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November/December 2020 Issue

Martin Wind Newsletter

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First international trip since March lockdown

Recap I: Ulf Meyer/Martin Wind Quartet featuring Alex Riel (d) and Billy Test (p)

Recap II: Berlin Activities - Recording with Weniger and Burgwinkel,
& "New York, New York" matinee at A-Trane Jazz Club

Birthday Live Stream with Ted Rosenthal and Matt Wilson on November 15, at 7 pm EDT

Deep Tones for Peace & Change on November 21, 3 pm EDT

A couple of December engagements at NYC clubs!

Newest reviews and articles on new CD "White Noise"

First international trip since March lockdown

I’m beginning this newsletter aboard a Lufthansa flight back to the United States from Berlin via Frankfurt. Today is Sunday, November 1st – one day before the second lockdown in Germany and two days before the presidential elections at home; this morning I left on one of the last flights out of Berlin's "Tegel" airport before it’s closing – it does feel like a somewhat historic day…

In hindsight, my trip to Germany could not have been timed any better: I arrived on Wednesday, October 14, isolated for five days and managed to play five concerts despite rising numbers of new infections all around; once in Berlin, I participated in a great recording session and got to play the possibly second to last concert at the A-Trane jazz club for 2020…and then I slipped out of the country the day before a lockdown with wide-ranging travel limitations, etc.
 
Despite all the troubles and concerns that came with traveling during the pandemic I loved every minute of it: I spent some quality time with my family and friends and finally got to play for extremely attentive and appreciative live audiences again. I got to record, enjoy way too much German cooking, and my beloved "Flensburg Pilsener" while revisiting some of my favorite landscapes and cities.

Obviously, this 2 ½ week-long trip was THE dominating October event, so let’s dive in!
Getting There: Since American citizens are generally not allowed to enter Germany the United flight over was incredibly empty - I had all 81 seats in Economy Plus to myself! Also, I was reminded of how beautiful it can be up there…I was actually excited to be flying again!
Economy class was pretty empty, as well, while guitarists Mike and Leni Stern happened to be sitting in business class on their way to playing concerts in Denmark.

Upon my arrival in Hamburg, I took my first Covid test of the trip, picked up my rental car, and drove straight up to Flensburg to quarantine for five days at my sister's house – my family was thrilled! On day five I drove back to Hamburg for my second test – and for 139 Euros I received my result within six hours! I now was allowed to come out of isolation and join the rest of the band for a rehearsal and a heartfelt reunion.

Here are some highlights from my time with the family:
My first meal of the trip: smoked local fish,  "Schwarzbrot" and Flensburg Pilsener with my mother
A campfire with my sister Meike and my mother
Checking out my father's latest paintings
When I’m home in Flensburg I always have to visit the Fjord at least once…

Recap I: Ulf Meyer/Martin Wind Quartet featuring Alex Riel (d) and Billy Test (p)

As I had mentioned earlier, it was uncertain, whether Danish drum legend Alex Riel would be able to join us for our tour, since Copenhagen and the surrounding region had been added to the list of risk regions in early October.

Unfortunately, it turned out that Alex was not able to travel into Germany, despite some last-minute efforts by local politicians of the Danish minority in Flensburg. We were all very disappointed, but relieved that our old friend Heinz Lichius was available; he had worked with us in the past, both live and in the studio (“Fjord Skies”, Laika Records, 2010) and did a wonderful job!
From left to right: Billy Test, myself, Heinz Lichius and Ulf Meyer
The first quartet concert with Ulf, Billy, and Heinz took place at a beautiful yacht museum owned by one of the most prestigious and internationally re-known companies from Flensburg, the Robbe & Berking Silver company.

They’ve been around for generations and claim that "Kings and Queens eat with our silverware!"
 
The concert marked the opening of a new local initiative called “Coming Home” jumpstarted by Stephanie Oeding in a matter of a few weeks. Her idea was to give musicians that are originally from the area an opportunity to perform back home especially during the challenging times of the pandemic.

I did several radio interviews and appeared on the North German Television station N3.
Here is the link for this 3 ½ minute special: NDR S-H Magazin

As you can see in these photos, the promoters did take social distancing guidelines seriously – I actually saw them walking around with measuring tapes to make sure that distances between chairs did meet current regulations.

Masks were mandatory except when sitting down – or in our case while being on stage.
 
photos by Katrin Stosberg
We played four more concerts on this tour and amazingly they were all sold out – "Covid sold out", that is. Still, it felt like such an accomplishment, since we had heard that people were afraid of attending public events.

After not touring and enjoying the companionship of my friends for such a long time, it felt so good to hang!
With Ulf in front of the Plön castle
Enjoying fish specialties from the Northsea in Husum

Out of nowhere, I got contacted by the local health department after the completion of the tour: one of the guests of the very first concert had tested positive – and as it turns out I had had a conversation with the guest, a young classical bassist, and had even posted for a photo with him…now that was NOT good news, especially since I had visited with my folks and hugged them after being in contact with that person. Fortunately, another express test revealed that I had not been infected…to say that I felt relieved is quite an understatement!

Recap II: Berlin Activities - Recording with Weniger and Burgwinkel, & "New York, New York" matinee at A-Trane Jazz Club

After receiving the negative test result (my third of the trip!) I "moved in" with Peter and Isabelle Weniger in Berlin. They are great friends of ours that had visited us in New Jersey in March, just a week before all of our lives changed.

