Shedroff Farms Revisited


First off, I want to note here that I just learned, researching this post, that Joshua Redman has lost his mother, as of November, 2016. I saw him play in June at Stanford, about a month before I lost my own mom, Barbara Weiss. His mother was Renee Shedroff, of Berkeley, a librarian and dancer, and the sister of Alan Shedroff, a friend of my parents, also now deceased. Alan’s sons are Daniel and Nathan Shedroff, former neighbors, shulmates in San Jose and Los Altos Hills, and classmates of mine in Palo Alto, ages 10 thru 18. I recall seeing Daniel, his mom and his son, at a reunion in 2007 and Nathan recently at our 35th/36th. We are all 53/54/55 now.

I’m the only person who calls jazz sax wizard Josh Redman Joshua Shedroff. I’ve never met the man and seen him play maybe 3 to 5 times. The first time, I’m certain, was at Knitting Factory New York, probably with John Medeski, which I found thrilling. Josh was known as Shedroff I think thru his days at Harvard — you used to be able to find on the internet a story about him under that name from the Crimson. He famously turned down Yale Law to play music fulltime, after winning the Monk competition.

I bought a ticket online this morning — maybe the very last ticket in the house — to see Josh Redman lead a band that is a tribute to Wayne Shorter, the culmination of three days of such. (It was supposed to be a residency for Shorter but at 80, that proved to be a tenuous booking — we also saw him on tv recently being feted at the Kennedy Center; filmed in October of last year).

So even though I respect Redman — I used to have a book of 1,001 sax players, and a wee bit of tea on them — I managed a man who won 2nd place in the Monk two cycles later — what sold me on the show is the sidemen.

This started out — in my head — as an Impulse to post some esoteric impressions of the band Sunday (which I will be sussing out after a weekend of four or so NFL playoff games on the tube).

But it also digressed into a photo essay not at all about jazz — in the way that Plastic Alto is hardly strictly about Ornette. I was looking for the photos of Josh from June and clicked on ten or more other images from that period. I found a picture of my mom making eye contact with me. A short, short video –a vine — about a month before she passed and about seven years after her dementia and Alzheimers presented. I may be the last time I felt she looked me in the eye with recognition.

And this is an odd place to say this but: thank you Beth Custer, the reeds player, for taking the train from SF to Palo Alto — I almost said taking A train — on my mom’s 85 birthday to play for her then again two months before she passed, only to be told my mom’s caregivers that the music would disturb her nap.

Heck, I’ll do the photo stream first then circle back to bits about the band I’m obviously obviating towards or forwards (coined term: rhymes with “chords”).

In reverse chron order:

  1. Josh Redman, sax; and Aaron Goldberg, piano, June, 2018 at Stanford’s Bing.
  2. Josh Redman band at Bing — by the way, he has a separate project called James Farm whose name is the source of this headline (“Shedroff Farms Revisited”). He also Still Dreaming with Ron Miles, Scott Colley & Brian Blade.
  3. Hadar Shemtov and Mark Weiss at Bing concert — or I like to call this “Jews With Halos” ie we are backlit.
  4. BHW
  5. This is my dog, Duffy and a human posed with Duffy just for size comparisons. (It’s actually a close friend but he is camera and publicity shy — both of the previous photos might be subject to editing –if you see them now you may not see them later). That’s the nature of this medium, init?
  6. There’s no photo of this — and if there was it would not be chronological the way the others are — but thank you musician and music agent Eli Windau of Cincinnatti and New York area for teaching me the word “autocowrecked”. I can probably post a screen capture of the exchange just for yucks.
  7. Guillermo Gomez Abascal, of Mexico City and Oaxaca Oaxaca, a dear friend and a dean at Iberra-America University, reacting to Mexico’s early round prowess in the 2018 World Cup, which I watched diligently, and partook in some festives as well. That’s a selfie he took in his apartment and digged me (coined term combining “digital” and “dig” as in “appreciate”, as an active verb — don’t worry, editorial help is coming!)
  8. 16289a60-4f39-4dc0-8a95-9ecf00df7be1Four Mexican men forming a human pyramid, on my tv, as my right foot and part of my knee or calf look on. (I can research and add the name of the goal scorer: 25th minute Mexico v. Korea).
  9. 50590a02-57c2-4a54-a009-e3e1f0afd011

