Scott Tweedie
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Scott Tweedie


Band Folk Acoustic


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"Mark Yodice At The Knitting Factory"

On Wednesday, January 18th, I parked my car on Broadway around 9pm and walked down a deserted Leonard Street to The Knitting Factory. Located in the Tribeca area of NYC, the Knitting Factory has three separate performance spaces on three floors. Once the home of hip headlining acts and inspired avant garde Jazz and Rock, the Knitting Factory has lost its focus and has become like many other bars – booking whoever can draw an audience regardless of their actual musical abilities. Interestingly, when the club booked on merit alone, it actually created a scene. People knew that ANY night of the week they could catch great music there, and the club was always crowded. Despite the current hit-and-miss booking trends I was headed to hear someone in particular so I knew there would be good music in store.
Mark Yodice has been writing and performing on LI and in NYC for quite a few years. His debut solo CD, “June Again”, was released in 2000 and contained original solo guitar compositions that gave a stylistic tip of the hat to adventurous guitarists like Michael Hedges. Combining busy rhythms, an original melodic sense, and dense harmony achieved through the use of open tunings, Marks music immediately stood out. The CD garnered positive reviews and airplay. He has been keeping a bit of a low profile of late, teaching guitar and writing music out on LI’s East End.

This night Mark was performing in the Old Office, located in the Knit’s sub-basement. Originally scheduled to play at 10 pm, scheduling changes had him eventually playing a truncated set at 11:45pm. The Old Office was packed with people, apparently friends of another performer celebrating a birthday. While waiting for Mark to go on I sat through one set of random sound collages performed on prepared guitar, computer samples & cello; and another set of computer drum loop, keyboard, and guitar noodling.

The schedule changes forced Mark to omit some of the new songs he had originally planned on playing. He also decided to have friend Scott Tweedie sit in on trumpet for all songs. The previous bands were quite loud and the room was very crowded, however, everyone quieted down once Mark began playing – a testament to the subtle power of his music. He began with “Lion Eats Tamer”. This song has a jazzy harmonic sequence punctuated by some cool bass runs. Scott Tweedie let Mark take the song in and then contributed some sparse solos on muted trumpet.

The second song was “Jamu, the Bewildered Buddhist”, a tune from “June Again”. This song sports some complex rhythm playing. Tapping, slapping and harmonics were combined in an aggressive approach that still managed to be very catchy. Mark has a way of always using his prodigious guitar chops to serve the music. With eyes closed you might think you were listening to a guitarist, bass player and percussionist. As the song began a group of people from the back of the room edged their way up to the front of the stage to get a better look at how one person could be making all this music. Scott entered again with long noted melodies atop the busy guitar part. The trumpet playing complemented the guitar part and added contrast as well.

After the 2nd song Mark handed the drum stool he’d been sitting on over to Scott and proceeded to play the remainder of the set sitting crossed-legged on the stage. I later found out that the drum stool wasn’t steady enough and was throwing off his rhythm. He continued the set with “Glow” from his CD as well as a new song that doesn’t yet have a final name. They were both well-composed pieces of music.

Mark ended the set with another new song. This was a moody piece, slow and deliberate. It began quietly and built in volume as it progressed. Mark prepared the guitar by inserting a pen underneath the 12th fret of the 5th & 6th strings. This changed the pitch of the strings both in front of the pen (between the pen and the headstock) and between the bridge and the pen. Mark made use of all of the sounds created in this way and Scott did some very tasty soloing. It was a very open, contemplative piece of music, nicely done!

I later learned that the last song was the only one that Mark and Scott had actually rehearsed. The changes to the placement and length of Mark’s set had him changing the song selection but still wanting Scott to sit in as much as possible. Knowing how challenging Mark’s songs are I think Scott did a great job fitting trumpet parts into them on the spot.

All in all, despite some spiritless and self-conscious performances by the bands that preceded him and bumped his set, Mark and Scott played an inspired set where the focus was on the music. It was worth the wait.

