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You're Reading: The Inconstant Sun (Volume 8, Edition 1)
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The Goings-On

September–October 2021

Another fall, another volume of The Inconstant Sun, now in its 8th iteration.

In September, I was perhaps the busiest I've ever been between regular weekly gigs at Gowanus's own Lowlands Bar and club dates with the indefatigable Peter Watrous (yes, the Peter Watrous) at the fabulous New Orleans restaurant Lowerline and the relatively newer Brooklyn jazz hub Bar Bayeux. I even made a trip to Vermont for a weekend for performances and relaxation and saw what all the hype was about (as shown on SNL: "That sounds like Vermont!"). It was immensely pastoral, and the food was great and the hospitality exceptional, and I got to swim in a mighty cold lake under the changing leaves. 

Regrettably, it was the final major trip of my Volvo S60, which I'd driven since high school, almost 15 years ago. I learned to parallel park in this car, which had a notably shallow turn radius, when I'd drive to Princeton on weekday nights in high school for big band rehearsals at the university. I blasted a lot of trashy music through the back speakers with the bass turned up, and also listened to a lot of formatively inspiring music and, later on, the mixes and masters of various albums I produced over the years (I still find listening to music while walking or driving to be the best setting for sustained attention). This car also served me well in Brooklyn over the past year and a half during the pre-vaccine era of the pandemic. You will be missed!


In other news, the aforementioned Lowlands Bar will now be host to live jazz every Tuesday and Wednesday in October and possibly in future months depending on how the audience reception looks. Vibraphonist Dierk Peters curates the Wednesday performances (full schedule here), while I'm holding down Tuesdays at the regular time of 6:30 & 8 PM. 


Many thanks to Lowlands Bar and John Niccoli (aka GENTL'R) for the opportunity. Full calendar is linked by the photo above and on my website, and a note that I'm attempting to punch way above my weight in this month's Happy Trio, which features two musicians I've admired for many years: bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Dan Weiss, both of whom are among the greatest ever to play their respective instruments, in my and many other musicians' opinions.

In Endectomorph News, the hyper-modernist piano trio Family Plan released their debut album in late September to critical acclaim, and the profoundly thoughtful saxophonist Jacob Shulman releases his album Connectedness in mid-November. <3 Bird has also been getting some notices in the scattered jazz press. Thank you for listening!

I'd like to take a minute to acknowledge the passing of the legendary Phil Schaap, whose contributions to jazz discography, general jazz history and appreciation, and particularly to our access to recordings of Charlie Parker are immeasurable. It will be one of my greatest regrets to never have met Phil, but I've certainly benefited immensely from the work he did to make the music available to all of us to hear. Thank you, Phil. 


Films continue to be my preferred form of leisure activity on nights when I'm not working. Of note recently: I saw Kubrick's Barry Lyndon for the first time recently (and in 70 mm, at Museum of the Moving Image's fantastic renovated theater), and having heard from various people that it wasn't one of Kubrick's better works prior to seeing it, I have to disagree—very funny (and sad), brilliantly acted, and beautifully shot. Criterion Channel also had a recent series of New York-centric movies, and I was engrossed by both King of New York and The Taking of Pelham One Two Three. The 2004 anime film Mindgame is also now on Criterion and is positively mind-blowing in its free-flowing, shapeshifting visuals. Recent duds that I wished I hadn't spent my time watching: The Many Saints of Newark and The Green Knight — stay away if you value your time and mental acuity!

OK, that's enough of my sniping about movies. Onward!

-KS

Coming Soon:

Tuesday 10/5
—  6:30 & 8 PM  —

Willber Sunlight
at Lowlands Bar

Wednesday 10/6
—  7 PM  —

Peter Watrous Quartet
at Lowerline

Thursday 10/7
— 5:30 PM —

Peter Watrous Quartet
at Bar Bayeux

Saturday 10/9
—  8 & 9:30 PM  —

Peter Watrous Quintet
at Bar Bayeux

Sunday 10/10
—  2 PM  —

Uncivilized Double Quartet
at Pioneer Works

Tuesday 10/12
—  6:30 & 8 PM  —

Happy Trio ft. Thomas Morgan + Dan Weiss
at Lowlands Bar

Wednesday 10/13
—  7 PM  —

Peter Watrous Quartet
at Lowerline

Saturday 10/16
— 3:30 PM —

Walter Stinson Quartet
at Andrew Smenos Studio

Thursday 10/26
— 5:30 PM —

Kevin Sun Quartet
at Lowlands Bar

Miscellanea


—Revisiting The Sopranos in 2021

—John Seabrook on the rise of NA beverages

—ICYMI: previously unheard Coltrane – A Love Supreme: Live in Seattle is out in October!

—Played at Birdland for the first time in September, amusing write-up and photos here

—N64 glitched while playing Mario Tennis, and the musical output is incredible. Longer audio only here.

—I spoke with DJ Peter of WVUD about <3 Bird. Nice conversation archived here.

—For musicians: News from the Shed, interviews with heavy musicians on how they practice
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Kevin Sun · 155 15th Street · Apt 1D · Brooklyn, NY 11215 · USA

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