New York - Dec. 2008
Got to Brooklyn via Lucky Star about 9:30pm after my last day at Berklee for the semester. Immediately ran into Chris Tarrow - nice to see him after so long. Apartment in good shape but alleged snow storm is on the way. Supposed to be 6-10" but turns out to be mostly freezing rain. Kind of miserable weather but Eric Halvorson stopped by and we dug out the Gretsch kit and played some duo.
So nice to play with Eric - I guess we've been playing for almost 20 years now. He's always been one of my favorite drummers and favorite people as well. Don Falzone was going to come over and play too but the weather was pretty threatening and he lives all the way up in Nyack. I really want to go out tonight and hear Jim Hall at the Vanguard but I got my first cold of the season and it's kicking my ass. Lucky Star yesterday was tough but I had some NyQuil and that helped me to sleep for a bit. Wish I was a better traveller since I do it so much. Making plans to come back in January and do some recording with Eric and Don and hopefully Michael Blake. Playing the Ibanez As-200 and really digging that guitar. JetBlue tomorrow back to austin - spencer is riding me to JFK. Can't face the long A train ride at 4am. Had dinner with Adam Kolker and he gave me his new CD with Abercrombie and I can't wait to hear that. He's not teaching anymore and he looks very happy about that.
Back in Austin played a great gig at Sao Paulo's with Kevin, Joao, Russell Haight and Mitch Butler sat in. That was really fun. Kind of cold here but nothing like New York and Boston. Went to a great party at John Fremgen's and saw all sorts of people: Mike and Laura Mordecai, John, Stephanie and Ian Files, Sam Lippman, Rob Kazenel, Chris Maresh, Beto without the Fairlanes, Sticky, Paul Glasse, John and Lauri of course, John Mills...bunch of other people. Here's the tail end of the party. Chris looks like he's having fun. Really good eggnog.
Procrastination Played some really nice gigs with Brannen Temple. One Thursday at the Elephant Room with Mitch Watkins and John Fremgen. Mitch sounds amazing and makes it sound so easy. I felt like I was really scuffling trying to play these fast tempos but he just blew right through all that. Great sound as well with a Badcat amp complete with the lighted eyeballs and some kind of solid body guitar. It was tough but fun. Then on Saturday with Brannen again at the Elephant room with Roscoe Beck and William Menefield playing mostly Brannens music. Pete Rodriguez sat in and sounded great. Yesterday Jess and I went to Central Market and heard Doug Hall, Steve Schwelling and Brian Martin and they all sounded great. It was so good to hear all those guys playing so beautifully - plus they played some Joe Henderson which is always a great thing. Brian fancies himself to be quite the chef and I didn't want to burst his bubble with the fact that I'm married to the best chef I know. Plus, I'm a bit of a gourmand myself. My condiment sandwiches are, in all modesty, legendary at the faculty lunch table at Berklee. Just the right mix of ketchup and mustard. In fact, my Quorn sandwich caused quite a stir today in the post-diversity love-fest (actually, things got ugly - we sent the diversity guru running back to the safety of her office) guitar meeting. Joe Rogers and Tony Gaboury were suitably impressed enough to expound on the virtue of the fungus Quorn and I saw a newfound respect in their attitude toward me when they learned I was the keeper of the Quorn flame. It also takes a steady hand and an eye for detail to carefully pick the mold off the bread. Delicious! Now if we only had a toaster. Austin has been amazing: it was 82• yesterday and today I went out for a run and there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was about 55•. What I really need to be doing is schoolwork or writing or something productive but what I am doing is sitting on an airplane writing this stupid journal. 11D but I have both seats. No rants today except at myself. I was putting a Wes solo into Finale but gave up on that.
On the return flight now. Long, long, long. I just want to be doing something worthwhile and not sitting in one spot for 9 hours. My Joe Henderson ensemble played yesterday and sounded great so I'm Mac the Rippering a copy of the DVD to put in their respective mailboxes. Mindless busy work that I can handle on what is turning out to be another 20 hour day. I see by the jetBlue map we are almost over Mississippi. Had a "de-icing" at JFK which added an hour and 15" to the flight as per the usual winter flight. Lots of school, lots of flying, not enough practice. Too many Clif bars and not enough tapas. Not enough time with my wife. Not enough time.
