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News from "Joe Holt's Notes"
May, 2007
Vol 3, No 5
Greetings! 
 
A new month, and a new look! I hope that you like the re-designed, and (to some extent) re-vamped newsletter. This continues to be a time of promise, realized through patience, and I'm honored that you would take an interest in all this. Check out the new "Featured Performances" heading. The events listed here will be given special attention in the weekly show/event mailings. Hopefully, all the gigs will be worth checking out, but we've singled out one each month that you may find especially interesting. Hope to see you sometime soon!
 
 
Featured performances 
WEDNESDAY 5/16: 8pm
Joe performs with the
Midiri Brothers in concert. A tribute to Artie Shaw. Ocean County College Fine Arts Center, Toms River NJ
This concert features selections from the latest Midiri Brothers CD: "A Shaw Thing", and features Joe on the piano and the (almost) harpsichord (the "real thing" was played on the recording).
 
FRIDAY and SATURDAY 6/8,9: 8pm-12am
Joe performs with
Bryan Clark at Dover Downs Lobby Bar, Dover, De
This event is special and unique because of the opportunity to hear the remarkable vocalist and entertainer Bryan Clark in an intimate setting with Joe doing what he does best (or, at least, enjoys the most) - accompanying solo piano.
 
FRIDAY 7/13 - SUNDAY 7/15
Joe performs with the
Midiri Brothers sextet and trio at the Mammoth Lakes Jazz Jubilee, Ca.
An incredibly beautiful setting for an eclectic festival.
 
Other Opportunities
This month affords a variety of concert events, as well as performances with Holly Lane/Shore Jazz and Bryan Clark. Check the schedule to learn more.
 
Radio News
This month on the show, I will (attempt to) share some of the musical encounters that have helped to  shape my artistic and spiritual development. Be prepared to "encounter" Art Tatum, Oscar Peterson, Keith Jarrett, and Nat King Cole in your visit to "my world". Each show also features selections from one of our available recordings, with the exception of the show (that airs on WNJC) on 5/31. On that "special edition" show, we will "take you to the gig", and feature selections recorded "live" at the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee in May of last year with the Midiri Brothers Sextet. You'll enjoy the energy (as I do) of the live performance. Click here for the show schedule.   
 
 
Recording News 
The biggest news here is the movement of the new Christmas CD into the final stages of musical production. "Do You See What I See" will sequel "Do You Hear What I Hear" (hopefully in consecutive years!). This project has it's own "vibe", and I'm anxious for you to hear it. Stay tuned.
 
From the Journal 
 
In the chronicle of influential people and events to my journey, the story of my "experience" attending a concert involving Oscar Peterson needs to be told. This occurred in the mid-1980's, and was important in shaping my understanding of God's general revelation (through nature/creation). The following account is copied from a(n unfinished) manuscript that I have been working with for some time, and am now stuck: a book about music in Christian worship.
"Some years ago, I attended a concert, ripe with enthusiasm in the (then) young, (always) aspiring jazz pianist. I was going to hear Ella Fitzgerald. No one sang (or sings) like Ella, and I was anticipating a delightful experience. I didn't mind waiting through the opening "act"; the Oscar Peterson Trio (at that point I was only slightly aware of Oscar) to get to Ella. As the first notes sounded, however, the words of Duke Ellington describing his first experience with (the greatest jazz pianist, and arguably, the greatest musician of the 20th century) Art Tatum are fitting: "I was quite unprepared for what I was to encounter". Being "blown away" doesn't even begin to describe how I felt, and reacted, to what I was hearing. Stunned and amazed, yes, but that was only the opening to an "experience" much deeper; an "experience" of worship. Not corporate worship in any Biblically regulated sense, but private worship in the "I'm in the presence of the Lord, and it is too wonderful for me" sense. All that I heard and experienced transcended Oscar, or Joe Pass, Or John Heard, who were but the vessels of God's revelation to me (not at the church, but) from the stage. No one preached a sermon, no one read from the Bible. It wasn't necessary. God was speaking volumes to me. I was impressed with Oscar, yes, but I was (and am) in awe of God. What beauty, what heights of excitement, what emotion (by the time Ella performed, I was exhausted)! Oscar was a window through which (to me) "God's attributes" were clearly seen. I am without excuse; I must, I am compelled to praise, honor, and worship God."
 
Featured on the Radio
Avalon
This is the CD that began the digital era for both the Midiri Brothers, and myself. Originally approached as a trio (only) CD (like "The Other Brother" 8 years later), this recording, owned by the Midiri Brothers features also the Midiri Brothers Sextet (their main performing group), with Paula Johns on vocals. Although Joe, Paul (the brothers) and I all had previous recording experience, this was the most significant project for each of us, up until that time. Joe and Paul each performed as multi-instrumentalists: Joe played 3 instruments, Paul played 4 (I won't tell you which, you'll have to listen to the CD to find out)! I stuck with the piano (unlike more recent recordings with the brothers). This album has stood the test of time, and remains a strong statement of swinging jazz. Larry Nye in Cadence Magazine stated in his review that this was the best version of "Exactly Like You" he's heard captured on recording. Jack Bowers wrote: "Not to give away any secrets, but listening to the half-dozen trio numbers, on which Joe Midiri plays clarinet, brother Paul plays drums and Joe Holt is the pianist, one can clearly discern the influence of another well-known trio whose members answered to the names Benny, Gene and Teddy". This CD is still available, though I'm not sure for how long. If not already in your collection, this would be a great addition. Take a look on the website, and check out the radio show for 5/10 when this recording is featured.
 
 
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