Welcome ...

D-MoZone is the place to find out what’s new with pianist/composer/educator Diane Moser. Keep an eye on this blog for updates on music, health, gigs, fundraisers, random thoughts and all things D-Mo. And please keep sending your thoughts, good wishes and comments this way—they’re always needed and always appreciated.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Mark Dresser Quintet: Nourishments

Mark Dresser Quintet: Nourishments

Just letting everyone know that my dear friend Mark Dresser has a new cd out! Above you'll find a link to a wonderful review on "All About Jazz" by Robert Bush.
I haven't heard the recording yet, but I did hear the group live and they were fantastic.

Here's the info from Clean Feed....

A singularly accomplished bass innovator in the fields of jazz, free improvisation and new music, Mark Dresser has devoted himself in recent years to pushing the capacities of solo bass performance even further. In “Nourishments,” his first quintet recording in almost two decades, he shifts his attention back to another longtime creative commitment, ensemble exploration with a team of master improvisers possessing unmistakable sounds. Featuring Rudresh Mahanthappa, Michael Dessen, Denman Maroney, and, in turns, Tom Rainey or Michael Sarin--all leaders in their own right and players deeply versed in Dresser’s music--the quintet delves headlong into his richly suggestive compositions. More than anything, Dresser creates vehicles for beautifully modulated interaction via counterpoint, cyclical organization, timbre sculpting, and all the unexpected combinations of pitch and noise or meter and texture. He developed several pieces with trombonist Michael Dessen while they were in different cities through telematics, fiber optic-facilitated remote performances that have opened up new astounding new possibilities for international collaborations. By whatever means, “Nourishments” is the work of artists who connect musically, emotionally and intellectually with unusual power and grace. This is it!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

4th Year Anniversary of Cancer Surgery

Today is my 4th year anniversary of my cancer surgery. On this day I went into Englewood Hospital at around 7AM, accompanied by my son. Rev Carolyn Keith, my dear friend Karin O'Connell and my son's friend (also mine) James White. What followed you can read on this blog, but for the important part I will quote my wonderful oncologist Dr Forte who said "you walked into the hospital in stage IV cancer, and you left in stage 0"!
Once again, I want to thank everyone for your support then and the support that you continue to give me! You have all played a part in my recovery and my return to the music..I will be forever grateful to all of you.

I've already started the celebrations!
Part 1
I just made my mother's famous recipe called "No Bake Cookies" which are now called the "It's You Cookies". We call them that because as I was making them during the Thanksgiving Holiday in 2002, a tune came into my head, complete with lyrics...which I now call "It's You". I recorded it in December of 2002 with the soulful singer Marguerita Page, drummer Duncan Moore, bassist Rob Thorsen, guitarist Peter Sprague and percussionist Will Parsons, and it is on my new cd "Diane Moser WDMO". The cd will soon be up on my website and CDBaby, but in the meantime you can go to....http://dianemoser.bandcamp.com/
These are super easy to make and are sooooo delicious!
here's the recipe...

“It’s You” Cookies
1 cup coconut
3 cups quick-cooking oatmeal
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 stick oleo or butter
2 cups white sugar
½ cup milk
6 oz. package chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla
Mix coconut, oatmeal and cocoa in large mixing bowl. Melt oleo in medium pan, add sugar and milk. Cook, stirring, but do not boil. Add chocolate chips, stir; add vanilla. Pour over dry ingredients, stir, then drop spoonfuls on wax paper, put in refrigerator for 20 mins or so. Adapted from Ardith Moser’s No-Bake Cookies recipe
Part 2
I get to perform with 2 of my favorite musicians tonight, bassist Andy Eulau and drummer Scott Neumann on a concert at Luna Stage Theater Co. in West Orange, NJ in a tribute to my former teacher, the amazing Jaki Byard. I've written about my experiences with Jaki on my new website...http://dianemosermusic.com/2013/02/09/diane-moser-trio-tribute-to-jaki-byard/
There are a few posts about Jaki here on Flipped Kitty as well, look at the June 2012 archives and the 2 pieces about my big band performing his charts.
Meanwhile, a cool piece of news that I spotted this week
"Study Strengthens Case for Surgery After Imatinib Therapy for GIST-Nearly Double the Progression-Free Survival When Surgery Is Performed"

Of course, I did it the other way around, we had to get that 13 lb. tumor out, but I've been on 400 mg of Gleevec daily for almost 4 years now and am NED! There are side effects, and all of us on Gleevec have become quite creative in dealling with them..which we happily do because it is keeping us cancer free.

Enjoy the music...enjoy the cookies!
much love to you all,


Monday, January 21, 2013

4 years ago today....

....while watching the historic Presidential Inauguration of our nation's first African-American president, Barack H. Obama...I received a phone call from the Jazz Foundation of America, telling me that they had found an oncologist who would work with me and the hospital where I would get my biopsy....that doctor was Dr Francis A. Forte and the hospital was Englewood Hospital, in Englewood, NJ....and I continue to see him every 3 months and continue to have cat scans done at Englewood Hospital.