Mister Sparkle There is something very liberating about playing with Tim Miller. Illuminating, yes. Humbling, indeed. As if a jazz musician needed any more humility. Speaking of which, I was contemplating this aspect of jazz the other day. Listening to Coltrane and Miles and Wayne and Monk and realizing the longer I play the further I get from the truth that they created. That's humbling. Trying to play this music for 35 years and not even coming close to what they did is quite humbling indeed. Trying to play this music gets more difficult every day. I've been listening to a lot of Wes - D Natural Blues and If You Could See Me Now. Pure genius. It's really difficult to work on something like say, hexat¿nics, when I hear Wes and Trane playing so beautifully and apparently, effortlessly. Anyway, playing with Tim is liberating because I know I'll never be able to do what he does so I just try to listen to myself, when I'm soloing, and figure out what I do that's different and do more of that. I figure what I do differently from him is play crappy so apparently that's what I do more of. I'll never have his harmonic complexity, chops or sound so I don't even have to try. Just have to try and comp for his amazing solos and not run and hide under a chair or cry like the little girly-man I am. And when Marcello Pelliterri and Bruno Raberg are playing as well, it's so easy. Not to cry but to play. We got a lot of students out and I think they liked it. Not much room to sit though. I bought a Sparkle Drive overdrive because I forgot to bring any effects at all to Berklee but never turned it on. Kind of getting into the Ibanez these days but I left it in Boston anyway. Got a couple of more weeks to go in the semester...crap!...forgot to ask Rick and Larry about the last week of school. I might need to make a reservation. Also the ensemble auditions...crap! Got to take care of that soon. Crap! Anyway, after the little concert Marcello and I sat in a bar and drank beer, ate nachos and ruminated on the rigors of travel. The wonder that is Berklee. The new Berklee in Valencia in 2010. I guess that's why it was so tough to wake up at 5:30 this morning and why a tiny monkey seems to pounding on my forehead from the inside. Only one cure for that - a nice glass of Spanish wine! Beautiful weather in Austin, though. Playing tonight with a great guitarist from Austin named Mitch Watkins and looking forward to that. After Tim, how much humiliation can there be? Possibly quite a lot I guess but at least I don't have to fly tomorrow.
Rant I wish I had some really exciting news like....well, the US just decided to send jazz to the moon and I've been selected to play some tunes in the Copernicus craters or in Mare Imbrium, the Sea of Rains. The whole band gets aisle seats on the rocket and I get to bring whoever I want and my wife can come too and we get paid a lot and at least 5 people will be listening worldwide. Mel Bay will donate the CDs instead of having me pay $10 each for my own CD. There is no sound check. The band actually rehearses. But no, just really busy and incredibly enervated - flying does that to me. I guess it also makes people into the biggest assholes on earth. Uh, oh, I fly every week, what does that make me? Oh, no! But, really, what's up with the armrest piracy and even the breach of personal space? Yes, I think I'm going off on a rant. Sorry, sorry, I can't help it. I'm sitting in the Houston-BUSH freaking airport, speaking of assholes, after a really crappy flight. Okay, I know I'm on Continental but still....Assholes!!! (It is a rant - I'm so sorry). First, on the flight from Austin to Boston (via Houston), I'm the next to last person on the plane and the flight attendant comes tripping down the jetway "sorry, no more room for carry-ons." Okay, gate check the freaking thing. "We don't do that. You have to check it through or you can get another flight." Well, every other fried food eating (and carrying), huge carry-on, armrest stealing, inordinately large (and I mean sideways), greedy, piece of shit passenger on the plane had a carry on. Why not me? Can't we find the asshole who put their bag above my seat and have them check their imitation Gucci - or better yet, stick it where the sun will never shine. There's probably room up there. "So, would you like to be on another flight." No, no, I'll just crawl to my seat and have the fat old lady in the middle seat of the bulkhead row, the coveted row on this cut-rate airline, take my armrest and stick her arm into the personal space of my aisle-seat, bulkhead row. It's okay. I'm learning all about Proxemics. I'm a little whiny-boy. Please kick me. "You aren't worth kicking sir, please shut the fuck up and get on the plane." Sorry, sorry. I'm crawling, is that good enough? "Not really. Say thank you." Thank you miss, may I have another? Finally made it to Boston, the old lady sticking her elbow into my personal space the entire flight then my lonely carry on creeping down the conveyor belt in baggage claim number 2 about 10 minutes after everyone else had grabbed their checked bags and split. While I was talking to the nice person in lost baggage about my experience with their airline, inquiring as to where my bag might possibly be found. "Oh, really, that's a shame. Can you move to the right, I can't see the TV." Took an extra 25" to get my carry-on. Wheeee... Thank you miss, may I have another?
