Primosch, not Primrosch

Hey, I’m in the New York Times!

Or at least some guy with a very similar name is.

Back in 1993, Alex Ross gave me a favorable review in the Times – and spelled my name Primrosch.

Today, Steve Smith gave me a positive review in the Times – and spelled my name Primrosch. (Update: the Steve Smith review has been corrected – thank you for arranging this, Steve. I’ve also inquired about the 1993 error.)

Over the years, I have cashed checks made out to Primrosch, Primrose, and Primosh, among others. I am told the name was probably originally Hungarian, and would have been spelled Primocz, Primosch being a Germanization. I have also been told more than once that the “primocz” is the first violinist in a gypsy band, though you can’t find evidence of that on Google. I once had a driver’s license with the name Prbdsch. It did not go well when I explained to a traffic cop “oh, that’s not really my name”.

In case it is too much effort to click the link above, here is the relevant portion of today’s review:

The Prism Quartet — the saxophonists Timothy McAllister, Zachary Shemon, Matthew Levy and Taimur Sullivan — focused on music from a newly released Innova CD, “Dedication.” Initially envisioned as a collection of 20 one-minute pieces to mark the group’s 20th anniversary in 2004, the project overflowed its boundaries: the CD offers 25 pieces by 23 composers. The concert, around an hour long, included 24 works, mostly complete.

Given the intended format, most of the pieces were clever bagatelles based on a single notion: rhythmic intricacy, smooth blend, extended vocabulary and so on. Still, you were repeatedly surprised by just how much personality could be expressed in a few deft strokes, through the lush harmonies of Greg Osby’s “Prism #1 (Refraction)”; the 24-tone giddiness of Frank J. Oteri’s “Fair and Balanced”; the crabby grandeur of Tim Berne’s “Brokelyn”; and the jazzy swagger of James Primrosch’s “Straight Up,” to name just four examples from a consistently engaging program.

Prism Quartet performs again Friday at Leonard Nimoy Thalia, Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, at 95th Street; (212) 864-5400, symphonyspace.org.

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