Friday, June 08, 2007

The Recap

I've got a few assorted bits of news to share... in no particular order:

1. Last Sunday was the end of my run of shows with Step Afrika. It was loads of fun. They are incredible. The new theater at Atlas is really nice (and really well equipped), it was a treat to do five shows in a row at such a plush venue. Step Afrika packed the place too. Most of the shows were sold out - or damn close to sold out. The crowd went nuts every night. There were many families with kids there, and the kids were adorable; after the show some of them wanted all the performers' autographs. That was new (and hilarious) for me... I had to sign autographs! The show got a great review in the Post. Thankfully, there's hardly any mention of my piece (and no, it's not techno music). The critic was there on opening night, when our piece, "Nxt/Step" was marred by technical problems (we didn't get the live video stuff really worked out until the final show, actually). After the first two shows, I was asked to change my little "solo" section - so it would rock more. Which I did, so I got a little solo every night where I got to rock out. I just got word that they've been asked to do this piece in New Orleans at the NPN conference in December. I probably shouldn't mention that so as not to jinx anything... but keep your fingers crossed - it would be cool to travel with them & cool to perform and mingle at NPN.

2. The DC Improvisers Collective's latest CD, "Meme and Variations" got reviewed in Cadence Magazine... and the critic singled out the prepared guitar work... and compared me (favorably) to Keith Rowe and Sonny Sharrock. Crazeee.

"...No such limitations [on spontaneity] hamper the free blowing of the DC Improvisers Collective (Ben Azzara, d, perc; Daniel Barbiero, b; Jonathan Matis, g, prepared g, electronics; Mike Sebastian, ts, ss, bcl.) The 57-minute Meme and Variations (Sachimay 31) presents ample opportunity for everyone to solo, and this is accomplished with skill and thoughtfulness. The prepared guitar work is especially noteworthy, sounding at first like a mixture of Keith Rowe and Sonny Sharrock but taking on a refreshing life of its own as the disc proceeds. The four long tracks (Affinity is as Infinity Does/Four Soliloquies (a) The Composition of Air (b) Opaque Mirrors (c) A Portrait of Jerome Horwitz as a Young Man (d) The Unwobbling Pivot/After Europe After the Rain/Meme & Variations) veer between modality, swing, and controlled freedom."
3. And to top it all off... The Fort Reno schedule is out - and we'll be playing with Joe Lally on July 2nd, opening for The Evens. (I get to open for The Evens two years in a row - how lucky is that?) It's free... and it's going to be a really fun night. Come on out, I'll bring a big cooler full of soft drinks and snacks, and you can throw a ball for Wickett. He'll be your friend for life.

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