Posts Tagged ‘Masada’

Getting Caught Up

Wednesday, November 18th, 2015

Hey All,

As always, I hope this message finds you in the best of spirits and moods. Lately, it seems as though there is much turmoil in the world and let’s be frank about it; The world is not doing so well these days. But, I believe it can still be better and that ultimately, one way or another, it shall. Perhaps it could be that as I write this I’m watching South Park, a show that always tends to put me at ease in ever so strange as that may seem. It works wonders.

I wanted to take some time to update this site since it’s been quite a while, but it feels grossly inappropriate to be talking about what’s been happening the last few weeks and the in the weeks to come, but I can say that at least on a personal level, it has been wonderful. Dapp Theory had a wonderful little stint in the north east, performing in New York City’s Cornelia Street Cafe, Montreal’s Resonance Cafe, and New Haven’s Firehouse 12, which was followed by a very special show of John Zorn’s Simulacrum at The Village Vanguard. To be honestly cliched, it went by in a blur of a whirlwind, one that I will never forget. Many thanks to those of you who came out to support us. Immediately following this show, Simulacrum returned to Eastside Recording Studios to record the fourth studio album, featuring Kenny Wollesen on Vibes. It took us two day’s to track and a little over a day to mix, once we all was said and done with this we went out for our very first run as a band. It truly was a fun and spectacular run, another milestone for the band and for us personally. It will have been only a year this coming December that this band has existed, and already it’s been a dream come true. All in all, it’s been wonderfully fun.

As I’ve finally updated the calendar- not completely, but soon it will all be sorted- There are some exciting shows coming up this very week, starting Thursday with Felix Pastorius & Hipster Assassins at one of our favorite haunts, The 55 Bar. We will also be playing this coming Sunday along side Mass Mental at the premier of Rob Trujillo’s Jaco: A Documentary Film , at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Before that, Braindance will once again be performingin NYC at Santos Party House. Pretty soon I will have a couple of videos up from one of our practices, once again in the crude, guerrilla-style, spiderman-angeled way that I seem to take videos. While we are on the subject of videos…
Abraxas, Live in Bogota

Dapp Theory, Live at Cornelia Street Cafe

Simulacrum, Live in Philly

I will leave this post here for now, but as always be well and I hope you enjoy yourselves! till next time…

Cheers,
Kenny

Post-Secret Chiefs 3, Pre-Psycho Magia

Thursday, December 5th, 2013

Greetings,

Seemingly, I’ve begun a new habit of updating this site once every blue moon, but I do believe it is now time for said moon to shine. Quite a bit has taken place for me personally since last I wrote a column in the News section of this site, but I assure you, it has all been quite pleasant and uplifting, gratifying really, to say the least. After the conclusion of what I would consider to have been an incredibly successful and utterly exhilarating tour with Secret Chiefs 3, and also realizing that my drum tracks actually made it on to Book of Souls Folio A, for which I had No idea I would get to be a part of, I returned to New York feeling recharged and reinvigorated, honored and overjoyed and ready to come home and focus back on my music, both for my solo projects and with all the new upcoming Resolution 15 music that is now rising to the surface (after a very tumultuous year for the band). What was also in the works is something that has now nearly come to fruition and I’m very happy to begin to announce Some details about what has transpired, post SC3 tour.

About 5 months ago, myself and the guys in Masada, Book of Angels, Volume 19: Abraxas (or “BoA:19” or “Abraxas,” for short), were chosen to be part of a new project. John Zorn had approached Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz, leader and guide of Abraxas, to record a brand new album of music that John had written in memorium for philosopher Giordano Bruno, entitled “Metem Psycho Magia.” He specifically wanted the line up of Abraxas to record this brand new set of non-Masada/Book of Angels music, and instead of it being a songbook, was more of a realized composition. The difference this time being that we would be rehearsing, performing, and recording along side our illustrious composer, as opposed to creating the arrangements and everything ourselves and getting the ‘OK’ from the composer. For all of us, the process began as soon as we received the written scores as homework immediately ensued for all four of us. Trying as best to figure out How to approach the music, what ideas we had work or didn’t work, what we felt needed to happen, How to “interpret” each piece became a new challenge, especially considering our individual touring schedules. All this effort and time lead up to a series of long and focused rehearsals, followed several shows that took place at The Stone in Alphabet City. We started with one night full of our ‘BoA:19′ material, followed 2 nights for the premier of “Metem PychoMagia.”

