Tel Aviv
3/4/2000 - An interesting past month. Among my activities was my first gig ever in Tel Aviv, Israel, as part of the Jazz, Blues and Videotape Festival organized over there. The first evening was a duo concert with saxophonist Chris Potter, followed by a second evening of just myself doing a solo piano concert.
I actually remember Chris from the Manhattan School of Music where we were both students in the early 90's, and I suppose we had been following each other's career's since then, but always from afar, since we were never really part of the same musical circles. I hadn't really been exposed to a lot of his work since (though I was impressed that he had recently been awarded the prestigious JazzPar prize), but when they threw us together I was eager to explore his conceptual approach and to see how it might gel (or not gel!) with mine. Chris is an almost cerebral, technical player - someone was executes breathtakingly knowledgable lines on his instrument with such effortlessness that one is led to believe that he isn't even trying - he rarely seems to break a sweat. Yes he is far from another "young lion" in his approach - through his work with Dave Douglas and through the relative breadth of his compositions stylistically, I could see that he had quite the adventurous, open mind.
Chris and I met the day of the gig and rehearsed for an hour or so, half his tunes, half mine, and it was interesting that because our respective compositions were so diverse in nature (mine tended to be deceptively "simpler" and more melodic; his more chromatic, with lots of interesting twists and turns), we soon realized that we were in for a very varied musical conversation between two people with quite different approaches. The concert was sold out (and was actually videotaped for possible worldwide release in the future), and I think it went fine. Especially when I listened back to the tape made of the event, I think I realized that our almost "opposite" musical angles resulted simply in more variety for the listener, which ended up arguably not being a bad thing at all, and Chris seemed to enjoy himself also.

Also that day I got my first taste of Jerusalem - Chris and I took a cab over there and literally did the "one hour tour", which was all we had time for before our rehearsal. Thankfully, our cab driver was very knowledgable, and he plunged us right into old Jerusalem, and we managed to get out and walk around, examining the church where Christ was purportedly brought after his cruxificion (the cab driver, who was Jewish, chose to remain outside for this); and then ultimately to the Wailing Wall. where we donned temporary paper prayer caps and just observed, amidst very orthodox-looking Jews praying devotionally, their heads bowing repeatedly in focused worship. I felt very much the outside observer about this, I must say - the atmosphere was probably as foreign to me as visiting China for the first time would likely be; my sense of detached observation was heightened by my personal lack of adherence to any specific organized religion myself (not that I'm not a spiritual person, I always add defensively :-)). But I certainly respected the sacredness with which these surroundings are obviously regarded.
My 2nd night in Tel Aviv I performed solo piano, and though the crowd by this time had thinned a bit (there was another concert I think featuring some local players in part going on in an adjacent room at the same time), the audience was attentive and very responsive, and, as always, it was a pleasure to be able to present my own musical conception to others. I also had time after this final gig to hang with the festival organizers, who were all young and enthusiastic and basically "unjaded"; we went to a nearby bar where I ordered my typically "unhip" glass o' orange juice, and we all just talked until very early in the morning.
All in all, a very memorable, in fact unforgettable trip....
feature download
Improvisations on Bach's Goldberg Variations (tribute to Glenn Gould)
From my recent concert at the Barrie Jazz Festival, presented as a part of a concert of "Canadian Inspirations", from Neil  Young to Alanis Morisette (stream the entire second set from the "Canadian Inspirations" concert  here (D.D. Jackson Radio)).
living jazz audio & video podcasts
Organ Nation demo
Audio - Demo recording of our new collective group featuring myself on Hammond B3 organ; Alex Harding on bari sax; Walter Szymanski on trumpet; and Brandon Lewis on drums. Recorded at Dubway Studios, Feb./09.
Organ Nation at Cornelia Street Cafe
Audio - Live recording of our collective group Organ Nation at our premiere gig this past Feb./08 at the Cornelia Street Cafe featuring myself: organ; Alex Harding - baritone sax; Walter Szymanski - trumpet; and Brandon Lewis - drums.
living jazz weblog
8/23/2012 - recent activity...
4/28/2011 - Billy Bang, R.I.P.
9/1/2010 - Freeplay music and
4/15/2010 - latest activities
10/10/2009 - Manhatpro
2/28/2009 - past few months update...
