Joe Holt's Notes Newsletter Vol 3 No 4
April 2007


Happy Spring! Hope all is well. Thank you for your support and encouragement. Encouragement is good. Although there are (always) ups and downs, this is, by and large, an encouraging (therefore: good) time. Not as many public events this month, but still some interesting choices. If not a live event, then the radio show, the recordings, the journal are other means by which we can stay in touch. Thanks again for your willingness to do so (and for encouraging me in the process). Have I said that word enough? Okay, I'll stop. Now, about this month...

in this issue
  • Featured on the Radio Show
  • Jazz Performances and Concerts
  • Church Sponsored Concerts
  • Radio News
  • Recording News
  • From the Journal

  • Jazz Performances and Concerts

    This month offers a couple of opportunities apart from the usual. One is a return engagement for the 2nd annual Mainstay Dixieland festival (interpret Dixieland loosely for my show). Another would be a return to the Downs Cultural Center in Wilmington, De., as well as gigs with Bryan Clark and at Sullivans. When you check the schedule, look ahead to next month also. It continues to get interesting...

    Church Sponsored Concerts

    The highlight this month, in this catagory, is a return trip to the Marlton (NJ) United Methodist Church (this time solo. Last time Brian Whitaker and I travelled together to present "He's Steppin' Out" in the morning worship services). Also, I will put in my first "guest appearance" at the Presbyterian Church of Chestertown on the Sunday after Easter. More events to be scheduled.

    Radio News

    I'm really enjoying this, and appreciate the feedback that let's me know that you're (or someone's) listening. In addition to the top of the show request, and the selections from featured CDs, this month also features (in the audio trailers segment for 4/12 and 4/19) selections from "Full Swing Ahead"; the new jazz tuba CD by (my "old college pal", and continuing colleague) Harry Salotti. In addition, we "take you to the gig" on the 4/26 show, and play selections from my performance with Bryan Clark at Dover Downs on 3/23 (you'll only hear it here). For the show and station schedule, or to listen anytime from the archive, just click on the link below.

    Recording News

    As was implied above, I am now (dragging my engineer Rob Hilty around and) recording selected engagements. Most likely these will remain in my private collection, and selected cuts will appear on my radio show. However, if the "magic" happens (and everything else turns out) on any particular gig, then a "live - in concert" CD is possible. In addition to these possibilities, plans remain in place to sequel the Christmas CD this year, and possibly release a studio CD that will chart a new course. I'll keep you posted.

    From the Journal

    It's getting easier, I think; this "zone" of music making that I'm calling the "spiritual" place. Easier to "find", and easier to "navigate". Easier (the use of this word makes me slightly uneasy, suggesting I'll, eventually, find a better way of getting this across) meaning that I have begun to re-tool my mind. To take some liberty with a Bible quote (only for clarity here, and not, to my sense, a departure from the meaning) "Do not be conformed to the slavery and creative/societal stifling of self absorption, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind...". Can I substitute "the slavery and creative/societal stifling of self-absorption" for "this world"? Is the "problem" here the bogey-men and scapegoats without, or the human condition within? Many years ago (when some of my thinking resembled "fundamentalism", more so than today), I was having a conversation with someone after a church service, and was overheard to reference the devil as the culprit for some personal struggle (the detail of which I don't remember). At that point, John (his real name, but his anonymity is secure) interrupted, correcting me that the "problem" was not anything outside of myself for which I could cast blame; I (or specifically, as he pointed out, my own "sin") was the problem. Not much you can say to someone who is dead right (except, eventually, thank you). It is not easy to acknowledge slavery to self, except in the embracing of God. I feel that, as a performer, that I have "access" (potentially) to so much more that even a year ago (I have felt especially connected in the gigs of the past few days). As I have been absorbing this "lesson" over the past months (and sharing parts of it in this journal with you as I go), I sense now that to which I must presently focus, as this journey continues: patience. God's perfect work is brought about through God-inspired patience. I am only beginning to learn. God is truly at work. posted by Joe Holt at Saturday, March 03, 2007

    Featured on the Radio Show

    This CD is a recent release on the "Joe Holt's Notes" label; May of last year. It represents the ongoing relationship of 3 guys from Triton Regional High School, in Runnemede New Jersey, who, back in the 1970's, taught themselves how to play jazz (and listened to a lot of Benny Goodman records). The following is from a review by Cam Miller published in the August 2006 edition of "The American Rag": "Clever title, classy performance. And so it goes with the Midiri twins (Joe, the reed player, and Paul, the vibraphonist, trombonist, and drummer), who are reunited with their soul brother; pianist, organist and cornetist Joe Holt, for a romp in the park. The threesome's relationship dates back to high school days when the Midiris and Holt performed as the "A Couple of Joes Trio", and the musicians have kept that relationship intact, both professionally, and on a personal level over the years. Moreover, it's obvious after listening to the opening track; a dreamy "These Foolish Things", there has been no slippage in the simpatico department. They are, to steal a song title, "As Close as Pages in a Book", as they weave their magic over a menu of ballads, toetappers, and blues... While the overall mood of the album is relaxed, the trio goes all out on "After you've Gone". Midiri; whose round clarinet tone stays intact form bottom to top catches the Benny Goodman bug, while the ever- tasteful Holt supplies supple solos, and the other Midiri's brush work is exemplary. In sum: a recording that's delightful, delicious, and de-lovely!"

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