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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.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Photos from last nights show..........

We had a wonderful performance last night-the band sounded great-tributes to Frank Foster, Daniel Pearl and Elzy Kolb.....guest composer Russ Vines.... a great audience...a lot of love in the house!
These photos are from the wonderful photographer Chris Drukker...with lighting by another wonderful photographer/film maker Dennis Connors who was there filming with his crew.
Our sincere thanks to everyone who came out-we loved playing for you!

Monday, October 10, 2011

All About Jazz Concert Review of Perry Robinson,Max Johnson and yours truly.....

Back in August-post Hurricane Irene-the wonderful bassist Max Johnson invited me to play with him and the ever astounding clarinetist Perry Robinson. It was a magical night of music-lots of quiet intensity and lyrical playing by all of us. This is a review of that concert from the All About Jazz (online version) newspaper that was posted just a few days ago.
By Published: October 7, 2011
Perry Robinson/Diane Moser/Max Johnson
The University Of The Streets
August 30, 2011

Native New Yorker Perry Robinson is not one of the better known free improvisers, but his stature is no less significant as a result. Within a certain scene the clarinetist has accrued importance, his activities stretching back to the early 1960s. This low-key set involved a trio with pianist Diane Moser and bassman Max Johnson, making up a mixed generational spread. They all have connections, but hadn't played together for quite some time. There was no sheet music in sight, but their improvisations existed within the realms of chamber composition, mostly being of a sensitively harmonious nature.
These three possessed a strong sense of instant composition, masterfully evolving ideas in a gradually linear flow. It appeared that the small gathering who witnessed this session were gripped by the music's concentrated aura. Though the medium-length improvisations were mostly serene, this didn't impede a recurring mood of thoughtful, introverted tension. All three players were expert at alternating sudden emphatic clumps of notes with contrasting streams of calm flotation. This was particularly apparent as Johnson's bruising bass lines, fingered with hardness in a gloriously unamplified state, were regularly alternated with groaning, bowed stretches, establishing a sequence of percussive bullishness, entering into hovering sustain. Moser, too, initiated sections where she was hammering with gusto, building up rippling blocks. Robinson maintained a superbly articulate clarinet poise, dancing loquaciously, only becoming more fragmented and strident during the closing piece. All three players were completely immersed in the music—much like their audience. This set's quieter, introverted methods were all the more poignant when set beside its fleeting outbreaks of aggression.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Massaged Kale Salad

Just returned home from a 50th bday party that was fabulous-great food and great friends!
I brought Massaged Kale Salad...which everyone always loves so I figured I would share the recipe...it's a variation of a recipe that I found on a wonderful blog called http://iheartkale.blogspot.com/2009/01/massaged-kale-salad-with-grated-root.html 
I do  the "massaging of the kale"-with olive oil and sea salt...then as I add in the ingredients I massage it some more....
1 grated (small) beet grated
(2 or 3 baby)carrots
minced red onion (about 1/4 cup),
kalmata olives (about 1/3 cup)
1 diced (small) tomato
1 diced (small) avocado
.....then I add lemon juice...more massaging and a little bit of balsamic vinegar-the vinegar was only for tonight-I was just in the mood for it!
As I said to someone who asked for the recipe...to me it's about the kale...everything else just adds a little bit of seasoning.
From start to finish it takes less than 30 mins (depends on how fast you can chop and dice).
Go to the blog...really fantastic recipes on there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Breaking Boundaries;The Art of Alex Masket online and free to everyone!

