Rhythm Roads Tour 2010


With the 2 quartetsWith the 2 quartetsAlto player Alto player
Quartet #1

Quartet #1

Quartet # 2

Quartet # 2

We arrived at JaeNung College in Incheon for our master class not really knowing exactly what to expect, but as we entered the university complex there was again a huge banner with The Mark Sherman/Tim Horner Quartet displayed as you drove through the gate. When we entered the hall where they held it, there were maybe 100 eager students who absolutely went nuts when we walked in. What a feeling it was for all of us to be accepted that way without even playing a note or saying a word. We set up and the master-class continued.

First 2 different student quartets performed for us play tunes like “Confirmation”, “Stella By Starlight”, “Autumn Leaves”, and “Wave”. Then we each one at a time were to critique the groups. We each had productive things to say, and advice to give to the 2 groups re: time feel, communication with each other on the bandstand, as well as the constant need for all of us jazz musicians to develop our language and improv skills. We talked about some of the necessary tools us jazz musicians use, and generally tried to inspire them. Of course these kids were so excited, it did not take much to motivate them. Then we performed 3 or 4 tunes from our huge list of original compositions that we have together, and of course they went crazy after each solo etc. For the fourth tune we decided to bring play Charlie Parker’s “Confirmation”, as that was one of the tunes that the first quartet played. In that first quartet there was a young alto sax player who had a really nice sound on the alto, and had clearly practiced and developed a little language. He seemed to be one of the better players in the school. So we invited him up to play “Confirmation” with us, we had heard him play it already, and knew he would be comfortable with it. WOW! He nearly passed out with excited and the kids went nuts as he stepped up on the stage. Well we played the melody and I pointed at him to take the first solo. He took 2 choruses, then a third, and much to our surprise with his eyes closed deeply in the moment he went for a fourth chorus. We were all so happy he took all those choruses. It was clearly his big chance to play with an American and, and he just ate it up. I was thrilled. The entire 1.5 hours was a triumph for us as educators, and of course for the students. I am sure now that alto player is a little star in that school. It was a beautiful moment. Afterwards again they showered us with love and applause, and autographs of the 8 CD’s we gave out to the two quartet members, and all the other Rhythm Road materials we had for gifts. It was a beautiful afternoon. Our host Tom Underwood from the US embassy was thrilled with the outcome.

Advertisements
Mark Sherman/TIm Horner 4tet Russia Arrival

Mark Sherman/TIm Horner 4tet Russia Arrival

View from Hotel

View from Hotel

Fire Escape Rope

Fire Escape Rope

Fire Escape Drop

Fire Escape Drop

The Mark Sherman/Tim Horner 4tet began the Rhythm Road/US State Department tour with a flight from NYC to Seoul Korea. The flight was uneventful. I personally have flown to Japan, and other flights that are 14-15 hours, and after all these years it is still just as uncomfortable as it always was. It takes such a tremendous toll on your body. My sinuses were so messed up after the flight from the pressure of being 40,000 feet in the air for 15 hours. The whole thing really messes your system up. Anyway we arrived safely in Seoul, and checked into the Airport Transit hotel, which is generally used for people who are changing planes and have an overnight wait as we did. The rooms were small but adequate. The only drag was there were no windows in the hotel as it is actually one flight above the airport itself. The next morning as we were walking to our gate for our flight to Russia, I turned to Tim Horner and said, ” Man we have not seen daylight or had a breath of fresh air in 24 hours. I really noticed this, and missed the air. The hotel had air conditioning of course, and prior to that we had been flying the long flight, so I really noticed that I had not taken in any fresh air in a long time. That air conditioning and airplane air just dries you out and creates a lot of stress on your body. Anyway we caught our flight to Vladivostok, Russia, and arrived safely. A few interesting things happened upon arrival. As we exited the plane a mean looking security officer pointed a laser beam at everyone entering Russia as we passed the flight cockpit. I found out that this was a method they use to detect if anyone is running a fever. This is their way of preventing H1N1 from spreading into Russia. Very interesting as I never experienced that form of security. Next the entire plane piled into a bus that would take us to the terminal. Well they piled us in like sardines and eventually the doors closed. We literally drove 10 feet to an entrance to the terminal. We all looked at each other in disbelief as we all simply could have walked the 10 feet to the terminal. That was really funny. Like something out of a comedy movie. Anyway we arrive by van safely to the Hotel Hyundai in Vladivostok where I checked into a really nice room with a view of the naval port and the Pacific Ocean. When I opened the window in my room I saw a black bag and said to myself “oh man someone left a black bag on the window ledge”. I opened it and found a thick rope wrapped around a large spindle. I looked out the window and saw a 100-foot drop and realized that this rope was tied into a giant hook on the ceiling of the window casing. It is the fire escape. If a fire occurs your escape is climbing down this rope 100-200 feet down, which in itself is really dangerous, and you would have to be in great shape and have some rock climbing skills to do it. “DON’T LET GO”!! Totally unbelievable. This would never pass building code in the US. Finally had a good night sleep and we will play music today. More to come!

