Vogel / Saxon Duo performing “Yambu.”
Vogel / Saxon Duo at the David Korty exhibition (early evening set).
When I started playing drums at age ten I didn’t have an absolute favorite drummer right away. I just knew I wanted to play drums. Then, one day at age fourteen as I stood at the doorway to my brother’s bedroom he tells me to, “Check this song out.” As the needle hit the vinyl I was attacked by a drum and bass groove that simply floored me. In awe I exclaimed, “Who’s that?” My brother replied, “Iron Maiden. It’s called Wrathchild.” At that moment, Clive Burr became my favorite drummer. Power, groove, taste, and prowess. His playing provided my musical direction for years to come. Clive Burr passed away this month at age 56. Long live the playing of Clive Burr.
Last night the trio Apophenia (Stuart Liebig - bass; Alex Cline - drums/perc; Wayne Peet - Keyboards) and The Michael Vlatkovich Quartet (Vlatkovitch - trombone; Garth Powell - drums/perc; Tom McNalley - guitar; Scott Walton - bass) performed at the Center for the Arts, Eagle Rock. The performances were part of Open Gate Theater’s monthly new music series that recently celebrated is fifteenth anniversary. Sunday night’s performances were a prime example of why more Angelinos would benefit from attending these concerts.
Aphonenia and The Michael Valtkovich Quartet were simply brilliant. Thanks to Wayne Peet (also one of L.A.’s finest audio engineers) and his mobile recording rig, we were able to capture a live recording of the evening’s performances. I had the great pleasure of assisting Wayne with the recording. While Wayne pulled double duty setting up his gear (which included a Fender Rhodes piano, various keyboards, and a theremin), I helped set up the mics and get the mobile rig set up. During Wayne’s set I monitored the recording levels.
Although there is no plan for an immediate release of these two phenomenal sets of improvised music, one thing is for sure - the evening was magical and I was glad to be a part of it.