Thursday, January 7, 2016

Cullars, Playing Tunes, Edward Forstman

It's coming up on two years now that I've played with Cullars Improvisational Rotation, a jazz trio whose regular weekly gig is Thursdays from 5-8 at the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. Big question is why have I not mentioned it here on my blog? It's the most satisfying musical collaboration I've had in decades.

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Tonight our guitarist and conceptual father, Dan Mackowski, was out, so I asked guitarist Taylor Pierce to play. It was us and bassist Jason DeBlanc. The crowd was light, so I forced a challenge upon us to play tunes that the others didn't know. Taylor pulled some Pat Metheny and Bill Evans tunes out of the Real Book that were beautiful. Jason, whose repertoire covers more square miles than Taylor's and mine put together, picked McCartney's "Blackbird," which we butchered, and Wonder's "Don't You Worry 'bout a Thing," among others. It was a lot of fun!

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A Little Lunch Music, the weekly noontime series I run at the museum on Thursdays, happened today. Pianist Edward Forstman played. It was casual and the audience was riveted to his music. He played a Ravel's "Gaspard" and a Ligeti piece, both of whose terrifyingly difficult bits were made to seem effortless by Forstman's confidence and skill. He was professional and easy to work with. He has an interest in 21st century pop- and electronica-inspired art music for piano. I've asked him to come back with a full program of that. Some of our regular listeners will hate me for it. Not really, but they do like the Brahms and the Bach, which Edward also played today. Fine guitarist Katie Holmes returns next week.

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This weird little post is a further attempt to put content out there for its own sake and for mine.

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