This photo comes from an article about Dr. Forte and the Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund (Dr. Forte was Dizzy's doc!), written by my dear friend and fabulous writer Carla Baranaukas, and you can read her article here.

My visits with Dr Forte are more than about my health...we talk a lot about music! Dr Forte is a guitarist and writes cd reviews for various publications. I feel so lucky to have a doctor that I can talk to, outside of health issues..but to have an ongoing dialogue about music and the life of a musician. On my recent visit with him a few weeks ago...which I might add..everything is A.O.K (except for the weight gain..partly my fault..partly side effects of Gleevec)...he said "we have to find a way for musicians to make a decent living...to assist them in their projects...to make sure they are getting paid for all of their hard work!" Here, here Dr. Forte!!!

Dr.  Forte also funds Jazz performances in the lobby of Englewood Hospital, which I gotta tell you is something I look forward to every time I visit.  On days I have cat scans appointments, and on coming down from radiology, I'll hear the music as soon as I step off the elevator. Many times I see Ron Naspo on bass, Bob DeBenedette on piano, and Fred Stoll on drums...playing softly, but swinging!! Sometimes I stay and have lunch with them, bonus!

Other times, I'll see Calvin Hill or Lisle Atkinson on bass, and Richard Wyands on piano. Here is a photo of Calvin, Richard, guitarist Roni Ben Hur with Dr. Forte in the lobby of the hospital, and an accompanying article on The Dizzy Gillespie Memorial Fund.

So as I started watching the inauguration today, I had to come to this blog so that I could express my deepest gratitude to all of you for your help and support and prayers for rescuing me in my darkest time of need, and assisting me in my recovery. It sounds cliche, but not a day goes by that I don't give thanks to all of you, you are always on my mind and in my heart.

I also made a donation to the Jazz Foundation of America just now, and if you feel so moved to do so, I know they would greatly appreciate that. The JFA helps all musicians who are in need of medical help, financial help...recovery from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina...food..or just someone to talk to. You can visit their website here.

Friday, June 15, 2012

John Curry Memorial Concert this Sat, June 16th

In December of 2008, my young friend Johnny Curry was murdered in his apartment in Troy, New York.
Johnny was a talented violist and just an all around wonderful soul. You can tell by this photograph and his big smile, that he made everyone smile whenever he was around. 
At the time of his death, he was a student at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and had just finished his last final for the semester and was gathering up his stuff to come home for Chirstmas. The investigation into his death is still ongoing, but it's pretty clear that someone had broken into his apartment, trying to rob him, and he was shot. 
Johnny was one of those people that if you needed a hand in something, he was there to help. I remember him coming to one of my gigs in NYC, and he volunteered to carry the drummer's massive "trap case" down several flights of stairs and onto the street. That case was so heavy, and Johnny just picked it up like it was a picnic basket.
I also remember the hundreds of conversations we had on music. He was constantly checking out new music and new ideas. One night I took him to a concert at the new music performance space "Roulette" in NYC, to hear the innovative pianist Michael Harrison. Michael uses "just intonation", or pure tuning, the universal foundation for harmony which is constructed from musical intervals of perfect mathematical proportions as in the days of Pythagoras. He has a special way of tuning the piano to achieve this. As Johnny and I sat and listened, we immediately looked at each other after the first few notes were played, with that "what is that sound" look. But after a few minutes, it sounded completely normal, and magical. When we got back in the car to drive home, we were listening to some music on the radio, and again, our ears were in shock, we had to turn the radio off, we wanted to stay in the "just intonation" mode for the ride home. We talked all the way home about Pythagoras, Music of the Spheres, where does music come from, it was a really wonderful night.

Since his death, his family, friends and the orchestra that he played in, The Northern New Jersey Youth Symphony, has held a concert in his memory, and created the John F. Curry 3 Music Fund to support orchestra participation and the purchase of instruments for deserving young musicians. 

 The evening begins at 6:30 with solo performances and small ensembles, and at 8 p.m., the Northern NewJersey Youth Orchestra  with alumni and friends, directed by Todd Van Beveren, will perform.

Refreshments are served before, during and after the event, hosted by family and friends. These are not ordinary refreshments, but tables and tables of hor s d'oeuvres, entrees and desserts, with lots of beverages, and everyone talking and laughing and remembering Johnny.

The concert is open to the public, so please come and enjoy the music, and the fellowship.
These young musicians are wonderful, and many of Johnny's teachers perform with them side by side.

