21 April 2012

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Land in Novara, Italy on the 19th of April to begin a new series of concerts in Europe. Spent time with the co-organizer, Stefano Ferrian, who is also a fine multi-instrumentalist who is trying to get things happening in Italy and elsewhere. We play some tenor duos in the evening, talk about what is and isn’t happening on the current international scene; Stefano makes a concise and eloquent description Peter Brotzmann’s playing which sticks in my head, “he’s shouting poetry.” Friday afternoon Ab Baars and Paal Nilssen-Love arrived for the Double Tandem gig that night. Stefano has arranged to record the concert and I’m glad this plan was made- the trio’s performance is completely unlike the shows in Norway last autumn (and the cd, “Cement,” that Paal just released on his label).

Two half hour pieces were played, the music more flowing and “cooperative” than the first performances, but still moving in very surprising directions; a strange band in the best sense. Brought my baritone, tenor, and Bb with me on this trip; the baritone arrived without too much hassle but one of the reinforcement welds on the neck broke loose in transit so now I need to find a good repair person while on tour… The next morning starts off on the wrong foot as the three of us wait for a ride to the Milan airport that arrives 30 minutes late; luckily we make all of our connections (Paal and I to Glasgow, Ab to Amsterdam). As I’m boarding the plane in Frankfurt that takes us to Edinburgh I realize that I didn’t have a work visa for the UK (once again, so preoccupied with the endless series of logistical issues connected to performing now- throughout this year and well into 2013- I forgot that I need a visa to get into certain countries as a U.S. citizen; which is only fair since my country does the same thing to the rest of the planet). Sent quick emails to the booking agent and presenter, am told to say I’m just doing a “showcase” concert and am not being paid, and then wonder how this is going to work once I land… At immigration I do as I’m told which gets me into Scotland without a problem. Paal and I looked at each other in disbelief as we waited for our luggage which came off the belt without a hitch.