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liners & landmarks

So I decided to write my own liner notes for my upcoming “Unnamed Quartet” live release (see previous post). It wasn’t as difficult as I thought it might be – I just wrote about why I like the group and what we do together. Easy enough!

So no gigs coming up until the spring of 2011 as I get ready for Daddyville…any advice??? I’m feeling the predictable blend of happy anticipation, nervousness, and eerie calm…

A week late, but: siLENT Z’s Cornelia St cd release concert was GREAT last Saturday.  Big audience and the band played great.  It’s always so great for the music to have gigs on consecutive nights – I need to take this band on the road!

I need to go and see some live music soon!  Haven’t done that in a little while, what with the pregnant wife (she’s due in August) and busy teaching schedule and all.  July – TONS of live music in my future…

And – the latest news is that Not Two Records (out of Poland) is going to put out a live recording of my Unnamed Quartet (with myself, Nate Wooley on trumpet, Daniel Levin on cello, and Jeff Davis on drums).  Totally improvised music.  It’s REALLY engaging and gratifying to play with those guys, and I’m happy about the idea of putting out a totally “free” album to contrast with my other recordings.

BUT – who should write the liner notes???  (I’ve had Paul Bley, critic Mark F. Turner, and Darcy James Argue for previous records…)

Tea Lounge CD release

Such great music last night at the Tea Lounge. Jeremy Udden’s Bati Band was at its groovy finest, and I felt great about how siLENT Z played. The Tea Lounge is a major mixed bag for me in terms of how it feels to perform there, but there were definitely lots of folks who were really checking out the music and enjoying the experience.

Tonight’s our second (and final) CD release concert at Cornelia Street Cafe ( – hope to see you there!

the benefits of blogging

On the advice of some people I trust, I’m trying to figure out just how much blogginess I have in me, meaning how I’d like to treat this space and what kinds of things I’d like to be writing about (and how often).  I’m sure I could talk about my relationship to the saxophone and the composition process, music I’m digging, and non-musical things that occupy my time and thoughts.  Maybe this is a good idea.  Hey, wait a sec – does this mean I’ve started?  We shall see…

Exciting stuff! The review was written by Elliot Simon in May’s edition of All About Jazz – New York. You can download it at or pick up a print copy at any jazz venue in the city. Here’s a highlight:

“Multiple styles, subtle building blocks and cerebral instrumental interplay give ’siLENT Z Live’ its especially engaging voice.”

spring 2011 tour

After taking a year off from touring to be with my wife and baby (due in August), I’ll be touring next in March, 2011.  Looks like we may be going to Poland for the first time, in addition to hopefully Denmark, Sweden, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, and Spain…

Welcome & “siLENT Z – live”

Hey, all – welcome to my lovely new website!

So here’s the news: ”siLENT Z – live” comes out on May 25!  It’s on a label I’ve started called Hate Laugh Music, and it’s the first and only record out on that imprint as of now.  HLM is a vehicle to put out my own projects without my delicate sense of control being infringed upon by others.  (Or something.)  The record features myself, Jesse Neuman, Cory Smythe, Mike Gamble, Thomas Morgan, and Tyshawn Sorey.

siLENT Z (myself, Jesse Neuman, Mike Gamble, Eivind Opsvik, and Tommy Crane) will be doing CD release concerts on Fri, May 28 at the Tea Lounge  and Saturday, May 29 at Cornelia Street Cafe.  The 5/28 show will be presented by the illustrious gentlemen of Search and Restore (, and will feature an ensemble led by the terrific saxophonist Jeremy Udden at 9pm, with siLENT Z playing one set at 10:30.  Cornelia Street is two sets starting at 9pm.  See my calendar page for greater detail.

I’m really happy with how the recording came out; it captures an energy that I feel my studio albums haven’t, simply because of the nature of playing in a studio versus playing in concert.  And it’s got great liner notes written by Darcy James Argue.

New website

Big news – I’m relaunching!  The incredible Annika Koski ( has put together a fantastic-looking site for me, where you can listen to audio, find out where I’m playing, check out reviews, read my blog, find out about my different projects, see video clips, and purchase cds, downloads, flash drives, and sheet music.

I’m also leaving for Denmark (Aalborg and Odense) and Ireland (Limerick, Cork, Bray, and Dublin) with my Trans-Atlantic Quartet (with Mikkel Ploug, Simon Jermyn, and Kevin Brow) – check out my CALENDAR page for more details.

And “siLENT Z – live” (with Jesse Neuman, Mike Gamble, Cory Smythe, Thomas Morgan, and Tyshawn Sorey) comes out on May 25 on my new label Hate Laugh Music – more on that to come!