7/14/2008 - "Canadian Inspirations"
3/10/2008 - hear my solo piano performances at Alanis Morissette Tribute concert in Ottawa
12/24/2007 - R.I.P., Oscar Peterson
10/27/2007 - A chat with Andrew Dubber of New Music Strategies
10/4/2007 - James Carter recording, Moonfest, & other recent activities...
8/1/2007 - New Music Strategies plus MOMA concert
7/7/2007 - on Chicago City Limits and other "mini-successes" of the day...
7/1/2007 - I couldn't resist... and bought an iPhone!...
6/30/2007 - performance with Ahmed Abdullah at Sweet Rhythm
6/2/2007 - new Living Jazz Podcast is up...
12/19/2006 - gigs about town with Dean Bowman
11/29/2006 - appearance on CBC's "Fuse" program
10/14/2006 - Reflections on the birth of my new son Jarrett in Podcast #19
9/11/2006 - In Memory of 9/11
7/14/2006 - Trudeau opera news spreading fast
6/20/2006 - my Trudeau opera
6/6/2006 - John Hicks memorial
4/29/2006 - jazz opera Quebecite in New Brunswick
3/16/2006 - "Serenity Song" track from upcoming "Serenity Song" CD now available for free download
3/8/2006 - Thoughts on recent Bret Primack Seminar on Web Publicity
2/27/2006 - Chris Howes interview plus more updates
1/14/2006 - live from Cambodia: thoughts on my IAJE panel (1 of 2)
1/13/2006 - Live from Cambodia: thoughts on my IAJE panel (2 of 2)
12/6/2005 - My first Artistshare blog entry
7/5/2005 - a new Trudeau opera
3/25/2005 - Solo piano in Taiwan (part 1 of 2)
3/24/2005 - solo piano in Taiwan (part 2 of 2)
2/18/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 1 of 4)
2/18/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 2 of 4)
2/17/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 3 of 4)
2/16/2005 - Musician-in-Residence, St. John's College (Part 4 of 4)
1/4/2005 - New Year's Eve in Japan (part 1 of 2)
1/3/2005 - New Year's Eve in Japan (part 2 of 2)
9/15/2004 - JaraSum Jazz Festival, South Korea
8/14/2002 - Bluiett/Jackson/El'Zabar mini-west coast tour
3/4/2002 - Last Few Months Update (part 1 of 2)
3/4/2002 - Last Few Months Update (part 2 of 2)
3/3/2002 - Thoughts on 9/11
9/9/2001 - New Music Festival Premiere (part 1 of 2)
9/8/2001 - New Music Festival Premiere (part 2 of 2)
9/13/2000 - D.D. Jackson Group in Japan
7/1/2000 - A Canadian in New York (part 1 of 2)
6/30/2000 - A Canadian in New York (part 2 of 2)
5/20/2000 - Yukon adventure
3/13/2000 - Juno Awards
3/5/2000 - Tel Aviv
3/5/2000 - My New Columbus Band
2/1/2000 - Musings on Wynton after the Jazz at Lincoln Center (part 1 of 2)
1/31/2000 - Musings on Wynton after the Jazz at Lincoln Center (part 2 of 2)
9/10/1999 - My first RCA CD's
9/9/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 1 of 3)
9/8/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 2 of 3)
9/7/1999 - Re-addressing my classical past (part 3 of 3)
3/21/1999 - Thoughts on Fred Hopkins and Jaki Byard
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 1 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (Part 2 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 3 of 5)
11/28/1998 - African Journal (part 4 of 5)
11/27/1998 - African Journal (part 5 of 5)
10/31/1998 - "Effusion"
10/28/1998 - Hamiet Bluiett's Strange Second Set
9/18/1998 - Perilous Journey From Japan
9/18/1998 - Strange Duos with Kurt Elling
6/5/1998 - "Blood on the Keys"
2/22/1998 - Thomas Chapin
1/20/1998 - Duets with James Carter
11/13/1997 - "Ultimate" big band
7/1/1997 - 2 surreal gigs in Canada
5/26/1997 - First tour of Japan
5/5/1997 - Thoughts on James Carter
3/1/1997 - Thoughts on Don Pullen
2/20/1997 - "David Murray Week",. Columbus, Ohio
12/3/1996 - Duo Sessions
10/28/1996 - "Freedom" in East Germany
10/3/1996 - Tribute to Don Pullen session