Tag Archives: Eric Biondo

My friend Eric Biondo made a masterpiece of recorded music

16 May

Listening to the new Beyondo LP is a great way for me to start this day.  Beyondo is Eric Biondo’s band.  I first met Eric Biondo when he started playing trumpet with Antibalas about 10 years ago.  We played together sometimes in a section, in particular with TV on the Radio, and of course he’s sat in with Rev. Vince Anderson.  He’s a great trumpeter, but when I finally saw a live show by his band Beyondo my mind was blown by his songwriting and arranging; then I got his EP The Gambler which is awesome and thrilled at his song a day songwriting challenge.  I’ve known he’s been working on this album for a while and felt happy for him when he announced it was finally finished and available on his bandcamp page.  But now that I listened to it I feel happy for myself, not only to have discovered a new record to listen to in the summer of 2012, but also to know so many amazing musicians who are a part of this recording … there’s plenty of horn-chic action throughout this record laid down by Stuart Bogie, Alex Hamlin, Miwi La Lupa, John Altieri and Aaron Rockers; there’s also a dazzling array of vocalists and other guest musicians including Meah Pace, Jared Samuel and Luke O’Malley.

Listening to a masterpiece of recorded music featuring performances by some of my friends is a kind of moving experience in itself, but I want to also mention that Siren Science is dedicated to Davy Jones.  Eric Biondo played trumpet and cornet with Davy Jones of The Monkees for 12 years.  I was always intrigued that he had this gig — I loved The Monkees when I was little and thought Eric’s 21st century involvement was a perfect match for his personality.  (Have you seen Head?)  For years I told him I wanted to come and see him play with Davy Jones and finally in February he was able to bring me to a show at BB Kings.  I really loved the show and got a groovy kind of thrill hearing Eric play on songs from my childhood like Daydream Believer, Last Train To Clarksville and Hey Hey We’re The Monkees ….. after the show I met Davy and knew that he and Eric were soul mates who’d found each other.  I think the dedication makes this perfectly awesome album even more completely perfect.  I hope people all over the world will hear it.

Every Monday night I play bari sax with Rev. Vince Anderson & The Love Choir

20 Dec

Back in 1996 I had the great fortune to meet Rev. Vince Anderson when I answered an ad seeking a drummer in the New York Press. I don’t play drums, just bari sax, but the ad was humorous and the name of the band was Leopold & Stanges Jangletown, which I liked. They said they liked Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Johnny Cash and I like all of that so I applied, apologizing about my non-prowess on the drums. I got the job, which turned out to be an off off Broadway theatrical production which was not entirely my cup of tea, however Rev. Vince was and a few months later when he put his new band together I was thrilled to receive an invitation to join. I’ve been playing with him every week ever since and it has been an amazing journey of music and friendship. For many years I was the only horn player, although from time to time people would sit in, Aaron Johnson or Steve Moses on trombone, or some sax players who would come through. About four years ago Dave Smith sat in on trombone and has been playing with us every Monday ever since. These days our regular Monday night gig at Union Pool is popular with Cochemea Gastelun from Sharon Jones & The Dapp Kings (more about his solo project Johnny Arrow soon), Eliot Bergman from NOMO, Michael Kammers from MK Groove Orchestra, Eric Biondo from Antibalas and Beyondo, and many others. It’s not unusual for us to cram four or five horns onstage at a time and then all solo simultaneously! Tonight is Rev. Vince’s Christmas Spectacular and we have some very special guests coming through. Showtime is at 11pm in the backroom at Union Pool, 484 Union Avenue in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Tacos are served all night and admission is free, but you have to bring ID! Every Monday at Union Pool