When I'm not busy teaching, researching, or (sigh) sitting in a meeting, I like to make music. Much of my music-making has happened on the bass, where I've played jazz, avant-garde, and rock. Recently, I've been playing more guitar. I also have made some electronic music, and dabbled with the oud, a Middle Eastern lute. Here are some of my projects (mostly past, some present):
- Currently, the Pantet is my main gig. Bill Heminway, Heimo Wallner on trumpets; Terry Simpkins on drums; Deborah Felmeth on piano and vocals; Ron Rost on keyboards; Steve Budington on guitar; Jeremy Harlos on bass; and me on guitar and bass. It's a free improvisation ensemble, though we play structured pieces from time to time.
- A few years ago, I played in the Untitled Funk Orchestra, featuring Jeremy Harlos (bass), Justin Perdue (guitar), Ron Rost (keys), Terry Simpkins (drums), Bill Heminway (trumpet), Heimo Wallner (trumpet), and me on guitar. We played soul jazz in the vein of 1970s Grant Green, but try our best to update that idiom, including some radically re-worked versions of "My Sharona" by the Knack, "Love Will Tear Us Apart" by Joy Division, etc. (These abominations are mostly my doing...)
- I led a short-lived group called Kareem Khalifa's Pantet, featuring Mark Christensen (Chapman stick), Deborah Felmeth (piano, vocals), Kane Mathis (oud, drums), Ron Rost (keys), Heimo Wallner (trumpet), and me on guitar. We played a mix of my compositions, some well-chosen covers by other bandmates, and a fair dose of spontaneous improvisations.
- A few years ago in Middlebury, I played in a group called Afrotet, which played compositions by Ugandan songwriter Damascus Kafumbe (vocals, traditional Ugandan instruments). Afrotet also featured Glenn Goodwin (bass), Ron Rost (keys), Heimo Wallner (trumpet), Carlos Velez (percussion), and me on guitar. Our highlight: we opened for the Dalai Lama! (Seriously.)
- Mark Christensen (guitar, Chapman Stick), Brian Robison (theremin), and I played a lot when I first came to Middlebury. Brian is in Boston now, but we should bring the band back together!
- The Unexplained Explainers was a jazz group featuring Karen Greene (sax), Andy Ditzler (drums), Mark Risjord (guitar), and myself on bass. Mark was also my dissertation advisor, so many of the titles of our original compositions feature jokes that only philosophers could appreciate.
- dp3 was an Atlanta-based group featuring Andrew Boring (trumpet), Paul Mercer (violin), Davis Petterson (drums), and myself on bass. We played all sorts of stuff, but kept it together with some steady grooves.
- King Bomba was a short-lived Atlanta trio consisting of Eric Ludgood (electronics), Mario Schambon (percussion), and me on guitar. I would describe the music as avant-rock.