I rarely visit but always love to. The four of us are literally going to jump into Oscar's car and try not to run over anyone, musically speaking that is.
Then I have 5 days off to clear "jazz" from my head before going to Europe with an Italian metal band called Obake subbing for the great Massimo Pupillo. I think in those 5 days I will learn Spanish once and for all.
May will mark the live premier of John Zorn's Nova Quartet, with whom I've recorded three discs, at the Victoriaville Jazz Festival up there in Canada. That is some fairly complex music that will need refining in a limited amount of time. If I've worked any muscle in the past two years it's the one that enables me to adjust and adapt in a timely and efficient manner. Practice your sight-reading kids! Later in that month I'll be back in Europe with Andrew D'Angelo's Big Band as well as Jozef Dumoulin's Trio.
That brings me up to June which I can't talk too much about right now nor the months that follow because it's secret and probably completely insane, but let's just say that I plan on setting a world record this year. And I'm not even fucking kidding.
Speaking of records, this year I will most likely pass the 100 mark in terms of CDs that I play on. Although if you consider guest spots, recordings that never came out, failures and unanswered emails, I supposed that number has already passed. But what is in a number anyway? 44 is supposed to be a good age because 4+4=8 and 8 represents certain positive things for me, and for some it represents change. I recently read a study about something current and important in which an age group of 18 to 42-year-olds were surveyed and I suddenly felt irrelevant. On the other hand, King Buzzo once waxed poetic for a good 20 minutes to me, without taking a single breath, on the beauty and force of being in one's 40s. I tend to listen to guys like him who are still alive.
Anyhoo, other discs and shows this year in which I will be humbly included are The Kris Davis Quintet, The Darius Jones Quartet, Melvins Lite (that's Buzz, Dale & me on upright), a Tim Berne ensemble, Tomas Fujiwara & The Hook Up, Allison Miller's group, John Zorn's Aleph Trio and Erik Friedlander's Bonebridge. I'm also trying to finish writing two short independent film scores, complete this Carl Jung book and listen to something besides Elliot Smith. I'm thinking probably Roxy Music and Ornette Coleman's Skies Of America. I probably have over 100 CDs that I've purchased in the last two years that are collecting dust with their shrink wrap. I'm not sure when I'm going to find the time to do anything much less "walk away".