Sunday, April 27, 2008

The David Berkman Trio. Tuesday night, April 22, 2008, at the Graves Gallery in Eureka, CA.
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Ian and Lila at the Berkman Show.
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Community Musician and bon vivant Gregg Moore pals around with Sound Man Extraordinaire Russ Cole at the Berkman concert.
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Saturday, April 26, 2008

Next Up: Ben Allison

You can find out about our next guest, Ben Allison, here. Brother Michael has done another great job of setting up streaming audio so you can hear a bit of the band's music--quite a bit, actually.
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Wednesday, April 23, 2008

John Fixes David's Ipod

This one is cute. John has just fixed David Berkman's Ipod. David's pointing to him as the guy who did it. He himself is all thumbs up.

That's Joe Martin and Ted Poor in the background. It was a great show and a great workshop afterwards!
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Monday, April 21, 2008


Here's a final reminder about the David Berkman Trio concert Tuesday night, April 22 at 8 pm at the Morris Graves Museum of Art (636 F St. in Eureka).

Remember that, because of the limited seating at the Graves, if you purchase tickets in advance online or at one of the outlets, we can guarantee you a seat. If you get them at the door, standing room may be all that's left. Tickets are on sale at The Metro, People's Records, The Works in Arcata and Eureka and online at Any remaining tickets can be purchased at the door.

Don’t forget about the free workshop that David Berkman will present on Wednesday, April 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in the Studio Theater (Theatre Arts 115) on the HSU campus. The workshop is entitled "Creative Practice, Jazz Standards, the Trio, the Cosmos, and You", so there should be something in it for everyone!

Friday, April 18, 2008

On the Radio Tonight





Count Basie, April in Paris, “April in Paris” [1] (3:47)

Mingus Big Band, Gunslinging Birds, “Gunslinging Bird” [1] (7:10)

Delirium Blues Project, Serve or Suffer, “Everybody’s Cryin’ Mercy” [8] (6:42)

Charles Lloyd, Rabo de Nube, “Booker’s Garden” [3] (14:33)

Palmetto All-Stars, The Other Side of Ellington, “Ad Lib on Nippon” [5] (4:10)

Ben Allison, Third Eye, “A Life in the Day of Man Ray” [6] (5:51)

Joel Frahm, Navigator, “White Bear Speaks” [8] (6:14)

David Berkman, Handmade, “A Tiny Prairie Landscape” [6] (2:19)

Miguel Zenón, Awake, “Camarón” [2] (7:43)


Claudia Acuña, Wind from the South, “Visions” [12] (6:26)

Sun Ra Arkestra, Lanquidity, “There Are Worlds (They Haven’t Told You Of)” [5] (10:57)

Miles Davis, Filles de Kilimanjaro, “Filles de Kilimanjaro” [4] (12:00)

Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Avatar, “Looking in Retrospective” [1] (9:42)

Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra, Far East Suite, “Isfahan” [3] (7:02)

Randy Weston, Portraits of Duke Ellington, “C Jam Blues” [5] (7:25)

This Just In: Review of Zenon's _Awake_ on



We are in a golden age of Latin jazz activity, and here's more proof.

Awake is the third project by the Puerto Rican saxophonist and like his earlier works, it's full of intelligence, bristling with knowledge. Zenon, like a pile of younger musicians, works the two sides of the Latin jazz equation like few people have before him, and at times he sounds like Charlie Parker - check out "Awakening" - and at other times he and his exceptional group, Luis Perdomo on piano, Hans Glawischnig on bass and Henry Cole on drums move into a rhythmic sophistication that owes its robustness directly to the Caribbean. Zenon uses a string quartet for two pieces, and on one track amplifies the group with trumpet, trombone and tenor saxophone. At times Zenon exemplifies the rhythmic and harmonic modernity that's rife in New York jazz circles, and he's followed by the always great Perdomo - listen to Perdomo's solo on "Ulysses in Slow Motion." Anyway, this is work that is changing the way jazz functions, and elevating the high mark on what's possible in the idiom. It's historic.

Highly Recommended. (Peter Watrous)


Peter Watrous writes for the NT Times and Washington Post, among others.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Me, at or near the grave of Buddy Bolden

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Up Next at the RJA

Greetings from your friends at the Redwood Jazz Alliance. Miguel Zenón!

Whew! Thanks to all of you who came out. Zenón and his bandmates were thrilled with your attention and enthusiasm.

We've got another great show coming right up with the David Berkman Trio.

They're playing at the Morris Graves Museum of Art at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, April 22. With four critically acclaimed albums (named to Top 10 lists by Jazziz, Jazz Times, and the New York Times) and a bestselling textbook ("The Jazz Musician's Guide to Creative Practicing") to his name, David Berkman has quietly become one of today’s most respected jazz pianists.

Berkman has performed with such luminaries as Sonny Stitt, Joe Lovano, Dave Douglas, Tom Harrell, the Vanguard Orchestra, and Cecil McBee. He's had an especially long and fruitful relationship with drummer Matt Wilson, who appeared here with Trio M and Marty Ehrlich earlier this year. A very popular performer in Europe and Asia, Berkman is squeezing in this West Coast tour, his first, between a week in Paris and a multi-night stand at the Jazz Standard in New York City.

We felt that the intimate atmosphere and fine acoustics of the Graves would be the perfect place to hear this wonderful trio. The only downside to that is that the Graves seats just 110. If you purchase tickets in advance online or at one of the outlets, we can guarantee you a seat. If you get them at the door, standing room may be all that's left.

Tickets are $15 general admission and $10 for students and seniors and are on sale now online at and at Peoples Records, the Works in Arcata and Eureka and the Metro. (Please note the Metro has recently begun charging a $1 handling fee on every ticket sold there.)

