Pat Metheny’s orchestrion project

What’s an orchestrion, you ask? Wikipedia (of course) has the answer:

An orchestrion is a generic name for a machine that plays music and is designed to sound like an orchestra or band.

Legendary jazz guitarist Pat Metheny recently recorded an orchestrion-based album, and he’s taking it on the road. A friend and I are going to see the show when it comes through town in May. I can’t wait!

A Room 34 Christmas — Updated

This is my official submission for the RPM Holiday Challenge. Same idea, completely different recording. I didn’t quite like the direction my first version of “Greensleeves” was taking, so I started over from scratch, mixing up the rhythms a little (changing it from 6/8 to 9/8) and going for more of a straightforward jazz waltz vibe.

This recording features me on tenor sax, keyboards (electric piano and Mellotron), 5-string electric bass and drum programming.

Apologies to Miles Davis. You’ll know it when you hear it. And if not, so what?

[audio:http://blog.room34.com/wp-content/uploads/underdog/room34_greensleeves.mp3]

Download the MP3
(Right-click and choose the appropriate menu option to save the file.)

OK, winter, we get it

I knew it was probably coming, so it wasn’t a total shock. But still… I woke up this morning to this:

Ugh. It will most likely have melted by noon, I suppose. Not that that will do much to repair my severely damaged psychological state.

Even worse, I’m annoyed that the default CSS for the new WordPress gallery functionality uses float: left so when there are only two images, it doesn’t center them, but leaves a nice, perfectly-sized void where a third photo would have gone. I’ll have to fix that. Speaking of voids, my annoyance (and distraction) at snow and CSS is somewhat compensated for by the smooth “electronic breakbeat jazz” grooves of Revolution Void.

Update, 8:13 AM: Great, now it’s actually snowing more. Take that, global warming! (Yes, please check out that site, if for no other reason than to prove that just because your URL is “globalwarming.org” doesn’t mean you’re a benevolent non-profit trying to save the world.)

Stirring up the “Bitches Brew”

Miles Davis - Bitches BrewThere are some albums in my collection (such as Relayer by Yes, of all things) that I have purchased multiple (and I mean many) times over the years as new and improved versions have been released. But for some reason, after 15 or so years, I’m still stuck with the quiet, murky, horribly mastered original CD release of Bitches Brew, one of the most influential of all Miles Davis albums (all of which are influential in their way). Why? Well, that’s a good question, especially now that I’ve ripped off paid tribute to it with a track on my latest CD, Unnatural Disasters.

The price has probably been the biggest deterrent. Since it’s a double album, and most versions now feature copious bonus tracks, it’s almost impossible to find for less than $20. Even for download. iTunes has it priced at $19.90, and since all but one of the tracks are at least 11 minutes long, you can’t just scoop up the 7 individual tracks for $6.93.

Amazon MP3 Downloads has it priced at a more reasonable $16.99, but here’s the catch: you can still buy all of the individual tracks, even the 27-minute title track, separately for 99 cents each. It requires some more cumbersome clicking around (since ease of use has never been Amazon’s strongest suit, strangely enough), but it’s worth the extra calories burned by your right index finger, and the minute or two all of that takes, to save ten bucks!