Then, tonight, I'm on Continental again and I opt for the bulkhead row but the only seat left is the dreaded middle seat. Crap. What to do? Legroom but - danger!!! There is no exit row advantage on Continental, I know this. The bulkhead is my only hope. Maybe I'm between two tiny people traveling the globe selling fresh, hot sandwiches of which they have samples and want to share with me. Perhaps they don't speak English, will curl up into very small, quiet balls and sleep all the way to Houston. Yes, this could happen. The middle seat is a gamble. A major gamble for a four hour flight. To Houston. Where I have a layover. In the Continental terminal. Where I am now. While it sucks, there is a Starbucks and I can get decaf espresso. Never thought I would welcome a Starbucks. Think happy thoughts, it's not all bad, I'm almost home. Anyway, the bulkhead middle seat. 5B. 4 hours to Houston plus taxi-ing. It could be, and is, between two large business guys drenched in cologne who are already sitting when I get on the plane and who have already taken both armrests and are both reading newspapers - way into my personal space. Hmmmm, how does this happen? The overhead is full but there is a space a couple rows back. Strange. Am I missing something here? I fly every week, how do these large gentlemen get on before me? I know they've been here for a while because these are the kind of guys who take about 20 minutes to get into their seats when boarding. The kind that stand in the aisle and very slowly and carefully fold their fake Armani suit jackets into perfect squares and place them ever so gently into the overhead where my carrry on was supposed to have a space. Pretend to sit down but only get halfway, still blocking the aisle with about 100 people waiting, go looking through the jacket pocket for a blackberry. Then they sink slowly into their seats, open their newspapers and steal my armrest. How does my overhead space get filled? Well, I had a kind of dark passage here but I had to delete it. I'm over the flying thing - all is calm, all is bright. Maybe I need a little vacation. I'm slightly burnt on this travel thing. I hope Jess doesn't read this. Naw, she probably won't see it. I hope. Really. No Berklee next week because I'm taking Thanksgiving off. Okeydokey, rows 15 and higher in Houston. I'm almost gone. Can't wait to get home. I got 5C (aisle), a 40 minute ride and the plane is half empty. I'm out of here. A little side note: the wonderful tenor player Rob Sudduth turned me on to this blog by Trevor Dunn about travel and it's hilarious - and all too familiar.
