Thoroughbred

Olivia Cooke & Anya Taylor-Joy

Olivia Cooke & Anya Taylor-Joy

I recently composed the soundtrack for the feature length film "Thoroughbred", which will be premiering at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival as part of the NEXT program. The soundtrack includes music from a session I did with Satoshi Takeishi and Sylvie Courvoisier. The final score contains some choice moments of prepared piano as well as a whole lot of Satoshi's percussion. The film stars Olivia Cooke, Anya Taylor-Joy and Anton Yelchin, and is Cory Finley's directorial debut. It was an excellent experience working on this exciting project, more details to follow about a soundtrack release!

 

SYLVIE COURVOISIER & THE PREPARED PIANO - SATOSHI TAKEISHI

Friedlander Week at The Stone - June 7-12

I AM VERY EXCITED TO ANNOUNCE MY WEEK AT THE STONE COMING UP JUNE 7-12.

 There is a handful of premiers and a bunch of amazing bands. I am looking forward to every night!

TUESDAY JUNE 7

I'll be starting the week off with my ace cello colleague Mike Nicolas (of Brooklyn Rider and ICE) as we perform John Zorn's newest book of compositions, his Bagatelles Project.  Mike and I have played this program a couple of times on Sunday afternoon concerts at the Stone and it has been a very gratifying experience.  Immediately following that on Tuesday night at 10 pm, I will reconvene Claws & Wings, a trio I recorded in 2012 to memorialize my late wife Lynn Shapiro, a dancer and writer who passed away from cancer in 2011.  It's a very special group that features my longtime collaborators and friends Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) and Ikue Mori (laptop electronics).  This trio does not get together often – in fact it will be our first time playing in almost 3 years – so it's a rare chance to hear this music.  Hear an interview I did with NPR's Arun Rath about the project in 2013.

WEDNESDAY JUNE 8 - 50 MINIATURES + DUO with CRAIG TABORN

My first premieres are Wednesday night – first at 8 PM the debut public performance of 50 Miniatures for Improvising Quintet, a piece I wrote and recorded in 2008. Second, at 10 PM, I'll be performing with the extraordinary pianist Craig Taborn, as we get together in a duo format for the first time. This should be very exciting.

THURSDAY JUNE 9 - BLACK PHEBE & VELVET WHITE

My new trio, Black Phebe, which I originally formed with Shoko Nagai (piano and accordion) and Satoshi Takeishi (percussion) to record the soundtrack to a documentary called Nothing on Earth, will be celebrating the release of Ringsmy newest album.  This set which will be followed by another new lineup called Velvet White, named for the John Chamberlin sculptureof car parts, this band, featuringIkue MoriAva Mendoza, and Ches Smith will bring Thursday night to a raucous close.  The juxtaposition of Black Phebe & White Velvet is purely coincidental.  Or is it???

FRIDAY JUNE 10 - BROKEN ARM TRIO & ARRULLO DE LA NOCHE HONDA

Friday will bring my Broken Arm Trio with Trevor Dunn (bass) and Michael Sarin (drums) for a set of original tunes inspired by the small-group sound of Herbie Nichols and Oscar Pettiford. Friday night will finish with singer Lucia Pulido, who will be flying in from Mexico to join me for a very special NY premiere of Arrullo de la Noche Honda a mix of Colombian folk songs and modern settings of Colombian poetry I composed. 

SATURDAY JUNE 11 - TIME QUARTET & OSCALYPSO

Saturday night will feature a new band called the Time Quartet. I will be joined by Uri Caine(piano), Mark Helias (bass), and Ches Smith (drums) for a performance including "6 Absinthe Glasses," a piece written in response to my experience at Picasso's sculpture show at MoMA.  Saturday night at 10 PM, I will join the Oscalypso band performing our Oscar Pettiford tribute -- a program of all Pettiford originals! Tenor saxophonist Michael Blake and my bandmates from Broken Arm, Trevor Dunn and Michael Sarin will round out the rest of this new band.

SUNDAY JUNE 12 - ILLUMINATIONS (SOLO CELLO) & NOTHING ON EARTH

The week closes on Sunday night with a special solo performance of Illuminations, my 2015 release of pieces originally commissioned by the Jewish Museum in New York City which hosted an exhibit of ancient books from Oxford University’s Bodleian Collection. The exhibit brought together ancient illuminated texts in Arabic, Latin and Hebrew.  These pieces are my reaction to seeing those amazing texts.  The week ends with Nothing On Earth, the soundtrack referenced above which followed photographer Murray Fredericks to the glaciers of Greenland. Featuring the Black Phebe trio with Shoko and Satoshi Takeishi.

