Friday, February 27, 2004

Dianne Reeves

Dianne Reeves - I'm listening to her CD "Bridges" now and kicking myself for missing her perform live recently.

I did hear her perform live once actually - it was at the U of Idaho, 1985. I performed with a student quartet - we finished our set, and as I walked off the stage, Dianne Reeves and her awesome backing musicians took the stage. She was extraordinary - and seems to only have improved with time!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Jazz Clubs Worldwide

Jazz Clubs Worldwide - wow! This site is an amazing resource for Jazz clubs around the world! I'm keeping a link this - awesome!

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Stranger By The Bay - Independent Film World Premier!

Here's the press release from The Stranger By The Bay production team announcing the debut of the film on Friday, February 20, 7:00 pm and 9:30 pm at the Majestic Theatre in Corvallis, Oregon. This should be an enjoyable evening - nice to celebrate finishing this. With so many people involved, it will be nice to finally see everyone together. I hear there's food and wine being served too!

I personally learned a great deal from this experience and look forward to writing my next score!

Rob Birdwell

Monday, February 09, 2004 - Charting, Graphs, Web Services!

We interrupt this Musical Blog to plug this Corvallis, Oregon based software company, ProWorks specializes in charting and statistical graphing software. They also provide consulting services for an ever-growing number of companies, including Hewlett-Packard, NASA, and Battelle.

The ProWorks Flipper Web Service is particularly powerful and flexible. choose the ProWorks Flipper Web Service because it was easy and powerful enough to serve our needs. has devised a very powerful "templates" (XML) model. Their charting web service is fast and "real-time" data updates are easily accomplished.

The ProWorks Flipper Web Service can be accessed by a variety of technologies, including Java, PHP, ASP, ASP.NET, and more!

For Microsoft Windows based developers (web or desktop) the Flipper Graph ASP and Flipper Graph Control are must-haves. The useful examples, powerful functionality, flexibility, and ease-of-use of these powerful controls make them excellent choices for enterprise developers.

The ProWorks .NET charting technologies build upon the strong feature set of the ProWorks Flipper based charting technologies, with all the benefits of .NET.

In summary, I'm pretty Jazzed about - the support team and products really ROCK! and their charting Web Services are serving our needs. If you're considering charting and graphing products, be sure to evaluate the suite of products and services.


Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Workshops

Jamey Aebersold's Summer Jazz Workshops - I would LOVE to attend this workshop - the price seems very, very reasonable but, dang, unless it starts raining time and money, dang again, I'm going to have to save it for a "Rainy Day" or maybe when "My Ship" comes in...I'll stop there (the "Someday My Prince Will Come" analogy would definitely be going too far!).

From what I've read on the website about this workshop (and the info is wonderfully laid out; they cover all the logistics from travel to curriculum), it's really quite unique. I especially appreciate that this workshop is oriented for players of all ages, particularly adult players!

I've been jamming with various Aebersold books for a long time! I have many of his recordings on vinyl/record but am now re-purchasing new volumes on CD. It's still very satisfying to play this way - to improvise, imagine, experiment, etc.

Although nothing can take the place of playing and interacting with other musicians in person, playing along with some of the greatest rhythm section players on the scene (as Aebersold play-along records always sport) the Aebersold materials are a wonderful way to supplement the never ending learning process of improvisation.

Most Jazz musicians (be they students, pros or hobbyists) have an Aebersold record/cd or two - if you don't have any, I highly recommend them!

Rob Birdwell

P.S.: if there was any way I could swing it, I'd be at this workshop! It seems like it would be fun.

Monday, February 02, 2004

MSNBC - Justin, Janet not only boobs at Super sleazefest

MSNBC - Justin, Janet not only boobs at Super sleazefest - my sentiments exactly! What a silly thing - but was it really an accident?

I have no problem with these particular entertainers - I even thought Justin displayed some depth and talent on his recent SNL appearance. Unfortunately, none of that was evident from his performance at the Super Bowl with Janet Jackson.

Why on earth would these two allow themselves to be put into such a situation? (Money? A good cause?) Why would they ever agree to showcase such a mockery of dancing and singing?

Let me say that I only tuned in to the super bowl for only 5 minutes (but why would I need to see anymore?); in between "gigs" I guess you could say - just long enough to see what the score was. I was vaguely interested (I used to enjoy football as a kid) and since a bass player friend had a small wager on the game I wanted to see if he'd be $100 richer or poorer (might affect his mood at a future gig!).

So at the time I tuned in, Janet and Justin were doing their little dance (but "dance" is far too generous of a word as there was nothing artistic about it), the mob was cheering and, well, since I don't really watch much TV, it all seemed very spooky to me. But I watched on with amusement to see where this monstrosity of an excuse for "entertainment" (masquerading as a tribute to literacy?) was going and awaiting a display of the score.

As the number seemed to come to a close (what a relief), I couldn't believe what I truly looked to me like the incident was planned though; that the intent all along was for this very thing to happen. It happened very quickly, without time to see any reaction of course, since the camera cut away, but that was my impression. But come on folks - if you show up to a swimming pool in your swimming trunks, someone's probably going swimming - right?

The damage control from the armies of attorneys, advertisers and executives was entirely predictable. Anyone over 6 years of age could predict that words like "malfunction" and "unplanned" would be offered.

Anyway, not a big deal, but it's in the news and seems to be at least one dimension in the very broad world known as the "arts."

Beam me up quick Scotty!

Rob Birdwell