World Poetry Celebrated Musician Devin Gray!

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: 

 

 Ariadne’s Notes: On January 10, at 1:30 PM PST  the World Poetry Café Radio Show CFRO 100.5 FM   welcomed  the talented drummer-Composer Devin Gray celebrating the  second album, Dirigo Rataplan II, with performances in Belgium, the UK and Switzerland. Featuring his all-star quartet Dirigo Rataplan with Ellery Eskelin, Michael Formanek and Dave Ballou. for more info: http://devingraymusic.com/ Also, a gentleman frim Switzerland wrote in to tell us that he attended their European concert and he really enjoyed it and was excited about Devin coming on the show! This was really exciting!

It was a fascinating show, delving into the intricacies of composing and the personal attention to detail and the need to put mind, body and soul into each composition. Also discussed was the difficulty of making a career out of it at this time when it is so hard to make a living creating and playing Jazz.   This show is a MUST Hear for composers , musicians and creators.

TO LISTEN TO THE SHOW, CLICK HERE!

 

 

 

 

There are times when music lovers can just feel a talent coming into his or her own, when that artist is someone to catch onstage or on record at every opportunity. Drummer-composer Gray has arrived at such a moment. The Brooklyn-based artist made his leader debut in 2012 with the Skirl Records release Dirigo Rataplan, which featured him fronting the eponymous band with Eskelin, Formanek and Ballou, each a master improviser renowned far and wide among fans of creative music. Cadence magazine declared that initial disc to be “fantastic,” while JazzTimes said that Gray’s debut represented “the work of a young artist who knows who he is.”

Now, after six years of intensive experience as a leader and sideman on both sides of the Atlantic, Gray has reconvened this all-star group for Dirigo Rataplan II, released on CD, vinyl, digitally and for streaming via Rataplan Records on Sept. 21, 2018. Time Out New York has praised Gray’s compositions for balancing “formal elasticity with a meticulous sense of pacing.” The new album brims with more earworm melody, richly implied harmony and a loose-limbed sense of rhythm as something physical and flowing – as blood, as breath. Fans of jazz from Ornette Coleman and Henry Threadgill to Dave Holland and Craig Taborn will dig this organic mix of composition and improvisation, structure and freedom, atmosphere and dynamism.

About the evolution of Dirigo Rataplan and his writing for the band, Gray says: “I’ve become more at ease with following my natural artistic impulses. The experiences I’ve had over the past six years have been so inspiring – in the intense, ultra-energized New York jazz scene, of course, but also in Europe, where players in improvised music are so open to different genres and have this holistic approach to art and creativity. With Dirigo Rataplan II, there is more free improvisation in the music, but I also think the melodic fluidity between the composition and the improvisation is more seamless, with one flowing into the other in a way that I really like. This music is personal for me, but I want Mike, Ellery and Dave to do what it is they do, to maximize the pieces in the way that I know they can.”

About working with Gray, Formanek says: “Devin has grown as a composer since that first quartet recording session in 2011, but most important, he has a much more evolved sense of who he is as a musician, and also of who we are in the band as improvisers. These instincts take time to develop, and it has been great to see that process unfold in both his playing and his composing. This music is free and open with a lot of room for improvisation, but the tunes also have an intrinsic rhythmic and melodic character to them, a color and energy. With the quartet having played together more now, the sessions for the new album felt even better.”

For Gray, what is most vital about Formanek “is not just that his tone and sense of time are so incredible. It’s also that he cares so much about doing whatever he can to ensure the quality of the music in front of him. He’s a composer’s improviser, in that way. I feel this total, unspoken trust with him.” About Eskelin, Gray says: “Ellery sets the bar so high for improvisation. The fluidity of his solos, the intense forward motion – that’s what New York musicians have more than anyone else.” Regarding Ballou, the drummer adds: “I’ve known Dave’s playing intimately since I was a kid. I don’t think he has ever sounded better, with that beautiful tone and wide palette of expression. He brings a strong interpretive sense to my music in that he anticipates what I’m looking for, yet via his own sensibility. Working with cats like this, you don’t have to worry about individualism – it’s in everything they do. They bring what are just notes on a page to real life.”