On day two and three of my stay in Berlin Peter and I hooked up with drummer Jonas Burgwinkel at the studio of the Jazz Institute Berlin (JIB) for a very promising recording session, which I will hopefully be able to report about, soon.
 
On Saturday, October 31 my final stop on this trip was a matinee of my "New York, New York" program that I've created and performed together with actress Katharina Pütter; Peter joined us for a few tunes, as well…
photo by Rainer Haarmann
The atmosphere in the club was cozy and relaxed, the sound was fantastic, and everybody seemed so thankful for sharing this experience – thanks again to Rainer Haarmann and Sedal Sardan for making the event possible.

After the concert we gathered at "Jules Verne", one of Peter’s favorite restaurants in town; I was thrilled, that my dear friend Claudio Puntin and his wife Gerdur Gunnarsdotir were able to join us, too.

Birthday Live Stream with Ted Rosenthal and Matt Wilson on November 15, at 7 pm

On Sunday, November 15 at 7 pm EDT I will be joining pianist Ted Rosenthal and drummer Matt Wilson for another edition of “Live Stream from Ted’s Place” – and this one happens to be on Ted’s birthday.
 
This is from his Facebook announcement:

“We'll play standards, originals, and maybe even a chorus of Happy Birthday (to me!)
The Live Stream will also be a fundraiser for
 Jazz Foundation of America  - Helping jazz artists in need. Please join us!”
 
Here is the link: https://www.facebook.com/ted.rosenthal/
 

Deep Tones for Peace & Change on Saturday, November 21 at 3 pm EST

Over this past summer, the two master bassists Mark Dresser and William Parker had the idea of posting solo bass concerts on Facebook in an effort to create good vibes, do something meaningful and bring people together in a time of unrest. Their idea grew into the global movement "Deep Tones for Peace", which has resulted in more than 200 solo performances of bass players of all different styles and backgrounds:
 
"Deep Tones for Peace 2020 is a regular streaming of live meditations for peace, healing and transformation. Musicians transmitting deep tones to counterbalance the many systemic injustices woven into the fabric of our society. Deep tones can strengthen the unseen bonds of our diversity as we oppose economic, educational, and environmental inequities fueled by racism, sexism, and greed.
The idea is to play your bass for 5-30 minutes with the intent of musically sending healing vibrations to be felt worldwide. Participation is open to all bassists who wish to join in an ongoing musical transmission of vibrations for peace. Any style or form of music and any level bass player can generate Deep Tones for Peace. The main requirement is the intent and desire to create peace in the world. We truly believe this project will have a positive impact on the balance of life."
My turn will be coming up on Saturday, November 21 at 3 pm EST right here:
On election day an outgrowth of the initial movement saw 68 individual concerts of up to 15 minutes add up to a 17-hour marathon named "Deep Tones for Change"; fortunately I found out about this initiative just in time to record and submit my contribution: a performance of Horace Silver’s gorgeous ballad called "Peace".
 
In case you missed it, here it is:
 
Horace Silver's "Peace"
View the Video
And here is a San Diego Union-Tribune article about this amazing initiative:

A couple of December engagements at NYC clubs!

I take it as an encouraging sign that some of the greatest NYC jazz clubs are slowly presenting live jazz again, even if still only a very limited number of tickets can be sold. Mezzrow just opened up again and has to operate on a limit of 15 patrons per show – just like it’s "sister club" Smalls.
 
You can support them by donating and/or by purchasing tickets for their live streams…
 
Here are a couple of live shows that I will be a part of:
 
Thursday, December 3 – Saturday, December 5, sets at 8:30 and 11 pm:
Birdland Theater, 315 West 44th Street, NY; 212-581-3080, www.birdlandjazz.com
 
Ken Peplowski Quartet featuring Ken Peplowski (tenor sax, clarinet), Glenn Saleski (piano) and Matt Wilson (drums)
 
Ken Peplowski
Sunday, December 20, 5 pm: Smalls Jazz Club, 183 W 10th Street, NYC, www.smallslive.com
 
Carol Morgan Quartet featuring Carol Morgan (trumpet), Joel Frahm (tenor sax) and Matt Wilson (drums)
Carol Morgan
These are two excellent ensembles, that have worked and recorded extensively over the past few years – it sure would be great to see some of you at one (or more!) of these events.

Newest reviews and articles on new CD "White Noise"
 

I was hoping to be able to present Brian Morton’s well-written four-star review for Downbeat Magazine in October, but it was worth the wait.

Downbeat Review
Also recently added were Ralph A. Miriello's piece published in his online forum "Notes on Jazz", as well as Reinhard Köchl's article for the German Jazz Thing Magazine and Jonas Lohse’s Interview on his "Kontrabass-Blog":  http://www.kontrabassblog.de/?p=3166

For an updated listing of all the “White Noise” press please visit
 
http://www.martinwind.com/whitenoise/index.php
 
Thank you so much for your continued support in this beast of a year!
 
Please be careful, stay healthy and see you all in 2021 - here is to better days ahead!
Martin Wind - "White Noise"
More info at https://martinwind.com/whitenoise/
 
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