As with all artists that the Redwood Jazz Alliance brings to town, David Berkman will also present a FREE public workshop. His is entitled "Creative Practice, Jazz Standards, the Trio, the Cosmos, and You" and will take place on Wednesday, April 23rd at 11:00 a.m. in the Studio Theater (Theatre Arts 115) on the HSU campus.

To read more about Berkman and hear an audio stream of his music, go to

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Too Cool

Is this not the very coolest album cover ever?
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Local Paper Review of Zenon Show

Miguel Zenón Quartet, a progressive jazz experience

By MELODY STONE, The Eureka Reporter
Published: Apr 10 2008, 11:25 PM

Someone must say something about the wonderful things the Redwood Jazz Alliance is doing. They are bringing world-class jazz performers to play and teach in our community. Kudos!

Now, Miguel Zenón. On a personal note, I’m not a big modern-jazz buff. I know next to nothing about it. In fact, “Jazz: An American Art Form” is the only music appreciation class I didn’t take at Humboldt State University. I spent a weekend at the Jazz Festival not long ago, but nothing in my sphere of musical experiences prepared me for Miguel Zenón.

It was Monday night. I had gotten home from work and, over much protesting, convinced my husband, Luke, to attend the show with me.

I looked up some of the quartet’s music online. It sounded like a progression of noises; honestly, I was dreading sitting through two hours of it.

We arrive at HSU, the lights dimmed, the band took the stage and my jazz world changed forever.

Watching the musicians’ fingers wildly dance across the instruments or beat the drums left me in awe. Each instrument could be heard and had a role to play. The solos were displays of each musician’s musical prowess and each was impressive. Zenón led the band on tenor saxophone, and when he wasn’t playing, he sauntered behind the drums and watched smugly as his band played the music he had composed for them, taking into account, of course, a dash of improvisation.

Zenón played with fervor; he would bounce his shoulders up and down and sway back and forth while he played. He is native to Puerto Rico, so the compositions had a Latin flair that danced in between jazz notes.

The next day at HSU, Zenón and his band did a free workshop for the community. There, Zenón talked conceptually about the style of jazz they play. “The music we play, I consider jazz music. It comes out of a jazz background,” Zenón told the students and community members. “The feels come from Latin American music.”

He played a straight-blues tune with the band, played it again with the Latin flavor, then played it a third time mixing both straight jazz and Latin flavors.

Zenón talked about how the music they play isn’t meant to be dance music, with the rhythm being constant and central. “It is music that has elements of dance in it, but it’s not necessarily that.”

The members of the quartet are from all over the world and were exposed to music at very young ages. They all speak jazz as a second language. Zenón said that’s why the Latin and afro music comes out into the jazz.

Zenón plays with Luis Perdomo on piano, Henry Cole on drums and Hans Glawischnig on bass.

While at the concert, I became aware of the gentleman behind me hooting and yelping when the music got particularly amazing. At intermission I introduced myself to the enthusiast.

His name was Rondal Snodgrass and he has been a jazz lover for 50 years. “I’ve seen and heard a lot of the great musicians of the ’30s, ’40s and ’50s,” he said. “This quartet is a superb blend of the individual instruments; that is very unique.”

Snodgrass said he would call this type of jazz “syncopated progressive jazz.”

When the show was over, my husband and I walked to the car. Luke said, “If you were to ask me how long I’ve been into jazz music, I would say, ‘Two hours.’”

Friday Night Radio

Bright Moments with the Redwood Jazz Alliance | April 11, 2008

  • Miguel Zenon, “Penta.” Awake (Marsalis Music, 2008)
  • Hans Glawischnig, “Line Drive.” Panorama (Sunnyside, 2008)

  • David Berkman, “Weird Knock.” Communication Theory (Palmetto, 2000)
  • Frank Kimbrough, “Quickening.” Air (Palmetto, 2008)
  • Brad Mehldau, “Wonderwall.” Live (Nonesuch, 2008)

  • Lionel Loueke, “Karibu.” Karibu (Blue Note, 2008)
  • Pat Metheny, “Son of Thirteen.” Day Trip (Nonesuch, 2008)
  • Bill McHenry, “African Song.” Roses (Sunnyside, 2007)
  • Palmetto All-Stars, “Fleurette Africaine.” The Other Side of Ellington (Palmetto, 1999)

  • SFJazz Collective, “San Francisco Suite: Alcatraz” (D. Douglas). Live 2007:4th Annual Concert Tour (SF Jazz, 2008)
  • Charles Lloyd, “Rabo de Nube.” Rabo de Nube (ECM, 2008)

  • Joel Frahm, “Interesting, Perhaps, But Hardly Fascinating Rhythm” (Berkman). Sorry, No Decaf (Palmetto, 1998).
  • David Berkman, “Not a Christmas Song.” Handmade (Palmetto, 1998).
  • Abigail Riccards, “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was” (Rodgers & Hart, arr. Berkman). When the Night Is New (Jazz Excursion, 2007)
  • David Berkman, “Mean Things Happening In This World” (Guthrie). Start Here, Finish There (Palmetto, 2004)

Master Class with Miguel Zenon

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Luis Perdomo, Miguel Zenon and Hans Glawischnig kick back a bit after last Monday's show in Arcata.
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Monday, April 7, 2008

Big Al

We're talking VERY big Al Carson, who sings every night on Bourbon Street in New Orleans. I just got back. Irv Peckham and I found Big Al in a bar with "Pirate" in the name. I forgot the rest of the name.

I saw a few jazz bands on the street too.
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