The Virtual 45's Project
April 18, 2014
So I just finished my successful indiegogo campaign. I happily raised 112% of my goal and I've already begun putting your funds to good use! I've been writing furiously since October 2011 and 12 of these songs are going to comprise the virtual 45's project. The 45's project is this - I'm going to release two songs a month (An "A" side and "B" side) for six months. I think this is a great way to be able to absorb the music in our busy world. Plus each single will have a sonic theme of sorts. I did write about 40 tunes during this time and I bet some of these will see the light of day too. If you go to my music page here, you can download "Honey Girl, Paint for Me." Everyone has a painter in their life that moves them. Or drives them insane! :-)
So I'm very lucky that I get to play with the best musicians on the planet. I'm in awe of them and to have them play your music, to bring their unique personality, creativity and energy to your recordings is absolutely mind-blowing. Really, its unbelievable. Thank you Marty Beller, Jonathan Coulton, Jim Boggia, Jack Petruzzelli, Claudia Chopek and Eleanor Norton.
So back to recording mode. Music is the best.
December 6, 2013
I am very happy to be busy with music work these days. Nothing better than to have a nice balance of fun projects to be a part of.
The Jonathan Coulton Band recently played a few gigs, one in Portland and Nekocon in Hampton, Virginia. Along with that I've been writing music for Noah Fischer's Occupy Wall St videos. They're fantastic, I believe in the message and we're so lucky to have Peter Coyote reading the text. I'll have links for these soon. I've also been playing sporadic gigs, some with old friend Andy Demos, a John Lennon tribute show and a few of my own music. I'm also subbing the hit off Broadway show "Disaster".
Lastly I've just begun recording the bass for children's music star Stacey Peasley.
Upcoming shows of note include Dec 11th a string quartet version of my song "If You Were Only Mine" will be performed by the fantastic David Driver with Claudia Chopek's ensemble New Retro Strings. Also my group will be playing my "Survive the Holiday Show" at Freddie's here in Park Slope, Bklyn on Dec 20th at 10PM.
Please visit my Facebook page for more info.
Happy holidays everyone!
Demos into finished product....
August 25, 2013
I think I finally have decided which tracks are going to be on this new record. Been writing for two years now and I believe I've narrowed it down to 18 tunes. 18 tunes! Finishing this is going to be interesting. More info on its way, stay tunes!!
My first kids record!
April 26, 2013
I'm about to release my first kids record! It's entitled "Big Kid, Little Kid." I'm really excited about it. I basically wrote and recorded the whole thing in one month! Old school record making, lots of spontaneity. I tried to make the music I heard and liked as a kid which was basically, everything. It's White Albumesque, there's rock, folk, blues country, opera, a Frank Zappa tribute, jazz, etc. It was fun to make and I got a few friends to play on it with me.
I'm done with the artwork and then it will be available digitally on itunes and most places you go to purchase music. I'll post here when its ready to go.
Hope you check it out and enjoy!
My new record!
September 12, 2012
Wow after a solid year of demoing new tunes, I believe I am ready to start getting my favorite musicians involved and properly recording these. I have never felt so strongly about a collection of tunes, these are by far my best work. So stay tuned. Thanks for continually listening to my work all these years!
July 28, 2012
I'm composing! Music for various things, there's a new record in the works for sure, I have about 15 new songs demoed but I'd like to write another 15 and pick the best. Not feeling an urge to rush.
See you in Seattle on Labor Day with Jonathan Coulton at Pax West.
New Podcast!!!! Episode 1
January 18, 2012
XMAS album writing weeks
December 23, 2011
Some of you know my album, Dancing on a Minefield which was written during FAWM, February Album Writing Month. Essentially you write a song every other day, no time to edit or judge, a great practice.
Anyway, I'm doing the same these next two weeks as my way to deal with the holidays. Go to my music page and check out the new demos!
My new record is out DEC 9th
November 29, 2011
My new record, The World Becomes Your Mirror will be available at my record release party at Bar 4 in Bklyn on DEC 9th. 9:30PM hit.
