SATURDAY, NOV 5th 8PM
South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory
1509 Mission Street,
SOUTH PASADENA, CA 91030
$10.00 GENERAL ADMISSION
SUNDAY, NOV 6th @ 3PM
Performing at ALVAS
(The best venue in the Los Angeles area with a GREAT Steinway piano –
1417 W. 8th Street,
San Pedro, Ca 90732
CLICK ON DON PRESTON
Ticket Price $20.00
Please call: 1-800-403-3447 for reservations and more information
Complimentary coffee, tea and "Alvas" bottled water are provided.
Bring your own Food & Drinks
Donald Ward Preston also known as Dom DeWilde or Biff Debrie born September 21, 1932 in Flint, Michigan. Preston is an American rock and roll musician. Preston was born into a family of musicians and began studying music at an early age. His father was the composer-in-residence for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra.
At 12 years old he was thrown out of school for hypnotizing several students and a nun. The nuns used to beat his hands with a big ruler when he made mistakes playing the piano. Because of this weird treatment he began to like strange and dissonant music. Preston later did a stint in the army, serving in Trieste, Italy. Upon his return to Detroit during the early '50s, Preston associated with pianist Tommy Flanagan. He also sat in with Elvin Jones and others at the city's West End Cafe where Yusef Lateef conducted twice-a-week jam sessions with Milt Jackson's brother, bassist Ollie Jackson.
Preston moved to Los Angeles in 1957 where he hooked up with pianist Paul Bley, bassist Charlie Haden, and others who were hearing jazz in new ways. Many will recognize Preston from his long collaboration with Frank Zappa as the first full time keyboardist with the Mothers of Invention. The original MOTHERS OF INVENTION did not have a full time keyboardist.Preston performed and recorded with Zappa until 1974.
He is a co-founder of the GrandMothers along with Jimmy Carl Black and Bunk Gardner wh ich performed original compositions and music that they had performed with the Mothers of Invention between 1967 and 1969.
In 2002 that band disbanded and reformed with new members and changed their name to THE GRANDE MOTHERS RE:INVENTED. That ensemble performed the music of Frank Zappa that they had performed and/or recorded between the years 1965 thru 1983.The GMSRI has performed over 140 concerts in 18 countries since 2003.
Often compared to Cecil Taylor for his style of attacking the keys with intense passion, Preston’s solos also reflect intellect, technical skills and a storyteller's way with a line. His playing, like his compositions, ranges across panoramas of mood and emotion, all colored with the freedom that comes from possessing remarkable facility.
He also has scored more than 20 feature film scores and 14 plays. He's the winner of numerous awards, and has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic and London Philharmonic. Known to jazz and keyboard aficionados for his pioneering contributions in the use of synthesizers and piano, legendary clarinetist and composer John Carter dubbed Don Preston the “father of modern synthesis.”
Don has performed with artists like:
Joe Beck, Paul Bley, Carla Bley, Bobby Bradford, John Carter, Nat King Cole, Andrew Cyrille, Billy Daniels, Art Davis, Don Ellis,Connie Francis, Flo and Eddie (Howard Kaylan & Mark Volman of The Turtles) Charlie Haden, Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Elvin Jones, Yusef Lateef, John Lennon and Yoko Ono, Charles Lloyd, Herbie Mann, Michael Mantler, Meredith Monk, Vaughn Monroe, J.R. Montrose,Lou Rawls, Emil Richards, Nelson Riddle, Shorty Rogers, Johnny Ray, Leo Sayer, Frank Zappa
Don Preston is no relation to the Don Preston who played lead guitar for Joe Cocker and Leon Russell in the 1970s, and who appeared with Russell at the Concert for Bangladesh.
THE DON PRESTON TRIO features the amazing eyes, ears and hands of acoustic bassist Anders Swanson and his Grande Mothers cohort drummer/percussionist Christopher Garcia.
"Preston not only brought his skewed piano sensibility into the creative jazz context, he lugged along a little of his zany synthesizer as well……..touching on all these associations (Carla and Paul Bley, John Carter, Zappa and Cole Porter), showing what he can do twisting a standard around and delving a bit into his own compositional bag as well. Preston resides on the edge of tonality, toying with it."
