Sam Newsome

Sam Newsome
"The potential for the saxophone is unlimited." - Steve Lacy

Video Feature: Sam Newsome, Ben Stapp, and Joanna Mattrey

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Sam Newsome / Ethan Iverson Duo

On Saturday, September 15, 2012, I’ll be performing with my comrade, pianist Ethan Iverson at the Greenwich House as a part of the "Sound it Out" music series curated by Bradley Bambarger. This will be our second duo gig together, not including the open rehearsal/mini recital we held at his practice loft in Brooklyn last March.

Ethan and I started to appear in each other's peripheries back in the spring of 2010, a few months after the release of my CD, Blue Soliloquy. While I was touring Romania with another piano cohort, Lucian Ban, I received an email from Ethan telling me how much he enjoyed my CD.  Of course, I was pleasantly surprised. My first thought initially was, “Hey, he’s the big Bad Plus guy, why does he know about my little solo saxophone CD?” And I never did ask him how he came across it, but I imagined it was the live review by Kevin Whitehead on NPR.  And let me just go on record to say that NPR rules! When they did the piece on my CD, I felt like the unknown author getting his book talked about on Oprah!

After a few email exchanges we got together to play in duo and to hang a bit. With Ethan being a big Mal Waldron fan, and my affinity for Steve Lacy, us collaborating seemed almost inevitable. Looking back on our first meeting, I don’t remember actually playing for that long.  We were kind of feeling each other out, seeing if there was something there worth exploring. After about an hour or so of trying out different songs and seeing what things he could come up with to go with the extended saxophone techniques I was experimenting with at the time, we mutually agreed that we had something that warranted further investigation.

Bowery Ballroom
Our first gig together, and I mean that loosely, was in the fall of 2010 when Ethan asked me to open for The Bad Plus as a solo act at the Bowery Ballroom, which was a monumental performance for the group as they celebrated their 10-year anniversary together. I must say that that was the largest and the most enthusiastic crowd I had ever performed for solo.

The following clip is from our first official gig together as a duo, which was at Cornelia Street Café on March 2, 2012. This may have been the first piece of the night and definitely one of the more special moments from the gig. And I’m pretty sure this is just one of many more to come.

We hope to see you at the Greenwich House this Saturday.



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