WE NEED YOUR HELP TO SPREAD THE WORD!

With recent setbacks and consolidations in the media, it's harder than ever to get listings in the old places we all used to rely on for our concert-going info (Time Out, The Voice, Soundcheck, even the NY Times listings, are all but gone or very drastically reduced).  Facebook just doesn't cut it.  Today, we have to rely more heavily than ever on word of mouth so I would ask that you help us spread the word among your peers. Feel free to forward this email to a friend or two if you think they might enjoy the music. A lot of this music is available to sample or purchase physically or digitally in advance on my Bandcamp page where I sell all my own music. I will also have physical copies of everything on hand at The Stone.

It's going to be a challenging week but we've got a lot of fun music to play and share with all of you!  Please come by and lend us your ears. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Stone is located at Avenue C and 2nd Street (NW corner). Sets are at 8 PM and 10 PM. You can't buy advance tickets but you can post the graphic below on your social media if you like.

Thanks for your time & support,
Erik

 

Pettiford - Role Model

When I look to history for a role model, it’s Pettiford. Pettiford played the cello with such swing and melody. He was one of the first to lead a band from behind the cello. And he wrote original tunes, some of which are now classics. Pettiford had a special feel for the instrument -- he even named his son Cello! And his twin daughters Celeste and Cellina. He’s always been a hero of mine.

COME SEE MY TRIBUTE TO
OSCAR PETTIFORD
Tomorrow Night!

Personnel:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, NY
 

Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

Pettiford - the Late 50s

“By the spring of 1956 Pettiford’s reign as house leader and musical director at the Cafe Bohemia had come to an end. What looked like an ideal set-up soon exploded when Oscar started running up bar bills in excess of his salary.”
(Joop Visser  “Oscar rides Again” multi-cd set)

After touring Europe in 1958 with a package show called “Jazz from Carnegie Hall” featuring Kenny Clarke, Lee Konitz, J.J. Johnson and Zoot Sims, Pettiford decided to stay in Europe where he lived, played, toured and taught until his death in 1960. 

 

COME SEE MY TRIBUTE TO OSCAR PETTIFORD:

This Wednesday Night!

OSCALYPSO:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums.

https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1104491
http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall
Stage #3
185 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Oscalypso: Sarin, Dunn, Friedlander & Blake.

Oscalypso: Sarin, Dunn, Friedlander & Blake.

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby

52nd Street - Pettiford

Oscar Pettiford was deeply entrenched in the 52nd street Jazz scene in the 1940’s and 50’s. Alongside Minton’s playhouse in Harlem, Clubs on 52nd street such as 21 Club, the  Onyx, and Kelly’s Stable among others became ground zero for the formation and dissemination of Bebop.

Budd Johnson, “Oscar Pettiford contributed much to this music. Most all of those tunes that we played on 52nd Street when I worked with Diz, damned near half of them were Oscar's tunes. He was writing tunes every day. "Hey, Budd. Put this down. Put this down. Put this down." 'Cause he couldn't notate it on paper, so a lot of that happened that way. A lot of that happened with Monk. I used to put down things for Monk. That was back in the 52nd Street days.”

Trummy Young, “On 52nd Street I remember getting into several fights trying to help Oscar Pettiford because it seemed like he had a nose for trouble, and guys used to look for him that weren't musicians, and I got beat up two or three times, fooling with Oscar and trying to help him. And once a bunch of sailors were going to beat him up, and Dizzy and I both got beat up trying to help him on this occasion. On the subway. Oh, Lord. I can tell you so many strange things that happened. So we started watching Oscar more carefully. We'd tell him, "No. Wait in the car." We wouldn't let him run right out after work, because he would always get into something.”

COME SEE MY TRIBUTE TO OSCAR PETTIFORD:

OSCALYPSO:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums.

https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1104491
http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall
Stage #3
185 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby

 

Competitive Pettiford

Chubby Jackson on Pettiford’s competitive nature:

“I did have a certain amount of fun with him, but all of a sudden there was a very obvious sense of competition between the two of us. But the period I did spend with him my left hand did improve. I always had a pretty fast feeling on the bass, but I found some areas that he showed me, so I have really nothing to say about Oscar except that he was great. He and I didn't have the same time; his was way on top like Walter Page used to be, and mine was more in the middle; if anything it was underneath and then it graduated right square into it. But Oscar always was pulling the band.”

