Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom Turns The Page With ‘Otis Was A Polar Bear’

first_imgRenowned jazz drummer, composer, teacher and bandleader Allison Miller is back with a new album, the first since 2013’s acclaimed No Morphine, No Lilies. Alongside a top notch band in Boom Tic Boom, Otis Was a Polar Bear catches Miller at a watershed moment in her life, not just as a growing musician, but now as a parent. Drawing great inspiration from her daughter Josie, Miller explains the departure from her last album to this most recent studio effort. “The last record was about such intense hardship and pain. This record is the other side of all that—it’s the beauty that comes after a storm.”The album opens with the bright, sultry Latin flair of Ben Goldberg’s charming clarinet play on “Fuster.” Inspired by Cuban artist José Rodríguez Fuster, the composition has its origins rooted in everyday life, this particular track, an unshakable melody Miller had sung to Josie in the first weeks of her life. Likewise, “Hoarding the Pod” comes from an over-caffeinated state during a recording session with Natalie Merchant. Its frantic, supercharged intro takes a backseat to a mellow groove supplied by Miller, finally giving way to the controlled chaos of Jenny Scheinman’s violin boiling over, Kirk Knuffke’s cornet beaming and Myra Melford making it rain piano keys.With a beautiful and thoughtful pairing of “The Listener” and “Lullaby For Cookie,” Miller delicately bridges the gap between life and death, the former written for a music-obsessed friend who died suddenly, while the latter was written for Miller’s daughter Josie before her birth. Miller’s relatively minimalist approach on these arrangements packs a significant punch.The album’s title track, “Otis Was a Polar Bear” evokes great imagery, not unlike the Melford-lead “Pig In A Sidecar” or “Shimmer.” Scheinman’s playful strokes and plucks on “Otis” are accented by Knuffke’s and Goldberg’s summit of brass and woodwinds while Miller and upright bassist Todd Sickafoose fill out a highly active and invigorated rhythm section.“Slow Jam” certainly lives up to its name. Miller’s simple, elegant groove is guided through the slow burner by a steady bass line and fantastic interplay with Melford and Knuffke. Miller’s final selection,”Staten Island,” was written after the tragic killing of Eric Garner by Staten Island police. “I sat down at the piano feeling hopeless and filled with rage. This is what came out,” Miller says. As in the case of Garner, there are a lot of moving parts to this track. Scattered flurries from Goldberg’s clarinet are mirrored by Milford’s frenzied piano before Miller is finally set off like a stick of dynamite into a righteous rock groove. When the groove begins its descent it’s left with only the sombre notes of Knuffke’s waning cornet.From traditional rock and jazz themes to the avant-garde variety, Allison Miller’s Otis Was a Polar Bear will present something of significance for the ear of any listener, whether the casual jazz fan or the most hardcore fan of fusion. Her chops are undeniable as is her ability to compose and elevate the separate links of her band in a way that reflects a focused and unrestrained sound.Otis Was a Polar Bear is set for release April 8 on Royal Potato Family. You can watch a behind the scenes video on the making of the album below, and don’t forget to check out Miller’s upcoming tour dates, as she and Boom Tic Boom will be out on the road this coming spring.Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom Spring 2016 Tour4/8 Seattle, WA @ Royal Room 4/9 Portland, OR @ Alberta St. Pub4/10 Arcata, CA @ Kate Buchanan Room HSU 4/14 Santa Cruz, CA @ Kuumbwa4/15 Los Angeles, CA @ The Blue Whale4/16 Berekely, CA @ Freight and Salvage4/17 Half Moon Bay, CA @ Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society4/27 Bloomsburg, PA @ Bloomsburg University4/28 Erie, PA @ Mercyhurst Institute for Arts and Culture: Walker Recital Hall4/29 Lewisburg, WV @ Carnegie Hall4/30 Roanoke, VA @ Jazz Club at Jefferson Center5/1 Baltimore, MD @ Creative Alliance5/3 Charlottesville, VA @ Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church5/5 New York, NY @ Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola5/6 New Haven, CT @ Firehouse 125/7 North Adams, MA @ MASS MoCA5/8 Goshen, MA @ Pioneer Valley Jazz Shares: Institute for the Musical Arts5/13 Philadelphia, PA @ Ars Nova Workshop: Philadelphia Art Alliance5/14 Washington, DC @ Kennedy Center: 21st Annual Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival7/1 Iowa City, IA @ Iowa City Jazz Festivallast_img read more

Faculty Council meeting — Feb. 14, 2018

first_imgOn Feb. 14 the members of the Faculty Council approved a proposed concentration in environmental science and engineering.  They also discussed proposals regarding neurobiology, the Council on Asian Studies, and early registration.The Council next meets on Feb. 28. The preliminary deadline for the March 6 meeting of the Faculty is Feb. 20 at noon.last_img

