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Music, Hear This Hear This

Hear This

Berkeley baby boomer and improvising pianist Gregg Goodman periodically curates eclectic shows at his performance space, Woody Woodman's Finger Palace. Three years back, he invited touring Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson and Oakland bassist George Cremaschi to drop by for a…
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Calendar, Night&Day Frankenstein -- It's Alive!

Frankenstein -- It's Alive!

In 1963, a little-known trombonist named Grachan Moncur III was quietly making history by pairing up with saxophonist Jackie McLean to make some of the most scintillating music to come out of Blue Note during the '60s. That's saying quite…
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Music, Building a Better <i>Battleship</i>

Building a Better Battleship

The lights go down, and the images begin to flicker on the screen: Hands perform the gestures of cooking food, washing dishes, and winding the riggings on a battleship. With each movement, they convey a tension about to explode, paced…
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Music,

Hear This

Mats Gustafsson Even in the most adventurous music circles, it's rare when a player invents a radically unique sound on his instrument. But that's precisely what Swedish saxophonist Mats Gustafsson has achieved. And he's only 35 years old. Jumping off…
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Music,

Poet, Knows It

Beth Lisick was an aimless storyteller until she encountered one of the Chameleon's infamous Monday-night poetry jams. "It was like a whack-ass circus," she recalls, "a crazy free-for-all where you could meet your pals, drink beer, read something for three…
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Music,

Playing by Ear

Soprano saxophonist Bruce Ackley honed his craft not by playing, but by listening. He's developed that skill for 21 years as a member of the celebrated Rova Saxophone Quartet, a collaboration that demands its members play close attention to each…
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Music,

Hear This

Beth Lisick Ordeal Mouth Almighty wanted her. But like most major labels, the fledgling spoken-word offshoot of Mercury Records was clueless. They said, "You're rock 'n' roll, you're Patti Smith." They were wrong. Beth Lisick is a cynical bitch. (She…
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