Click here listen to the band  The Great Triplet

The Mark Sherman/TIm Horner Quartet

Great concert at Smalls the other night with The Mark Sherman / TIm Horner Quartet that is going to Russia and Asia with the Rhythm Road tour sponsored by Jazz At Lincoln Center and the US State Department. If the other night’s concert is any indicator of the level of the music then we should have an amazing month abroad. The music will certainly take off on this tour. We will need to record after the tour as we will be so tight and the music will have lived through 30-40 concerts.

Jim Ridl is one of the most talented musicians I have come across. His soloing is really great, with an innovative rhythmic approach, and a vast array of harmonic language tools that he uses, however his writing is truly amazing. We have been playing 3 or 4 of his tunes that are really special compositions. He captures the deeper meaning of defining an experience or concept through the music.

Tom Dicarlo is a very supportive bass player who plays very in tune and rhythmical correct. A really nice soloist as well. His tune “Can you Tell Me A Story” is becoming a centerpiece for the band. It has very little jazz soloing but the melody and the chords, mixed with the general mood set by this piece makes it a special part of our show.

And my headlining partner Tim Horner is just simply a musical genius on the drums, as well as a great composer. He has written several tunes that we do “You Are The Song”, and “Line Of The Salesman”. Both tunes are derived from well know song forms, but Tim has cleverly re-invented the melodies for these forms and made them his own. This is something I often do in my writing which is to take the well known song farms that the great masters like Parker, Coltrane, Miles, Tadd Dameron, Cole Porter used and disguise them and turn them into my own. It is difficult to reinvent the music as these past masters have taken it to the top level, and most musicians today are still trying to catch up to the foundation and innovations that the above mentioned masters brought to the music. This is one tour I am truly looking forward to. #rhythmroad


I just got the news that my 4tet with Tim Horner will kick off the Rhythm Road/US State Department Southeast Asia tour with 2 concerts in the US. We will play at the National Geographic Society in Washington DC on April 22nd at 6pm and at Dizzy’s Coca Cola Jazz Club in NYC on April 24th at 12:30pm. Then we will be off to Southeast Asia. Concerts and workshops everyday for 5 or 6 weeks. Can’t wait. #rhythmroad

The Mark Sherman/ Tim Horner Quartet

I am really excited as my group the Mark Sherman/Tim Horner Quartet was selected by Jazz at Lincoln Center and The State Department for the “Rhythm Roads” tour 2010. Many groups (maybe 200) applied to audition for this and the second round was 30 groups auditioning for a panel from Lincoln Center Jazz There were 10 bands chosen of various styles of music to go and represent the United States as musical ambassadors. The tour runs 4- 6 weeks, and is sponsored by the state department and Jazz at Lincoln Center. The choices of places to go are Asia pacific islands, Eastern Europe and Russia,  Africa, Latin America, and the Middle East. It is confirmed that we will go to Southeast Asia. We do concerts and workshops everyday for 6 weeks. I myself am looking forward to playing concerts 6 weeks everyday with this 4tet of , Jim Ridl, Tom DicarloTim Horner, and myself. That and my March 2010 Quartet European tour, and upcoming trip to record in Italy end of November, bring me abroad 3 times in the next 6 months. I’m really looking forward to it. #rhythmroad