"revisiting choice moments of weirdness and glory, as well as dig into original works and unlikely standards, is not to be missed. The range of program is somewhat camouflaged by the seamless interply of Preston and his cohorts. They possess a cohesion born of fluidity that is reminiscent of Paul Bley’s 60’s trios, but they have their own crisp edge. It is a high common denominator for such a diverse program."
"best known as the first synth wielding Mother of Invention – Frank Zappa's
keyboardist aide de camp, to others he is an avowed New Music experimentalist,
whose work in theatre, and with assorted sonic daredevils is the stuff of underground
acclaim…….in the jazz orbit Preston's credits have included Gil Evans, Carla Bley,
Buell Niedlinger, Michael Mantler, John Carter, and Bobby Bradford"
"Don is one of the pioneers in that whole area, I don't think he gets nearly enough
credit for the contributions he has made and the vast amount of knowledge
he has acquired in electronic music."
"the guy that really impressed me was Don Preston, I didn't know what that stuff was when I heard it on Frank Zappa's records. I said, "Man!"
"Preston demonstrated anew that he is one of the most consistently exciting
keyboardists anywhere, he plays with an intensity and a rhythmic vitality
that approached the demonic, at climactic moments smashing the keys
with a forearm and elbow, as if the piano were just not instrument
enough for him"
LA JAZZ SCENE
DON PRESTON AND MONTY PYTHON???????????
FROM THE LINER NOTES OF STRICTLY COMMERCIAL BY TERRY GILLIAM
"No matter how much my body decays, I have been unable to remove one particular shard of memory that remains firmly stuck — festering in my brain as a result of Frank Zappa.
It was 1967. I had just left America for England. One autumn evening, wandering through Hyde Park, I bumped into Frank's manager whom I knew from my former life in Los Angeles. The Mothers were performing at the Albert Hall the following night. Did I want to see them? You bet.
The Royal Albert Hall is a great Victorian monument . . . all red and gold and encrusted with elaborate decoration. With its tasteful boxes ringing the vast domed amphitheatre it represented to me all that was cultured, refined, and civilised . . . the product of generations of decent British citizens and their gracious rulers. but that night this proud testimonial to respectability had been usurped by The Mothers of Invention . . . a hairy three-ringed circus with Frank as the ringmaster.
The band roared and crashed about the stage. They were blasting out their familiar raucous songs with Frank controlling it all with his cool, knowing smile. The audience, by American standards, was subdued and Frank seemed frustrated by his inability to get them on their feet. Whether it was planned or an inspired act of desperation I'll never know but, suddenly in the middle of a song the keyboard player (THAT WOULD BE DON PRESTON – ED NOTE) abandoned his ivories and began to clamber up and over the speakers and other piles of electronic gear. An expectant ripple spread through the crowd. For a moment he disappeared — lost in the darkness. Then a spotlight managed to pick him out — a small motley figure climbing onwards and upwards — up the back of the auditorium — towards the gigantic mountain of brass pipes that comprised the great Albert Hall organ. The audience cheered him as Frank cranked up the band. You can do it! Climb you bastard! Yes! Yes! With the mob chanting and clapping this musical Quasimodo gained the summit and plunked himself down at the keyboard. There was a momentary hush as he grappled with the stops. And then the most glorious, outrageous sound ever heard erupted . . . no . . . it wasn't Elgar or Bach or even Saint-Saens . . .
It was a great thundering musical nose-thumbing fart. He was pounding out "Louie, Louie" on that great Victorian organ. The barbarians had taken over! It probably felt like that the day they hoisted the Hammer and Sickle over the Winter Palace. The cobwebs were being blown away. The iconoclasts were king! It was utterly silly and wonderful . . . and we laughed and cheered and Frank's cool, knowing smile widened ever so slightly.
I decided it was worth staying in England.
When it came to slaughtering sacred cows with such crude, yet perfect musical precision there was no one better than Frank. I wonder what songs he's teaching the angels right now? Good luck God! You've got your hands full this time."
Dr. Dot massaging Don Preston (who is making a goofy face for the camera)