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Cary Tenenbaum

Admitted Dead Head and Avowed Music Addict

About Me

My Dad listened exclusively to classical music and as a boy when riding in the car listening to it on the radio he trained me to discern the different instruments in the orchestra. Eventually I convinced him an FM converter was a worthwhile investment to augment our AM only car radio, as his beloved WQXR station would sound much better over the FM airwaves, and finally I had access to free form rock radio of the 1970’s. This ties into my eventual love of listening to Jazz. Also, there were 3 early concerts I saw that cemented my love of all forms of music beyond the popular, two of them occurred 50 years ago in 1973. The Grateful Dead at the Nassau Coliseum and Paul Simon at Carnegie Hall in his first solo concert tour after the breakup of Simon & Garfunkel. At first I was a Simon & Garfunkel fan, having received as a pre-teen their first 2 albums as Chanukah presents from an older cousin. The Simon concert was transformative in that he expanded the folk- pop sound of S&G with a gospel group The Jessy Dixon Singers and a Peruvian group Los Incas both backing him up and having solo spots in the show. This exposed me to musical styles I was not familiar with and broadened my interest in other genres. In another Simon show maybe a year and a half later, he had Michael Brecker and Toots Theilmans in his band..Jazz harmonica, wow. The Grateful Dead show was another thing entirely. Of course I was excited to see Truckin’ and other FM “hits” I was familiar with but the jam after was what really opened my mind and ears. They were all playing different things at the same time! Where did that all come from, and the training from my father helped me hear it all. Investigating and reading about the band members influences led me down many roads R&B, Soul, Bluegrass, Country, Minimalist Classical, and yes, Jazz. Over the course of the intervening 50 years I have seen over 600 concerts, with about 15% of them being Grateful Dead and related. I worked in industry, and these many concerts were what I lived for, the calendar on my office wall highlighted the dates I had upcoming concert tickets for. We saw Phillip Glass operas, and Steve Reich & Musicians performing Drumming, Glenn Branca, Laurie Anderson, Anthony Davis, Sun Ra, Pat Metheny with Jaco Pastorius, and another time with Jim Hall, Chick Corea and Return to Forever, Keith Jarrett, Jean Luc Ponty, Stanley Clarke, Sonny Rollins, Dr. John and BB King and Bonnie Raitt with John Lee Hooker and Mario Bauza and Paquito D’Rivera and Dave Valentin with Santana and Bobby Mcferrin , Abdulla Ibrahim, Stanley Turrentine, Earl Klugh and Michael Franks and Larry Coryell and Pierre Bensusan, John McLaughlin with Shakti, Brian Blade & Fellowship, Ravi Coltrane, ….I could go on and on, and probably start my own website just remembering for you all these many wonderful concerts, but I’m not really all that innovative or tech savvy, so I’m grateful to the editors of this wonderful AAJ site to give me the opportunity to write about music and share my thoughts about it with you. I am continually exploring and interested in discovering new performers. Of course along with the concerts over the years I collected records, tapes, CD’s and never to have a collectors item, but rather to experience the beauty of the music. As a younger man, one of the wonderful things about music was to share it with friends. Hang out and listen to a new record and turn a friend on to something they hadn’t heard before and likewise be turned on. People have asked me ..do I play? My answer is I play the stereo. I’m not a player or educated in music, I’m just a lifelong fan. So, that’s the musical me, I look forward to writing for you here and maybe even hearing from you too.

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My Jazz Story

I love jazz because, I feel like all music has a little bit of Jazz in it. I love hearing musicians searching for the sound and sharing that experience on recordings and especially in live performances is my life blood.

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