Were Theo Bleckmann Irish he would be a leprechaun, a magical bringer of joy and beauty with creativity and a sense of humor. Probably a more apt cultural consideration is viewing this vocalist/performance artist as the embodiment of all that was good, demiurgic, evocative, and provocative of Berlin during the explosively creative Weimar Republic period. Bleckmann is a daring and broadly talented artist fearing no type of artistic expression. A lover of sounds and gadgets, the singer has forged a place for himself on the whole art scene with releases culminating in the Grammy-nominated Twelve Songs by Charles Ives (Winter & Winter, 2009).
Bleckmann's collaborations with pianist/conductor/composer Fumio YusadaLas Vegas Rhapsody: The Night They Invented Champagne (Winter & Winter, 2006) and Schumann's Favored Bar Songs (Winter & Winter, 2009)have proven him an intensely personal artist, ready to share his wares with an interested public. I Dwell In Possibility is Bleckmann's celebration of the voice. No better way to do so than with his fine instrument and fertile imagination.
Bleckmann addresses his material on two levels: first is in choice, which is far and wide; second, "instrumentation" he provides his singing. I Dwell In Possibility is a solo recording in the truest sense of the word, as Bleckmann is the sole proprietor of his creative and expressive domains. The title piece is Bleckmann's imaginative setting of Emily Dickinson's verse of the same title; augmenting the piece with vibra tone, glass harp, chimes, and finger cymbalsa lover of gadgets, for sure, and gleeful employment thereof.
James Taylor Quartet's "Lonesome Road" and Joni Mitchell's "The Fiddle and The Drum" are transformed by Bleckmanns brilliant sorcery. Even ancient texts are not safe from Bleckmann, who adapts fragments by Euripides and from unknown ancient Egyptians. This is densely creative and very smart music that is enjoyable even at its most experimental (Meredith Monk's Wa-lie-ho." What next, Theo Bleckmann?
Track Listing: I Dwell In Possibility; I Hear A Rhapsody; Lord Is It Mine; Duet For One; Static Still; Wa-lie-oh; That Lonesome Road; So La So Mi; Ma'at; If Only; Earth And Sky; The Fiddle And The Drum; Kleines Norwegisches Wintergedicht; Comes Love.
Personnel: Theo Bleckmann: voice, autoharp, chime balls, chimes, finger cymbals, flutes, glass harp, hand-held fan, Indonesian frog bugger, iPhone, lyre, melodica, miniature zither, nut shell shakers, rotary pan flute, shruti box, tongue drum, toy amp, toy boxes, toy megaphones, vibratone, water bottle.
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith
I've always loved jazz ...my mother was a classical pianist and my aunt was a blues singer, who was managed by Clarence Williams (Bessie Smith's producer). As a young boy, they introduced me to people like Louis Armstrong, Sarah Vaughan, and Jimmy Smith. We hung out at my Aunt Kate's Soul Food restaurant in Harlem after the matinees at the Apollo where I listened to their stories. I knew I wanted to be a jazz musician from then on. My mother wanted me to play piano, but my Aunt bought me a guitar. I've been playing ever since.
At my mother's early prompting, I first sang Blue Velvet at my Catholic elementary school...and all the nuns came running in and asked me to sing again, so I knew I must have sounded pretty good. I've been singing ever since.
I met Tony Bennett in Miami and he inspired me to return to New York. He was a great mentor.
The best show I ever attended is mpossible to say, I've seen so many great shows. From Tony Bennett to Pat Martino, Return to Forever to Weather Report...I've seen some great performances.
My advice to new listeners is don't let jazz intimidate you, the music has something for every listener and it is our American gift to the world.