Greetings from 2014

My intention is to post at least one update per month here this year…if we get into a particularly fallow news period, prepare yourself for such informative and exhilarating scholarly missives as “Double-flats: Fact or Fiction?”, “My 10 Favorite Words”, “Is it Possible to Fill out a Successful Grant Application Without Using the Word ‘Community’ Once?: An Investigative Report”, and “My 10 Least Favorite Single-Digit Numbers, In No Particular Order.”


Lucky for you, dear reader, I do have some actual news to impart this month, so I’ll save the filibluster for a later date.


First of all, our new album, Observatory, received a very kind review from the Memory Select blog (thanks, Craig!) – check it out here, if you’re curious and/or nasty. We were also given an extremely flattering mini-review from the great local trumpeter/composer Ian Carey on his blog – damn! Thank you! (Added bonus: Ian’s ‘Arrangers’ list hipped me to awesome new-to-me records by Clare Fischer and Michael McGinnis.)


The Nathan Clevenger Group is working on a few rather unusual gigs (more on this soon, I hope!), so we’re going light on the regular club dates while we get the calendar clarified…all the more reason to catch us at Oakland’s own Awaken Café on February 6th! The sextet (Kasey Knudsen, Cory Wright, Aaron Novik, Sam Bevan, Jon Arkin and me) will be playing 2 sets of original music, heavily focused on new material (7 pm start-time, no cover). I’ve had a prolific few months and we’ll be adding another handful of new tunes to the stack of pieces we premiered at our last 2 gigs. Our January Makeout Room gig featured only 1 tune from either of our albums and it looks like this next gig will probably follow the same pattern, mixing tunes destined for album no. 3, new music, and a few older unrecorded favorites. I hope you’ll be curious to check out our new offerings in person.


In very exciting extracurricular-activity-type news, March 15 will apparently see me putting on the sideman hat for a gig with Karl Evangelista’s Host Family. Karl is an extraordinary guitarist, composer and font of new music/jazz knowledge and it’s an honor to play with this group. It doesn’t hurt that the band is filled out by Jordan Glenn (one of my very favorite drummers and composers) and Jason Hoopes (an outstanding bassist who has subbed in my band and has a fascinating catalog of original work). The gig is at the Center for New Music in San Francisco and is part of an evening honoring Karl’s extensive and inspiring ouvre as a composer – a number of his projects will be featured.


Finally, it’s too soon for many details, but I am happy to report that work is getting under way on the next stage of my collaboration – excuse me, MULTIMEDIA collaboration (hello Grant review panels!) – with artist Kim Miskowicz. More soon on this and some other projects/plots slowly taking shape – suffice it to say that plans are congealing.


I am reminded of one my very favorite song titles, courtesy genius composer/pianist/Admiral Graham Connah: “Everything That Oozes Must Congeal.”


I leave you thusly.