Soon after that, it will be available everywhere! Stay tuned!
The World Becomes Your Mirror
October 22, 2011
This is true , isn't it? Should be able to get this album out soon, just assembling artwork now. I'm really happy with this collection of songs. It will be available everywhere in the universe, just signed a deal with the outer planets.
Heading with Jonathan Coulton Nov 6th for the 2nd leg of the Artificial Heart. Say hello west coasters.
I Love Rock 'n Roll
September 12, 2011
Put a another dime in the jukebox, baby! Had a great time playing Jonathan Coulton and warming up for They Might Be Giants on the first leg of the Artificial Heart tour. Really, really fun time! I rejoin them in Nov. And I will beat them in poker. For now, I'll be getting the artwork ready for my new record, The World becomes Your Mirror.
First leg of JoCo tour
September 4, 2011
Playing a few dates in Conn, Vermont and New Hampshire with Jonathan Coulton. Sept 8 - 11. Check out his amazing new CD, Artificial Heart here - http://www.jonathancoulton.com/
My new record "The World Becomes Your Mirror is almost done! Available this fall.
The Jazz Mindfulness Program
September 10, 2009
This is my brand new program sponsored by the Brooklyn Zen Center, we begin this October.
Jazz and meditation instruction.
Email me for a brochure.
July 7, 2008
Tomorrow 7/8/08 from 11AM to 1PM I will be the guest of my old friend DJ Emmanuel. We'll be spinning some sides, discussing my music, my influences and basically sharing our love of jazz and other musics.
Check out at http://www
. wprb. com/ if you're out of the NJ area.
January 2008 - a great beginning
January 26, 2008
Lots of cool activity happening.
1) Absolute Power Pop voted my latest CD "Dust Off The Timeless Night" in their top 100 of 2007. A great honor!
2) Sue Mingus, the Jazz Workshop staff and I are hard at work creating a Charles MIngus High School Jazz Festival. Long over due and monumental in it's importance, we hope to set the revolutionary stage for positive change.
3) Laurie Berkner Band are working on the new CD. It's sounding great so far, very colorful, varied with lots of high quality songs.
I am continuing.
November 13, 2007
Things continue to move forward. The Laurie Berkner Band just played two sold out shows at Carnegie Hall. What a gas! The shows were great and I was just blown away playing on the same stage as many of the finest of the 20th century. The band and crew all talked about the many great shows we have seen there. I saw a lot of great jazz there. In fact, my uncle took me to see Philip Glass there in the early/mid 70's and I remember him playing one note on a organ for hour. Far out!
I missed the last Mudlarks show unfortunately but there are two coming up with some special guests. It's a really fun rockin' band and I dig turning up and groovin'.
"Dust Off The Timeless Night" continues to get airplay, Vin Scelsa has been playing "The Art of Living" on his Sirius show. I was played back to back with George Harrison recently, what a thrill.
Lastly, The LB band played a version of Little Boxes for the Showtime hit show "Weeds". It's a fun version and we're in great company with Donovan, Randy Newman, Joan Baez and many other greats.
Here's a link
Levon Helm and The Kids Ramble
July 8, 2007
The current photo of my Myspace page is Levon Helm and myself at one of his Kids' Rambles up in Woodstock, NY. It's been one of the pleasures of my life to make music with Levon the last two months, when you play with him you can really touch the roots of the music, and that is a special experience. Many thanks to Susie Lampert, Elizabeth Mitchell, Daniel Littleton and all the great staff of musicians and crew who made it a wonderful gig. And of course, thank you Levon!
June 17, 2007
Vin Scelsa Idiot's Delight features AB
Legendary DJ Vin Scelsa played "The Art of Living" off my new CD "Dust Off The Timeless Night" on WFUV last Saturday night 6/9/07. Visit to WFUV website to hear an archived version.
Also, DJ Fil graciously decided to dedicate his last program to my music. I'm really excited about this, I imagine he'll play some things I haven't heard in a long while!!