Reflecting further on Dirigo Rataplan II, Gray concludes: “I don’t set out to make jazz records, per se. I set out to make music, period – to capture the moment, the contemporary feel of the music, hoping that it can reflect in some small way how we live now and what we all have to deal with as human beings in the world.”

In addition to Dirigo Rataplan, Devin Gray leads the quartet Relative Resonance, featuring Chris Speed, Kris Davis and Chris Tordini. Reviewing that band’s eponymous Skirl Records album, All About Jazz said: “The vitality of Relative Resonance can’t be denied… the music here literally sparkles with wit and resourcefulness.” On record, Gray has also led his Cloudsounds trio (with Ingrid Laubrock and Corey Smythe) and his quartet Fashionable Pop Music (with Tordini, Jonathan Goldberger and Ryan Ferreira). He recently released a hard-grooving digital single fronting his quartet Meta Cache with Jeremy Viner, Elias Stemeseder and Kim Cass.

As a sideman, Gray has recorded recent albums as part of Nate Wooley’s Argonautica sextet, trumpeter Daniel Levine’s trio Knuckleball (with Marc Hannaford) and a trio led by pianist Santiago Leibson (with Drew Gress). Of late, the drummer has played with Dave Liebman and Tony Malaby, along with touring Europe at the head of a trio with Speed and Gress. Gray’s recent collaborators also include Gerald Cleaver, Uri Caine, Andrea Parkins, Satoko Fuji, Richard Bonnet, Daniel Guggenheim, Marc Ducret, Frank Gratkowski, Jacob Anderskov, Eve Risser and Susana Santos Silva.

All About Jazz gave the recording four stars and called it “a high-flying, breathtaking slice of up-to-the-minute jazz from four musicians at the top of their games.”

Source and thanks to Braitwaite and Katz. 

 

 

 

World Poetry Celebrates The Great Michael Mirolla!

 

Ariadne’s Notes: I am back on the World Poetry Café Radio Show, CFRO 100.5 FM  after a three weeks break. Thanks to Victor Swartzman and Diego Bastinutti for keeping the show going. We have been going through a lot of challenges with our electrical problems and are now in a hotel for an extended time. I am doing my best to keep up with all the wonderful e-mails and offers of help and prayers. Please be patient with me. I had hope to launch WP Media with correspondents from all over the world but will need to postpone this.

Last week, we had the honour of having an amazing  guest call in and to help us celebrate our 21st year of being on the air. Michael read his poems talked about his life and even answered a question from a 14 year old Nigerian boy who wanted his advise about writing. The answer was greatly appreciated by the young man who sends his thanks.  Also, we want to welcome Michael  Mirolla as the new writer in residence at the famed Joy  Kogawa house starting in November and hope we can do a welcome program for him.

*Photo: Happy New Year from Afghan Peace Poet Mahmood Jan in Kabul.

PLEASE LISTEN TO THIS SPECIAL SHOW HERE!

 

 

 

 

 

Michael Mirolla is the author of a clutch of novels, poetry collections, short story collections, and plays. He is a three-time winner of the Bressani Literary Prize. His novel Berlin was a finalist for the Indie and National Book Awards. The short story, “A Theory of Discontinuous Existence,” was selected for The Journey Prize Anthology; and “The Sand Flea” was a Pushcart Prize nominee. Born in Italy, raised in Montreal, Michael now lives in Oakville, Ontario. For more information: http://www.michaelmirolla.com. For an old WP Link:http://worldpoetry.ca/?p=11150

To a poet struggling to recover her words

Please note: this is not a metaphor.

In the spongy grey room, walls reticulated,
bony chair bolted to upheaving floor,
spotlight at 10 flickers per minute,
she sits. There’s a hole in the side
of her head. There’s a hole where they
extracted the over-eager building blocks,
the out-of-control tidbits of DNA.
The incisions were precise, one must assume.
But it didn’t prevent the words … her words …
from escaping into the sterile air.

Now, a saintly smile framing her face,
she sits in the bony chair inside
the spongy grey room with reticulated walls
and reaches out to recapture
the stray letters that may or may not
have survived without her tender care.

I sit across from her, spoon-feeding
alphabet strands into a hungry mouth
fearful that the words that have kept her whole
that have defined her
that connect her to herself
that have built this grey room
will be unable to make the return journey.