Greek retail closures rock OPAP Q1 performance

first_img Submit StumbleUpon Share Share Related Articles SAZKA confident of European comeback as assets weather COVID-19 storm June 12, 2020 OPAP delivers on Athens children’s hospital CSR projects July 6, 2020 Cypriot football seeks betting levy for development programmes June 25, 2020 OPAP SA has disclosed double-digit declines across all core operating metrics as a result of closing its entire retail network (betting shops, gaming venues and lottery stalls) following Coronavirus restrictions enforced across Greece and Cyprus.Publishing its Q1 2020 results, OPAP recorded group revenues of €328m down 17% on corresponding 2019’s €396m, as the Athens-listed gambling group disclosed that first-quarter group wagering did not surpass the standard €1 billion mark. Forced to suspend its entire retail capacity from 14 March (Greece and Cyprus units), OPAP saw its period EBITDA decline by 23% to €86m (Q12019: €113m).Countering unprecedented headwinds, OPAP implemented an emergency cost reduction programme across its operating units, reducing payroll expenses and suspending advertising campaigns during the lockdown period.Despite cost savings lowering group operating expenses by 16% to €95m, OPAP could not escape COVID-19 consequences as period net profits declined by 40% to €33m (Q12019: €57m).Following the 58-day closure of its retail network, OPAP began to reopen Greek betting shops and lottery venues from 14 May following the Greek government’s approval to ease retail business restrictions.This week, OPAP announced that it would begin the reopening of its ‘PLAY’ gaming halls, as Greek leisure venues (restaurants, cafes, hotels) are allowed to reopen their businesses.Publishing his first trading statement as OPAP Group CEO, Jan Karas commented on performance: “OPAP’s Q1 2020 was a double-faced quarter; on the one hand, we managed to demonstrate sizeable growth stemming mostly from VLTs and betting up to March 13th, while from March 14th onwards our retail estate was closed down leading to a severe decline of the Group’s revenues. “Nonetheless, we reported an overall solid set of results by putting promptly into effect our business continuity plan, achieving material cost savings and enhancing liquidity.”“I would like to extend my appreciation to our network for both their swift adaptation to the new norm and working conditions as well as for their strong will to resume their business leading to an impressive 99% reactivation rate right from the very first day of reopening. I am confident that our agents’ and employees’ hard work, positive spirit and commitment will drive once more OPAP’s business forward.”last_img read more

Anthony Rendon expected to miss first Opening Day with Angels

first_imgIf the Angels place him on the injured list, he’d need to miss at least seven games.Despite the season being just 60 games long, Maddon said the Angels don’t want to push Rendon and have him suffer a more serious injury.“You don’t want to bring him back early and lose him for the whole year,” Maddon said.The Angels are likely to use David Fletcher at third and Tommy La Stella at second for the games that Rendon is unavailable. It’s also possible that Luis Rengifo, who has a hamstring issue, could be ready to go by Opening Day, so he could get into the lineup. Most likely Rengifo would play second against a lefty, with Fletcher at third.ALSOJulio Teheran came out of Tuesday night’s bullpen session well, Maddon said. Maddon said pitching coach Mickey Callaway “liked a lot what he’s seeing.” Teheran is next scheduled for a two-inning simulated game. Teheran, who tested positive for the coronavirus in June and was two weeks late to camp, has said he thinks he’s only a week behind. … Angels’ poor pitching spoils an Albert Pujols milestone ANAHEIM >> It looks like Anthony Rendon’s debut with the Angels won’t come on Opening Day.Rendon, who signed a seven-year, $245-million deal with the Angels in December, has been out for a week because of oblique tightness that is now expected to keep him out when the Angels open their season in Oakland on Friday.“He more than likely may miss a couple in Oakland,” Manager Joe Maddon said Wednesday. “We’re not ready to do anything more than that.”Maddon said Rendon “is on a pretty good path,” and “keeps getting better,” but that progress apparently hasn’t been enough to get him into the lineup for the first couple games, at least, of the four-game series in Oakland. Jose Suarez’s rocky start sinks Angels in loss to Astros Reliever Taylor Cole has been out with a right shoulder injury. …Jo Adell was unavailable to play on Wednesday night after suffering a cut on his head in an off-field accident…Maddon said his biggest issue with the safety protocols so far has been that wearing a mask causes his glasses to fog up. He said his son told him to try shaving cream on the glasses, which didn’t work. He has ordered a product that skiers use. “There’s only one thing that’s annoying about all this to me, and that’s it,” Maddon said.Related Articles Angels offense breaks out to split doubleheader with Astros Angels’ Shohei Ohtani spending downtime working in outfield Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Angels’ Mike Trout working on his defense, thanks to Twitter last_img read more