Jetblue to Boston - 8am Had to take the flight with a JFK connection to Boston today because the direct flight was a lot more expensive. Turns a 3 1/2 hour flight into 8 hours. Checking out Kneebody "Low Electrical Worker" and it's killing. Great band, great music. I was playing a nice gig with Brian Martin and Steve Schwelling at Lago Vista outside of Austin this weekend and Brian told me about this band. Totally happening. The gig was really fun as well - just playing some tunes. I've been using this Ibanez AS-80 (1980 I think) and it's a fun guitar. I think I like it so much because I only paid $450 for it and it's really light. Like a small bodied 335. Got some fun gigs coming up with Suzi Stern, Steve Schwelling and Joao Vargas. Played with Joao last week with Pete Rodriguez and that was a lot of fun. I heard Pete on Thursday at his CD release party at the Elephant Room and that was great. Got my own gig coming up on Nov.1 and rehearsal is looking kind of unlikely as usual. Why is rehearsal so tough in Austin? It was never an issue in new york. Speaking of New York, I was there last week and went to Cornelia St. and heard Frank Karlberg's quintet with Christine Correa, John O'Gallagher, John Hebert and Mike Sarin. Really wonderful band and amazing music. Everyone sounded fantastic, the place was packed and I saw a lot of old friends including Russ Lossing who told me about a bootleg recording of a gig we did in Padua, Italy with Bobby Previte about 9 years ago (almost exactly 9 years - Oct. 11, 1998). That was a wonderful band playing Miles Davis Bitches Brew music and Mahavishnu Orchestra. I wasn't able to find the recording online but I did find the CD cover. Frank Karlberg Quintet Previte bootleg CD
Madrid airport Waiting for the flight to JFK to board. Had a nice gig last night at Bougui Jazz and met some wonderful people. It was "white night" in madrid which I guess means there are lots of parties and drinking. We got a nice crowd though. I'll miss playing with Masa and Xavi. We were starting to get some things happening. I'm sorry I didn't get to see much of Spain except through a car window. Madrid looks really beautiful - I'd like to come back (with my wife). I met some great people from Tomajazz, guitar player Hector, Pablo who I knew in New York and Berklee, Dick the owner of Bogui Jazz and a whole lot of others. On Friday night we played at a huge party at a palace in Barcelona. There were about 3,000 people there, tons of food and wine (and even martinis). It was a beautiful evening but it ended up lasting a very long time. We left for the gig at 5pm and got back around 2am. In all that time we played just 45". I guess that's a spain thing. Just saw Marco Pignataro at the airport. He had been in Italy I guess and was going to san juan by way of barcelona and madrid. What a drag for him. Sure was weird seeing him though. He had been playing for a week at a jazz festival in Bologna. Now I'm on the plane and already looking at my watch. At least 7 more hours. Movies are Silver Surfer, Pirates of the Caribbean and something else I don't remember. I saw the Pirates on the way over - seems like it was years ago. But this was a really successful tour thanks to Masa. Great gigs, great people, no weirdness anytime. I got to play some of my tunes - actually memorize them. That's a nice thing. I taught a couple of lessons, at some good food, played for the mayor of barcelona. Halfway to Barcelona from Valencia - Xavi driving Had a great gig last night in Valencia at Jimmy Glass. Masa, Jesus Santandreau, Xavi Mareuta and me. Under my name so we played some of my originals but also "Trinkle, Tinkle" and "Soul Eyes." The gigs are a lot shorter over here - about 2 hours or 2 1/2. It was really, really hot in the club but there were a lot of people out and they were incredibly polite and attentive. Everyone sounded great and it was just a lot of fun. I think I was using a H & K amp which sounded fine. I brought a Line 6 Verbzilla but the battteries seem to run out about halfway through the gig so I quit using it a few days ago. We had to quit playing at midnight so I was able to get a little sleep - about 6 hours which seemed like a lot. I also scored some coffee this morning so I'm wide awake for the first time since I got here. Whenever that was. Xavi is driving about 140kh so I'm getting a little queasy. Nice day though. Tonight we are playing at Jamboree in Barcelona and it's supposed to be a nice place. I guess we play there 2 nights then Madrid and then adios.
