You jazz’d swagger of small towns! you lost melody at the edges! You horn worn in bop and boogaloo! you sambas! You cluster’d notes and ditty! you timbre knot! You distant chords! you drown of drums! You pierc’d bellow! you holy goofs! You discordant souls! you swing cloud’d by island skies. You open strings! you down bass and ascending stomp! You echo ride and crash! you steely tones of tenor! You tip jar! you sunny patio! You the living and the drinking and the eating and you all joy of conversation and friends from all that has sung, will sing, songs, sang, Some’tet, Summer, Sun, Snapdragon, Sundays, Six-thirty … you Walt Whitman thank you
Yay! Et Bravo France! Félicitations pour ne pas avoir élu un fasciste comme leader! Continuez votre bon travail. Liberté, égalité, fraternité! Vous êtes beaucoup plus intelligent que nous, les Américains pleins. Nous avons célébré les élections françaises au champagne et au jazz au Snapdragon Cafe. Je pense qu'il est temps d'écrire plus de chansons en français, peut-être que nous devrions aller en France et faire des concerts! On pourrait seulement espérer!
A couple of weekends ago -- April 14th to be exact -- was the 4th anniversary of our Snapdragon Sunday Night Music residency. Four years! And I’ve been doing the math. It looks like that’s about 500 hour’s worth of live music -- the equivalent to about 3 weeks! I’ve also tried compiling the possible tonnage of beer we’ve consumed. Couldn’t figure out the exact capacity -- seems my algebra and calculus skills have failed me yet again. Though personally, by checking in the mirror I’d say at least 25 pounds. Come on down on a Sunday, start time 6:30/7:00. Snapdragon Café/Home Sweet Home Bar, 17817 Vashon Hwy, Vashon WA.
During the middle of Friday nights gig at Vashon’s Red Bike, I had this thought. To my ear, there are few things as thrilling as the sound of musicians jamming, seemingly traveling in opposite musical directions, yet shadow the same intangible thin thread. The pushing, pulling, scrambling, challenging, spinning weird in the air -- all connected, but separate. And the moment the music drops back into … I guess ‘symmetry’ is the word … Zowww! Holy shit! That is power and alchemy and magnificence.
Well, mostly. To be truthful, I tend to instantly miss the weird! I like the high wire act. I like the danger, chance and the throw of the dice and having to accept any divination unfolding. Because you know, you know -- gravity will lurch at the damnedest friggin’ moments. Hold on. You have too. Gravity happens. But groove and gravity, it’s a sweet game and all kinds of addicting. Come check us out on Friday April 28th, 6pm, at the Olive Branch Café, 2501 E D St, Tacoma.
This Friday, April 7th, Some’tet will be back at Vashon's The Red Bicycle and Bistro. And just to make the evening a bit more festive, we’re celebrating the birthdays of jazz greats Billie Holiday, Mongo Santamaria and Freddie Hubbard … some seriously heavy hitters. Come on out. Fill your rainy night with sushi, torch songs, whiskey, beer, burgers, gossip, jazz, fries, sambas, friends, flirtations, kismet, epiphanies …
File this in the tall esoteric can, certainly not worth getting all sparkly about. But! This past Sunday, March 26th, Some’tet played its 75th gig since we officially took on the moniker Some’tet in September 2015. And of course befitting the etymology of our name, this week we played as a trio … Barry Cooper, Patrick Christie and Whitmore. A great set, if I do say so myself. On the soloing end of things, both Barry and Patrick out-and-out ripped things to shreds … worlds collided, the earth stood still, the sky exploded, it came from beyond space -- you should've been there if you weren’t there, it was kind of interstellar, as one always hopes it'll be ... “space is the place,” as the great Sun Ra always said. Yeah!
photo by Shelley Hanna Photography
“There was that wind, from the south, shuddering the windows. It was one of those slick winter bursts shoving mischief across the Puget Sound - nasty and cold, evaporating any hope that a bit of sanity may be reintroduced to that itchy dark hovel where once housed a brain. On nights like this drinking is compulsory and even more so, jazz is required. Find your brand, your spirits; tongue the edge of that glass, filled to the rim, even a cheap whiskey will do. Hear the cries of a trumpet or saxophone. And remember there is no bad whiskey, only short pours. And like jazz, anything is possible on a windy Sunday night. Anything. And this is a Sunday night gig.”
The other night I was waxing philosophical, well actually just drinking rum on a cold night, overthinking … but I remembered this quote -- “to think of shadows is a serious thing.”
I hesitate to reveal my ‘illuminations’ in public. As you can imagine, they’re in large part absolute pure idiocy. But! I will say in shadows are blurred lines, mystery, and this great state called vagueness. And what did Charles Ives say: "Vagueness is at times an indication of nearness to a perfect truth." There you go another quote. Anyway, that pretty much describes what I like best in music. And what Some’tet can, on those great vague nights, touch. Our aim is vague.
Next up, the First Friday Art Walk! Some'tet will be playing live on the air in the KVSH 101.9FM storefront studio, (streaming live on voiceofvashon.org). Come on by and hang out for a while, or just wave at us thru the windows! Actually, come on in, have a sit, make some noise, enjoy some Vashon Island music.
March 3rd at 7PM - 9PM
KVSH Storefront Studio, 17917 Vashon Hwy, Vashon WA
Last week -- a very busy week! I like busy, but not being so dawg friggin’ tired. 4 gigs in 4 days isn’t exactly a six-week tour or anything, but each night we played for 2-3 hours. And I’m definitely not in the shape I used to be in! Add it up – 10-plus hours of music from Thursday to Sunday. Two of those gigs we ferried over to Seattle. The earliest I got to bed -- Sunday night at 2:15am. And waking up Monday morning to eight inches of snow and having no power only augmented my desire to get shit-nada done. I spent most of Monday and Tuesday feeding my fireplace, reading, staring out the window, napping and finishing off a bottle of rum Patrick Christie brought back from Nicaragua.
Best gig moment-- looking out the Parliament Tavern window Thursday night and seeing it snow!
Worse moment -- looking out the Snapdragon Cafe/Home Sweet Home Bar window Sunday night and watch the snow flowing down. Sure it was beautiful, but I barely made it home. New tires did the job; I passed a few cars stuck on the road in the snow.
Anyway, thanks to everyone who came out! Please do so again, come on back out! We’ll be at Snapdragon/Home Sweet Home this Sunday and every Sunday in March.
We are crossing the pond, on boats, sans life jackets, heading to solid ground! To civilization! Seattle, here we come! We have two gigs on the mainland this coming week. Please come and check us out.
Thursday, Feb 2nd, 8pm we’ll be playing at the Parliament Tavern in West Seattle. (4210 SW Admiral Way, Seattle, WA 98116). It’s our first time playing there.
And! We’ll be playing at the Sorrento Hotel/Fireside Room on Saturday, Feb 4th, at 8pm (900 Madison St, Seattle, WA 98104). This is also a great room, in Seattle’s oldest and most haunted hotel!
And on Sunday, Feb 5th, we’ll be back on Vashon playing at the Snapdragon Café/Home Sweet Home Bar. Come on out, after such a busy week we’ll be most ready to categorically kick out the jams.
Several weeks ago I was having something of a bad day, at least that was my perception. In retrospect, it wasn't that dire a day after all. Not like today. Holy shit no! Our good friend Kim did this drawing for me that Snapdragon Sunday evening gig. Here it is, just a reminder to myself -- now I'm heading out to make some music.
Happy New Year!
Some’tet started 2017 playing a private party, and we had a blast! We kind of kicked it hard, lots of improvisation, shoving around our typical arrangements -- great solos from Patrick Christie, Barry Cooper and Dianne Krouse on her new tenor sax, (it has a deliciously smokey sound!)
Also, after a few weeks off, we’ll be back at our Vashon Island Sunday Night Snapdragon residency on Jan 15th starting around 6pm, and we return with some new material. Come on by!