    take a memo

  10. a90bead1-8272-48b7-a251-ee3d778e9426my wife and mother in law
  11. my wife TMW Terry Acebo Davis and dog — I like that she is reading arts section of New York Times. I like the weird refractions. She looks like Doc Oc — who is a villain in a movie about comics I saw just yesterday.
  12. My dog Duffy (not necessarily named for the legendary and champion coach of Michigan State Spartans football, circa 1966) testing tensile strength of his leash or checking me for ALS, or we are at tug-of-war. Bubba Smith was unbeatable at this. Or so I hear.
  13. Three corporate hench men from the worlds one or two software social media companies, explaining their greed, to a local crowd at Cafe Zoe in Menlo Park. I heckled them, calling them out on their disingenuity. One of them, I spoke to later, and liked, despite his role in destroying everything we have built (potentially; yes, I’m a jeremiad). The other guy, the main speaker guy, was a former Clinton or Obama low level administrator. I.e. neo-liberal. He literally said “pity us or sympathize, because Silicon Valley is losing its lustre and I yelled out that that sounds funny coming from a guy repping a company with $400 B valuation, but I then looked it up and was only half right: the current valuation of his company is more like (TK). I have a 30 second clip I can transcribe and publish above.
  14. 4c1f5248-8744-4311-adcc-fe5bfc87222fThis is me posing as a second baseman, on Upper Market street, before a Giants game this summer, photo by NP.  I am unsure the distinction between memoir and solispsism, but, again, help is on the way!
  15. This is its own thing but: upside down dog by Scholder, at a gallery in Santa Fe.
  16. my dog sleeping on his back — Terry thought the dog in the monotype looked dead;
  17. This is a screen capture of an email from a while ago but I thought to include it because the list of musical personnel resembles the list at bottom of this post, of the jazz people I will see Sunday, lwatcdr. I’ll have to — on my own time — find this email by searching ‘”Uptown” and “Christine” in my yahoo file. To respond.
  18. another all type thingy: I like that thing about boots on the neck, and getting them off us.
  19. My hand and a sticker from Italy and Walgreens with Belgian football star Romelu Lukaku.
  20. street scene, street fair, University Avenue Palo Alto, Father’s Day, 2018 that is June 17 or so, a group of high schoolers performing under the name Garage Mahal, which is also the name of a jazz group, some of whose members likely play or have played with members of Josh Redman fellowship. (I’ve published below similar shots or crops emphasizing the vocalist. Actually it just occurs to me, seven months later that the singer and the bassist are both of Indian descent, which makes their name more fitting.
  21. f42fed02-4329-406d-930f-3c9e0f7e266dSinger-songwriter Gaby Castro who I’ve met three times now including a benefit at a wine bar for Palo Alto’s Project Safety Net;
  22. ef4d484f-7bbe-4d53-b1b2-6bc4fd16a04eOk, I love this pic — again, at the street music event we sometimes, 10 years running, call Fete De La Music, Make Music Palo Alto or Palo Alto World Music Day: Palo Alto Jazz Quintet featuring David Brigham, trumpet; Dan Adams, drums; David Deneau, sax; Terrigal Burn, piano –cropped; and the bassist. I am meaning to say Dan Adams is one of my alltime favorite musicians — going back about 40 years — and in my IMHO could sit in with Joshua Redman or maybe already has.
  23. 889ad45a-ed4e-486d-8a58-9ca03b61c157

    Essence and Bernie: quite a story

    This just in: literally, from hours ago and not last June: my friend and near-client Essence Goldman pka Essence sent along an image culled from the SF Chron from their “YEAR IN PICTURES” that shows a firefighter in front of a giant wall of flame, and then she giving a hug to her friend, bandmate and client Bernie Dalton. God speed to Essence and Bernie.