Fil says " In addition to playing a few tracks from the new album " Dust Off The Timeless Night" on my show this coming week, I'm planning on playing a whole hour's worth (maybe even the whole 90-minute show) of AB music: All Gods' Children, Solar, Driver Quartet, Claire Daly, Fisherman's Stew, Mark Bradley, Red Onion, Land of Minerals, etc.
The show was last Thursday, June 14, 5:30-7:00 p.m. on Click Radio at www.hearnewbrunswick.com
. The show should be archived there, very soon.
I hope you check it out!
Dust Off The Timeless Night
May 6, 2007
This is the title of my new CD. It will be available in many places in the next few months.
For now, check out
The CD features many great musicians who I'm lucky to call friends. Produced by They Might Be Giants drummer Marty Beller, this is a original collection of pop gems with thoughtful lyrics and fine musicianship. This CD features guests Laurie Berkner, Jack Petruzzelli (Rufus Wainwright/ Fab Faux), and Peter Kiesewalter (East Village Opera Company).
Stay tuned for info on where to download it.
New My Space page
February 11, 2007
check it out.
My new CD "Dust off the timeless night" is done! I'm waiting on the artwork, etc. and hopefully we'll see a springtime release.
Got an i pod
November 13, 2006
How amazing to carry your collection with you at all times, haven't listened this much in ages.
Marty Beller and I are almost done mixing my new CD, it sounds fantastic. Early 2007 release is expected.
Solar next week and some cool Laurie Berkner Band gigs coming up. Come on out!
If you visit....
August 28, 2006
sign the guestbook. Thanks.
The beach is a place where a man can feel it's the only soul in the world that's real!
August 3, 2006
It's hot in Brooklyn. Thank god for the beach. Despite the heat, music activity continues.
My new pop CD with Marty Beller is now completed and awaits to be mixed in Sept. Also in Sept., gigs with Laurie Berkner resume.
Solar will hit again at Night and Day in Oct.
July 17, 2006
Interview with Adam Bernstein from Solar from JazzNotJazz
Q: Please tell me how did you, Adam Bernstein and Andy Demos come together and how Solar was founded.
Adam Bernstein: We met in 1986 at Rutgers University in New Jersey. We were all studying jazz and found we had likeminded ideas about the power of the music, politics, living in the moment and the pursuit of a spirtual path.
Q: Which musicians has influenced the sound of Solar and where do you see the Solar's place in today's jazz market?
Adam Bernstein: We're influnced by 30's swing, the free improvisational music of the 60's, indian devotional music, Monk, Mingus, Bill Evans, Duke, Sun Ra, Charlie Haden, Jelly Roll Morton, John Coltrane, the list could go on and on.
Q: Solar performs together since the late 1980s. Why did it take you so long to release a CD of your music?
Adam Bernstein: We've been recording periodically along the way. Some of these recordings are available on Eli's Pushin' 30 and Claire Daly's Heaven Help Us All. We've always had other projects happening along with Solar, now is just the right time for the debut.
Q: Solar has turned from a trio into a sextet now with Ravi Best (trumpet), Claire Daly (baritone sax) and Greg Wall (woodwinds). What was your reason to integrate three more musicians?
Adam Bernstein: This isn't accurate. We have done gigs with augmented instrumentation throughout Solar's career but now we are focusing on the trio.
Q: Will there be an album of the new line-up in the next months?
Adam Bernstein: Doubtful.
[Note: Looks like I have misunderstood something about the three other musicians that I've read somewhere on the web.]
Q: Please tell me something about the motivation to cover songs like Remember Rockefeller At Attica, Love In Outer Space, Come On or September Song.
Adam Bernstein: First off, we gravitate toward music we love; music that speaks to us melodically, harmonically, structurally and that reflects our outlook in the present moment. Then, we figure out ways to play these great tunes with our personality and vision. Hopefully, covering others' composers can provide a forum for us to improvise and communicate in a new way.
Q: Eli Yamin also sings on Come On and the song Reincarnation 1968 features some chanting. Is adding vocals to the songs of Solar something you and the band would like to extend in the future?
