SUMMER SHOWS & CLINICS!
New Mahavishnu Project shows and Gregg Bendian drumming clinics have been added to the tour dates page. Check it out.
MAHAVISHNU PROJECT BACK IN ROLLING STONE!
A great review of the new Emerald Beyond show by Rolling Stone's inimitable David Fricke.
NEW SHOWS/NEW PROJECTS!
Gregg will be performing quite a bit this winter in a variety of different projects. He will be playing with American genius/musical superhero Todd Rundgren in a special bossa-nova set, and a metal-charged set with shred-meister extraordinaire Reb Beach. Both shows are part of the ongoing Les Paul tribute series at New York's Iridium jazz club. Collective Language will be playing its first Chicago-land shows before returning home to play Iridium. Then watch out for the 12-piece "Return of the Emerald Beyond" Mahavishnu Project making its first appearance in two years. Find out more about all of these exciting shows here.
GREGG NOW ON FACEBOOK
You can now find Gregg and news of all things related to Gregg on Facebook.
ANOTHER FANTASTIC MAHAVISHNU COMPILATION!
As many of you know, back in 2008 ESC Records released "Mahavishnu Re-Defined". The two-disc set included tracks by Billy Cobham & The HR Big Band, Mitch Forman, Jim Beard, Dennis Chambers, The Mahavishnu Project and many others. The first set was such a success that ESC has now released a second volume. "Mahavishnu Re-Defined II" will feature another double CD compilation featuring tracks by incredible artists such as Surinder Sandhu featuring Steve Vai, Chris Massey, David Torn, Allen Hinds, George Colligan, Steve Topping, Kai Eckhardt, Michael Manring and others. This time around, The Mahavishnu Project has contributed their high intensity take on "One Word/Resolution" featuring vocalist Melissa Stylianou. This exciting new set will be released and available on May 28th. www.esc-records.de
MAHAPROJECT & GENTLE GIANT?!?
Pretty darn close. It's called Three Friends and it includes original Giant guitarist Gary Green and Malcolm Mortimore (drummer from the GG classic "Three Friends" album) with a full band playing the incredible music from the Gentle Giant catalogue. This is their first American tour and The Mahavishnu Project is excited and honored to be sharing the stage with them on June 20th at The Keswick Theatre in Glenside PA. Tickets are now on sale. More info here...
A NEW BAND PREMIERES!
Gregg has formed a new band with some of New York's most incredible jazz musicians - Jon Irabagon on saxophone (2008 Thelonius Monk Award winner), Zach Brock on violin (Mahavishnu Project/Stanley Clarke Band) and Peter Brendler (John Abercrombie Band) on acoustic bass. The group, called COLLECTIVE LANGUAGE, will perform for the first time on September 5th at Poisson Rouge in NYC in a memorial tribute to the great jazz innovator Rashied Ali. The concert will feature music from the classic Coltrane/Ali duets "Interstellar Space" as well as other music from Coltrane's later period.
GREGG BENDIAN FEATURED IN ALLABOUTJAZZ
Gregg is the "featured artist" in this month's issue of All About Jazz. Gregg talks about his music and the Mahavishnu Project's upcoming VishnuFest in New York City. The newspaper is free and available at newsstands and clubs around NYC, or download the PDF file. (Requires Acrobat Reader)
FIRST SHOW OF THE SUMMER PICTURES...
Here are some pictures from the first Mahavishnu Project show of the summer, taken at Mexicali Live in Teaneck NJ.
The Mahavishnu Project will present the 4th Annual VISHNUFEST on July 7th and 8th at Le Poisson Rouge in New York City. This year's program is the most expansive yet, and will include the unknown WORKS FOR CHOIR by John McLaughlin (first performance in over 30 years!) as well as music from JM's SOLO ALBUMS, a "BEST OF" program, and a complete performance of VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND! More info on the tour page.
THE MAHAVISHNU PROJECT ARE BACK!
The Musical Box will be taking most of the summer off so Gregg will be starting up The Mahavishnu Project again! The Project has just announced a show at MexicaliLive in Teaneck NJ on June 4th, 2009.
Don't miss the new set featuring the best of "The Inner Mounting Flame", "Birds of Fire" and "The Lost Trident Sessions". More info on the tour page.
NJ PERCUSSION ENSEMBLE PREMIERES "SEQUOYA"
The New Jersey Percussion Ensemble will present the world premiere performance of Gregg Bendian's SEQUOYA: THE TALKING LEAVES, for marimba quartet on Monday April 27th at William Paterson University in Wayne NJ.
Gregg will be present to speak about and introduce the piece. The performance is free and open to the public.
More info on the tour dates page...
THE MUSICAL BOX IN NORTH AMERICA
Due to popular demand, more Trick of the Tail North American tour dates have been added, including two more nights at Nokia Theater in New York City. Check the tour page for dates.
"RESEARCH" IN MODERN DRUMMER
Gregg Bendian's new solo percussion disc is given a very nice review in the February issue of Modern Drummer magazine.
"The ear-stinging vibraphone tones, call-and-response rhythmic rattling and elephantine roars that GREGG BENDIAN (Mahavishnu Project, The Musical Box) summons on Research (tiny useful secrets) accomplish his expressed mission of elevating the drummer to a veritable one-man orchestra. The depth of these textured compositions (which are inspired by, among others, Zakir Hussain, Edgard Varese and Max Roach) reveals itself upon repeated listens." - Will Romano
Order Research here.
THE MUSICAL BOX IN NORTH AMERICA!
Just back from a highly successful European tour of Genesis' "A Trick of the Tail", The Musical Box has just added their North American Tour dates, including a big show at Nokia Theater in Times Square. Tickets are now on sale.
GREGG WRITES FOR "THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR!"
Gregg has contributed a piece entitled, "Jack Kirby, composer" for the very special 50th issue of The Jack Kirby Collector. In good company with John Dolmayan (of System Of A Down), Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Chabon (and many more), Gregg was asked by TJKC to write about his work on "Requiem for Jack Kirby" [Atavistic Records] and the inspiration of visual art on music. You can order your copy here.
CHARLIE SHOE - BIG IN JAPAN!!!
Taken from the Japanese webmag www.metropolis.co.jp/tokyo
RiCHARD LEO JOHNSON & GREGG BENDIAN
Who Knew Charlie Shoe?
