Third Stream

September 27th, 2010  |  Make a comment

Hi Friends, For the past year and a half, I’ve been playing with a
very talented group of musicians, consisting of Dave Cheli – Bb
clarinet & tenor sax; his sons, Dominic Cheli – piano and Kevin Cheli
– drums and percussion; and Chris Landers – guitars.  The members have
gone their own ways now, but this summer we made a recording of the
two pieces I wrote for the group, “Islands” and “The Next Curve”,
which I uploaded to my MySpace site:
I hope you’ll give it a listen and post a comment on the MySpace page, if you’d like.

The music is characteristic of much of our playing together – some
free sections, some composed sections and some a combination of both.
For example, “Islands” has a form based upon chords and modes but with
absolutely no melodies written out, all improvised; “The Next Curve”
has sections written out but with totally free improv. sections
inserted in between the solos.

Enjoy, and I hope to see many of you at New Music Circle concerts this season!cheli-group.jpg

standing (L.-R.) – Chris Landers, Fred Tompkins, Dave Cheli;       seated – Dominic Cheli, Kevin Cheli

Third Stream

September 20th, 2010  |  Make a comment

Here’s a good sign that concert presenters devoted to showcasing a broad range of musical styles within a single event are finding more success and attracting large crowds! Chamber Music Day in San Francisco – I’ll let you read about it.

Third Stream

July 16th, 2010  |  Make a comment

I wanted to let you all know about a quite comprehensive and well written article on the subject of  Third Stream music by Jeff Kaliss ( which includes a nice description of my own endeavors (including a mention of the New Music Circle) and generally puts the style into historical perspective by outlining the personal concepts and goals of some of the pioneers in this field – Gunther Schuller, Charles Mingus, David Amram, MJQ, Miles Davis and others.

The article is in a magazine called CA-Modern ( You can read it online or order a copy of the magazine, but I’d recommend the latter, because it’s a colorful and descriptive publication about lifestyles in California and modern architecture of the mid 20th century. Important, though, be sure to order the Summer 2010 edition, if you want to see the article.  Enjoy, and let me know what you think sometime.

Third Stream

May 30th, 2010  |  Make a comment

Sorry that so much time has passed between Third Stream entries, but I’ve actually been quite busy composing the stuff. I’m most of the way though a big piece for sample sounds and “live” drummer, and I hope to be overdubbing the improvised drum part soon. When I get it down, I’ll post it on my MP3 Player page for you. Meanwhile, take a listen to the music already there and let me know what you think. (menu on the right, under Blogroll)

In addition, I’ve been writing music for a local St. Louis group with myself on flute, George Sams on trumpet & flugelhorn, Joshua Weinstein on acoustic bass and Bobo Shaw on drums – some really intense free playing, music by group members and one piece by Sam Rivers – in other words, lots of variety!   I’ll keep you in touch (promised)

Third Stream

May 9th, 2010  |  Make a comment

Lately, I’ve been acquainting myself with two composer/performers who’s music, on the surface, would appear to be of contrasting nature, but examined more deeply, have much in common. That would be the music of Brent Heisinger (ostensibly a “classical” composer) and Taylor Eigsti (ostensibly a “jazz” pianist). In fact, Taylor’s music, while usually featuring improvised jazz solos, often displays an advanced compositional technique and some really fascinating orchestrations. I love the sound samples and videos on his main site:

Brent Heisinger is also a multifaceted musician who regards himself as a classical composer, yet who, on the other hand, has written a major work called Ekta for chamber orchestra, tabla and jazz trio, to be performed 5/15 & 5/16 in San José, CA, featuring pianist, Taylor Eigsti. Eigsti’s (‘Third Stream’?) piece, ReTrianon, will also be on the concert. If you go to Brent’s website, and click on “List of Works” you can purchase scores and listen to sound samples of each piece, Fanfare and Prayer and Reflections capturing my immediate attention.

Given the sum total of talent here with its implication of a broadly inclusive range of stylistic influences, this concert promises to be one of the more successful attempts at jazz/classical synthesis. To read more about this concert and get all the specifics, go to

Third Stream

May 3rd, 2010  |  Make a comment

For our final New Music Circle regular season concert, we have a very special event taking place. It will be a collaboration between acoustic instrumentalists, Rich O’Donnell (percussion); Dave Stone (reeds); and synthesist, Tom Hamilton – taking place on Saturday, 5/8, 7:30pm at the Kranzberg Arts Ctr. (501 N. Grand).

