Tag Archives: Boston Jazz

The Olson Pingrey Quartet at Rutman’s

December 10th, 2009

On the D.L. “by” Randy Pingrey

Tygart Valley by Kathy Olson

Stone Age Rhumba by Randy Pingrey (more info)

Blues for Mac by Kathy Olson

Reverie by Kathy Olson

My Waltz by Kathy Olson

Low Contrast by Randy Pingrey (more info)

Venus de Milo by Gerry Mulligan, arranged by Randy Pingrey

Kathy Olson – bari sax
Randy Pingrey – trombone
Mark Zaleski – bass
Austin McMahon – drums

What a great evening!  Kathy and I can’t thank Mark and Austin enough for being so shockingly perfect for our music, and it was wonderful to see so many people at the gig.

And special thanks goes to Rutman’s Violins for having us play…

…and an extra special thanks goes to Joel and Laura for being totally awesome.


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Stone Age Rhumba – Sneak Peak!

The December 10th Rutman’s hit is quickly approaching for the Olson Pingrey Quartet!  Kathy, Mark, and I had a lovely rehearsal last night and I thought I’d post a sample of one of the new tunes we’re going to play.  It’s called Stone Age Rhumba.  Here are the first two minutes:

Stone Age Rhumba

Kathy Olson – bari sax
Randy Pingrey – trombone
Mark Zaleski – bass
Recorded on December 8th, 2009

(by the way – the piece features an extensive drum part – which you’ll have to come to the gig to hear!)

My intention for Stone Age Rhumba was to write a tribute to the great trombonist Bill Harris while continuing the vibe of other pieces I had written for this ensemble (this piece shares a few motivic ideas with my piece Low Contrast, which you can listen to here).  Harris was the featured trombone soloist of the Woody Herman Big Band starting in the 40’s.  His technique, imagination, and sense of humor were totally unique and second to none, and his playing has been a recent source of inspiration for me. 

Harris’ most famous feature in the Herman big band was the tune Bijou by Ralph Burns.  It was once described by Woody Herman as a “stone age rhumba”, which is where the title of the piece comes from.

And as one final reminder – the Olson Pingrey Quartet plays on December 10th at Rutman’s Violins in Boston, MA.  We’ll start at 8PM and play until 9:15 or so.  There’s a $10 suggested donation, and we would really love for everyone to come out.  Thank you!

P.S. The gig has happened, and you can listen to the whole thing, including the full version of Stone Age Rhumba right here.

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Low Contrast

brookmeyer and mulligan

Here are two choice tracks which were recorded on August 21st at La Luna Cafe in Cambridge, MA.  I might put up a few more tracks in the next several days, as I have time.  Download the track by clicking on the name, or listen to it via the streaming flash player.

Low Contrast by Randy Pingrey

Check out the score here. (pdf file)

Venus De Milo by Gerry Mulligan (arranged by Randy Pingrey)

Kathy Olson – bari sax
Randy Pingrey – trombone
Mark Zaleski – bass
Austin McMahon – drums

I’m particularly excited about the track Low Contrast.  I wrote it for this group, and my idea was: what if Morton Feldman wrote a tune for the Mulligan/Brookmeyer band?  I’m quite pleased with the results, and it’s a thing I’m definitely going to pursue in future projects.


Kathy Olson Quartet


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New Audio – with the Kathy Olson Quartet


Live at La Luna Cafe in Cambridge, MA – June 20th 2009

Tea for Two

Deed I Do

On the D.L.


Kathy Olson – bari sax
Randy Pingrey – trombone
Keigo Hirakawa – piano
Brad Barrett – bass

All of these songs are transcribed and arranged (and, for On the D.L., composed) by Randy Pingrey, except for Smoochin’, which was composed and arranged by Kathy Olson.  Special thanks goes to Kathy for recording and editing these tracks, and for giving me permission to put them up here.  And also to La Luna for supporting live jazz!

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July Update

So it’s been a long while since I’ve really had anything to write here – I’ve been busy moving in to and setting up my new place in Cambridge, and I’ve been quite busy making ends meet and making good on all of my obligations.  There hasn’t been much time for the type of quasi-indulgent-self-reflection that blog writing takes, but today I have a lazy afternoon all to myself.

Music in July has been a very positive thing – I’ve been playing all over town, and I have a lot of great projects coming in the future.  I’ve continued to play with the Roma Band, which is always an interesting cultural experience (and excellent ear and endurance training), and I’ve continued to play on and off again with the Beantown Swing Orchestra.  Special thanks goes to all the folks that came to the Joe Moffett duo gig on July 12th, and to Ben Stepner for recording it for all to hear over the web.  Hopefully the trio work we did with James will get a much-needed update in the next few weeks.

August promises to be a really productive month: I have several interesting gigs coming up: tonight I’m playing with Gleason’s Twins in J.P., and next week – on Thursday (August 6th) – I’m playing at the Regattabar with the Nick Grondin group.  Both groups should be an interesting, entertaining experience.  Next week, I’m playing Schubert’s 8th symphony in western MA as a ringer in a youth symphony.  I’ve had to work on honing my alto clef chops, and it’s reminding me how much I enjoyed practicing classical trombone techniques.

I’m also planning a new project with Kathy Olson, a killer bari sax player (and my sweetie), in which we’ll play music inspired by the classic Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer quartet.  We play at La Luna Cafe on August 21st, and another gig is on the horizon.  I’ll post music from that project as soon as it gets recorded.

This site will change some in August, as well.  As you’ve probably already noticed, I’ve started to use Twitter as a way to bridge in-between major blog posts – I like it because it’s easy and fun and a very low commitment on my time.  Also expect a major rehaul of the “media” page – in a few weeks it will be much easier to use, and divided more clearly into specific projects.  I want to get some of my more straight-ahead jazz work on the page as well as some classical trombone examples.  I’ve also been working on a few posts which will see the light of day in the next week or so.  I’ve been recording solo trombone improvisations, and a post with my thoughts on the project will appear soon (with recorded examples), as well as a post about the great Lawrence Brown which I’ve been struggling to complete since late June.

And lastly: thanks to all the people who have checked stuff out on the site – my old post on Mississippi John Hurt seems to be the most popular, which is cool with me, and I really appreciate everyone who has listened to the music and come to the gigs.

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