"With acoustic guitar virtuoso Richard Leo Johnson appearing as “untrained guitarist-savant/small-engine repairman” Charlie Shoe and junk percussionist Gregg Bendian as “rock drummer/salvage yard worker” Junk Fish, "Who Knew Charlie Shoe?" proved to be one of the few sample CDs sent to Metropolis from abroad actually worth reviewing. With a sensibility derived half from Arkansas’ Ozark mountains and half from the downtown New York experimental scene, the album sees Johnson and Bendian on a mission to find out what kind of sonic beauty can be elicited from a cheap guitar purchased off Ebay and percussion instruments ranging from hubcaps to “attic stairs.” The answer is a unique and entrancing sort of psychedelic folk that extends Americana into the 21st century."
THE MUSICAL BOX ANNOUNCES EUROPEAN TOUR!
The Musical Box will present Genesis' "A Trick of the Tail" throughout Europe this fall.
See the tourdates here....
EXCITING NEW SOLO DISC FOR GREGG:
Ten years in the making, Gregg will release Research (Tiny Useful Secrets), a CD of ten groundbreaking, innovative percussion works composed and performed by Gregg.
The 70-minute disc features music for drumset, prepared drumset, marimba, vibraphone, bowed vibraphone, and many expansive percussion set-ups. Each piece is dedicated to an important inspiration in Gregg’s artistic life, including Zakir Hussain, Max Roach, Charles Ives, Edgard Varese, Iannis Xenakis, Red Norvo and more.
The disc was released by Aggregate Music on April 15th and is available online at WaysideMusic.com or by mail order by sending $15 by check, cash or money order (European orders send $20) to:
PO Box 3158
Teaneck NJ 07666-9180
UPDATE 7/28/08: Read the first review here.
MOOGFEST 2006 WITH JAN HAMMER:
UPDATE 4/10/2008: DVD NOW RELEASED!
Moogfest 2006 was sold-out and SRO at BB Kings on June 22nd, 2006. The Mahavishnu Project performed "Meeting of the Spirits" and "The Dance of Maya" and received a standing ovation from the audience. They then joined original Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboard master Jan Hammer for his first US performance in over 15 years! Jan and the guys treated the audience to "Oh Yeah", "Darkness: Earth In Search Of A Sun", "Flashback", "Blue Wind" and an encore of "Led Boots".
As you can imagine, this was an incredible honor and thrill for the members of The Mahavishnu Project. The entire event was filmed and recorded for possible satellite radio broadcast and a future DVD release.
WELCOME THE NEW MAHAVISHNU PROJECT!
The wheel has turned and new energy will be injected into The Mahavishnu Project once again.
Drummer/founder Gregg Bendian will be joined by guitarist Jonathan Kreisberg [Michael Brecker/Joe Henderson], Neil Alexander, keyboards [Joe Lovano/John Scofield], Brad Jones, bass [Don Byron/Elvin Jones], and violin mainstay Zach Brock [Stanley Clarke/Ravi Coltrane].
The band has two debut performances: Fri. March 28th at Mexicali Blues in Teaneck NJ and Wed. April 2nd at Iridium Jazz Club in NYC. To celebrate, the band will be performing “The Complete BIRDS OF FIRE!” (Be on the lookout for special guests.) Don't miss the beginning of this new era in Mahavishnu music.
ANOTHER RAVE FOR "RETURN TO THE EMERALD BEYOND"
This one is from METALJAZZ.COM....
The Mahavishnu Project: “Return to the Emerald Beyond” (Cuneiform)
Drummer Gregg Bendian acts as a grandchild of electric Miles via the Mahavishnu Project, which has been performing John McLaughlin records in their entirety for years. And “Visions of the Emerald Beyond” is the album the guitar blazer has named as his favorite.
Bendian says his two-disc “Return” is “rooted between jazz and classical interpretive performance”; the Project hits a good balance with a live take that sometimes echoes the template, sometimes amplifies the arrangements, usually takes off on its own solo paths to triple original song lengths. Speedy Glenn Alexander plays the McLaughlin role; Rob Thomas makes a credible Jean Luc Ponty on violin.
Bendian himself, waxing big and heavy on the Mike Walden stool, gives the record its distinctively modern character -- he endows “Be Happy” with skin-busting momentum and “Lila’s Dance” with an Indo-Zeppified feel. Fans of Echoplex excess will trip out on the flights of “Pegasus.” “Opus I,” a chamber piece expanded to an entire two minutes, contracts and relaxes its neoclassical harshness like a yoga exercise. There are three bonus tracks; I had to check on whether Mahavishnu or proto-metalers UFO (on “Rock Bottom”) played the riff of Jan Hammer’s “Sister Andrea” first. The winner by a year, in 1973 on M.O.’s live “Between Nothingness and Eternity,” appears to be Hammer, who cut “Andrea” with Jeremy Steig and Tommy Bolin as early as 1971.
By the way: “Return” has just claimed the award for best progressive jazz album of 2007 at the Progressive Rock Hall of Fame Awards. Two great things: An excellent unit gets a slap on the back, and I now know there is a Progressive Rock Hall of Fame. Does the Hall use superfine sci-fi grafix? You bet your ass.
MAHAVISHNU PROJECT WINS BIG AT THE PROGRESSIVE ROCK HALL OF FAME!
"Return to the Emerald Beyond" has won "Best Progressive Jazz Album of 2007" at The Progressive Rock Hall of Fame Awards. The Project is in very good company, with this year's inductees being Gentle Giant, Yes, UK, King Crimson and other winners including Dream Theatre, Peter Gabriel and Jon Anderson.
See the full list of awards here.
GREGG'S CYMBAL SET-UP FEATURED ON PAISTE.COM
The set-up used on The Musical Box's World Tour is here for all to view...
NEW GREGG BENDIAN/RICHARD JOHNSON CD RELEASED
"Who Knew Charlie Shoe?" by Richard Leo Johnson and Gregg Bendian has just been released on Cuneiform Records. See the Discography page for more details.
It's the "Pick of the Month" at WNYC-FM!
GB Joins The Musical Box
I have some exciting news to share with you.
I have joined the "Gabriel-era" Genesis repertory ensemble, THE MUSICAL BOX as drummer and backing vocalist.
Many of you already know about this internationally respected group from French Canada, my lifelong obsession with progressive rock in general, and the early music of Genesis in particular. Now, I will actually be performing some of my most-loved music with this incredible band - the only one of it's kind to be endorsed by Peter Gabriel, Tony Banks and all of the original members of Genesis.
THE MUSICAL BOX will tour throughout Europe and North America this fall performing "Selling England By The Pound," "Foxtrot," and a rare "Nursery Cryme" show. See the Tour Dates page for more info.