Tom Hamilton has been perfecting this collaborative approach to music making ever since the 1960s, so his rapport with live musicians is now intuitive and the resultant language very personal. While shaping the direction of his works, he also allows the soloists a wide range of latitude for their own creativity. Dave Stone and Rich O’Donnell, two of the top improvisers around, will not disappoint or hold back. For more on the event and the artists, visit: and Tom Hamilton’s MySpace site:

Third Stream

April 20th, 2010  |  Make a comment

I hope you’ll all join me this Sunday, 4/25, 8:30pm at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Ctr., 3301 Lemp Ave., to hear the fabulous return of saxophonist, Peter Brötzmann, along with percussionist, Hamid Drake. Brötzmann has been a leader in the European avant garde ever since the 1970s, playing in a style of high intensity free improv. that’s sure to keep you locked in and focused, right through to the last cymbal crash! For specific info. on this event, visit: and also visit Peter Brötzmann’s main site: See you there!

Third Stream

April 9th, 2010  |  Make a comment

Here’s in praise of St. Louis’s own Arianna String Quartet! Tonight, at 8:00pm at the Touhill (See for full info.) they will be performing not only one of the most difficult works, but a work universally considered among the most significant and adventurous in the entire repertoire of string composition, the Béla Bartok String Quartet #4., which, along with his #5,  stands pointedly alone in the field as an ageless monolith of creativity and high technical experimentation. Only the Ravel quartet and the late Beethoven quartets come to mind as equally significant. I hope you’ll have time to rush over and hear this music tonight. You will be highly rewarded!

Third Stream

March 30th, 2010  |  Make a comment

Several exciting new music events on the near horizon: First, cellist, Craig Hultgren will be returning to St. Louis to direct an extended work for cello, KYMA electronics (Rich O’Donnell), synthesizer & cello (Dr. Mabuse) and poetry (Anna Lum) at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand, this Saturday, 4/3, at 7:30pm. With his broad experience as both a schooled, symphony performer and a no holds barred, experimental practitioner of new music techniques, this promises to be a rewarding and entertaining evening. The music itself will serve partly as a vehicle for solo improvisation and partly as a dialog with poetry, narrative and electronic coloration. For more information on the event and Craig Hultgren, visit the New Music Circle website –

Then on April 5th, at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center , 3301 Lemp Ave. , you’ll be treated to three performances all in one evening. At 8:30p, one of our most talented and versatile performers, Dave Stone, will play a short opening set of solo saxophones. Then at 9:00pm, I’ll be performing on flute with Dave Cheli’s group, Tribal Chicken – Dave on tenor sax, Chris Landers on guitar, Dominic Cheli on electronic keyboard and Kevin Cheli on drums and percussion. For this event we’ll be stretching out our improvisations over a more than usually expanded palette of textural, instrumental and tempo changes.   Hold on, though, it’s not over: At 10:30pm, the Wizards (, led by keyboardist and multi-instrumentalist, Gerard Cox, will perform. Featuring the highly inventive sax and bass clarinet playing of Hasan Razzaq, this group blends gritty free improv. with colorful synthesizer sounds and well conceived changes of instrumentation. To learn more about the Lemp,visit:

Third Stream

March 9th, 2010  |  Make a comment

I wanted to tell you about two upcoming events for this week:On Thurs., 3/11, 7:00pm – 9:30pm guitarist, Matthew Von Doran’s trio ( ) will play at the Broadway Bean (7619 South Broadway). This is a small, intimate club with great acoustics and a continually rotating exhibit of art works on the wall. The trio, by the way, performs with comparable intimacy, and the highly interactive drumming of Steve Davis keeps the group sounding vibrant and intense. Between Dave Black performing with the Paul DeMarinis Sextet recently and Matthew’s trio, you realize how well endowed we are with great guitarists and great jazz ensembles.

Then on Saturday, 3/13, 7:30pm, the New Music Circle will present the music of John Tamm-Buckle at the Kranzberg Arts Ctr. (501 N. Grand). For this artist, you’ll find his process is just as fascinating as his final product, with melting ice sculptures, contact microphones, signal-processing functions and sound samples recorded in Antarctica. For more on this, visit the NMC website:, and for more on John Tamm-Buckle, visit his main site