COME SEE MY TRIBUTE TO OSCAR PETTIFORD (One week from today!):

OSCALYPSO:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums.

https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1104491
http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall
Stage #3
185 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby

Pettiford The Composer

As well as being a mainstay on stage as an incomparable rhythm player, Pettiford was also an accomplished and equally influential composer. Albums such as Oscar Pettiford (1954) and Volume 2 (1956) boasted pieces such as “Tricotism” and “Bohemia After Dark”, respectively, which illuminated Pettiford’s innovative arrangements and adventurous melodic expression.

COME SEE MY TRIBUTE TO
OSCAR PETTIFORD:

OSCALYPSO:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums.

https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1104491
http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall
Stage #3
185 Orchard St, New York, NY 10002

Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby

Terry Gibbs on Pettiford

Terry Gibbs recounts a story about Pettiford and his loyalty to his instrument. 

"Oh, Oscar Pettiford. Oscar was great. In those days, you know, you go to afterhours clubs. Oscar, one time, wanted to take his own bass with him. So he took his bass. And the club got busted. Everybody is jumping out of windows. We all jumped out of windows. Except Oscar couldn't go 'cause his bass was more important than his life. It was somewhere in the Midwest. So we had to bail him out."

TERRY GIBBS from the Swing to Bop: An Oral History of the Transition in Jazz in the
1940s

I'll be performing with my band Oscalypso, playing all Pettiford. Come down and hear the group.


OSCALYPSO:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums.

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall Stage #3
185 Orchard St,
New York, NY 10002 

https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1104491
http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/

Oscar Pettiford

Pettiford with Duke Ellington.

Pettiford with Duke Ellington.

I'll be performing with my Oscalypso project March 23, at 830p. Come and hear this great man's music.

Oscar Pettiford (1922-­1960) was a musical dynamo; a prolific and innovative virtuoso and composer who pioneered and contextualized solo cello within the Jazz vernacular. Born into a musical family on an Indian reservation in Oklahoma, Pettiford began playing bass at age fourteen and by his early twenties was recording and playing with the likes of Coleman Hawkins, Thelonious Monk, Errol Garner, Sonny Rollins and Max Roach. Like so many others of the bebop generation, Pettiford’s bullheaded character and fierce drive gave way to a personal mythology which rivaled his creative legacy in both intensity and scope.

Described by his peers and contemporaries as a deeply difficult, competitive and troubled man, Pettiford was often confrontational with other players and seemingly dissatisfied with his perceived lack of recognition within the larger Jazz community. However, half a century after his death, Pettiford’s tremendous impact on Jazz music and exploration of the melodic and rhythmic boundaries of the bass and cello have secured Pettiford as a unique and eminent figure in the evolution and creation of timeless, passionate and deeply emotive music.

 

Oscalypso_coverimage.jpg

OSCALYPSO:  Erik Friedlander, cello; Michael Blake, saxophone; Trevor Dunn, bass; Michael Sarin, drums.

March 23, 830p
Rockwood Music Hall Stage #3
185 Orchard St,
New York, NY 10002 

https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1104491
http://www.rockwoodmusichall.com/

NED ROTHENBERG'S "Inner Diaspora" 3 Dates in December

Inner Diaspora in December


3 concerts prior to entering the studio to record our next release. Come by and check it out!


with Mark Feldman, violin
Erik Friedlander, cello
Jerome Harris, acoustic bass guitar and acoustic guitar
Satoshi Takeishi, percussion
Ned Rothenberg, clarinet, alto sax, shakuhachi

  • Thursday, Dec. 10th at 8:30 at The Lily Pad, 1353 Cambridge st., Cambridge, MA 02139
    $20 at the door.
  • Friday, Dec. 11th at 8:30 ($20) and 10 ($15) pm
    Firehouse 12, 45 Crown st., New Haven, CT 06510, 203-785-4648 (link is)
  • Friday, December 18th at 8 pm
    Sound it Out series at Greenwich House Music 
    $15, 12 for students and seniors
    46 Barrow St., New York, NY 10014, 212-242-4770

New Store Opened

I've opened a store at my website that will have everything. Feel free to stop by and check it out.  Skipstone Records Store. I will still continue to see out of BandCamp and all the other places you can find my music.

Pettiford - 1960

OP with Duke Ellington

OP with Duke Ellington

“By the spring of 1956 Pettiford’s reign as house leader and musical director at the Cafe Bohemia had come to an end. What looked like an ideal set-up soon exploded when Oscar started running up bar bills in excess of his salary.”
(Joop Visser  “Oscar rides Again” multi-cd set)

“He was an unhappy man in lots of ways. He was a frustrated man. He had illusions of grandeur. It happened to a lot of people who came up when he did. He was trying to make his one adjustment to the inequities of the scene. He couldn’t understand why he wasn’t as famous a Dizzy Gillespie. He actually consciously thought about this a great deal. He was very unrealistic in his business dealings, particularly in that period.”  - Dick Katz from Swing to Bop: An Oral History of the Transition in Jazz in the 1940s

Around this time (late 50s) Pettiford left the US and moved to Denmark. In 1960 he fell off a bicycle and was hospitalized and a metal plate put in his head. After another accident (car accident?) he was hospitalized again and never recovered, dying in Denmark in September of 1960. A sad end to one amazing musician who despite a short life with his share of bad luck, wrote beautiful music that could be buoyant as well as thoughtful. One of the greats and one of my heroes.