As a result of this new commitment, I will be powering down my jazz-rock repertory ensemble and labor of love, THE MAHAVISHNU PROJECT for the rest of 2007 after our two concerts in September. It's possible that THE MAHAVISHNU PROJECT will resume playing occasional concerts soon after the New Year.
I'm very excited about this new musical challenge and I hope you will have the opportunity to hear and see THE MUSICAL BOX in one of our upcoming concerts.
The King of Jazz Drummers has passed.
The great Max Roach died yesterday (08/16/07) at the age of 83.
Max was an incredible inspiration to me as a drummer, composer and bandleader. His endless curiosity and sense of adventure regarding improvisation, composition and collaboration continue to boggle my mind. For me, Max was the embodiment of the true spirit of jazz music.
I had the great honor of spending two weeks on the road with Max when Cecil Taylor's band (with whom I was drumming) and Max's quartet toured Brazil in the summer of 1989.
During that tour, Max was incredibly kind, gracious and generous with me, taking me under his wing and telling me many amazing Charlie Parker and Monk stories. He allowed me to tag along when he went shopping for socks (beige), and invited me to search out coconut candies (a mutual love) with him in a Sao Paolo shopping mall. Imagine that.
Max was so much more generous than he ever had to be when, after attending a concert of Cecil's band, went out of his way to enthusiastically tell people that he thought "the kid played his ass off" and how difficult it was to play Cecil's music well. That moment was truly one of the highlights of not just my career, but of my life, and recalling his voice saying those words has gotten me through some rather tough times when my work was somewhat "under-appreciated". Hey, if Max Roach says you can play, what other confirmation do you need?
I will very much miss this giant of modern music and I am so grateful for all he has given to me, and to improvisational music at large. This is the end of an era.
Thank you, Maestro!
Max and Gregg, poolside in Rio August 1989
GREGG BENDIAN RADIO INTERVIEW:
On Thursday April 12th from 12-1pm EST, Gregg Bendian will be the featured guest on WKCR-FM (89.9FM or streaming at www.wkcr.org) hosted by jazz writer Ted Panken. Subjects will include the new Mahavishnu Project CD, upcoming concerts and Gregg's production work on the new box set, "Live at The Bottom Line: The First 30 Years" for Koch Records.
MOOGFEST DVD NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER!
Jan Hammer & The Mahavishnu Project, Keith Emerson and more! Filmed live in-concert at MoogFest 2006 in NYC, the 70 minute DVD will be released sometime this summer, but is available for pre-order here.
NEW INTERVIEW WITH GREGG BENDIAN
There's a new interview with Gregg Bendian at All About Jazz, focusing on "Return to the Emerald Beyond" and the band's take on The Mahavishnu Orchestra songbook.
"EMERALD BEYOND" REVIEWED ON ALLABOUTJAZZ!
"With Mahavishnu Orchestra’s relatively small repertoire, Bendian has turned the Mahavishnu Project into an increasingly popular venture with no end in sight. No less ambitious than its source, Return to the Emerald Beyond is the group’s best album yet." Read more...
"EMERALD BEYOND" REVIEW AT KYNDMUSIC.COM
"The Mahavishnu Orchestra founded and led by virtuoso guitarist-composer John McLaughlin in 1970 left an indelible mark upon rock and roll through the pioneering of genre-bending jazz fusion movement. The Mahavishnu Project has continued that pioneering spirit." Read more...
"RETURN TO THE EMERALD BEYOND" REVIEW AT ALLMUSIC.COM
Read it here.
"RETURN TO THE EMERALD BEYOND" CD NOW AVAILABLE!
The Mahavishnu Project's new take on "Visions of the Emerald Beyond", entitled "Return to the Emerald Beyond" (Cuneiform Records) is now available on CD. The double disc live concert recording includes all of the compositions from "Visions" as well as "Smile of the Beyond" and several other bonus tracks. As before, The Mahavishnu Project's interpretations of this incredible music carries the full endorsement and blessing of Maestro John McLaughlin.
For audio samples and ordering info click here.
OUT-OF-PRINT BENDIAN DISCS ARE NOW AVAILABLE
We now have copies of "In Florescence" by Cecil Taylor, "The Sign of 4" by Bailey/Metheny/Bendian/Wertico and "Banter" by Derek Bailey and Gregg Bendian. Check the discography page for ordering info.
ENCORE PERFORMANCE OF COMPLETE "VISIONS OF THE EMERALD BEYOND!"
Another complete performance of "Visions of the Emerald Beyond" has just been scheduled, this time at one of New York's largest venues, BB King's. If you missed "Visions" at Vishnu-Fest, here's your chance to see and hear one the greatest and most explosive pieces of Mahavishnu music, from start to finish! See Tour page for details
MOOGFEST REVIEW :
Aquarian Online has posted a review of the Moogfest show on July 19, 2006. Read it here.
THE MAHAVISHNU ORGAN TRIO PROJECT:
On the heels of a rather successful VISHNU-FEST, The Mahavishu Project will branch off into a slightly altered grouping to explore the music of Mahavishnu, Tony William's Lifetime and Jan Hammer through the lens of the classic organ trio. Don't miss this one-night only event!
Go to tour dates...
VISHNU-FEST 2006 A HUGE SUCCESS!
This year's Vishnu-Fest was a fantastic success. Two of the three nights were sold-out and "The Music of Jan Hammer" evening was attended by a very happy Jan Hammer and family. The shows have been recorded for possible future release. Special thanks to Steve and Peter at The Cutting Room for helping put this together and to all of you that attended.
A warm welcome to the new members of the expanded, eleven-piece "Visions of the Emerald Beyond" band. This band will be performing the entire "Visions" disc again in the very near future. Photos will be posted soon
July 19 , 2006: GREGG BENDIAN IN THE RUSSIAN PRESS!
The biggest Armenian newspaper in Russia has just published an article on Gregg. Check it out here.
May 3, 2006: New Shows Added!
Boston, Rochester, Ithaca, New Jersey. Check the tour page...
April 6, 2006: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT RADIO...
Mahavishnu Project drummer/leader Gregg Bendian will be the featured artist on one of the world's best progressive music radio shows, Gagliarchives this Saturday, April 8th from 10pm to 2am (Eastern Standard Time). It is both an FM and Internet radio broadcast.
The program will feature an extensive interview and highlights of The Mahavishnu Project's recent sold out show at NJ Proghouse, as well as Bendian's original music from projects such as Trio Pianissimo, Bone Structure and Interzone.