(This article was featured in the April 2006 Issue of Aural Fix Communique)

- Aural Fix Communique

"An Ear For Exploration"

An Ear For Exploration
By Lisa Cowley

Independent / Lisa Cowley Mark Rios, Scot Gropper, Mark Yodice and Scott Tweedie, of Orient Point Sessions. (click for larger version)
Everyone leaves their ego at the door and pours themselves into what's happening at the moment," said organist Scot Gropper about the members of the new improvisational band, Orient Point Sessions. Its audience members are invited to do the same.

The band is the brainchild of trumpet player Scott Tweedie of Orient, and features Mark Yodice of Hampton Bays on electric guitar, Gropper of Wading River on organ and Moog bass, and Mark Rios, of Bay Shore, on drums. OPS will have its first "session" in public on Saturday at Eastenders Coffee House in Riverhead, beginning at 8 p.m.

Tweedie was listening to trumpet player Freddie Hubbard and the Mahavishnu Orchestra when he decided he wanted to assemble a group of talented musicians who would work well together and with whom he could explore his own trumpet playing. "I just wanted to broaden my horizons musically. I was inspired to find my voice on the trumpet. And I figured with these players, it would be a great way to do that," he said.

Miles Davis has also been a great influence. Tweedie was inspired by Davis's leadership and his ability to "assemble the best players that he knows for the projects that he had in mind." Tweedie chose Rios and Gropper for their "synergistic connection" and Yodice because he is a "phenomenal composer." Tweedie's horn puts the celestial topping on OPS's songs.

"One of the best things about OPS, is that they're great listeners," said Tweedie. "Everybody's got a lot of heart. They know when to build it up, they know when to bring it back down, and they know when to give everyone else space to speak. And there's also a lot of good interplay between the voicing of the melodies and the chordal structures."

The band has had only two sessions, in the living room of Tweedie's Orient home. They recorded originally on analog, and their first release will be a 45. "Most people record in the digital domain. I just like the sound of analog better. It gives you a certain warmth. You don't have to worry about computers crashing," he said. A 45 also helps share the music in a more "eclectic form" for record lovers. The two tracks, "Tides" and "Flying," are pieces of longer jams that Tweedie edited down, which later became favorites of the group.

He invites anyone to Eastenders who "wants to hear conversations with music. We have yet to play for anybody, so who knows what's going to happen when we play live."

Gropper first learned improvisation through traveling and seeing groups like Medeski Martin and Wood. "I was going to different places where concerts were happening and meeting people and seeing the different ways that people improvised music. My subconscious was being programmed at that point, and now years later, I'm fine-tuning what I like and what I want to bring to the table," he said. "I like minimalism, I like texture, I like open space. Sometimes the simplest things are the most intense." He's also influenced by Miles Davis and Ornette Coleman.

"I'll gladly play an organ anywhere. I love organs because of the way you can manipulate the tone to cater to exactly what you want to put into a song as far as texture," said Gropper, who plays a large Hammond organ for OPS. "The way it fits into this style of music, it's definitely appropriate for droning and coloring. It really gives a pillow or a bed to the jam."

"I did improvisation before I even heard of any jazz music. Although I was playing in a rock format, it was always improvised in the moment, so it lended itself toward jazz. Once I picked up on the jazz, I got the philosophical side of it down. Mentally I was aware of what I was doing," said Rios. He brings to the band an "openness, the ability to handle anything that's thrown at me and turn it into something positive."

About OPS, he said, "It all comes down to respect. We are concerned about the sound of the whole band instead of an individual."

He's looking forward to Saturday's gig. "I think people like the adventurous nature of an improvisation in a live setting more so than on a record because it's in the moment and you're all in the moment together, so it makes it more special," said Rios. "When I went to concerts, I always wanted to hear musicians cut loose and explore new territory. I think I'm not alone in feeling that way."

