What IS a Zendo Tavern?', everyone asks. The lyrics came first, imagining monks, AWOL from DBZ monastery, going into town to hit the local zen tavern for beer and some shots - or tea, if it really was the Zendo Tavern. On the website, zendotavern.com, & on the back of the CD is a stage set - an idea of the Zendo Tavern - sparsely furnished, cushions on scrubbed wood floor at low tables. Dimly outlined in the shadows above the patron, who has thrown his happi coat over the rice paper screen, is a painting: a nude reclines odalisk-like she holds a book of Rousseau, a feather quill pen, an Opossum lurks on the back of the couch... a variation on the paintings in all the bars in movie saloons of the old west. The patron could be Asian or Western - alone, meditating, deep in his cups of tea, or vodka - or sake. A different kind of zazen. As the CD developed, we looked for a name for such a mixed band of musicians playing such a mixed bag of songs. A zendo is a refuge from the every day world - a place to confront one's self through zazen, meditation, alone or with others on a similar quest. And in a western sense, pubs or taverns are also places we go to find refuge - to meditate, to confront ourselves and others also searching, asking questions. Zendo Tavern, is a meeting of East and West both in the diversity of musicians, the music, and in the idea of all creatures seeking a refuge - the songs are meditations in the sense of thinking about 'just what the hell are we doing here on this planet'? Someone said, 'Ah, the zendo is the high road, and the tavern is the low road.' But this is not so - they are both ways to a path. Playing music with yiming, Jan and Phil was a refuge filled with gratitude and pleasure. Biff cuthbert Jan kalinowski, lead guitar - comes from Gniezno, Poland and was a founding member of the 'Prowizorka Jazz Band'. Prowizorka has won awards all over Europe, notably the Golden Washboard many times in Warsaw, and first place at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh; the band has recorded many CDs of early Dixieland Jazz, as well as many jazz standards, Yiming Gao, violin- Fortunately for Zendo Tavern she can't find enough outlets for her talents. She has played violin for twenty five of her twenty eight years; graduated with degrees in pre-med & German at Johns Hopkins, plus violin at Peabody Conservatory. While obtaining her masters in violin at yale, she held a chair in the New Haven Symphony, and played with Orchestra New England, and organized several Chamber groups. Her classical form was first corrupted by playing and recording fiddle tunes from Prince Edward Island. She has just finished four years of medical studies and is now beginning her residency work, but she still plays in chamber groups and with Zendo Tavern. Phil Rosenthal, mandolin - is known for his children's series of folk music CDs, CDs of his own compositions of music and lyrics, and some twenty years as singer/song writer with the Seldom Scene bluegrass band and Bluegrass Union and the many CDs the bands produced. Phil's American Melody Studio being ten minutes away, and Phil being an accomplished musician and engineer all factored into making this CD possible in a very restricted time frame of eight weeks. Biff Cuthbert, guitar/vocals - ended his classical piano career at age fifteen and played ukelele for a year in Europe, mostly in Italy. His father took him to Wolf's in New York, age sixteen, and bought him a Drake guitar; in 1971 shortly after college, he bought a Gallagher D-70. He counts Irving Berlin,Fats Waller,Tin Pan Alley, Roberto Murolo,Victoria Spivey, Lonnie Johnson & Lucille Bogan, Mississippi John Hurt, Scott Joplin,Dave Van Ronk, Paul Siebel,Doc Watson, Leo Kottke, Lyle Lovett, Mickey MacConnell as influences. This CD is a resolution of forty years of musical narrative.