PLEASE NOTE: GREGG WILL MAKE AN OFFICIAL ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE UPCOMING PERFORMANCE BY THE MAHAVISHNU PROJECT AND AN ORIGINAL MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA MEMBER! DON'T MISS THIS EXCITING EVENING OF RADIO ENTERTAINMENT.
Click below to listen Saturday night 4/8 @ 10pm-2am (EDT) and Tuesdays 11am to 3pm (EDT) Through Aural Moon Radio:
Broadband • Dial Up
Click here to listen Saturday night @ 10pm-2am [Eastern Syandard Time] at WBZC.org
Local Stations: 88.9FM and 95.1FM in the Delaware Valley (NJ/PA/DE)
ABOUT THE PROGRAM:
The Gagliarchives has been championing progressive music on FM radio in the Greater Philadelphia area for more than 15 years. Based in Pemberton, NJ at Burlington County College's award-winning WBZC, The Gagliarchives serve all of South Jersey and the
Delaware Valley region of Pennsylvania and Philadelphia on two frequencies, 88.9 and 95.1FM, and the rest of the world with its high-quality RealAudio feed.
The Gagliarchives can also be heard live online courtesy of Aural Moon on both Dial-Up and High-Speed connections. The Gagliarchives still achieve high arbitron ratings weekly since 1998. The program has featured exclusive interviews and guests such as Jan Hammer, Derek Shulman, Tony Banks, Allan Holdsworth, Klaus Schulze, Patrick Moraz and many others.
The Show's Website: http://gagliarchives.com/
AOL Instant Message @ email@example.com
April 2, 2006: JAN HAMMER TO PERFORM WITH THE MAHAVISHNU PROJECT!
Gregg and the members of The Mahavishnu Project will perform with Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer at MoogFest 2006, on June 22nd at BB King's in New York City. Jan has asked Gregg and The Mahavishnu Project to be his band for this, his first American performance since 1991. Also appearing will be Keith Emerson of Emerson, Lake & Palmer. Tickets are now on sale at www.bbkingblues.com
March 12, 2006: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT IN ROLLING STONE!
The March 10 issue of Rolling Stone magazine (Heath Ledger cover) has a glowing review of the Mahavishnu Project's "Phase 2". It's on newstands right now.
by David Fricke (senior editor)
The Mahavishnu Project
"You can get the records, but this music needs to be heard live", declared drummer Gregg Bendian after this band, his outstanding instrumental salute to the 1971-73 quintet version of John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra, brought 1972's Birds of Fire to life onstage recently. This two-CD set documents a 2003 tour and shows Bendian (who's done time with Cecil Taylor and Ornette Coleman) and the Project' vigorously pusuing the improvising possibilities in Mahavishnu's fusion nirvana. Prime example: the quarter-hour of "Noonward Race", with the surprise guitar quote from Miles Davis' Jack Johnson. Bendian now leads a revamped lineup including ex-Davis keyboardist Adam Holzman. But Phase 2 is still an exciting document of inspiration and exploration, and a great reason to hear this music - and this Project - live.
Has jazz-rock music suddenly become relevant again? (We think so.)
February 25, 2006: JazzWord Reviews "Change"
Check out the new review of Gregg Bendian's Trio Pianissimo disc, "Change" at Jazzword.com
February 10, 2006: Mahavishnu Project in New York Times
The Project's upcoming show at Iridium is noted the Times' Jazz Listings (registration required) .
February 8, 2006: Gregg Bendian Radio Interview
Gregg Bendian will be interviewed on WKCR (89.9FM) on Thursday, February 9th from 1-2pm EST, hosted by Ted Panken. Topics will include the new direction of the Mahavishnu Project, Gregg's new trio release, "Change" and much more. Tune in, or go to live streaming at www.wkcr.org
February 1, 2006 : New Tour Dates Added
See the Tour Dates page for upcoming Project gigs at NJ Proghouse and Orion Sound Studios.
January 3, 2006 : Changes For The Project In 2006
The Project is changing personnel again and with the departure of Steve, Chris and Rocco, the band will now begin operating as a repertory collective that draws from a shifting pool of players, each with different approaches to the Mahavishnu music. This will allow for varying combinations of great musicians, each with a love of this unique form of jazz-rock music.
The newest incarnation of The Mahavishnu Project will perform "The Complete Masterworks" on three nights (February 8/15/22) at New York's famed Iridium Jazz Club.
The players for this engagement will be Glenn Alexander on guitar, Adam Holzman on keyboards, Rob Thomas on violin, David Johnsen on bass and of course, Gregg Bendian on drums.
Each evening will focus on selections from one the seminal first three albums. February 8th will be "The Inner Mounting Flame". February 15th will be "Birds of Fire" and February 22nd will be "The Lost Trident Sessions" (a first for The Project).
We're trying to make The Mahavishnu Project's concerts a more regular occurence on the New York scene and with your enthusiastic presence, the Iridium club might become the perfect place for it. We hope you can come out and support this special form of live music as The Mahavishnu Project enters it's 6th year. See you at Iridium!.
January 3, 2006 : Jan Hammer Speaks About The Mahavishnu Project
From the forthcoming book on The Mahavishnu Orchestra by Walter Kolosky, we give you original Mahavishnu Orchestra keyboardist Jan Hammer's comments after hearing The Mahavishnu Project perform the complete "Inner Mounting Flame" at Vishnu Fest 2005 at The Cutting Room in NYC.
“I really enjoyed seeing them. It was great. It was wonderful. I admire those guys because they tried something that is very hard. They managed to carry it off. They did it. They came through. The key to the band as much as the mystique of John's Indian name or the music he wrote - I think what carried it through - was the performance of the five people. It was a performing band. It is very hard to get that on record. Anybody can read the parts and learn them but then you have to step in and do something with it. That is the key - what you do with it as a performer and improviser. Improvisation is what finally makes it work in the end. These guys really caught onto it. That's what was wonderful about it.” - Jan Hammer (August 2005)
November 12, 2005: Gregg Bendian guests with Project Object: The Music of Frank Zappa
Please see my see gig page for more info.
October 4, 2005: "CHANGE" IS HERE!
The newest Gregg Bendian/Trio Pianissimo release, "Change" has just been released on Aggregate Music CDs.
The disc features Gregg with pianist Steve Hunt (Mahavishnu Project/Allan Holdsworth) and bassist John Lockwood (George Garzone/The Fringe) playing over an hour of new Bendian tunes and a rarely heard Monk tune.
"Change" is available right now from Wayside Music.
Here's a track listing...
