Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Both my solo shows this weekend got writeups.

One from David R. Adler in the Philadelphia Inquirer at http://www.philly.com/inquirer/magazine/20070716_Abstract_sounds__lots_of_rhythm.html and a far more interesting and enthusiastic account of the Balto gig from composer/engineer Devin Hurd.

I am really torn when reading reviews like Adler's. On the one hand it's great to see a journalist from a daily newspaper show up for such a grass-roots gig, stay for the whole show, and try to describe it. On the other hand, his writing comes off like that of an uninformed, prim, school marm who conspicuously leaves out any judgment of quality or mention of historical reference, resulting in a passively snotty tone that makes it seem like he may or may not have an underlying contempt for experimental music, or assumes that his readers do. Nevertheless, I'm opportunistic and practical enough to lift a half-sentence quote from it for my website, ("One of New York's top avant garde improvisers.") and I really hope Adler continues to come out to Bowerbird events in Philly. They are presenting an amazing array of great experimental music.

Friday, July 13, 2007

a blurb and big news

I'm playing solo in Philly tonight at the Rotunda, and on Saturday in Baltimore. For tonight's show I got a nice advance blurb by Shaun Brady in the Philadelphia City Paper: http://www.citypaper.net/articles/2007/07/12/reuben-radding

I was really glad he wrote about the 12 In 2007 project. I've been at it for 5 months and word is still just getting out.

Meanwhile, for the last 4 years one of my favorite ongoing (though all too occasional) projects has been the trio Crackleknob with my dear friends Mary Halvorson (guitar) and Nate Wooley (trumpet). Very few people have heard us, as we've tended to gig about 2 or 3 times a year. Well, I'm incredibly delighted that that is about to change, thanks to one of my favorite record labels ever: Hat Art. Aside from my excitement about Crackleknob finally getting a chance to be documented, I'm also just personally excited to be associated with the label. I'm a huge fan of Werner Uehlinger's work. To me, Hat Art really sets the standard for record labels as far as quality goes. There are other great labels, but as I look at my shelves I have more Hat releases than almost anything, and so many are my favorites, like Braxton Quartet releases from the early 90's, the incredible Giuffre 3 live recordings, Guillermo Gregorio, Steve Lacy, Joe Maneri, and recent faves like Christan Weber... I am really honored, and so glad for us as a band. I've known this was happening for a little while, but I wanted to wait till the contract was signed and sent off to Switzerland to make any public announcement.

For you New Yorkers, Crackleknob is playing on August 9th at Cafe Grumpy in Greenpoint.
And, like everyone else, we have a Myspace page at http://www.myspace.com/crackleknob

Monday, July 2, 2007

Slight Return

Going to Germany/Austria always brings up complex stuff for me. Inevitable...blurry. Everything is in an existential jumble. I've tried my whole life to escape my semitic heritage (can't), but facing the Germanic collective guilt is a puzzle, every time. How long do these things go on? Painful sometimes, watching them reduce us to stereotypes in order to praise us, instead of attack. Is it better? It's alienating. My Virginia childhood was spent passing for cracker. In Europe that's hard to do. Everyone is more aware of each others' origins, and they think it's important. Hard to explain assimilation to them. Anyway, I had an amazing hang with Brave Old World accordionist Alan Bern, my new long lost brother, that covered a lot of moral ground, Dr. Seuss, the Twilight Zone, gender issues, Willie Wonka, and yes a lot about Jewishness. Thanks Alan. You really got me charged up for the gig!