MSP/Piano: duets w Jaroba — Electric: @Luna’s, Sacramento (Mon 5 Nov, 7:30pm) + Dark Precursor (Jim Ryan, Mark E. Miller, & Scott Walton) — Acoustic: Viracocha, San Francisco (Wed 7 Nov, 4pm and 5pm)

Jaroba (here shown in the wild with his kit) is a one-of-a-kind saxophonist, musical instrument inventor, and theatrical musician, currently living in Davis, CA:

Proud father Jaroba & children, Chapel of the Chimes "Garden of Memory" solstice event, June 2011 (photo by Michael Zelner)

He is often spotted in the company of fellow musical instrument inventor and string multi-instrumentalist Keith Cary, or consumating the unholy matrimony of disparate mouthpieces, tubing, PVC pipes, and a unique array of found resonators.

A fearless deep space explorer of improvisation and instrument invention, Jaroba always opens the windows of my brain and lets the sunshine in. It is with great pleasure that I réprise my collaboration with him, started last year — a journey to infinity and beyond in a homebrew go-cart spaceship.

Some of his notable musical projects include work with Liberation Surrealist Duo (what acronym does that make…?), featuring Jared Alberico and Nick Wilson of Chicago, Minneapolis Improv Orchestra, Duke Resonant Orchestra, Nuclear Mystery Temple, ESP, and Howloosanation (including performances at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, for the John Cage MusiCircus).

Jaroba & Mastertron (photo by Michael Zelner)

Aside from forging new paths with instruments like the Mastertron and the Plassoon, another speciality of Jaroba’s is music for theatre, including two soundtracks for filmmaker Harvey Stein, and works for the Flatwater Shakespeare Company for The Tempest, Measure for Measure, Henry V, and Macbeth. Jaroba received “Best New Music” from Kennedy Center for his contribution to the Tom Stoppard play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

We’re doing two wildly different shows in November in two cities:

Luna's, 7:30pm, Mon 5 Nov

Electronics show: laptop + invented instruments & sax, Luna’s, 1414 16th St., Sacramento (map), 7:30pm, Mon 5 Nov.

Viracocha, 4pm & 5pm, Wed 7 Nov

Acoustic show: piano + invented instruments & sax, two special acoustic sets at 4pm and 5pm, Wed 7 Nov during my regular booking at Viracocha (NW corner of 21st & Valencia, San Francisco).

In both shows, the emphasis will be on free improv mixed with selected compositions such as Jaroba’s 12-tone chart Dodecaphone and some of my kṛti compositions involving special timbral klangfarben meta-rāgas.

For a good preview of the Viracocha show @, see:

For the Luna’s show, 7:30pm, Mon 5 Nov, we will be joined by the Jim Ryan Trio (set order TBD).

Infected by bebop at a tender age, Jim Ryan first took up the trombone in Minnesota, and by Mai ’68 was playing flute & sax, living in Paris, and jamming and performing with musicians like Sunny Murray, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Archie SheppAnthony Braxton, then shortly afterward beginning his musical association with Steve Lacy.

Jim Ryan

After stretching the boundaries of improv with the “Free Music Formation” in Paris and other European cities, Jim returned to the US, first jolting the scene in Washington, D.C., then moving to the Bay Area not so long before the Loma Prieta Earthquake (coincidence…?)

Since then, Jim has led a remarkable variety of improv groups, e.g. Green Alembic, Dark Precursor,  Forward EnergyLeft Coast Improv Group, the Electro/Acoustic Sextet of Oakland, Subjects of Desire, and Retro Blue, as well as participating in Marco Eneidi‘s “American Jungle Orchestra,” and the Orchestra for World Peace of Sun Ra trumpeter Eddie Gale.

Those who’ve heard Jim play have never been the same, and, after hearing his poems about surrealist elf sexuality, or seeing the powerful color energies of his paintings, are often never the same all over again.

His ensemble for this outing, Dark Precursor,  includes master bassist Scott Walton and drummer/gamelanist Mark E. Miller.

Scott Walton

Bassist and pianist Scott Walton’s interests cut across musical genres. He has collaborated with poets, dancers, performance artists, filmmakers, and multimedia artists, especially in and around L.A. Recent projects include work with the Vinny Golia Quintet (Vinny Golia, Michael Vlatkovich, Nels Cline and Alex Cline), Cosmologic (w Jason Robinson, Michael Dessen, Nathan Hubbard), the Rain Trio (w Eric Barber, Alex Cline), and O’Keefe, Stanyek, Walton, Whitehead (Pat O’Keefe, Jason Stanyek, Glen Whitehead).

As a bassist he has also recorded with George Lewis, Bobby Bradford, Anthony Davis, and Carmell Jones, and has performed with Wadada Leo Smith, John Carter, J.D. Parran, Gerry Hemingway, Quincy Troupe, Ray Anderson, John Abercrombie, Phillip Gelb, Davey Williams, Toshiko Akiyoshi (秋吉敏子), Clifford Jordan, Al Cohn, Buddy Tate, and Frank Wess.

Mark E. Miller (photo by Michael Zelner)

Mark E. Miller, drummer, studied gamelan in Java for two years, worked in NYC from the late 70’s into the 90’s performing and recording — notably with the band Toy Killers that included Bill Laswell, Elliott Sharp, Wayne Horvitz, John Zorn, and others (firecrackers and other explosives often featured in these largely improvised performances…).  A new Toy Killers album Awayward, with Charlie Noyes, Weasel Walter, Henry Kaiser, Damon Smith, and others is about to be released.  Mark is currently recording and performing in the Bay Area.

Hope that you can join Jaroba and myself for one of these special duet shows!


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