I will survive
In our rush to list a few local records (“Slipped through the cracks,” SN&R Arts & culture, March 27), we forgot to mention Ultreya, a superb new disc by local jazz pianist and educator Markus Burger. The disc chronicles Burger’s four-year affliction with lymphoma, and the art he created in the course of his struggle with the disease. The enormity of what Burger, a native of Germany, faced has imbued these solo piano pieces with an undercurrent of serene acceptance and lyrical beauty, even though many of the tracks are quite lively on the surface.
If you’re curious, you can hear Burger play; he’s giving two piano recitals on Wednesday and Thursday. The first, April 2, is at noon at Westminster Presbyterian Church, at 1300 N Street across from the Capitol. The following evening, April 3, Burger will play in the Little Theater at Sacramento City College, at 3835 Freeport Boulevard.
Sacramento City College is where Burger teaches an introductory course on the music business. The tenor of that course seems more geared toward doing it yourself; the practical, hands-on aspect of making and marketing your own music is something with which Burger has plenty of experience. And, to give the class a little more hands-on experience, Burger and the class formed a record label called DiverCity Records, which has released a double-CD sampler, so far, that retails for $15.
New record stores are always welcome, and there’s one opening on J Street this weekend, with a grand-opening party on Saturday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tone Vendor is shoehorned into a tiny space at 1812 J Street, No. 1, just up from the Streets of London pub. According to a guy who popped his head out the door, Tone Vendor will specialize in indie rock and will carry a selection of CDs and vinyl, including 7-inch singles. This is a good thing; The Beat, located a block and a half away, always has been a lot better at carrying English and European indie records, along with locally produced music and major-label products, than it has been at stocking American indie-label discs. And that makes this little stretch of Midtown a nice destination—shop for records, have a sandwich at the top-notch Italian deli across the street or a pint at the Streets, and life is good (well, aside from that ongoing matter in the Persian Gulf).