I was definitely stoked to be playing in the Grand Lake District of Oakland last night! So many years after living in that area, it felt like a cool homecoming.
Cool also to be playing with Mika Pontecorvo's Bridge of Crows! I very much liked being part of the eclectic mixture of personnel therein.
We played two pieces, both improvisations from sketches. The first utilized close mic'ing of cymbals and rocks, along with sax, clarinet, flute, guitar, bass, and electronics. Our goal was to simply let the sounds unfold within the envelope of electronic treatments created by Mika. It felt good! The second was a cover of James Blood Ulmer's Are You Glad To Be In America, Mika's statement about his feelings on current events. I've been an Ulmer fan for years, so playing that tune was a gas, even though I only knew we were doing it about five minutes into it!
Many thanks to Rob Pumpelly for letting me use his great, funky kit as a backline! His band with Karl Evangelista, Tracy Hui, and Nick Obando slayed!
Studio Grand and Oakland Freedom Jazz Society-do check them both out!
Below: Mika and Eli, father and son improv team
Below: Bridge of Crows full; photo by Russell Ward. Thanks, Russell!