Tivoli Trio Recording

The Tivoli Trio with John Hebert and Gerald Cleaver is going in to the studio in September to record a new CD which is to be released by Red Piano Records around the New Year. In preparation for the recording we are playing a gig at Douglass Street Music Collective, in Brooklyn, on Tuesday September 22nd. Hope to see you there!


Damascus 2008

Damascus 2008

Cadence review

Here is a review by  Alan Bargebuhr of “The American Dream” from the latest Cadence Magazine:

And I say to you

dear reader, because I am

reviewing this CD — Marvin, I

say, which is maybe not yr

name, the music sur-

rounds us, what

can we do with 

it, or else, shall we & why not,

buy some goddamn big ears

listen, I say, for

Creeley’s sake, listen to

just where they’re going.

…which is, of course, my reviewer’s riff on what is arguably

Robert Creeley’s best known (most popular?) versification, and

with which I seek to command your attention to tell you about a

CD which has both astonished and moved me. This is not the first

time Carlberg has appropriated Creeley (3/04, p.131) with this

particular group and may not be the last, but it is the first time

he has devoted an entire CD to the work of the poet who died in

2005 but who, according to Carlberg, lived long enough to provide

both “inspiration…(and) enthusiastic support of (the) project.”

Creeley’s interest in Jazz has been written about—at length—

elsewhere. Suffice it to say that early on Creeley expressed interest

in players such as Miles and Bird, reasoning that they showed him

“you can write directly from what you feel.” And so it is that his

poetry is most often direct in its seeming minimalism, stripped of

the excess of persiflage and misdirection which have burdened so

much verse since the beginning of poetic time. Indeed, the Creeley

works used here are brief and if you simply read them as they lay

inertly and innocently typed into the CD insert, you might find they

have the aspect of bursts of poetic gunfire, sometimes scanning

like urban Haiku (“There is a world underneath. or on top of this

one—and it’s here, now”), sometimes faintly reminiscent of E. E.

Cummings (“Of who Of How Of When Of One …”), sometimes

sounding like lines from a Samuel Beckett play (“… what’s the day

like, out there—who am I and where”), and sometimes even bor-

dering on Hip Hop rhyming (“time is now & that’s the gig, make it,

don’t just flip yr wig.”).

But Carlberg has codified these poems into a “12-part song

cycle” with no spaces between, so the stream of music is continu-

ous. His writing and playing and that of his cohorts matches the

poetic rhythms in settings that amplify the organic impetus of the

poems. The pulse is often frenetic, jagged, purposefully chaotic,

with Chris Cheek and himself improvising freely, but always within

parameters dictated by the cyclical structure of the Creeley poems.

Ms. Correa, described in some accompanying PR literature, as

Carlberg’s “partner in art and life,” sings with an intensity that

measures every distance between fury and tranquility with fearsome

accuracy. When she re-enters “There,” after having sung holy hell

earlier in the piece, and weaves herself back into the ensemble, it’s

a truly thrilling moment. Chris Cheek consistently plays as though

possessed: his solo on “Time” is particularly compelling. John

Hebert and Michael Sarin provide resourceful power to the entire

enterprise. This is music that will reveal itself fully only after repeat-

ed hearings. From the dirge-like “Loop,” to the Brechtian echoes

of “Dream,” and—finally—to the elegiac prayer which suffuses “If

Ever,” this is demanding, rewarding music, which quite apart from

poetic considerations, is powerfully authentic and accessible 21st

century Jazz Music. Best, however, that you approach with some

goddamn big ears, if you expect to hear just where Carlberg and his

companions are coming from and going.

Alan Bargebuhr


Credit: Scott Friedlander

Credit: Scott Friedlander


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