Creative Music Studio, Woodstock at Columbia U and East Village

My CityArts - New York column is about the Creative Music Symposium, organized by Karl Berger, pianist/vibist with his wife Ingrid Sertso, who cofounded with free-thinking Ornette Coleman of the Creative Music Studio in Woodstock NY (1972-1984). The symposium at Columbia University's Center for Jazz Studies (directed by trombonist and digital music innovator George E. Lewis, once a CMS student/participant) last weekend dipped into the history and practices of the CMS, a paradise where cross-genre visionary improvisers … [Read more...]

A visitation with Don Cherry’s spirit

Attempts to revisit the music of an extraordinary improviser work all too infrequently, if "work" means evoking something close to the living presence of the player him-or-herself. This is true even when the tribute-payers are the tributee's collaborators, bearing the best intentions.┬áBut "In the Spirit of Don Cherry," an all-star octet organized by pianist Karl Berger was able at a Symphony Space performance a couple weeks back to imbue seldom-heard yet unusually memorable songs with the wit, grace and world-ranging musicality of the man who … [Read more...]