John F. Curry 3 Memorial Concert
Saturday, June 16 
Congregation Church
 176 Cooper Ave
Upper Montclair, NJ 07043 
a $10 donation is requested

Monday, May 28, 2012

more Jaki Byard stories

This story comes from Susan Brink when she was interviewing Jazz club owner Amos Kaune

"Amos Kaune, who recently passed, was the proprietor of a number of jazz rooms - The Clifton Tap Room and Gulliver's, to name a few. Amos respected the music and he insisted his patrons do the same. One night, he made a sign with a marking pencil and posted it at the door " You have to be quiet or you will have to leave and your music charge will not be refunded" . A few weeks later, someone mentioned they'd seen his sign, near the door at a club in Boston. Turns out that Jaki Bayard had made a copy of the sign and put it up wherever he was playing."

On the website of pianist Jeremy Kahn...a page dedicated to Jaki Byard.
and from his blog...a story about playing with the Apollo Stompers

Monday, May 21, 2012

Diane Moser's Composers Big Band plays the music of Jaki Byard June 13th!

Diane Moser's Composers Big Band
plays the music of Jaki Byard

Wednesday June 13th
$15 cover
Trumpets Jazz Club
6 Depot Square
Montclair, NJ 07043

On Wednesday June 13th, Diane Moser's Composers Big Band dives into the big band music of Jaki Byard. Mr. Byard, who died in 1999 and who would have been 90 on June 15th, was considered one of our most ingenious and influential pianists in the history of Jazz. It is unusual that we feature the music of a composer who has passed on. We featured Oliver Nelson's music twice, back when we were in residence at Tierney's Tavern, and we have a few Mingus charts in the book, but there are two connections to Jaki Byard in the band that makes this a special night. Our lead alto saxophonist Ed Xiques played with Jaki and his big band in the 1950's in Boston and I studied with Jaki in the late 80's while attending graduate school at the Manhattan School of Music. Most of these arrangements have not been played or heard since before his death, so this indeed will be a very special night.

Here are some memories from Ed Xiques...

"As I recall, it was the Fall of 1958 that I began playing with Jaki in Boston into possibly the fall of 1960.  Jaki was very important to me. His  creativity was extraordinary and I am still in awe of his musicianship to this day, when I hear his recordings or play one of his compositions. I think he is a very important part of Jazz history and is probably very underrated. 
I was 19 years old and honored to be a part of his band and never missed a rehearsal even when ill. He also played alto and tenor on the gigs and was amazing, again, with his sound and swing feel and creativity. We played at a club in Roxbury, Mass.[ did a few radio shows from there] and I remember a concert in Worcester, Mass, and the concert at Boston University where the photo (above) was taken by Jaki's wife, Louise. This is the only photo I have, thanks to John Sergenian.  By the way, Jaki used to carry a small copy of that photo in his wallet." 
(In the photo above...John Sergenian is to the far left playing tenor, and Ed Xiques is the second from the right, also playing tenor....Mark Levine is standing..taking a solo..playing trombone.)
 I'll be posting more memories from myself, Mark Levine and John Sergenian in a week or so, but I wanted to tell you the wonderful story of how we came to be in possession of this music, if only for a little while...

Since Jaki's death in 1999, I have been searching for his big band music, but each lead would end up with nothing, until this past summer. I was attending a performance of the Hudson Valley Jazz Workshop in Hudson, NY when a chance encounter with saxophonist John Sergenian led to a discussion about the music of Jaki Byard. John had also played in Jaki's big band in the 1950's along side Ed Xiques. When I told him of my years of searching, he told me he had several of the big band charts, and would be happy to share them with us. I remember grabbing John, who I had only just met, giving him a big hug and a kiss and told him I couldn't believe that we were finally going to get to play this music!

Stay tuned for more memories...but in the meantime...here are some links for you...
and a recent concert of Jaki's big band music by the New England Conservatory Jazz Orchestra...along with a recording of the performance
Also, if any of you have memories that you would like to share...send them to me and I will post them on my blog.
More soon.......

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"Duetto" new cd is out!

The recording that I did with bassist Mark Dresser, recorded by CIMP records is out-the box of cd's arrived yesterday. Mark and I recorded this in August 2008 at the Central Presbyterian Church of Montclair, NJ. Then..as you all know...and the reason for the blog..I was diagnosed with stage IV..end of the line.. GIST cancer and my life took a big turn. So this release, is very special to both of us. Two of my birdsongs are on this recording, Hello (based on the chickadee's song) and If You'll Call Me, Then I'll Call You (based on the robin's song and Mark...you'll have to read the liner notes for that ;-) along with my composition For My Mother. Also on this recording, is a piece that Mark composed for me called Big Mama Heart, along with his compositions Para Waltz, Yeller Grace, Mattress On a Stick and Star Melodics. More details to follow soon......but in the meantime...thank you Mark Dresser for getting this together! Thank you Bob Rusch, and Marc Rusch for driving to Montclair to record this..to Susan Rusch for the delicious birthday cake that day and for calling Novartis inquiring about Gleevec..just in case my insurance would not cover it, and to Kara Rusch for the beautiful cover, to Gaylord French and the Central Presbyterian Church for allowing us to use that beautiful sanctuary and to Bob Dowling for tuning the piano and making it sing!