Yodice brings to the band a classical sensibility. "A lot of people have this vision of classical music as Baroque; you think of Bach or Beethoven. I have a fascination with very modern classical music like Ligeti or Bartok. It's really deeply rooted in musical anarchy in exploration. They were only following their own rules, a lot of chromaticism and a lot of color, very strong dynamics, and rhythmic interplay," said Yodice. "In some of those sessions that we did, it was a lot of trying to make different sounds work that typically might not blend together as well." He, along with Rios, also bring to the band African and Latin rhythms.

Primarily a solo acoustic guitar player, Yodice found it exciting to compose on the spot with three other musicians (two he didn't know), and to also experiment with electric guitar.

He added, "I've jammed with people where you just don't want to be there. As far as this project goes, Scott ended up getting four people who do connect on the right wavelength. Everyone shines through in different ways."

"The fact that we [were successful] the first time we were together, it was really an organic beginning," said Gropper. "I like the tunes a lot. It's like a birth. Babies are impressive because they're so amazing, but there's also so much more potential. We're right in the beginning, and we've already got such great stuff. I'm looking forward to what's to come."

Tweedie hopes that the 45 will be available at the band's Eastenders gig. Those wishing to order the record can contact him at PO Box 196, Orient, NY 11957, 323-9705, or OPS will also play at Strawberry Fields in Northport on May 20. For more information, visit The band is also on

- The Independent


Scott Tweedie - Distant Journeys - Debut LP
Orient Point Sessions - Vinyl 45
Seeking Vision(Upcoming Album Scheduled For Release In April 2009))




Scott Tweedie
Scott Tweedie is a versatile singer-songwriter. His warm voice and mellow, heartfelt songwriting style have received many respectful comparisons to Cat Stevens, Neil Young,and Nick Drake. He colors his soundscapes with many instruments, not the least being his trumpet.Scott, playing trumpet for The Others and The Karma Sutra Band, opened for Karl Denson's Tiny Universe and The North Mississippi
All-Stars at Brookhaven Amphitheater on Long Island.
Scott's voice and trumpet playing are featured on the most recent album by Slang, "More Talk About Tonight," a masterpiece of all-star collaboration including David Schools (Widespread Panic), Matt Abts(Gov't Mule), DJ Logic, Lori Carson(Golden Palominos), and the album's producer/engineer Layng Martine III(who has worked with Bill Laswell extensively). Scott's muted trumpet playing is also featured on Lori
Carson's 2004 release, "The Finest Thing."
Another outstanding project Scott is a part of is Centauri System, an all instrumental duo co-produced with Brandon Burdon.
Centauri System highlights Scott's trumpet and multi-instrumental performance with music that..."brought tears to his mother's eyes." Starship Stereo Exponential, another cohesive duo co-produced with Jay Dadarria, has enough material for a full length album to be released. Their mystical sound has already touched the hearts of many.
Scott Tweedie has been honored with Raven Hawk Production's prestigious Silver Arrow Award for outstanding achievement in music for 2003 and 2004.
Several of Scott's songs have received primetime radio play on Long Island's Stony Brook radio station 90.1 WUSB. Scott will be featured on the Relix Magazine Sampler CD in the Allman Brothers 40th Anniversary Tribute Issue of Relix Magazine. Anyone who has heard his music knows it has the potential to reach far and wide.
Scott recently received an honorable mention in the ISSA Songwriting Competition.
With styles ranging from meditative instrumentals to
touching folk ballads to eclectic spirit-filled journeys,there is a continuum in his music which reaches the souls of his listeners and leaves them feeling calm, peaceful, and hopeful. Scott weaves a sympathetic vibration with music that is much needed in today's world.
"Scott's voice is soulful and resonant."
---Layng Martine III
"Whatever instrument he chooses--guitar, muted trumpet, Native American flute, harmonica--he seems to journey deep within himself, which invites listeners to do the same.
What makes Tweedie unique is the intimacy of his performance...In Tweedie's music the world seems vast and at the same time unified, as old as creation, yet constantly reborn."
---Lisa Cowley, The Independent Newspaper, Long Island