Dennis Connors has uploaded his movie Breaking Boundaries:The Art of Alex Masket to Vimeo for the world to see! As many of you know, Dennis asked me to compose music for this 18 min documentary-which I did-and recorded with bassist Andy Eulau, drummer Scott Neumann, Trombonist Ben Williams and trumpet player Rob Henke-a stellar quintet indeed! I had a wonderful time composing and recording the music-and these guys are just incredible to play and record with.
It was a team effort-or as Dennis likes to call us " Team Alex"-and it was very exciting to see the film win so many awards and to see Dennis win the 2010 Golden Cine Eagle Award as well as the Berkshire Bank Next Great Best Film Maker Award (as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival).
And it was especially exciting to introduce the art of Alex Masket to the world!
Now...onto the next project!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Diane Mosers Composers Big Band

Diane Mosers Composers Big Band is participating in the Daniel Pearl World Music Days. 10th Annual Daniel Pearl World Music Days - October 1st - 31st, 2011
When I registered our event-they asked for a dedication and this is what I wrote...."We will be dedicating this concert to the memory of Daniel Pearl and to the belief that we are all music and that music can bring us together! "
Our concert will be:
Wed Oct 12th
$15 cover
Trumpets Jazz Club
6 Depot Sqaure
Montclair, NJ 07043

Daniel Pearl (October 10, 1963, Princeton NJ – February 1, 2002) was an American journalist who was kidnapped and killed by Al-Qaeda.At the time of his kidnapping, Pearl served as the South Asia Bureau Chief of the Wall Street Journal, and was based in Mumbai, India. He went to Pakistan as part of an investigation into the alleged links between Richard Reid (the "shoe bomber") and Al-Qaeda. He was subsequently beheaded by his captors. In July 2002, Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British national of Pakistani origin, was sentenced to death by hanging for Pearl's abduction and murder. In March 2007, at a closed military hearing in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed said that he had personally beheaded Pearl. Current al-Qaeda leader Saif al-Adel has also been connected with the murder of Daniel Pearl.

Daniel Pearl recognized the ability of music to bridge differences among people. In the spirit of his love of music and commitment to dialogue, the Daniel Pearl Foundation launched the first Daniel Pearl World Music Days on October 10, 2002, which would have been Danny's 39th birthday. Using the power of music to promote tolerance and inspire respect for differences, Daniel Pearl World Music Days has grown to include more than 6,700 performances in 111 countries. In 2005 the Daniel Pearl Foundation introduced World Music Days eStage, a monthlong radio station and permanent online gallery which features music, poetry, art, articles and dedications reflecting Danny’s lifetime of work connecting people through words and music.

Daniel Pearl World Music Days is an international network of concerts that use the power of music to reaffirm our commitment to tolerance and humanity. Since 2002, Daniel Pearl World Music Days has grown to include the participation of more than 6,700 performances in 111 countries. World Music Days is an awareness-raising program, not a fundraiser.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Millay Colony for the Arts Residency part 1

Just finished a month long residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts made possible by a grant from the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation-finished transcribing the last 2 compositions of The Birdsong Project and one more movement for the Music of the Spheres Project-which will be scored for the big band! It was an amazing residency...filled with wonderful encounters with nature, exploring new territory with my music as well as the environs. Situated on top of a mountain and surrounded by a state park, I had the perfect setting to work on the music of the spheres project. My studio door led out to an open space with perfect viewing of the night sky! It's been a while since I've been able to see the Milky Way-I haven't been camping lately-and I haven't been in areas that aren't surrounded by light pollution. It was very dark at night outside my studio door-and very quiet-I just loved it! What a luxury to be able to just step outside a door and see the heavens-with the Perseid meteors zooming across the sky!

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Bivio" Tom and Jackie Colao's new restaurant!

They did it-they finally did it! Tom and Jackie have been talking about opening up a little place-and now it's a reality!
It's called Bivio which stands for "fork in the road"-and that is exactly where they are-at a fork in the road off of Main St in Little Falls, NJ. Tom told me that they had picked out the name of the restaurant several months before they found this location-synchronicity at work again!

 They designed the place themselves-and it is absolutely beautiful. They even have a sliding barn door in the back. I  felt like I was back in Italy-in a little rural village where the locals walk into town and have leisurely lunches.

