Irving Stone and his wife Stephanie were among the earliest and staunchest supporters of the burgeoning New York downtown scene, starting back in the '70s. Following Stone's passing in June of 2003, the music community he had supported so avidly held a 12-hour memorial concert at Tonic, and this double-disc set presents highlights from that concert. Both sets begin with a beautiful solo piano piece played by Stephanie Stone, who had been a singer and piano player before she married Irving. From there the listener is treated to a virtual who's who of the downtown scene, ranging from purely solo performances to the Little Huey Big Band headed by William Parker
, but mostly solos and small groups. The performances (and sound) are uniformly excellent, to where mentioning highlights would be an arbitrary exercise. The booklet has a number of photos of Irving and Stephanie, and quotations and remembrances from some of the participants and other folks active in the downtown scene. There are a couple errors in the booklet: Steve Swell
plays trombone and not alto sax, and unless Ikue Mori
had her laptop filled with samples of John Cage
's "4'33," she did not actually appear with John Zorn
on "From the Beginning." These minor details do nothing to detract from a wonderful and heartfelt tribute to a major music fan who probably did more than he ever realized to encourage a group of young, adventurous musicians.