Come see my tribute to
Oscar Pettiford:

October 28 - 830p
Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, NY
MORE INFO
Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby

Pettiford - The Cello

Pettiford with son Cello from the cover of My Little Cello an LP released after Pettiford's death in September of 1960.

Pettiford with son Cello from the cover of My Little Cello an LP released after Pettiford's death in September of 1960.

In 1949 bassist Oscar Pettiford broke his arm playing baseball. He could still move his fingers even though his arm was in a sling, so he began experimenting with a cello a friend had lent to him. He tuned the cello like a bass only an octave higher and later made history recording a series of cello-led projects including the great, under-recognized 1964 Fantasy release, "My Little Cello."

When I look to history for a role model, it’s Pettiford. Pettiford played the cello with such swing and melody. He was one of the first to lead a band from behind the cello. And he wrote original tunes, some of which are now classics. Pettiford had a special feel for the instrument -- he even named his son Cello! And his twin daughters Celeste and Cellina. He’s always been a hero of mine.

Come see my tribute to
Oscar Pettiford:

October 28 - 830p
Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, NY
MORE INFO
Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby

Pettiford - "..the tempos were ungodly."

"The first thing that impressed me was that the tempos were ungodly. I mean Oscar Pettiford and Max Roach were two of the strongest rhythm players I'd ever played with at that time, and Max still is. Oscar would get annoyed if we played "Bebop" [sings introduction very rapidly]--if we played in that tempo and didn't give him a solo--now, most bass players they'd say, "Well, look, man, I've been playin' four behind you guys all these choruses. Let the drummer take it." But he said, "Look, you played on it. I'll play on it, too." Until he broke his arm, playing ball with Woody Herman, he really had just unbelievable strength in terms of playing tempos and playing tremendously fast passages on the bass violin. But everything he did, fast, slow, medium, whatever, had the extension of what Blanton did. Blanton had started this melodic approach, which was perhaps more closely related to Charlie Christian and earlier players, but Pettiford's work was plugged right into Dizzy and Bird. That's right where he was coming from; the same kind of drive, the same kind of melodic impetus that stemmed from that rhythmic security."

BILLY TAYLOR from Swing to Bop: An Oral History of the Transition in Jazz in the 1940s

Come see my tribute to Oscar Pettiford:

October 28 - 830p
Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, NY
MORE INFO
Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby.com

Pettiford - "I quit!"

Pettiford sometimes felt that he didn't get the credit he deserved. Despite this prickly personality he is responsible for some of the sunniest music from the 50s.

Dizzy said, ”Oscar was really bull-headed, he used to quit all the time. I told him one time, ‘Look, I was in New York before you got here. I’ll be here when you’re gone.’ He was winning all the polls, I called him a prima donna. He said, ‘I quit’, and I said, “let the doorknob git you in the back, baby’”

Dizzy Gillespie from Swing to Bop: An Oral History of the Transition in Jazz in the 1940s

Come see my tribute to Oscar Pettiford:

October 28 - 830p
Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, NY
MORE INFO
Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby.com

Oscar Pettiford - The Value of Money

"Oscar, in those days, Oscar had no value of money. If he met some girl, some chick that he liked--one time he said, "I'm not takin' the bus." But he did take a taxi cab for three hundred miles, and when he got there Woody had to pay two hundred dollars to the taxi driver for Oscar Pettiford or we wouldn't have no bass player to play the job. He did it two or three times. He took a cab for ninety miles once. Once three hundred and twenty miles. Or we had no bass player. If Oscar--not only just a chick--if Oscar met somebody to hang out with. Oscar was a hanger-outer. Oscar was beautiful. He'd hang out and Woody would have to pay his cab fare."

Terry Gibbs from Swing to Bop: An Oral History of the Transition in Jazz in the 1940s

Come see my tribute to
Oscar Pettiford:

October 28 - 830p
Rockwood Music Hall in NYC, NY
MORE INFO
Twitter: @RockwoodNYC
Facebook: @Rockwood Music Hall

Pick up the CD:

iTunes
Bandcamp
CDBaby.com