Duets etc.

Janet’s apricot tree a few years ago swinging into fall — photo by Mark Weber


September 20, 2o12 – Jazz @ Noon every Thursday (starts at 12:07 after the satellite news) Host MARK WEBER – KUNM Albuquerque, USA – 89.9 FM (Mountain Standard Time) also streaming on the web > KUNM.org – Current time zone offset: UTC*/GMT -6 hours (*Coordinated Universal Time)/Greenwich Mean Time)

Duets, etc.

Today we focus on the art of the duet and also the chamber aspects of modern jazz (all jazz is “modern” yes?)

Our in-studio Live musical guests will be Clyde Reed on bass and Michael Vlatkovich on trombone & percussion.

Clyde Reed’s father was a musician in a hard hit Seattle family where he became the family breadwinner as a teenager during the Depression of the 1930s. Maybe that has some bearing on why Clyde became a professor of Economics? We’ll ask him. Clyde is an American who has lived in Vancouver, BC, since (?) 1972 when he joined the faculty of Simon Fraser University where he taught for 37 years. In jazz we know him for his work with the NOW Orchestra in Vancouver and the many years he’s been with saxophonist/composer Rich Halley’s various ensembles in Portland,

Michael Vlatkovich has increasingly become an itinerant musician who wanders the world making music — he is a composer/arranger and has worked on many Hollywood movies and rents himself out as an arranger for bands of all sizes in Los Angeles (when he’s not out on the road wandering around) — his migratory route runs up and down the Pacific Coast and over the Rockies into Denver, further on to St Louis, Chicago, Detroit, and even back to his genetic homeland Ireland (his mother was a Connor from County Mayo), and Albuquerque. I think Michael is one of the great composers of the post-20th century (is that a genre?) but he concerns himself just as much with pure improvisation and spontaneous improvisation.

Michael Vlatkovich Quartet — May 19, 2003 — David Mott, baritone sax; Jonathan Golove, cello; Christopher Garcia, drums; Michael, trombone — photo by Mark Weber

J.A. Deane & Michael Vlatkovich, the Zerx Records house trombonists — Studio 725 — April 4, 2002 — photo by Mark Weber

Michael Vlatkovich at his desk — Culver City (Los Angeles) October 26, 2009 — photo by Mark Weber

Michael Vlatkovich at Studio 725 — April 9, 2002 — photo by Mark Weber

Viviane Houle Ensemble under the direction of Clyde Reed — June 26, 2012 — Vancouver, BC — Michael Vlatkovich, trombone, Rich Halley, tenor saxophone; Clyde Reed, bass; Jared Burrows, guitar; Viviane, voice — photo by Mark Weber

Bobby Bradford Mo’tet — April 28, 2o12, Kahoutek Festival, Pitzer College, Claremont, California — Bobby, cornet; Wayne Peet, keyboard; Vinny Goia, saxophones; Roberto Miranda, bass; Michael Vlatkovich, trombone; William Jeffrey, drums; Ken Rosser, guitar — photo by Mark Weber

Michael Vlatkovich warming up his mouthpiece while Wayne Peet & Ken Rosser discuss Bobby Bradford’s music — April 28, 2o12 — photo by Mark Weber

Other music this day will be a sampling from NYC saxophonist Richard Tabnik’s new compact disk SYMPHONY FOR TRIO: A Prayer For Peace (New Artists Records). This is a monumental release and of such force and uncompromise that truth & justice will sprout new wings — wait till you hear Roger Mancuso’s drumming on this, whew. When I’m in New York, Richard is my hang buddy and we walk all over the place, all times of the day and night. When I listen to Richard play I am always struck with how fast his brain works — it’s one of his major characteristics — Neal Cassady might have been thefastestmanalive but Kerouac never met Richard Tabnik, thepossiblyfastermanalive.

Richard Tabnik and Adam Lane — September 18, 2009 at The Stone, Lower East Side NYC — photo by Mark Weber

Reading H.L. Mencken the other day I found this passage (from his column in Baltimore Evening Sun, April 7, 1924) reminded me of Richard:

It is almost as safe to assume that an artist of any dignity is against his country, i.e., against the environment in which God hath placed him, as it is to assume that his country is against the artist. The special quality which makes an artist of him might almost be defined, indeed, as an extraordinary capacity for irritation, a pathological sensitiveness to environmental pricks and stings. He differs from the rest of us mainly because he reacts sharply and in an uncommon manner to phenomena which leave the rest of us unmoved, or, at most, merely annoy us vaguely. He is, in brief, a more delicate fellow than we are, and hence less fitted to prosper and enjoy himself under the conditions of life which he and we must face alike. Therefore, he takes to artistic endeavor, which is at once a criticism of life and an attempt to escape from life.

Other duets and closely related formats I hope we have time to play this day:

* Kris Tiner and Mike Baggetta — trumpet & guitar
* Connie Crothers and Bill Payne — piano & clarinet
* Biggi Vinkeloe, Mark Weaver, Damon Smith — sax, tuba, & bass
* Anthony Braxton & Buell Neidlinger duets
* Bill Smith clarinet with Dave Brubeck Quartet in the late 50s
* Bobby Bradford and John Carter — cornet & clarinet
* Paul Plimley and Clyde Reed — early 90s piano & bass duets
* ion Zoo
* Bobby Shew and Michael Anthony — trumpet & guitar
* AND remember that monumental trio of Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith, and Leroy Jenkins
circa 1968-1970 ? wow

Clyde Reed is visiting New Mexico and performing Thursday night (7:30 September 20) in a trio format with Michael Vlatkovich and poet Lisa Gill at Mitch Rayes’ place The Projects, 3614 High Street NE, Albuquerque (at Candelaria), on a triple-bill with groups that include Mark Weaver, Al Faaet, Matt Norman, Mike Balistreri, Sirena Rayes and Mitch!

Lisa Gill — February 24, 2003 — photo by Mark Weber

And of special importance is Sunday at The Roost (presently roosting at The Outpost Performance Space, Albuquerque)(September 23)(7:30pm) will be The Rich Halley 4. Rich went to school at University of New Mexico back in the middle ages and so this will be a return visit for him. His son Carson and he will drive down from Portland to perform in quartet with Michael Vlatkovich and Clyde Reed — compositions by Rich. Rich Halley creates outside-inside muscular steamroller funked-down avant tunes straight off the gutbucket lip of a rattlesnake. Say what?


  1. Mark Weber

    Check out Michael’s dissassembled trombone in the first Vancouver photo — now we’re talkin !

    That’s like Chris Garcia is always reminding us how dubious it is that we say we’re improvising when we have an instrument in our hands we’ve played ten thousand hours — take the sax away from that guy and give him a trumpet And THEN he’ll be improvising !

  2. Richard Tabnik

    interesting post… thanks for the kind words… a small point:
    a. it’s not brain, it’s intuitive feeling
    b. i’m not against anything, i’m pro music and peace
    c. “war is a racket!” -USMC Maj Gen S.D. Butler (1881-1940)
    d. “the jazz musician’s function is to feel!” -Lennie Tristano (1919-1978)

  3. Mark Weber

    Regarding that photo of Michael at his desk:
    His desk is under his bed. His bed is 6-feet off the ground. He climbs a little ladder to get to bed.

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