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Phish Bassist Balancing Dual Musical Paths

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Monday, September 28, 2009

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Mike Gordon is feeling pulled in a couple different directions these days.

The Phish bassist is still actively invested in his solo career, including his 2008 album “The Green Sparrow.” But having Phish active again after a four-year hiatus — including the new album “Joy” — keeps his dance card fairly full.

“It’s great, because they satisfy different needs,” Gordon, 44, says of his two musical endeavors. “And it’s difficult, because they both need attention, even when I’m off the road.

“With Phish, it’s just so easy to put in the work and practice and then just sort of jump on the wave of it, sort of, and ride it. And with my band, I get to try all kinds of stuff that I wouldn’t do in Phish, like writing a lot of material and getting into the arranging. Both are exciting, and so far I’m finding the balancing act is totally doable.”

Phish, which is next due to perform Halloween weekend, could easily subsume Gordon and the other members’ solo projects, but he promises that he’s already thinking about a next album of his own and has no plans to abandon that path.

“If anything, it’s a weird feeling to get back with Phish when I feel I’ve only scratched the surface of my own path,” Gordon explains. “For my solo career, there’s just a lot of potential to be tapped into and discovered. I have that pioneer feeling like we had when we first started Phish, so I’d feel like I was shortchanging myself if I didn’t keep at it.”

Mike Gordon and the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey perform Tuesday (Sept. 29) at the Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor. Doors open at 9 p.m. Tickets are $20. Call (734) 996-8555 or visit www.blindpigmusic.com.

Web Site: www.blindpigmusic.com

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