  24. Joey Chang, pka Cello Joe at same event, June, 2018, and a fan demoing the bike-powered electricity generator created and managed by Paul Freedman, son of physics heavy-weight (!) Dan Freedman of MIT and SLAC — who coinkydinky I watched some of the World Cup with — he was a neighbor of my parents, in their building). Also, there is a cameo in bottom right by Karla Kane, the musician, mom and writer. (I also have photos of her young daughter, banging a tip jar bucket to the beat).
  25. bfbe4c60-c080-4238-a8b4-2ae2f9f7553fThis is a band I saw and liked, several times, around town. I am forgetting their name. John Brown’s Body? Maggie’s Farm? Parchman Part-timers? Henry and the Traumanauts? Roger and the Ramen Nagis? Waylon and the Way-Outs? Waylon and the Weightless? (There’s a photo of sequence or burst I love and have not fully posted, full-mast, of me dropping a bag of books while standing in front of a Magritte painting very similar to an image that the physicist Dan Freedman used on the cover of his book about super-gravity. Get it? I was demonstrating gravity in Muybridge/Iphone as an inside joke to my friend the genius gravity guy).
  26. 57d8df18-2dd3-4b78-8af2-b75be61d612fThis is not like most of these a group of fellow humans, or musical, but it is a cool image created by Greg Willensky a friend who works at Adobe and has a PhD, one day while he and I and another guy were walking to Fort Mason from the Marina.
  27. Mary Halvorsen in a tri-led group at SF Jazz; Thomas and Michael?
  28. 007c931f-e8cf-49ef-aaf8-2a69696cb6d1a nice couple I met at a Peruvian bar on Market — not far from SF Jazz — who were describing their musical project to me, but I lost their number. Holler! (I’m always trolling or trawling in six spider-verses for the next big thing. The other day in the time it took my rideshare driver to go from De Young to USF we traded numbers and he later sent me not music files but sexy photos. I wrote back: “more MP3s, less pecs.” (I’ll spare you, dear reader, that one, although it is relatively impressive; he also had nice hair).
  29. As David Shields says, when I write about David Shields I write about myself. I am posting this one –taken by the musicians from 27 — to show my FCB jacket when it was less faded and me speaking of pecs or lack thereof in terms of definition or too much in terms of flab I am at my marriage weight of 180 or so and not normal now of 205. I guess it was fun adding back the extra 25 pounds. Half of that was Ramen Nagi, I’m certain. (Of Ramon and the Noodlers fame).
  30. This is a german visual artits or germanvisualartist at Joey Piziales Romer Young Gallery on 22nd near the train. Yesterday I was photographing the mural tryptich in Palo Alto featuring Joey and David Huffman and Chris Johanson.
  31. Maybe that goes here too: I meant to addend this to the previous post but here is a nice guy who is FSO and formerly US Army, in Sinai (although he said first “Egypt”) from Sacramento: thank you for your service — I was shooting the mural then asked his permission to be in the shot; we actually re-shot it. But I did not say I would describe him.
  32. This is Joey’s gallery. Joey the artist not Joey the musician. It would be cool if Cello Joe played at Romer Young.
  33. Similarly, this is Alice Li I think at Garden Fresh. I saw her yesterday at their Mountain View spot. And just for yucks I am going to microwave my leftover mock beef and real brocolli and brown rice and then eat same, then pick this up around 10:30. I have five more photos then the five musicians whose names are Joshua Redman, tenor saxophone (cousin of my classmates Nathan and Daniel Shedroff); Ambrose Akinmusire, trumpet (from Berkeley and Oakland; Peter Apfelbaum said one of two best along with Dayna Stephens young musicians he knew, when they were all at Stanford Jazz camp; and won the Monk; on Blue Note; Igbo, pretty sure and not Yorba; had his cell for a whiles; since 2008 I think, et cetera): Danilo Perez, piano (played on the Wayne Shorter tribute at Kennedy Center; is a cultural ambassador of his country to ours; owns a nightclub at the Ace Hotel in Panama City; gave the best clinic I have ever seen, at a Redwood City Charter Middle School, for Music For Minors, in 2000); John Patitucci, bass (don’t know, but I think I knew his former or current manager, Robin Tomchin, who also manages or managed Danilo — who called her “Mami” — and also works with Palo Altan whose parents were neighbors to Duffy’s former Mommy, Jana Herzen of Motema Records — which is the worlds record weirdest John Patitucci intro); Brian Blade, drums (whose fellowship played SFJazz big room — this one — Minor? — Miner? — simultaneouslike to my watching and LOVING Jeff Parker New Breed, Parker who has an avail I think in January — too soon — with Scott Amendola, wbose wife and kids, like Josh Redman and me, are Jewish — and that is a worse intro for Blades than I just did for JP: hey, Jazz Gods and other readers of Plastic Alto: what about a Brian Blades Jeff Parker Duo BBJP? I’m jest saying.
  34. Good luck to the Eagles against the Bears, for the hospital guy who worked Terry’s shift yesterday so she’d do his Sunday. (Reminds me of the time I bought a Zuni fetish for Dr. John at Yoshis). Edit to add: I’m looking for a word that maybe starts with”o” and means salivate or anticipate then will redact and obviate my soot  above.

About markweiss86

Mark Weiss, founder of Plastic Alto blog, is a concert promoter and artist manager in Palo Alto, as Earthwise Productions, with background as journalist, advertising copywriter, book store returns desk, college radio producer, city council and commissions candidate, high school basketball player; he also sang in local choir, and fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32
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