Daily Archives: May 18, 2009

MATT MUNISTERI SPEAKS!

The wizard guitarist (plectrist, rather) Matt Munisteri has a ferocious beat, is a cornucopia of new melodies, and is a demonic wit — in addition.  Here’s his latest gig-posting, worth reading even if you are going to be miles away on the dates he indicates here.  And if you can come to one or all of these gigs, so much the better . . . .

Munisteri

Peoples. There are musical rewards aplenty for folks who hang in town this coming Memorial Day weekend.

Thursday May 21st 10pm Barbes

For my first “Third Thursday” gig in two months, I’ll joined by Jon Dryden on piano and Tim Luntzel on bass. One very small part of Jon’s load of genius involves his rather incendiary (to me, to me at least) Floyd Cramer touch on 3-chord chestnuts, so I’m busy scheming.

Friday May 22nd 9pm Jalopy $12

SMECK! A Celebration of String Wizardry

Roy Smeck, “The Wizard of The Strings”, was a 1920’s and 30’s multi-string virtuoso and a vaudeville star, and I’ve recruited two of the most powerful string wizards I know, Doug Wamble and Charlie Burnham, to join me in conjuring the spirits of wizards past and future. All three have us have played with Steven Bernstein’s Millennial Territory Orchestra, but I believe this will mark the first time we’ve ever trio-ed. The evening will begin with Alan Edelstein’s great ’86 Academy Award nominated film “Wizard of the Strings” – with an in person introduction by the auteur – followed by a selection of ultra-rare short films of various by-gone string virtuosi, curated by the mad archivist Russell Scholl. Then we’ll all take a deep breath (of something) and see just how much voodoo Doug, Charlie, and myself can summon with a heap of guitars, banjos and mandolins. And the blood of one dead chicken.

Sunday May 24th 8-11 The Ear Inn – Spring St, off Washington

The EarRegulars

Our leader and savior Jon Kellso will be absent this Sunday, but we’ll be blessed with a visitation of two of the baddest sorcerers-of-the-reeds, Evan Christopher, of New Orleans LA, and Scott Robinson, of Teaneck NJ. Also on hand will be Danton Boller, of Malcolm X Blvd., on bass. Be afraid. And get there early, to plant your booty firmly in a seat – there exists the distinct likelihood that such a lineup will, ahem, “turn this mother out”.

Later that same night, at 1am, (!), Evan, Danton, and I will be playing for a grand celebration in honor of what, up until April 27th 2009, would have been Frankie Manning’s 95th birthday. Actually, earlier that same day we’re playing a private event for the Sidney Bechet Society, but don’t worry; we’ll Man Up. Monday, I rest.

And, of course there’s always a “Law and Order” re-run on somewhere if you’d rather stay home. Yes, I’ve seen to that too. I seek only to keep you entertained.

THE JAZZ IN UTAH

Hunting for something evocative on the FM radio in the car as we made our way through this beautiful state, I said wryly to the Beloved that it was ironic that the “Utah Jazz” was a famous sports team . . . but that so far I hadn’t heard any jazz in Utah except for those moments of Jack Purvis and Bobby Hackett I had provided myself through the iPod.

Serendipity was at work, though.  Tonight, in a Hampton Inn in Provo (very nice — although with the modern perversity of a wall-mounted television set in the bathroom, for the multi-taskers among us) I went in search of a cup of Earl Grey.  As I walked towards the lobby, I heard two distinct strains of sound.  One, rather harsh, I could identify as the huge flat-screen television in the “breakfast room.”  Predictable and reasonably easy to block out.  The other, sweeter strain, was familiar — and startling in its familiarity.  Had you been able to shadow me, you would have found me standing in the middle of a deserted hall of rooms, a hall of locked doors, with my face turned towards the little white plastic speaker in the ceiling.  Reverent.  Rapt.

What was I hearing?  Nothing less than Louis Armstrong, circa 1956, from the Decca MUSICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY, singing and playing GEORGIA ON MY MIND.   I stood there, surprised by joy (to recall C.S. Lewis) until the last high note died out.  Ashley, the young woman on duty at the desk, told me that corporate headquarters makes up a new “playlist,” hours long, and sends the Inn a new version regularly.  What forces were at work to get me in the hall at the moment Louis was singing and playing I cannot tell, but I’m grateful to what or whomever they might be.  “The road leads back to you,” indeed!

Louis Huff Post

JIM GOODWIN, REMEMBERED

My friend Barb Hauser, the wise woman of San Francisco jazz, sent this along — an obituary notice for the brilliant, plunging cornetist (later pianist) Jim Goodwin, written by his friend — the justly renowned Dave Frishberg.

James R. (Jim) Goodwin, the son of Katherine and Robert Goodwin, was born March 16, 1944 in Portland, OR, and died April 19, 2009 in Portland.  Jim was a natural musician with no formal training.  Practitioners and admirers of traditional jazz on both sides of the Atlantic have long regarded him as somewhat of a legend, and his heroic cornet playing, influenced by Louis Armstrong and Wild Bill Davison, was warmly appreciated by his musical colleagues as well as by audiences who listened and loved it.

Jim was a star first baseman at Hillsboro High – a left-handed line-drive hitter.  After high school he served in the Oregon National Guard, then trained on Wall Street for a career in finance, returned to Portland, joined Walston & Co., and became for a time the nation’s youngest stockbroker.  Jim then put aside the financial career and began to devote his life to playing jazz on the cornet.

During his forty-year career as a cornetist and pianist, Jim had long residencies in Breda, Holland and Berkeley, California, as well as in his home town of Portland.  He played with many prominent musicians of the “old school,” including Joe Venuti, Manny Klein, Phil Harris, and Portland’s Monte Ballou (Jim’s godfather).  He toured extensively in Western Europe and became probably better known there than in the US.  During his long residence in the Bay Area he played regularly at San Francisco’s Fairmont Hotel and at Pier 23, as well as in three World Series with the Oakland A’s pep band.  Before his recent return to Portland, he spent several years living in rural Brownsmead, OR, near Astoria.

Jim became a pioneer in the Portland micro-brewing industry when, together with Fred Bowman and Art Larrance, he established the Portland Brewing Company.  During the 1990s he and Portland pianist Dave Frishberg played regular duet performances at the company’s Flanders Street Pub, and the two made an internationally acclaimed CD on the Arbors Jazz label.

In recent years Mr. Goodwin was on the Board of Directors of Congo Enterprises, and he served briefly as CFO of that company, leaving office months before the scandal became headline news.

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Forest Park was very dear to Jim. He spent a lot of time there hiking and running.

Donations may be made to: Forest Park Conservancy

1507 NW 23rd Avenue

Portland, OR 97210

Tel: 503-223-5449

– Include a note stating that the donation is “in honor of James Goodwin.”

– Donations may be made online at http://www.forestparkconservancy.org

– A space is provided to enter the honoree’s name.

There will be a party honoring Jim on Saturday, September 19th, in Portland.

For more information contact, Retta Christie at ARChristie@aol.com.