Friday, November 8, 2013

My Musical Life, part 2

In 1988 I joined a group of renegade New England Conservatory students in Boston to form UYA. We played a mix of jazz, free improv, hard rock, funk, fusion, rock-and-roll, punk, go-go, turntablism, and noise. We released three cassettes, as well as a CD in 1990, “Upstanding Young Americans.” We played from 1988 to 1996, including several gigs at the old Knitting Factory in NYC.

Another Boston band I played in was Happyfinger, a group of MIT Libraries employees created exclusively to play at the annual staff concerts given at Killian Hall.

In 1996 I moved back to Richmond and started playing with Jimmy Ghaphery, and later with old Office Ladies bandmates Jon Mela and Tim Harding as the New Loft Quartet, which has evolved into the still-going strong all-improv unit New Loft. When augmented by the members of Ting Ting Jahe, we perform as New Ting Ting Loft. You can find over 130 of our improvisations, freely available for streaming or high-quality downloading, at the Internet Archive.  

I have also been fortunate enough to continue playing with UYA bandmate Rodger Coleman.  After the disbanding of UYA and my departure south, Rodger moved to Nashville, a place I travel to once or twice a year to see family. Last year, we played our first gig as a duo in Nashville. Rodger recorded it and released it on his NuVoid Jazz label. You can stream “Indeterminate” or purchase it here.

With New Loft, and with Rodger, I tend to play more abstract, non-linear free stuff, where I try to explore textures and sounds (and sometimes try to emulate Sunny Murray or Tony Oxley). I also get together periodically with friends out in Varina, and there I tend to play beats.

Finally, for the last couple of years it’s been my privilege to play with composer/double bassist extraordinaire Daniel Barbiero, most recently with the Subtle Body Transmission Orchestra at the Sonic Circuits Festival in DC. Dan is music director for Nancy Havlik’s Dance Performance Group, and for that show the Orchestra performed with them. In a future post I’ll include some video of these various activities.


  1. Is that a still-sealed copy of the UYA CD? A collector's item! Haha! Love the blog - please keep it up!

    1. Ha ha! It's amazing the pictures you can find on the internet these days....actually, I do still have one still-sealed copy!