October 10, 2012 - 2pm
Ben Goldberg School
Kasey Knudsen: alto saxophone
Jeff Cressman: trombone
Rob Reich: accordion, piano
David Ewell: bass
Howard Wiley: drums
Ben Goldberg: clarinet, composition
Ben Goldberg School presents selections from a new work by Ben: Come Back Elliott Smith
Come Back Elliott Smith is a project inspired by and based upon Ben Goldberg's study of the songs of Elliott Smith (1969 - 2003).Ben first encountered Elliott Smith's music when Mark Orton introduced him to From a Basement on the Hill, Smith's last record. It was a transitional period of Ben's life, and this record became a kind of soundtrack for many new experiences and feelings. He and his kids were soon listening to a lot of Elliott Smith, including their favorites Figure 8 and XO. Smith mapped out a unique musical territory, pairing ethereally beautiful melodies with despairingly bleak, highly personal lyrics.
Ben wrote down a lot of Elliott Smith songs to see what they were made out of, and that led to the current project. The music of Come Back Elliott Smith is a memoriam for Smith, a place for Ben to reflect on what he has learned from Smith, and to carry on the work that Smith laid out in his lifetime -- chiefly, to him, the model of crafting songs that “work.” Like many musicians that Ben admires, Smith created songs whose immediate emotional impact and seeming obviousness are beautiful vehicles for a wide-ranging exploration of the vast possibilities of melody and harmony.
About Ben Goldberg School.
Many of Ben's projects involve musicians living in other parts of the world, which prevents a kind of day-to-day collaboration, so last year he decided he needed a group of San Francisco Bay Area musicians to play his compositions and present new projects without undue logistical problems. Of course, he was soon reminded that most of his favorite creative musicians live right here in the Bay Area! They have played concerts around the Bay Area and have completed their first recording, to be issued in 2013.