1. Statement (1:23)
2. Ice Blue (12:03)
3. Prelude (1:27)
4. She Knows (8:22)
5. Glancing (1:07)
6. Knot Grass (8:23)
7. Sleep & Dream (9:06)
8. To Ben Riley (1:03)
9. Gallop’s Gallop (5:42)
10. Torrents (17:51)
Produced by Gregg Bendian
UPDATE: The first review is in! See All About Jazz.
August 9, 2005: TRIO PIANISSIMO NEWS
the first Trio Pianissimo disc featuring eight Bendian compositions played
by Steve Hunt, John Lockwood and Gregg Bendian has just been re-issued
by TrueMedia JazzWorks. It's available now from Wayside
Music. Read a new review of "Balance" at www.allaboutjazz.com.
new Trio Pianissimo CD, currently titled "Change" will
be released on September 27, 2005. "Change" features seven
new Bendian chamber jazz originals and a new interpretation of a rare
and often-overlooked Thelonius Monk tune called "Gallop's Gallop".
The disc will be available right here, slightly before the official release
date. Don't miss the first new Bendian disc in over three years! '
August 9, 2005: VISHNU FEST A HUGE SUCCESS!
Our celebration of the music
of John McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu
Orchestra at The Cutting Room in New York City was really a very special
event for the band and for the folks who truly love Mahavishnu music.
Over the course of the three nights the band played 25 different Mahavishnu
tunes. We were honored by the presence of original Mahavishnu Orchestra
members John McLaughlin, Jan Hammer and Rick
Laird and their families
(plus Elliott Sears & Joseph D'Anna from the MO road team), who each
heard the band live for the very first time - and apparently really enjoyed
it! The first batch of photos are now up at the Mahavishnu
Project web site.
Thanks to all who attended and helped make Vishnu Fest such a wonderful
June 1, 2005: VISHNU
The Mahavishnu Project's first performance in New York in over a year
will be a special three-day festival celebrating the music of John McLaughlin & The
Mahavishnu Orchestra. The festival will take place on July 13, 14 and
15 at The Cutting Room in New York City and you are all invited to take
part in this long overdue "thank you" to John and the guys
for the inspiration and joy they have given us all.
The first night will feature The Mahavishnu Project (with special guests)
playing "The Essential Mahavishnu". What are the essential
Mahavishnu Orchestra songs? Send
in your suggestions for your favorites,
or what you believe are the most important and unique Mahavishnu pieces.
The second night will be "unplugged". That's right, The Mahavishnu
Project plays acoustic interpretations of Mahavishnu music - much more
than "Lotus" and "Thousand Island Park", to be sure!
Special guests, and Middle Eastern Interpretations by Ara Dinkjian and
The final night will be "The Complete Inner Mounting Flame." New
interpretations of ALL the tunes from "The Inner Mounting Flame",
played in sequence from start to finish.
See the Tour Page for more info.
The Cutting Room is not an especially large club and seating is general
admission, so we encourage you to get tickets in advance. See you there!
June 1, 2005: MAHAVISHNU
PROJECT REVIEW IN DOWNBEAT MAGAZINE
"Phase 2" just received a rave
review in the June issue of
Downbeat Magazine. On newstands now (Hank Jones cover).
Here is an excerpt:
The Mahavishnu Project - Phase 2
Aggregate Music 003
To my knowledge, no ensemble has demonstrated the wherewithal
to take on The Mahavishnu Orchestra’s revolutionary jazz-fusion
initiatives of the early 1970s. The Mahavishnu Project introduces
a personalized earmark of authority during this live recording, while
refurbishing pieces such as “Revolution” (sic) and “Birds
Of Fire” with
exactitude and good taste. - Glenn Astarita
May 11, 2005: PIERRE
Percussionist/composer Pierre Moerlen died last week in France at the
age of 53.
Pierre was a huge inspiration and a hero to me. His work with the original
Gong, Pierre Moerlen's Gong, Mike Oldfield and many others was incredibly
unique and innovative.
Along with Max Roach, Tony Williams and Billy Cobham, Pierre was a pioneer
of drummer/composer led bands featuring percussion. His recordings Gazeuse,
Expresso II and Downwind were all very important recordings to me as
a burgeoning young percussionist/composer.
Pierre's background in classical music and his innovative use of vibraphone,
marimba and other tuned percussion instruments in the jazz/rock setting
left an indelible mark on me and heavily influenced the work I would
do years later with my band Interzone.
I was lucky enough to see Pierre perform with Gong at The Bottom Line
in 1980 in what I believe was his first and last appearance in the states
with that band. I will never forget his marvelous drumming style and
his use of the Paiste tuned gong set while playing the melodies during
the suite from "Time Is The Key".
I hope that in the coming years Pierre will receive the recognition and
accolades that seem to have thus far eluded such a very important figure
in the percussion continuum.
May 11, 2005: MAHAVISHNU
The Mahavishnu Project has a new guitarist! Check the MP
May 11, 2005: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT
The Mahavishnu Project will perform in Italy and Poland this summer.
Check the tour page for details.
March 6, 2005 : TWO
BOSTON APPEARANCES ADDED
Two Boston appearances have been added to the tour
is an improv workshop at The Longy School and the
other is a new group with Dave Bryant, the amazing
keyboardist from Ornette
Coleman's Prime Time.
7, 2005 : BENDIAN MUSIC ON TELEVISION
In a rare and rather peculiar instance of the avant garde penetrating
mainstream culture, excerpts from Gregg Bendian's newest percussion
piece, "Mixture" will
be used on the CBS television program "48 Hours Mysteries". The
music will be used in the show's opening segment, set to air this Saturday
January 8th at 10pm (ET/PT). Check your local listings.
18, 2004: GREGG BENDIAN IN MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE!
Gregg is featured in the January issue of Modern
Drummer magazine. It's on the stands now, with Prince and his drummer
on the cover.
October 12 , 2004: MAHAVISHNU
PROJECT EURO TOUR DATES SET
The Mahavishnu Project Tour of Europe (October 27 - November 12) is now set.
Please check the tour page for the most up-to-date listings
31, 2004: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT AT PROGDAY, CHAPEL HILL
The Mahavishnu Project has just been added to the line-up for Progday
X in Chapel Hill North Carolina. The annual festival of progressive music features
bands from around the world and this year will will include the great Dutch
band, Focus. This is a rare opportunity to see the Mahavishnu Project in
the southland, so don't miss it!
