the sonic squeeze - 7:00pm Dec 3rd, 2011
I remember, as a boy, sitting spellbound listening to the sonorous tones of masterful Welsh actor Richard Burton reading. Somehow he was always able to tap the innate tempo of whatever he was interpreting, and make every nuance, every meaning clear, and the words themselves appear as almost new. I’ve carried this early inspiration throughout my life as a musician, learning to love massaging words in and around notes – especially when improvising in the moment. This is what I get to do when I work with contrabass virtuoso and distinguished emeritus professor Bertram Turetzky. He’s as renown for the sounds he can coax from his instrument as he is for his adventuresome, freewheeling spirit. So it’s like trying to merge onto an LA freeway at rush hour, traffic zooming by, and you’re aiming to float into and thru the flow unscathed. Then, time is suspended as you whirl around the track at dizzying speed – and it’s always a surprise where it spins you out.
Bert and I plied our audible wares often in 2011, notably at a special performance within the cozy contemplative confines of D.G.Wills Books in La Jolla on Saturday night December 3rd. Words and notes crossed paths in the same hallowed space where once Ginsberg and Ferlinghetti also held court, surrounded by Dennis Wills‘ legendary handpicked selection of scholarly literary works.
Here are some visual and audible memories: