In the Studio Soon: Recording the Music of Marian McPartland

In a few weeks I’ll be recording a tribute CD featuring compositions by one of my jazz heroes, Marian McPartland, a great pianist, good friend and tireless jazz advocate whom we lost a little over two years ago. Marian always said she wanted more people to record her compositions, and they certainly deserve to be more widely known. Her writing was lyrical, challenging and original. Over the years I recorded a few of her pieces in solo piano and trio formats, and I’m glad I did that while she was still around to hear them. For this recording, I’ve reworked several of her compositions for sextet. We have a wonderful band and a legendary producer and I can’t wait to tell you more soon!

I was born in 1965!

Someone created a Wikipedia post about me and they took my birth date from an incorrect entry in allmusic.com.

I WAS BORN IN 1965.

Allmusic is not an authoritative source.

I am turning 50 in less than a month an no one is taking that away from me.

Solo Piano Master Class: Listen In

This audio is from a master class I did at the 2014 Jazz Educators’ Network conference in Dallas, TX. It was entitled A (Not So) Beginner’s Guide to Solo Jazz Piano. Special thanks to Brian Lawrence, music student at Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA, for recording it.

I hope you find this master class interesting, inspiring and informative. If you have questions or comments, the comment section is open or feel free to use the Contact page.
   


   

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I released my first solo piano CD, Solo, in 2012. This spring, I’m looking forward to releasing the follow-up, Emanation (Solo: Volume 2). My former teacher, the great Richie Beirach, wrote wonderful liner notes, and my old high school friend, the brilliant artist Kyle Baker, created amazing cover art.

If you’d like to be notified when it is released in the spring, please sign up for my mailing list on the right.

Roberta Piket - Emanation - Cover

If you sincerely wanted to create merely a “thought experiment”, why would you commercially release it?

And if you sincerely want to hip people to Kind of Blue, why not pay your PR firm to promote THE ORIGINAL, instead of spending all that money recording and promoting your creepily soulless imitation?

The reason I find this record so disturbing is that it contains (and brings to their logical conclusion) all the qualities that are most rewarded in our culture today: imitation, gimmickry, and artifice.

Django Gold: In His Own Words

“I don’t know why people are so upset. The fact that I even know who Sonny Rollins is just proves how cool I am. Plus I can spell Miles Davis and Dexter Gordon’s names correctly. I am not just cool, I am hip. I am a hip hipster. The hippest hipster in town. How else would I know who Sonny Rollins is if I weren’t hip? He plays the saxophone right? (Notice how correctly I spelled “saxophone”.) In fact, we are such good friends, I thanked him for letting me use his name in my hysterical satire. It doesn’t matter that he didn’t let me use his name. Only haters care about that. If you don’t get how cool and hip I am, then you are a hater. Hater. Hater. Hater.

I dig Miles and Dexter and Diz. You can tell I dig them because I used their names in my brilliant caricature. Also, I used the word “dig” twice just now. Did you notice that?

As I proved in my ingenious pasquinade, I am hip enough to know that the drums are a very loud instrument. When I was little, I wanted to play the drums so everyone would have to look at me and see how clever I am. But now I don’t care about being clever. I just want to be hip. And I am hip. I am so hip. Just look at my sulking twitter profile photo. Is that hip or what?

So you haters can all stop attacking me. Sonny Rollins is not a hater. In fact, if you asked Sonny what he thinks of my piece, I’m sure he’d say he loved it and that I am so hip. Go on, ask him! Right now. I’ll wait.”

-By Django Gold as told to Roberta Piket

The Mintz Quartet Walking Tour

No more sneaking oversize instruments past the airlines! No more cramped economy seats! No more European trains where you jump up in a panic every time the conductor makes an announcement in a language you don’t understand! No more gas guzzling tour buses that smell like a bathroom! The Mintz Quartet announces a glorious five-day tour where the band can literally walk from one gig to the next (or at least to the nearest subway stop)!

Drummer/composer and band leader Billy Mintz commented thoughtfully, “traveling is such a drag…you know? So, man, I just thought, “hey, why not book a tour where we don’t actually have to, like, tour?”

The tour features the original quartet from Billy’s 2013 leader debut, Mintz Quartet:John Gross: tenor saxophone; Roberta Piket: piano, organ; Putter Smith: bass; Billy Mintz: drums, percussion, compositions.

Below is a list of all the performances. For more info please email contact@thirteenthnoterecords.com.

Billy Mintz was born in Queens, New York. During his formative years in New York City, he played and recorded with the Lee Konitz Nonet, Kundalini with Perry Robinson and Badal Roy, the Eddie Daniels Quartet, Gloria Gaynor, and the Harold Danko Quartet.

In 1981 Mr. Mintz relocated to Los Angeles where he was a member of the Mike Garson Trio with Stanley Clarke, the Kim Richmond Sextet, the Bobby Shew Quintet, the Joey Sellers’ Jazz Aggregation, the Alan Broadbent Trio and the Vinny Golia Quartet. He also performed several times with the Mose Allison Trio and did a stint with the Merv Griffin Show band. In 1988 he toured Europe with saxophonist Charles Lloyd.

Since 2003 Mr. Mintz has lived in New York where he has recorded and performed with the Hal Galper Trio, the Russ Lossing Trio, the Mark Feldman-Sylvie Courvoisier Quartet and others. He also leads a ten-piece ensemble (the Two Bass Band) and has performed numerous solo drum set concerts worldwide.

DateTimeVenueAddressLink for More Details
05/24/20147:30 pmSmalls Jazz Club183 W. 10th St., New YorkMore Details
05/23/20148:00 pmIbeam168 7th Street, BrooklynMore Details
05/21/20148:00 pmBarbes376 9th St., BrooklynMore Details
05/19/20148:30 pmGreenwich House46 Barrow St., New YorkMore Details
05/18/20149:30 pmThe Firehouse Space246 Frost St., Williamsburg, BrooklynMore Details

What is a Musician?

I’ve been looking at those new Gap ads around town – some skinny people (most of whom I’ve never heard of) labelled “actor or musician”. They look cool, but I don’t see any instruments and I’m wondering exactly who they are and what they do. Usually when our culture discusses a musician they’re referring to a rock star. Obviously there are many trained musicians who take up pop music. But is there a standard for calling someone a “musician”? Is Rod Stewart, who once acknowledged in an interview that he literally knows three chords on the guitar, a musician? What about a rapper who does not and cannot engage melody or rhythm? Is anyone who makes music a musician, or does being musician require a certain skill set, whether technical, intellectual or aural?

In your opinion, what is a musician? Please comment!