Adam Bernstein: Yeah.
an old AGC interview
July 17, 2006
This is my famous interview with Bob Makin from the Aquarian Weekly, 1/26/94.
Are All Gods' Children becoming more political?
I think we were pretty political from the beginning but it's a much more cohesive vision and a lot more direct. The first tape isn't reallly as vocally oriented first of all.
The first was almost an accident, because we got asked to be on the Thorazine Stretch factor (Well Primed Comp - '90) CD. I said " Alright, we're going to be in the studio, let's record this tune and make a demo. That's what pushed the band into being a band.
But now the Zapata tape is very outdated. We're hoping to get back to the studio to record a CD which will be much more indicative of where we are now.
It's becoming the highest energy band I could ever possibly dream of and it's becoming so cohesive. It's a rarity in the music business where people come together for the joy of music and the message music can spread. When people come to our shows, I see so much energy, dancing. It's like aerobic classes. Also smiles, which is so important.
I saw a band the other day and it was such a negative thing. I felt bad about it, because while I'm into expressing anger and all the emotions, which are perfectly valid and important to express in music and life, I think we need to emphasize some other things besides anger, hate, and negativity.
You have anger and hate in your songs, but they don't come off as negative energy. They come off as satire and positive energy.
This is true and I'm trying to become more direct about what I'm saying. A lot of the new material is overly positive. A lot of the stuff on the Zapata tape is satirical and cynical, like "Red Blood" and "Peace Fills Your Head". Now I'm really feeding upon the energy of and response to the band and feeding upon the positive things that I'm starting to feel in my own life through meditation and spiritual things. The band is becoming a very spiritual, electric place to be.
And the band is very into experimenting. We did an original Christmas musical that I wrote in December and everyone wore costumes and were characters and sang their own lead song. So it's becoming much more a collective.
As a songwriter and arranger, I need to have my music heard and I've been blessed that I know really great musicians who like my music and are willing to put energy into it. A lot of people spend their whole life writng music and never get heard. I've been extremely lucky that I've written full length pieces. Like two years back, we performed a four movement suite entitled " The Guatemalan Suite" which we played at a church, a much more serious gig than we usually do. And we had special guests, like Perry Robinson, who's a famous clarinet player.
He's on Zapata.
Yeah. He's won the Down Beat award several times. I mean, he's a genius. I know him from Hoboken. he lives there and I just managed to run into that circle playing jazz and we've been friends ever since.
So Ive been able to hear my music played. I know a lot of composers who have to work their darnedest just to get one piece played. Everything I want to get played, I get played because of All Gods' Children.
Now it's not just an outlet for me, but everyone in the band can express themselves. Everyone's becoming very close and feeding off each other and becoming comfortable saying what they want to say musically. It's my job as the leader to provide a forum for everyone to really feel at home and grow, It's about spirituality.
Andy Demos is largely responsible for everything I do as much as anybody in this world, because he is a doer, a man of action. Whatever he feels he acts upon in his life and in his music is so strong because of it. He would say to me "Whatever you want to do, just do it." So I feed off of him.
You went to Rutgers' Mason Gross School of the Arts with Andy, right?
Right. And now in the band, there's lots of people who have that kind of energy that I feed off of and it makes me believe that anything is possible. So I don't want to be cynical about stuff.
If not cynical, will AGC remain political?
Sure. I am trying to to do as much as I can with the music to affect people. Each person has a big effect on the world. Every moment should be used and enjoyed in awareness and being alive. We're going to need that energy to fight the political fight. To draw upon Ghandian principals and Martin Luther King, people who when they wre out there doing their thing, you could feel the life force. They weren't drudging around, saying everything sucks. They were saying that everything is worthwhile. That's why the fight has to happen. And those are the kind of people I draw my energy from or Malcolm X or Mother Theresa. And there's people I meet in every town that are trying to do stuff to make things better.
What's happening is a very serious situation in terms of the environment and in terms of our foreign policies. I don't reallly like what Clinton's doing. I think the way the way they treat the Haitians is completely unbelieveable. It's just double standards all the way around.