For those of you who know our big band-you'll recognize Tom Colao as one of our alto saxophonists. But what many of you may not know-Tom-who we also call Chef Tomasso-is an incredible chef-and is as passionate about food as he is music. What a wonderful combination of passions!
 Tom is making Neapolitan Pizza in a brick oven that was built especially for Bivio by the Italian master Nobile Atti. Tom pointed his infrared thermometer into the oven for me to see-and the temperature was well over 1,200 degrees. He throws in some wood,stokes the flames, makes the pizza,lays it in the oven and in a manner of minutes it's done!

He uses "00" flour from Naples, San Marzano tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, fior di latte or bufala mozzarella and sea salt as his prime ingredients. There are 5 different kinds; Marinara, Margherita,Bianca,Porcini and Filettti. I had the Porcini-(because I love Porcini mushrooms!)-which also had San Marzano tomatoes,fior de latte mozarella, fresh basil. extra virgin olive oil and sea salt. It was wonderful! My understanding about this style of pizza is that 'it's all in the dough' and this dough was scrumptious!

They also have 3 kinds of salads...arugula,mixed greens and fresh mozzarella with roasted peppers.
Beverages range from mineral water, Italian sodas, and of course espresso and cappuccino, and there are desserts.
 Go check it out!
 They are open Tuesday-Saturday, 5PM-10PM. The phone is 973.256.0090.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Breaking Boundaries;The Art of Alex Masket on public television!

For all of you who did not see the film-you can see it on public television station NJN on June 23rd at 10PM and June 29th at 1AM. This is part of the Black Maria Film & Video Festival and there are many wonderful films that will also be shown.

You can view the trailer to Breaking Boundaries here
You can also connect on Facebook here 
This video is from our recording session and the music is from the end of the film.

It was very exciting to be a part of this project and we are all amazed at the reception it has received not to mention the thousands of folks who are now seeing Alex's work.

Film maker Dennis Connors filmed Alex at work for over 18 months as well as interviews with his family and many others. I came on board as composer, and brought my quintet along for the ride in late August of 2009, and we finished everything in 10 days! Phew, what a ride that was-thoroughly enjoyable, charged with creativity.

Here's a description of the film from Dennis Connors youtube site:
This film by Dennis Connors is a short documentary that chronicles the story of Alex Masket, a unique and extraordinary artist who has created a deep and varied body of work despite a disability that inhibits what most might consider to be 'normal' human interaction. Containing interviews with art experts and a community of supporters, Breaking Boundaries documents the kinetic energy and wholly individualistic style of a young artist, and brings into sharp focus the notion of what artistic communication and the creative impulse is all about.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

Longer Gleevec use extends GIST patient survival - CNBC

Longer Gleevec use extends GIST patient survival - CNBC

There were press releases galore from my google alert on Gleevec delivered to my inbox today. Novartis has completed a study that compares patients who took the drug for 1 year versus 3 years.....and this is the big news......the overall survival rate was also higher with 92 percent of those who got three years of Gleevec therapy still alive after five years compared with 81.7 percent for those who took the Novartis pill for one year.

After five years the numbers go down a little bit........In the 400-patient study, five-year recurrence-free survival was seen in 65.6 percent of those who received Gleevec for three years. That compared with 48 percent in the one-year group.

But hey-as my oncologist says-there are more drugs out there that I can take if my gene mutation/cancer cells become resistant to Gleevec.

The World Science Festival was in NYC this past week, and there was a discussion about cancer and sequencing genomes. From the NYTimes.....

Why try to sequence cancer genomes? Dr. Besser asked.

Dr. Lander said that cancer was caused by mutations and that it was “nuts” to think the disease could ever be cured without understanding what had gone wrong genetically. But the first step was to sequence the normal human genome; then, cancer genomes could be tackled. Cracking the normal genome cost a few billion dollars, but since then, he said, the cost of sequencing had dropped to $10,000 or less per genome, and so it made sense to apply the technology to cancer. Samples are needed from many patients with each type of cancer, he said. Sequencing a cancer from one person will reveal many mutations, but not all of them will be involved with the disease.

