well hey there, website! sometimes you’re real busy making shit and you forget that part of being an artist these days is updating your website. so there’s much to report! here’s a run-down of what i’ve been up to the last 8 months or so, in no particular order.
i was honored to play a few gigs with one of my all-time favorite performers, tamar-kali. this lady was a joy to work with! i played some blues and soul with the Black Rock Coalition‘s Tribute to Black Women Songwriters at the Jazz Foundation Loft Party. and i satisfied some serious string lovin’ in her Psycho Chamber Ensemble (all-female string sextet) at Drom and Harlem Stage. check out some photos from the performance spectacular, Cabaret Chocolat at Harlem Stage.
i recorded a demo with lovely weirdo quintet, The Curious Shape of Hens. and then we did a luxurious tour of the north east with Dream Zoo and Adrienne Anenome. Check out this video of the hens playing my composition “the town under the reservoir in your stomach” in Belfast, Maine. want more? here we are, playing “Dauphine’s Waltz” by tenor horn extraordinaire, Erin Bell at Boston’s magical Cloud Club. oh! and back in September we made sounds for a hilarious dance piece by the Hollering Motley Ensemble for the Collaborations in Dance Festival at Triskelion Arts. we’ve been busy!
the fabulous drummer/ composer, Leo Ferguson, released his large ensemble album, with I was privileged to play on and is available for download or streaming. keep your ears and eyes open for upcoming gigs with Leo’s quartet. Alexis Marcelo, Mark Nikirk, Leo and I have been cooking up some good stuff.
in January, badass songwriter, Flora Wolpert-Checknoff of holy holy vine visited from Asheville, North Carolina so myself, drummer Zach Dunham, and violinist Corinne Bennett could throw down on her tunes, Brooklyn-style. the gig was such a blast that she came back into town this month to record with us. i’ll keep you posted on when that becomes available.
and yes, i went on an epic 5-week, cross-country tour with SCHOOL in the fall. we had a blast, people generally treated us real good, saw some beautiful sights, i got to tighten up my electric bass/ voice chops, and we learned a whole lot about DIY touring. here’s a blog of some incomplete stories of our adventures (we only kept the blogging up through Minneapolis, oops!)
then in December, i played for Zeke Virant’s unconventional opera, “Tydrus the Twit.” check out this great review.
and last, but certainly not least, i travelled to Pakistan with my father (Eric Alabaster) for the wedding of the late, great tabla player (and my Ustadji/ Uncle,) Mulazim Hussain. i heard great music at Durdana’s wedding in Pindi Gheb (in Atock Province.) and in Lahore, my father and i stayed with the family of film and radio star singer, Mr. Fida Hussain. the whole family is musicians, and his son, Mussarat Abbas is also a celebrity, having placed in the top 5 for “Sa Re Ga Ma Pa”, India’s Idol competition. we had a great time hanging out in the recording studio with Mussarat Abbas, and i even threw down some english vocals for one track! later, at home, Mussarat was really excited to get a jazz history lesson on my ipod, from Jelly Roll Morton all the way up to Coltrane’s “A Love Supreme!”