I've been to El Salvador and Cuba and you start to get a sense what is happening in these countries. In a lot of ways, people are in the same boat. There's poor people here and they're suffering because of our government. It seems like all governments have a bit of bullshit, but our country is the most powerful and has a big effect on every country. I think we have to act accordingly.
I went to El Salvador in the summer of '92. I was in a small community in the countryside that was completely bombed out, you know, just kids wandering around. And they had a beautiful church that had only one wall left, which was like a symbol. Outside it, they had a piece of a bomb that had blown up, like as a memorial. And it had a U.S.A. insignia on it.
Coming home, everytime I pay the phone bill, part of my money goes to the defense. All of us. And it's really serious. I don't know how to go about changing that in a large way. I try to be involved. I try to be aware, give money if I can to organizations that I know are doing good work.
But I also know you have to work on your spirit within as well. If you can culitivate awareness and joy within, people are attracted to that and want to know about that. I know that gives me the energy to go on, to do a crazy project like AGC.
It's 12 people who hardly get paid. I mean it's starting to get a little better, but...they come from all over NJ and NYC to play. It's a lot of work and travel and energy, but they love it because you can see that we cultivate a healing energy that people really respond to. It's not something that's in my head. Everytime we play, people are blown away. They're like" What the hell are you guys doing? You're going against the system. You're not supposed to think positive. You're not supposed to have a large ensemble. You're not supposed to be playing all this crazy music." It's much more economically sound to be a power trio I guess.
Are AGC rock or jazz?
I'd say it's more of a rock band now. It has elements of improvisation rooted in jazz. It's drawing on all sources. When I went to Cuba, I was studying conga drums, so I was trying to absorb the music there and bring it back. Paul Rieder wrote a song called "Smile For the Satellite", which will probably be on our next record. It had a real Latino feel, but I was able ot, with the help of the percussionists, to solidify it into being real Cuban stuff.
I just finished an arrangement of a traditional mazurka.
You also do a lot of Klezmer music. Then there's the Mariachi polka. You really unite both sides of the world in song.
That's what really blows people's minds and it blows our minds, because people don't hear that sort of stuff in bars. Like when we went down to Virginia, we'd catch them with some sort of Soth African thing or some pop thing. Then once we had them, we'd start turning on the polkas. then it's just madness. Once you have them, people can get pretty open-minded.
Tell me about " Andrew Jackson Was A Very Bad Man."
I was reading People's History Of The United States by Howard Zinn, a famous activist and historian.
Definitely a proponent of Native American rights.
Yes and after I read that, I just sat at the piano. It was like "bing'. It came out in a minute.
The interesing thing about the piece is that it was your idea to make a Native American statement through your music, yet you didn't write the poem that the song accompanies.
Right, well, Jeff Lipstein, the perecussionist, is very interested in the plight of the Native American and is educating himself about various political things. he was very struck by the composition. Then we talked about since he writes poems, maybe he would would to write a poem to accompany it. There have been a few live gigs where we've done "Andrew Jackson" and he's read the poem.
In other words, on the tape, you can only read the poem to yourself while listening to the music. the poem is written in the lyric sheet but not recorded. Might you re-record it as a whole for the CD?
It's possible because we feel it's a strong composition.
What's great about that tune is how simple and to the point the title is.
I try to use titles for my instruments which will bear on what I'm trying to say, which I got from Charles Mingus. He's one of my largest influences. he was really overt in that way with his politics and music.
Can AGC survive in the cultural climate of this country?
Most definitely. We are surviving. I think there's something there that's marketable. The energy is totally unbelievable. It's not every day that you have chemistry like we have. We think we are going to be able to do it. We want to get a record deal..if there's anyone you know in record deal land.
I think we'll be able to survive, because the climate's changing. People are fed up in a lot of ways. How long is it going to take before the bubble bursts? I can see by how many people are coming to the shows that it is having an effect. There are people who want to take part in a positive thing that is dealing with real issues and is like affirming.