The performances were Rough at best. The band, as a whole and individually, were struggling to find the voice of each piece, as well as the overall spirit of what PyschoMagia” meant. Needless to say, we went into Laswell’s studio feeling pretty defeated, but somehow, John was able to pull the fire and ‘magic’ out of all of us and to be honest, I think the end result will blow what we did with BoA:19 out of the box! The entire album went from Lackluster to Psychotic, all thanks in part to the artistry of everyone involved, as well as the dedication and leadership of Zorn. This being my first ever in the studio with John, I have to say it was a dream come true. I remember listening to recordings of Naked City and Cobra as a kid and being frightened, as well as intrigued, by what I was hearing: Most people simply didn’t make music like this in Miami and I considered Dolphy and Shostakovich to be the extent of what I thought of as “peculiar.” (This was also around the first time I discovered Mr. Bungle, whom I heard first). But to share the studio with a hero was an earth shattering experience and it’s one that I’ll Never forget. Thankfully, there is auditory proof of what we did and the result of all of our hard work and collaboration. For the first time in a long time, I am proud of music that I got to be a part of, and more so, my performance of said music. (AKA, I actually for once Like what I played!)

In the upcoming weeks, I will be able to report some exciting news about this as the details continue to be sussed out, but let’s just say that it will entail a brand new album to be released sometime early next year, a performance at the upcoming Winter Jazz Festival, as well as a tour of the EU in early 2014!

Though this year is drawing close to an end, I have to say that I’m beyond excited as to what 2014 bring musically (not so much environmentally) and I look forward to the day when I will be able to share a slew of exciting new music for all of you! As always, thank you for taking the time to read this diatribe and till next time, be well and see you soon.

 

Cheers,

Kenny

How Does That Song Go? It’s Been a…

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

Greetings,

It has been quite a while since I’ve updated this site, but I assure you it has been for a good reason! Mainly, it’s been due to the recent business I’ve been enjoying both in NYC and abroad. Since my last frighteningly-distant message to you all, I’ve been all over NYC with a myriad of groups, one of which just performed at the Zorn @60 Masada Marathon that took place at NYU’s Skirball Center with Abraxas, as well as our excursion to Roccella, Italy for the Roccella Jazz Festival! But all in all, things have been very inspirational recently in regards to music.

As time has the uncanny ability to travel ahead within the moment of thought, it occurs to me that the Secret Chiefs 3/Goblin tour is almost upon us and I’ve mentioned almost nothing about it, save for on my social media sites (Facebook /Twitter), but not here. So here’s to me announcing my growing excitement to the upcoming adventure that I’m sure the Goblin/Secret Chiefs 3 tour will bring!

I look forward to seeing new and old faces at these upcoming shows, to learning and growing, and to rocking out on stage for you all!

As always, I hope all is well with you and see you very soon

cheers,

 

kenny

Secret Chiefs 3 & MyMusicMasterclass.com

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

Greetings,

I will try to be brief since we are in the midst of the Secret Chiefs 3 North American, but recently I was asked to film a instrunctional video for the website MyMusicMasterclass.com, which as of today has gone Public! I’ve never done one of these before, but I have to say it was quite fun, even with Ari Hoenig watching me as I was taping! All in all, I think the video came out pretty well despite the fact that my macbook died and couldn’t be used to play all the music samples that myself and Stacy O’Dell created. The video is available for both download & purchase for anyone interested in hearing my approach to creating somewhat complex grooves and my practice routines for playing blast beats. It’s definitely worth a gander!