Please note: This has not been a metaphor. 

Also, he read the following  poem which is a favorite since I remember siting in a cave listening to my dad read Plato (The Cave)  to us.

In The Cave of Lost Language

When rifling the pockets that hold
the day in thrall there is always
some thing that slips through the fingers.
No matter how tightly we grip
the fabric. Or fingernail dig
into its deepest corners. Is it
possible the contents change each time
we reach in? Or does the pocket
itself become altered by the hand
as it latches onto a fistful
of what was previously there
but is no more?

And then, one day
without warning, from hand to mouth,
the familiar phrases themselves
decide to come and go as they please,
shape shifting before they disappear.
And you’re prone to ask: What was … what is …
that word once so strong, so anchored
now fluttering out the window
like a stale balloon’s flaccid breath?

At first, you tell yourself: Worry
not. So what if within your grasp
“brother” of a sudden becomes
anaia and “crow” re-turns
to belex? As long as one word
simply morphs into another.
As long as reaching down dislodges
those helpful phrases you can use
as place-holders for who you might be:
wolf/hirpus tongue/osvache. As long
as those scratches, familiar or not,
re-appear on the wall at day’s end.

There is that comfort of finding
something … anything, is there not?
Until your hand comes up empty,
an open palm holding a blank space.
And your heart stutters and you grope
about in your Kline bottle pocket
in search of one word … one fragment
that you can inscribe … just one clue
that’ll keep you from vanishing.

Michael Mirolla (C) All rights reserved by the author.

World Poetry Celebrates the Talented Chris Bailey!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ariadne’s Notes: The World Poetry Café Radio Show welcomed two very special guests December 6, 1-2 pm PST on CFRO 100.5 FM.
Calling in at 1:10 PM PST was the lovely Nigerian, Canadian filmmaker Shasha Nakhai with her new doc, Take Light which will be shown on the documentary channel at 9 pm across Canada on Sunday December 9. https://www.takelightfilm.com/

Our second caller at 1:30 PM PST was the talented poet from PEI, Chris Bailey with his new book: What Your Hands Have Done by Nightwood Editions , www.nightwoodeditiond.com The book is a masterful portrayal of fisherman and family as well as a vivid description of culture. Having lived in Kodiak, Alaska among fisherman, I was fascinated by certain similarities, among them being fiercely independent and proud of their lifestyle.
For the first time we welcomed a girl nature poet Tshering Zangmo Namsa from Bhutan with her moving poem on unity. Thanks to Victor Schwartzman , our technical engineer for reading her poem.
We read two poems from n’s new groundbreaking book, Caution: Deep Water about the concerns of seniors and retirement living.
CD music was by Stan Rogers and Djelimady Tounkara. A special treat was a beautiful Seasons Greeting From Yoshifumi Sakura , World Poetry Music Director and composer of our anthem as well as a great postcard and message from World Poetry Correspondent, Rui Carvalho with a message in Portuguese “Tudo De Boh or “All the Best”. Author Sharon Rowe had a brand new story for her second book: Big Bessie Goes to Mars, read by Victor Schwartzman.

LISTEN TO THE SHOW HERE!

 

 

 

 

Chris Bailey is a fisherman and award winning author from North Lake , Prince Edward  Island, He has an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Guelph and is a past recipient of the Milton Acorn Award. His work has appeared in numerous journals .

HAVE A COOKIE

The way your father tells you is simple. To the point.
Speaking with the tone he’d use to say the direction
of the tides, what your brother Tom in Fort Mac said,
or describing the noise the truck axle makes.

His hand on the thing sprouting from his neck:
The doctor says it’s probably cancer. They’re cutting
it off next week. A strip of paper towel in front of him.
A cup filled with tea. A new pack of cookies that rattles

when he reaches in, not looking at you. He endures
your stunned silence, says, I asked if he had his pocket
knife on him, said he could do it right there
if he wanted. Then: Sit down, boy. Have a cookie.

Not knowing what else to do or say, you sit.
Take a cookie. The kind with icing in the middle. One
half vanilla, the other chocolate. He fills ice cream
dishes with these for long days on the boat.

Something to snack on when working in the sun.
You snap the cookie in two, then four, and stare
a while at what your hands have done.

Chris Bailey (C) all rights reserved.