The Music of Bruce Kaphan The Music of Bruce Kaphan The Music of Bruce Kaphan
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Bruce Kaphan Quartet Tracks

Bruce Kaphan Quartet

For more information on the individual tracks, sound clips & images click the links below.

Aether aka Æther
Been Here Soon
Grapple With The Apple
Iz Isn't
Whats New
Running With Big Dogs
En Noir Et Blanc
Highways Remembered

Grapple With The Apple (excerpt)

Grapple With The Apple

Sometimes, finding a name for a piece of instrumental music is really challenging.

Okay, I like puns; it runs in my family. In my family, "to Kaphan" means to modify familiar words or phrases into new pronunciations or meanings, usually in an [feeble] attempt at humor... Musically I think this piece has very little to do with the Charlie Parker tune with the nearly soundalike name Scrapple From The Apple, but one day when I was in the midst of writing an as yet unnamed Grapple With The Apple, I took a little time away from my studio to do some garden work, and yes, Apple trees are relevant.

A dwarf Gala espalier, all dressed up in spring color.
Besides being involved with making music, gardening, in particular growing food, is my favorite pastime. In the nearly 15 years I've lived where I now live, slowly but surely, an ever-increasing portion of our landscape has become edible. Next to our driveway, there's a strip of land a couple of feet wide that has a good southern exposure. On the advice of local garden guru become good friend Bill Merril, I decided to plant some fruit trees and prune them, espalier style. Initially I planted four apple trees, a pear and an Asian apple pear. Sadly, after a few years, among them, a Fuji and a Gravenstein were attacked by wooly apple aphid. Try as I might to control the pest, since I don't use any toxic pesticides, eventually the wooly apple aphids destroyed these two trees. I decided to pull them out and replace them with a peach and a plum, hoping they wouldn't be (as?) susceptible to the same disease.

Any of you who've ever dug out a tree, even one that's just a few years old, know that to get the major roots out is quite a workout if you don't employ power tools in the process. So as I was grappling with the apple tree, thinking about the piece of music I was writing, the name "Grapple With The Apple" descended on me like a horde of wooly apple aphids.

My little espalier area. In the foreground are the peach (still with training wheels) and plum trees where the apples used to be. Beyond them, the remaining apples, a Golden Delicious, beyond it Akane, and bringing up the rear the newer dwarf Gala. It's the first day of spring today, and everyone is waking up!

So far the peach and plum trees are doing just fine (knock on wood).

This track features John R. Burr on piano, Jason Lewis on drums and Jeffrey Wash on fretless electric bass.

Bruce Kaphan

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Bruce Kaphan
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Fremont, CA 94536