And starting in February you can find us playing more often in Seattle, come check us out. On Thursday, Feb 2nd, 8pm we’ll be playing at the Parliament Tavern in West Seattle. (4210 SW Admiral Way, Seattle, WA 98116)
And! We’ll be playing at the Sorrento Hotel in the Fireside Room on Saturday, Feb 4th, at 8pm (900 Madison St, Seattle, WA 98104). It’s a great room. So hey, see you on the mainland soon!
Here is a cocktail we over at Some’tet Central have invented. We call it “Lose Your Keys”, named after the 5th track on our first EP, Steps. You can order one up at the Home Sweet Home bar, also know as the Snapdragon Cafe Bar.
About a quarter of a pear
1½ an oz. of bourbon
½ oz of a ginger liqueur
½ an oz of lime juice
Muddle the pear in a cocktail shaker with the bourbon, ginger liqueur and lime juice. Shake well. Pour into a whiskey tumbler with ice, top off with ginger beer. Enjoy!
Next week Some'tet will be taking a ferry cross the ol' Puget Sound into Seattle, something we don't do that as often as we should! We'll be playing with the great Seth Alexander Trio and patchtax (from Boston). Come on down for a drink and give us all a listen. I believe Some'tet plays around 9pm but it'll be a good night from the get go, music from patchtax's unconventional twist on classical chamber music, to headliners SAT's jazz and free jazz to some of our bossa novas and post-jazz reveries.
Here's some trivia about Some'tet:
At one point the band was named the Callipygous Trio, but nobody could pronounce it correctly.
Another band name that went nowhere -- the Zazzer Zuzz, a Dr Seuss reference.
We officially announced -- if posting babble on Facebook is an official announcement -- the name Some'tet on September 28th, 2015. Exactly one year later we sent out our first Ep to be pressed.
Also in that first year of existence, Some'tet played 49 gigs.
Here is perhaps the oddest bit of useless information -- none of the six musicians in Some'tet have a tattoo. Not a single one. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Zot.
All six of us live on Vashon Island in the Puget Sound, but only two are from the Northwest, Dianne and Christine. Barry and Michael are from Southern California, Patrick and Dodd are from Minnesota … we think.
This weekend Some’tet is playing at the annual Vashon Strawberry Festival. We’ve played there the last two years but under different monikers, with slightly different personnel … oh, those halcyon days of being The Callipygous Trio --
callipygian. adj. "of, pertaining to, or having beautiful buttocks," 1800, Latinized from Greek kallipygos, name of a statue of Aphrodite at Syracuse, from kalli-, combining form of kallos "beauty" + pyge "rump, buttocks."
Yes! Still the best band name I’ve ever come up with, but sadly nobody could pronounce callipygous, not even my band members. Alas …
Come on by, check us out on the Ober Park Stage, Sunday afternoon, July 17th at 2:30, playing all the hits -- well, hits? Alas …
Some'tet started off the summer gig season with a whiskey soda in hand, a game of croquet, and a warm evening at the Lodges of Vashon this past Sunday May 29th, kicking off the Lodges Summer Music series. Thanks to the great crowd, thanks to everyone at the Lodges! We played one long set for somewhere in the vicinity of two and a half hours, and introduced a couple of new songs. I thought one of the highlights was Christine's smokey version of "Come Wander With Me", a song from TV's Twilight Zone. Written by Jeff Alexander (a Seattle native) and Anthony Wilson and sung -- in this the last episode recorded -- by Bonnie Beecher.
Sidenote: Bob Dylan's very first recordings were recorded at Bonnie Beecher's Minneapolis' home back in 1961, before his Greenwich Village days. Another odd bit of trivia -- Liza Minnelli auditioned for the same Bonnie Beecher role, but was turned down.
Closing Twilight Zone narration for Come Wander With Me -- "In retrospect, it may be said of Mr. Floyd Burney that he achieved that final dream of the performer: eternal top-name billing, not in the fleeting billboards of the entertainment world, but forever recorded among the folk songs of the Twilight Zone"
will it be babble or will it be blather? don't know. there will be no blubbering, no prattle here. except when its necessary, then we'll call it blither … blurting and blither. jabber on people, jabber on ...