Tickets are still on sale... www.progday.com
August 11, 2004: GREGG BENDIAN IN DOWNBEAT 2004 INTERNATIONAL CRITIC
Gregg has again placed in the "Rising Star Vibraphone" category
in the 2004 Downbeat Poll for his
work with Interzone and others. On
stands now (Roy
August 11, 2004: NEW EUROPEAN SHOWS ADDED:
Plans for the Mahavishnu Project tour of Europe continue to move forward. Some
shows have been changed, and some new shows have been added. Check
the tour dates page....
August 11, 2004: IRIDIUM CANCELS AGAIN:
The September 30th gig at New York's Iridium has once again been cancelled
by the venue. Given how shakey things are over there (and the
way they are handling artists), we have no immediate plans for rescheduling. Other
New York shows are in the works for the fall.
July 21, 2004: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT "PHASE 2" GETS A
"Not only do the Mahavishnu Project know how to
glorious monster, but there are times on this double live CD when they
give it bigger fangs and claws... "
Check out the full review at The
July 17, 2004: EUROPEAN
Plans for the first Mahavishnu Project European Tour are moving forward
nicely. The tour will
start in Italy on October 28th and so far the band is set to play shows
in Germany and Britain as well. The November
12th show in London now has tickets on sale. The tour page will
be updated as more shows come in. Interested venues should contact
the band's booking agent, Winfried Volklein at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
July 12, 2004: IRIDIUM GIG CANCELLED
The July 22nd Mahavishnu Project show
at the Iridium jazz club in NYC has been cancelled by the club. However,
the band will perform an entire evening at the club on November 17th.
June, 11, 2004: GREGG
BENDIAN - ABSTRACTLOGIX's "MUSICIAN OF THE
Gregg is featured as "Musician
Of The Month" on
the excellent fusion/world music website, AbstractLogix.com.
Big interview, plus an additional feature on The Mahavishnu Project
and "Phase 2".
8, 2004: A NEW MAHAVISHNU PROJECT DISC!
I'm very pleased to announce the release of a brand new Mahavishnu Project
2". It's a two disc set, with two and a half hours of music recorded
live during the last year of touring. I think that it contains some
of the band's most exciting playing to date.
"PHASE 2" is made up of thirteen Mahavishnu compositions and even has
a new Bendian original, "Within The Womb Of Night", written with some
true Mahavishnu flavor.
I'm very proud of how far the band has come over the last four years, and
I think the disc documents our development and our quest to bring a personal
approach to the Mahavishnu tome. Hope you'll check it out.
You can order the disc, and hear samples at the Mahavishnu
Project web site.
APRIL 27, 2004: GB PRODUCING THE
I didn’t want to say anything until it was official (and the check
cleared, etc.) but yes, I’m very happy and excited to report that
yours truly has had the honor and incredible pleasure of co-producing
(with the great Bob Belden) “The Mahavishnu Orchestra:
Live in Cleveland 1972” for Sony/Legacy. Sony is planning on releasing
this classic show in the late summer of 2004, as a bonus disc to be paired
with “The Inner Mounting Flame”.
Bob has been a big fan of Mahavishnu Project for a while now and knowing
of my Mahavishnu obsession, he asked me to come in - first as a consultant. As
things progressed and I contributed more of my ideas to the process,
my role changed to that of co-producer.
We actually went into Sony Studios a couple of months ago and mixed
the concert from an old 1-inch 8-track reel that had a number of technical
problems, mainly due to its age. In the end though, it came out
sounding great. We sent it off to John McLaughlin and waited. He
loved the mix and gave it a “thumbs up”.
I’ll also be helping Elliott Sears (Mahavishnu road manager and
agent for Jan Hammer and Jerry Goodman) put together the liner notes
for the package. Our plan is to interview all the band members
for their comments, and then hear from some of the key protagonists of
the jazz-rock fusion era, such as Stanley Clarke, Carlos Santana and
even Dickey Betts (whose band I sat in with at the House of Blues last
summer). Dickey is a huge Mahavishnu and jazz fan and all he wanted
to talk about the show was Mahavishnu, Miles Davis, Max Roach, John McLaughlin,
etc. A very nice surprise.
The Sony thing looks like it will be an ongoing project for me, as Mr.
Belden has asked me to oversee the archiving of many hours of Mahavishnu
Orchestra live tapes that have not yet been transferred or annotated. There
is a lot of stuff in the vault there, and even Sony don’t know
what they have! (Not a very big surprise) Hopefully when
it’s all done and we send the transfers over to Mr. McLaughlin,
he can lobby Sony for a Mahavishnu Orchestra live box-set.
As someone who started listening to The Mahavishnu Orchestra at the
age of 10 and then grew up with their music, I can only say this
has been an absolutely mind-blowing experience for me. To
be working hands-on with the music that changed my life, and to be a
part of insuring it's lasting legacy is just such an incredible
honor for me. I'm extremely grateful to Bob for this wonderful
opportunity. (More on all of this as things progress.)
MARCH 31, 2004: DON PRESTON TRIO
Featuring original Zappa keyboardist Don Preston (p), Gregg Bendian (d) and
Ken Filiano (b). See the Tour
Dates page for details.
JANUARY 10, 2004: NEW 2004 SHOWS
Happy New Year to all! Hope everyone had a great holiday season. We've
just confirmed some new Mahavishnu Project shows, the first of the year and
they're coming up very soon. See Tour
Dates page for details.
NOVEMBER 29, 2003: BENDIAN
Great News! The first INTERZONE
1997, which has been out-of-print and unavailable for a couple of years
now) has been successfully wrest from the inept and lazy hands of
Eremite Records. It has been beautifully remastered and will be
reissued with new artwork and BONUS LIVE TRACKS by the splendid Atavistic
March of 2004. The
live tracks are from a completely burning show we did
at the now defunct Alligator Lounge in Los Angeles. The tracks
feature the original Izones line-up, recorded shortly after the disc
was first released!
More Great News! Almost all of the CDs from the Bendian discography
(leader/co-leader discs) are now rather conveniently available online
from the excellent and reliable Wayside
click on any disc's link on the Discography
page and it will take
you directly to the Wayside page of the disc you are interested in
SEPTEMBER 1, 2003: ABSTRACT LOGIX
Jazz fusion info site AbstractLogix
talks with Gregg about the birth and future of The Mahavishnu
Project, as well as his other personal endeavors.
AUGUST 4, 2003: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT
IN DOWNBEAT CRITIC POLL
The Mahavishnu Project has placed 9th in DownBeat Magazine's 51st Annual
International Critics Poll, “Rising Star Electric Band” category.
