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Alternate Side Parking Music

by Russ Lossing

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Honk 08:02
Cloned 05:16
Next 3 Km 09:44
Move It Over 05:52
Double Park 09:23
Meter Maid 09:11
Cloned Again 05:45
Turn 04:35 video


Alternate Side Parking Music was composed for this album while sitting in my car on the street in Manhattan. In New York City, in order to clean the streets, there are parking rules called alternate-side parking for street cleaning. So, if you park on the street, you have to move your car from one side of the street to the other several times a week. Since it is difficult to find a parking spot normally, often times you have to sit in your car, double parked, and wait for the street cleaning machine to pass by on the other side of the street. As it passes, you can move your car over to the cleaned side of the street to park. Alternate -side parking on my block in Manhattan is 8:30 am to 10am Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. It’s not too fun, so I decided to use the time to compose music. The scene can be comical: chaotic and intense with a lot of honking and jockeying for position. All this crazy activity influenced the music that I wrote during these times.
‘Honk’: This piece was inspired by the cacophony of honking with so many layers of rhythms. I captured the spirit of it by composing bass lines that occur without relation to the melody, a compositional concept that I call “Transparent Composition”.
‘Cloned’: This composition refers to the parking enforcement officers, who put in mind clones; expressionless robots dressed all in brown. I re-animated one little melodic “clone” from a Schoenberg piano piece in the creation of this piece.
‘Next 3 km’: Another example of “Transparent Composition”. Bass lines are moving in various tempi while the melody lines move independently. All tempos are flexible and the players have freedom to make individual choices.
‘Move it Over’ is inspired by the moment when all of the double-parked cars move over to the other side of the street as the street cleaning machine passes; a funny little rhythmic dance.
‘Parallel Park’ reflects the intricacies of squeezing into a spot with two inches in front and two inches in back of your car. An art that all “seasoned street parkers” possess. This piece is just nine measures long, but it’s a tricky rhythm.
‘Double Park’ was inspired by the boredom involved in sitting in your car for an hour and a half. One must adopt a zen-like attitude and get into a groove to endure it.
‘Rainy Ramadan’: One day I went down to the street to move my car and no one had moved over. I found out that it was Ramadan and alternate-side parking was suspended. This is always a happy discovery so I went up to my apartment and composed this little piece. It was raining.
‘Meter Maid’ is an intricate multi-metered rhythmic dance played in unison. Later, the bass takes up a 70s era-inspired funk groove. But everything is optional. Each player is free to choose what and when to play and all tempos are flexible.
‘Cloned Again’ is ‘Cloned’, again. This is another take of Cloned. I composed the music for this album without any set arrangements to give the players full autonomy. I like to let the band members decide what to do and when to do it so their creative imaginations are unfettered. Therefore, this version of ’Cloned’ is quite different from the previous take.
‘Turn’ is the very first song that I wrote in my car on the street in front of my Manhattan apartment. It’s a rhythmic puzzle consisting of an expanding form: a 13- beat cycle which adds two beats with each repeat: 13, 15, 17 and 19 beats.

- Russ Lossing


released July 7, 2023

Russ Lossing - piano, fender rhodes, wurlitzer electric piano
Adam Kolker - tenor/sop sax, bass clarinet
Matt Pavolka - bass
Dayeon Seok - drums

All Compositions by Russ Lossing, Woodworth Edition Music BMI


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Russ Lossing New York, New York

Russ Lossing has been part of the New York jazz scene since 1986. Lossing played with drummer Paul Motian over a period of 12 years and was a member of the Paul Motian Quintet which played week long gigs at the Village Vanguard in New York. He has 18 CDs as leader and is featured on over 50 other CDs as sideman and collaborator with world acclaimed jazz musicians.
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