Music is truthful

This is the Caroline Davis Quartet at soundcheck on Saturday, January 29, 2022, at 7:19 pm. The band features Julian Shore, piano, Christopher Tordini, bass, Caroline Davis, leader, composer, alto sax, Allan Mednard, drums:

Briefly recreating my monologue from last night show:

  1. Portals — its the name of Caroline Davis album. She played three shows here, Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Four or five tracks from that album, arranged for alto sax, piano. bass and drums. the album has trumpet and string section, however, and spoken word. Four musicians three nights, residency here, versus nine musicians on the cd. She threw in some Mary Lou Williams, “Capricorn” — from a cycle about the zodiac — and Geri Allen. She says her father died and this is for him. 
  2. She said, Friday: this is called portals. Not like on your computer, but a natural portal. I asked her in the green room then kept it in my monologue: she said “natural” but I think she meant “supernatural”. 
  3. The shows were in Palo Alto (at the Mitchell Park Community Center, or “The Mitch”). Palo Alto was discovered by the Spanish in 1769, 250 years ago or so, and named for a large tree, a Palo alto. Or so they say. We say. 
  4. I didn’t get to, for the sake of brevity that my blog meanwhile is “plastic alto” named for an acrylic saxophone played by Ornette Coleman. I mean “plastic” in the sense of modern, like since the 1950s — sometimes they say “midcentury modern” — and in the way “silicon” started to be a thing around that time. Because it semiconductors and does not resist or conduct. And in the way the character in the movie has one word for Benjamin “plastics”. 
  5. I have it on tape I can update.
  6. My notes said, on my handheld, portals- alto sax – Caroline Davis; virtual, natural, supernatural; Plastic Alto; acrylic Grafton; Ornette Coleman; Lee Konitz; Palo Alto; 1769; Portola; 2019; incorporation 125 years before; Ford a crick; cut down; Leland Stanford; Dos Palos; et cetera.
  7. The Spanish noted a tree and wrote down “Palo Alto” and supposed Leland Stanford 120 years later bought a farm down here that included the tree; and supposed we water the tree and its right across from the Stanford Shopping center, near the train station, marking the border of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. But because we know locally that around 1900 our tree call “El Palo Alto” had a second trunk and it fell into the creek – -it was a double trunk or twin pine — I would think the Spanish would have called it “Dos Palos” or something. And somewhere there is a narrative that the tree might have been closer to Middlefield but they cut it down a few years later, to help ford or cross the crick. And they were looking for Monterey when they discovered Palo Alto and Mayfield, Portola, the Spanish guy. 
  8. I said that music and especially that of Caroline Davis group was truthful, and healing but not antiviral and centering. And I hoped Saturday’s audience would enjoy it as much as I did that music from the first two nights.

9. People laughed at parts of the above. 

10. There’s actually a site on Stanford campus that addresses by story here: there are two pines and they are called Dos Palos by a professor who planted them. 

Andrew Gilbert wrote a fine preview of our show, for the San Jose Mercury (which is no longer Knight Ridder nor Hayes Family publication — not sure who owns it). But it is not true that Julian Shore was once Caroline Davis’ student at Litchfield Jazz Camp. They were both both students there and later faculty there. Julian is however married to Carmen Staaf the pianist, whose band Parlour Game was the first casualty of the covid-19, on March 15, 2020. Chistopher Tordini returns to the Bay Area with Miguel Zenon at SFJazz; Allan Mednard returns to somewhere East Bay with Michael Wolff. Not to tip my hand or jinx it but I’d like to bring this group back, with a trumpet and or a violin or cello, to play The Mitch and maybe Occidental and Livermore. Check your portals. Also: I have Wayne Horvitz piano Sara Schoenbeck bassoon in May and Todd Sickafoose, Beng Oldberg, Scott Amendola on April 28 or so. But not Femi Kuti “Beng Beng Beng Again”. 


PS or edit to add, a couple hours later: there is a private version of this that corrects the minor errors and ads another musician and more backstory to Earthwise w. Davis (or Lions With Wings w Davis). Private in the sense of an email to 5 people. Also, I am reading Daniel Kahneman with Sibony and Sunstein and on page 165 there is a story about a jazz pianist. And also the times had a mention of a new club Nines and a guy name Yosef Munro. 

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, and blogger; he also sang in local choir, fronts an Allen Ginsberg tribute Beat Hotel Rm 32 Reads 'Howl' and owns a couple musical instruments he cannot play
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