Fire at the FireHouse

Here are some videos of our gig on Saturday September 15th. I had a magnificent time diving whole-heartedly into impro-land with master double bassists Michael Bisio & Ken Filiano. They had set high standards with a very inspiring first set. After the break  we did three pieces with my visuals:

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DRAGON LAND BAKERY & RIDE THE LINE / CHEVAUCHER LE TRAIT —both featured on my CD:  “La Garbure Transcontinentale / The Bi-continental Chowder  —  for which Firehouse artistic director Sandra Sprecher joined in & added relevance on piano.  RIDE THE LINE / CHEVAUCHER LE TRAIT just came out in an anthology edited by Erika Lutzner: Some Stories Are True That Never HappenedYou will get a chance to set it live again at the book party on January 5th  at Modca 103 N 3rd street, Brooklyn.

We closed with PINKONOCLASTIC, a piece that literally whisks to emulsion: icons, politics & La Vie en Rose. To help us reflect on these complicated issues, we had the great honor to have the magnificent Grande Dame piano improvisor Connie Crothers  joining us. Then we hung out most pleasurably eating the mean black bean chili, the corn bread, the pescajos & the stage -vanilla flavored- whipped cream (see video 3). Truly “thank you” for playing, for being there — & also thank you Pierre Joris for filming & Françoise Bevy for the still photos!



Chantons Les Cornichons!

Sunday afternoon I was at the The Tenth Annual NYC International Pickle Day where  pickles from around the world were featured, celebrated and sampled—list of participants here. The event is organized by the New York Food Museum & The Lower East Side Business Improvement District. This year the Umami Food & Art Festival curated the first performance and art event at the festival where I was invited to offer some pickle poetry. My origins demanded that I focus on the cornichons a.k.a gherkins.

The video above features my cornichon poem written for the occasion and set to the music of the well know composer and  famous gastronome Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868). The title of the composition is: Hors d’Oeuvres III : Les Cornichons — and this is not a joke.  Quatre Hors d’Oeuvres et Quatre Mendiants are part of Rossini’s last sets of compositions called “Dernier Pêché Mortel, de Vieillesse” or in English:  “Sins of Old Age”. These unpublished late compositions (1857-1868), now compiled in 14 volumes, were meant to be performed at private occasions in the composer’s drawing room.  Below are the details of Volume/ Book 4:

Quatre (4) Hors d’Oeuvres:
[The Hors d’Oeuvres here refer to appetizers]
I- Les Radis –
radishes
II- Les Anchois –  anchovies
III- Les Cornichons-  gherkins
IV- Le Beurre – butter

The Quatre (4) Mendiants:
[Mendiants refer to dried fruits and one of the Thirteen desserts of the Noel Provençal. Each fruit is supposed to represent the robe color of four monk orders]
Les Figues sèches – dry figs  — Carmel order
Les Amandes – almonds —Dominican order
Les Raisins- raisins —Franciscan order
Les Noisettes – hazelnuts
Capuchins order

This occasion lead me to reconnect with the marvelous Franco-Italian  singer-song writer Nino Ferrer (1934-1998). I learned his “Les Cornichons” and even if you don’t know French, do listen to it. Nino Ferrer was a very interesting artist who had quite a successful carrier. His background included studying anthropology with André Leroy Gourhan and accompanying jazz musicians like Richard Bennett & Bill Coleman. Voilà — and merci beaucoup to  Françoise Bevy for the photos. Enjoy!