Check it out: www.downbeat.com.
AUGUST 4, 2003: GREGG BENDIAN IN
DOWNBEAT CRITIC POLL
The results from DownBeat Magazine's 51st Annual International Critics'
Poll have just been released and Gregg has placed 9th in the "Rising
Star Vibes" category for his work with his band Interzone and others.
AUGUST 1, 2003: NEW MAHAVISHNU
The Mahavishnu Project will tour extensively throughout the US, September
Check for the latest confirmed shows. See Tour
Dates page for details.
JULY 15, 2003: NEW BOSTON AREA
Two shows: The Fringe at The Lizard Lounge in Cambridge, MA (Mon. July
21), and The Steve Hunt Trio at Les Zygomates (Wine Bar & Bistro)
in Boston (Wed. July 23). See Tour
Dates page for details.
JUNE 16, 2003: NEW MAHAVISHNU PROJECT
BOTTOM LINE DATE ANNOUNCED.
The postponed Mahavishnu Project show has been rescheduled for Saturday
July 19. See.Tour
Dates page for details.
JUNE 11, 2003: THE JUNE 16TH BOTTOM
LINE SHOW HAS BEEN POSTPONED!
A replacement date in July will be announced later this week.
May 26, 2003: NEW MAHAVISHNU PROJECT
& TRIO PIANISSIMO GIGS
New dates have been added to our Tour
March 27, 2003: NEW MAHAVISHNU
PROJECT ORIGINAL COMPOSITION
An MP3 of Gregg's first original composition for The Mahavishnu Project,
"Within The Womb Of Night" has just been added
(along with "Meeting Of The Spirits") to MahavishnuProject.com.
Check it out....
March 3, 2003: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT
BACK IN JAZZIZ MAGAZINE!
The March issue of Jazziz is the "fusion issue".
It's got great interviews with many fusion luminaries and a feature on
The Mahavishnu Project, specifically covering the subject of John McLaughlin's
endorsement of the band's work. On newstands now! See: www.jazziz.com.
February 14, 2003: 'BONE STRUCTURE'
Check out Walter Koloski's review of the Bone Structure
CD on All
January 29, 2003: NEW OPEN ASPECTS
We are pleased to announce that The Open Aspects Ensemble
will be performing on Tuesday, February 4th at Galapagos in Brooklyn;
see our Tour Dates page for more
Open Aspects Ensemble specializes in the live performance of graphic,
aleatoric, verbal and otherwise conceptual music scores by composers from
around the world. Its initial concerts have included the music of Morton
Feldman, John Cage, Earle Brown and Christian Wolff, in particular their
work during the 1950's and 60's, which has become known to many as "The
New York School of Composition". Open Aspects was widely hailed last
month for their memorial concerts for the late Earle Brown, which included
six new interpretations of Brown's "December 1952".
This most recent concert features the work of the last remaining member
of The New York School, Christian Wolff, and the father of British conceptual
music, composer/cellist Cornelius Cardew, known to many as "Britain's
January 13, 2003: NEW BENDIAN RELEASE!
The long-awaited CD by the Bendian/Gauthier/Stinson/Liebig collaboration,
STRUCTURE is finally available. Sonically, it resides
in the neighborhood of electric Miles/mid-70's Crimson/Mahavishnu improvs
with Morton Feldman-esque ambient moments! For a review, see BeyondColtrane.com.
Check it out....
December 29: SEASON’S GREETINGS
It’s hard for me to believe it, but 2002 has come and gone. It did
go out with a burst of exciting, creative activity though! November saw
some Mahavishnu Project
tour dates that for the first time featured original compositions by the
band which were of course inspired by the music of John
McLaughlin & The Mahavishnu Orchestra. My original composition,
Within The Womb Of Night was played at a bunch
of the gigs and by the time we got to the Bottom Line in NYC, it sounded
pretty intense! It’s a twelve-minute, fairly complex piece of music
(largely in 7/8) with a big nod to Mahavishnu’s modal improvising
and melodic approach. I’ll see if we can’t get an MP3 of it
in the near future.
As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Mahavishnu Project just signed
with Michael Gaiman’s Mission Control agency! Michael is the guy
who booked Billy Cobham’s amazing Spectrum: The 30th
Anniversary Tour and is the creator/producer of Jazz
Is Dead, which features great artists like Jerry Goodman,
Jimmy Herring, Alphonso Johnson, Rod Morgenstein and T. Lavitz. Mission
Control will be booking European tour dates for the spring and summer
of 2003 and we hope, Japan for late 2003. Coming on the heels of John
McLaughlin’s endorsement of MP, we are so excited to be able to
bring Mahavishnu music back to the live stages and fans of countries that
aren’t in North America! Please keep checking www.MahavishnuProject.com
November and December also brought a flurry of activity for me in the
chamber music realm. My newest piece, Vapor for solo violin,
(written to the memory of my mentor and friend, Noel DaCosta) was premiered
at the ASCAP series for new music called Through The Walls,
at The Cutting Room in NYC. Cornelius Dufallo, one of the finest violinists
in New York that have had the pleasure of working with, played the premiere
and did an incredible job. I was truly honored that Noel’s wife
Patricia and son Richard could be present for the first performance.
Vapor is a very aggressive, virtuosic piece
in the tradition of the Bartok or Carter's music for violin. Neil has
played with Gregg Bendian Project but many folks know him from the Flux
Quartet’s recent five-hour recording of Morton Feldman’s 2nd
String Quartet on Mode
Records, and he will record Vapor for me next month in New
Jersey. Also on the program was The Plain of Jars for string
quartet & percussion (1997) and Rhetoric
for viola & cello (1998). My chamber music gets played
fairly infrequently these days so it was a real treat to hear great musicians
like Neil, violist Kenji Bunch and cellist Rubin Kodheli dig in and play
my music full out. It was warmly received by the audience, which was nice,
because I think of this music as some of my thorniest and most challenging.
The year finished up with a lot of activity by The Open Aspects
Ensemble. As many of you know, we lost the great American composer
Earle Brown this
summer. Earle was an innovative American composer known to many as part
of “The New York School”, which was basically his crew with
John Cage, Morton Feldman and Christian Wolff. Earle’s passing was
a bit of a shock for me, since Neil Dufallo and I had just done an interview
with him about a month before toward our research on his music in particular,
and graphic scores and composers influenced by the visual artists of the
1950's, in general.