Genetic findings have also led to some very focused treatments for cancer: drugs like Herceptin, for women with a certain type of breast cancer, and Gleevec, which is used for some blood cancers and gastrointestinal stromal tumors with specific mutations.

I sent a sample of my tumor tissue for research and to figure out my "personal" gene mutation to Dr Chris Corless of the Oregon Science and Health University. He then puts that with all of the other samples that are being sent from around the world so that they can create a data base and study the gene mutations.

I am still on 400 mgs of Gleevec-which I take every night. I used to have most all of the side effects listed, but now it's just down to edema, muscle cramping (which can be very painful at times) and the occasional upset stomach. Chemo fog is still an issue, early morning and late at night. I take it before I go to bed so that the bulk of the metabolizing happens when I sleep, but that's also why early morning is difficult. if I took it during the day I would really be out of it. Lately I have found that drinking green tea really fires up my neuro transmitters-specifically "Yogi Green Tea Energy" which is a combination of green tea, spearmint, lemongrass and komucha. I combine it with organic black tea for a very delicious ice tea!

Overall, this is good news I'll take the 92% any day! I'm now starting year 3 as of 2 months ago, so who knows, maybe in another year they will have figured out why some people become resistant-that would be a blessing.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Chemo Fog

Hallelujah! Today a friend sent me the link to the NYTimes story and finally..what I and so many other cancer survivors have been telling the world...yes Virginia, there is Chemo Fog!
From the article......
The findings, based on a study of 92 cancer patients at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, suggest that the cognitive losses that seem to follow many cancer treatments are far more pronounced and longer-lasting than commonly believed.

You got that right! And ditto on how the doctors of said cancer survivors like to dismiss chemo brain as "normal aging or the fatigue of illness." I tried to tell my doc that just 1 month after my surgery, then 2 months, then 3 months, and on and on for probably at least a year...then I gave up. I even brought in the books I had found, the articles I had read and printed out-he wouldn't hear of it.

I wrote about Chemo Brain on this blog-over a year ago-3/14/10 to be exact. As I re- read that post, I will say, my brain has come alive and is much further along than one year ago. And the coming alive part is interesting to "watch"-and I mean "watch" as in the Buddhist teachings-when we watch our minds and the thoughts that develop. Even today I notice that there was a change in my memory, it's catching up, especially short term.  Just the slightest change toward the positive in my brain function makes all the difference in my daily life. I feel more connected and a part of the flow.

The fog does lift-in layers-peeling away a little at a time. And there are a multitude of things that can help; exercise, meditation, being in nature, learning to do something you've never done before, eating properly and probably most important-sleep-restful sleep.

So kudos to the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, and thank you for validating
our experiences.

And speaking of sleep.....time for dreamland...............

Monday, January 10, 2011

Diane Moser's Composers Big Band Celebrates their 14th Anniversary!

Yes-it's true-we are coming together to perform and reconnect with each other and with all of you!
Diane Moser's Composers Big Band
Celebrating their 14th Anniversary!
special guests: Vocalist Marcelino Feliciano, composer Russ Vines and baritone saxophonist/tuba player Howard Johnson
Wednesday January 26th, 2011

$15 cover
Trumpets Jazz Club
6 Depot Square
Montclair, NJ 07042


We are truly excited about this upcoming performance! We haven't performed since out appearance on the Lake George Jazz Weekend in Sept 2009. After that appearance, I put the band on hiatus so that I could take some time to heal and rest and adjust to the Gleevec amongst many other issues.

Expect us to pull out some of our favorites-and we'll have a few new tunes in the second set!

The photo above was taken by Andrzej Pilarczyk at our performance at the Lake George Jazz Weekend. Andrzej is a wonderful photographer who lives in the area and a dedicated artist. His photos appear in Nippertown and AlbanyJazz.com http://www.albanyjazz.com/topfive/2010-pictures.htm
as well as area newspapers.

UNMC researchers find key in cancer's spread

We're getting closer all the time.......