As some of you may know, the Secret Chiefs 3 tour has begun, with our second show taking place tonight in Seattle, WA, at The Crocodile. Last night’s show at The Sunset was incredibly fun and nerve-wracking all at the same time, but technical issues and brain-farts aside, I think it was a fun show and a lot of fun was had by all. I think it helped to get some of the cobwebs kicked and nerves dealt with.

Well, I would write more, but soundcheck is upon us! But for now, please check out my videos and I hope that you enjoy them and find them useful! Here are links for those of you interested:

Developing “Smeared” Grooves

Blast Beat Warm-Up’s & Exercises

Post Secret Chiefs 3 Tour and December 2012

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Greetings All,

I’ve begun to write this from a coffee shop in midtown Manhattan, though I’m sure I won’t finish this writing here. By the sheer fact that I’m updating this site, you can safely surmise that I’ve returned from the Secret Chiefs 3 tour of Europe. That is, of course, if the title wasn’t enough of a give away for you. Myself and Toby Driver arrived Tuesday afternoon to a thankfully not-so-crowded JFK International Airport, only to take what would have been the most roundabout and costly way to either of our Brooklyn homes via a very frustrated cabbie. (He spent a good chunk of time in traffic riffing at some chick on the phone). But that’s the beauty of living in a major metropolitan city, and though breakfast in Paris’ red light district was no where near as gross as you’re thinking (more like a park slope brunch, but at a restaurant called Twinkie; I shit you not), there’s No place like home!

For all intents and purposes, the SC3 tour was a huge success and incredible amount of fun was had by all. It’s somewhat strange that it is all over now and everyone is back to their “regular routines” considering how intensely this band tours. Everyday there’s a new show, possibly in a different country, but never really a day off (with the exception of one day where the gig fell through), constant load in, setup, soundcheck, show, break down, load out, rinse & repeat. After a while, it becomes hypnotic; The lack of sleep coupled with the constant lifting and moving into fully rocked-out shows, then back to reality and manuel labor,  it soon becomes a physical and spiritual high. But after about 6 weeks, it’s nice to be able to come back to a place like New York and say, “Ah, back to normalcy!” I think for most people, calling NYC normal would be a rather strange leap in logic. Then again, I tend to favor strange leaps in logic.

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Fun Shows & An Old Video Found (It has a drum solo in it, ooh!)

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Greetings,

Here’s a clip of myself and good friend, pianist  Pablo Vergara, taking solos on the song Obeahman by composer and saxophonist Jorge Sylvester. This was taken in January of 2011 at the Baha’i Center in Manhattan as part of Mike Longo’s long running Tuesday Night Jazz Series. The group is called The A.C.E. Collective (Afro-Caribbean Experimental Collective, if you will) and is lead by Jorge Sylvester. Other members include bassist Donald Nicks, vocalist Nora McCarthy, and trumpeter Waldron ‘Mahdi’ Ricks. The Group will have a performance on Oct 18th at the Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, NY. I unfortunately will not be able to be apart of this, but they have a very special kick-ass guest to serve as my sub. It’s music that truly is worth hearing live.

This performance is a little something different than what you’re probably used to seeing me do, but I hope you enjoy it nevertheless.

In other news, Shanir Blumenkranz’s Abraxas-Masada Book 2 Volume 19 will be making another appearance on October 9th at The Stone at 10PM, preceded by Samuel Adams & Adrian Knight, followed by a performance of the Ze Luis Quartet on October 10th at Nublu at 930PM, opening for Forro In The Dark, and lastly, Dapp Theory will be performing on Friday October 12th at The Blue Note as part of the late night groove series. The doors for Friday are at midnight and the show starts at 12:30AM.

More news to follow, but right now I desperately need to get back to studying Secret Chiefs 3’s Ishraqiyun (This music is so, So awesome and so nuts, cannot wait to play this!)

Cheers,

Kenny