Since December was the 50th Anniversary of hisgroundbreaking composition,
December 1952, we decided to commemorate the
anniversary of that piece and to honor Earle’s passing with a special
program made up of 6 different approaches to December 1952
as well as some rare piece’s of Earle’s and a world premiere
of a solo violin piece that Earle had written as a gift for Neil when
he was a just a child. (Neil’s Dad was an important conductor and
champion of new music, and a friend of Earle’s.) Over twenty years
later, Neil premiered the piece given to him by Uncle Earle.
The performances we gave at Princeton University and The Greenwich House
Music School (in New York’s Greenwich Village) featured a special
guest, vocal innovator and champion of Earle Brown (and Cage, and Feldman,
and you name it!) the great Joan LaBarbara. Joan sounded amazing, and
doing an entire evening of Earle Brown’s graphic and highly conceptual
scores was an incredible musical experience for me as a percussionist
and a conductor.
Earle’s compatriot, Christian Wolff was in attendance and enjoyed
our performance so much he said he would write a piece for us to be performed
this Spring. We’ve been planning an all Christian Wolff evening
so this will surely make it a special event. Hey, the guy from Mode Records
was even there and told us he’d like to record our All-Earle Brown
program for a new Mode release!
My gratitude to those of you who have been emailing and asking about my
duo project with the amazing Mike Keneally. Mike and I are still very
excited about the duo CD that we began recording in September. We are
now desperately trying to find time and space to reconvene and finish
up our project, which will most likely be released on EXOWAX in 2003.
So, it really has been a great 2002, but I know 2003 is going to be even
I Wish You All Much Happiness and Health and Peace and Prosperity in the
-- Gregg B.
Nov. 21: MAHAVISHNU PROJECT IN
JAZZIZ MAGAZINE! There is a very nice piece on Gregg Bendian
and The Mahavishnu Project on page 16 of the December issue of JAZZIZ
Magazine (Dave Koz/Russ Freeman cover). It's on newstand
and bookstore shelves right now.
Oct. 24: A few months ago I sent a copy
of The Mahavishnu Project "Live
Bootleg" CD to John
McLaughlin at his wife Ina's request. (I also included a
copy of my Trio Pianissimo "Balance"
disc.) I was thrilled just to know that he would at least possess a copy
of The Mahavishnu Project's take on the incredible music he created in
1971-73 with Billy Cobham, Jan Hammer, Jerry Goodman and Rick Laird. End
of story, right? Well, today I received an email from Maestro McLaughlin
regarding the Mahavishnu Project. He felt it was fine for me to share
it with you all, so here goes...
Just a little note of appreciation for what you are bringing back
to life. This musical period was the beginning of finding my own way
in music, and to hear you guys playing those tunes in such an unbelievable
way is quite amazing.
I listened also with great pleasure to your trio CD, and was happy
to hear that you are moving in different musical directions also. This
is really important in the sense that as musicians we all have to find
our own way.
Great job!! Keep up the good work,
As you can imagine, having listened to this man's music since the tender
age of ten, this is a huge milestone for me!
I'm so grateful to John for the inspiration he has given me over the
years with all of his beautiful music and the incredible level of musicianship
he maintains. I can only say that to hear from him like this was quite
an unexpected mindblower! We've been doing the Mahavishnu Project for
almost three years now and the most frequently asked question by the listeners
and writers has always been, "So, what does John McLaughlin think
of you guys?" Well, I'm happy to say, now we know. Thanks, John.
Sept 26: Spent the day in the studio with
one of my favorite musicians in the world, Mike
Keneally. We recorded some improvised songforms for a collaborative
duo project for future release. It was an incredible experience and one
I will not soon forget. We spent the first hour or so just laying down
drums and bass guitar, imagining songs that these tracks would be used
for and building things from the ground up. And man did we click! Its
the first time we've played together but Mike and I are ready to go out
as a rhythm section for those not faint of heart! We then played some
guitar and drum duets, and things got completely crazed and unhinged.
There's another style of music completely. Kind of a multi-directional
jam with melodies waiting to be doubled and accent patterns waiting for
some orchestrations. Mike and I had an uncanny repore when it came to
rhythm (something I have not encountered since working with my buddy Alex
Cline.) I cannot wait to flesh out these tracks and make this the killer
record I know it will be.
Sept 25: Went to the Paiste warehouse
in Brea to pick up my yearly batch of cymbals. Got some great stuff and
tried the new prototypes for the new upcoming line of cymbals. I suggested
they call the line "The Spectrum series". Lets see if they use
it! Got some great china cymbals from the Dimensions series as well as
a Traditional flat ride and some Traditional hi-hats.
Sept 24: Composition workshop at Occidental
College in Eagle Rock was extremely successful. Had a presentation focusing
on my percussion trio piece "Flazure", but also covered the
string trio "The Plain of Jars" and part of "Rhetoric"
for viola and cello. Very curious students and open-minded faculty made
it an exciting time for me. Also was struck by how strong the particular
performances were on the recordins I played. Man, I need to get a disc
of my chamberworks out there soon.
(As always, big thanks go to Paiste, DW, Musser an Attack for supporting
my clinic appearences which allow me to spread so much of my creative
energy around the world.)
Sept 23: We did the ISR workshop at CalArts
in Valencia and it went well. I like Calarts a lot and have been there
about 4 times now for various presentations. Saw Leo Smith and gave him
a copy of my new violin solo piece, "Vapor"
to the memory of my late mentor, Noel DaCosta. Noel was a musicial pioneer
who made it possible for other Black American musicians to be a part of
the University scene. Losing Noel, one of the most important people in
my musical and personal life has been extremely difficult and I can only
say I try to honor him by giving all I can when working with any students.
Noel was the best of the best.
Sept 20/21: Off to L.A. for some gigs with
Nels Cline and more. We did two nights of our duo, "Interstellar
Space Revisited: The Music of John Coltrane" at the
Schindler House arts center in W.Hollywood. Recorded both nights on DAT
and DVD. The second night was one of the best we've done. (right up there
with the show we did with Sun Ra Arkestra last summer at Verizon Fest).
Got a weird review in the L.A. Times where the reviewer didnt even think
Coltrane put enough thought into the music to be worthy of a reinterpretation.
Sept 18: Mahavishnu Project played at BB
Kings for over 500 fans of creative music. It was so great to see Andre
and Ike and the guys again. We always have a great time sharing the stage
with them. Got to meet Napolean Murphy Brock, a fave of mine from the
Roxy & Elsewhere period of Zappa. I even got to tell him "I'm
looking forward to smoking the tapes of your band!" His rejoinder
was, "Yeah, but as long as there's no sweat socks in there!"
What a great guy.