35,000 feet again Headed to Zurich where I have to change planes for Barcelona. Going to play with one of my favorite bass players of all time, Masa Kamaguchi. Masa booked a bunch of gigs in the next 10 days in Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia and I'm really looking forward to that. Still thinking about the gig I did with Brannen Temple at the Elephant Room with John Fremgen, William Menefield and Ephraim Owens. Everyone sounded so good - it was a blast. Brannen just played his ass off and I was really so happy to be up there. Tough music but beautiful. Also my first week at berklee this week and while I have some really good students this semester, it looks like the first semester in which I'll fall below 13 hours. 10? Less? But at least the students are great - really interested and talented and intelligent. Shrek is the movie. Not sure I want to watch that but all the lights are out now and people are sleeping so if I read or work on the computer it might keep some awake. I should try to sleep too because I'm going to be up all night and we have a gig tomorrow night that we have to drive to. Ack, I ended that with a preposition. masa and patricia's place in barcelona masa's club (jazz clot) Andorra Trying to make get a roadmap of the last 36 hours. Left for the airport with Spenser @ 1:30pm Thursday, plane departed JFK 5:30 Thursday, arrived Zurich 6:30am Friday, departed Zurich for Barcelona 9:30am, arrived Barcelona 11:30am Friday. Arrived Masa/Partrica's house 2pm, departed for Andorra 5pm (still no sleep, by the way), arrived Andorra 8pm for sound check, dinner with Otilio/Antonio 9:30pm, gig from 11pm-1:30am (Saturday now), back to Hotel Marsay by 2:30am. Still no sleep. It's been more than 36 hours and I'm wired. Great gig with Masa and Xavi. The club, Angel Bleu, was great, audience was great, food at pizzaria was great. I had Pescadora pizza which was mostly cheese but also capers, tuna, anchovies and a great crust. And a very nice red wine. I had more wine at Angel Bleu, we did an encore (Giant Steps) and everything is good. Why am I not sleepy? I really want to call my wife because it's only 7:30pm in Texas but there is no wi-fi at this hotel. By the way, this is one of the smallest rooms I've had in a very long time. tiny room I'm also noting that it's right off the elevator shaft and that, like mexico, there is no airconditioning and there is a window onto an airshaft that won't really close. Tomorrow we drive to another place but we're not sure if there is a hotel or not. I hope there is but not counting on it. Anyway, it sure felt good to play with Masa again. He's such a great musician. I should be so tired!!!! Why am I not? angel bleu andorra mas 9/18 Carcaixent Been here for 2 days (I think). From Andorra we went to Girona and played a really nice gig at the Sunset Jazz Club. Met Albert, very nice guy, manager of the club. Sold all my CDs (guess I didn't bring enough). Had a nice dinner in a cafe, played 2 good sets. The sound was very nice but the Polytone kept cutting out and I'd have to turn around and fiddle with the on/off switch to get it working again. Usually at very strategic spots in the tunes. From Girona we drove about 5 hours to Carcaixent and Valencia. Much hotter here - lots of sweating, lots of beer. Staying at Jesus Santandreau's house in Carcaixent for the last 2 nights but tonight we go to Valencia, about an hour, and stay at a hotel and play at Jimmy Glass. Jesus is going to play which is great. We played at Orejazz on Monday which was great. Beautiful people but the club was a bit boomy. Fun though and Jesus sounds wonderful. After the concert we went to a very late dinner that lasted until about 2am. Lot's of fried food and wine. masa at sunset jazz club brannen temple pic at sunset jazz Elsa made a killing paella in the afternoon then about 4 we drove to Valencia. We did a 3 hour master class then a long dinner and jam session. It was really crowded but the musicians were all at a very high level. Met Latino, wonderful bari player and Perico Sambeat, an incredible alto player. Lots of good guitar players. We played 4 tunes as a trio before the jam session and that was really fun as well. Been going to sleep about 4am every night which is going to be really, really bad when I go back to the U.S. I'm going to be totally turned around time-wise. Maybe I can just stay up all night and go to bed at 7am. That would make it about 11pm in the U.S. which will be perfect. paella
Monday, August 20, 2008
Berklee Not much happening. Teaching another camp - got some more really good students which is inspiring. The weather is wonderful in Boston - about 60-80¡F most of the time and it's been sunny. All the students are coming back and the Red Sox are in town so the streets are very busy. One thing about being back in the U.S. that I like, too, is getting good coffee everywhere I go. Maybe too much good coffee. Played a great gig with Kat Edmonson at Reed's Supper Club in Austin. Kat, John Fremgen, Steve Schwelling and Sam Lipman. Kat sings ballads so well and it was a treat to play with Sam - he's amazing and I hadn't had a chance to play with him before. Very nice person, too.
Sunday, Aug 12, 2008 / 2:30 am - on a bus between xalapa and mexico city Been a long 10 days in Mexico. Tonight was the final concert of the xalapa jazz fest. Had a good time but, man, long days. Had a really grreat time tonight playing wtih Vince Cherico (he's on the bus with me trying to sleep), Matt Marvuglio, Dino Givionni, Rafael Alcala, and Agustin Bernal (bass player from Mexico City). The sound was terrible on stage - I guess sound people suck worldwide. Except for Claudia, sound person for Bill Frisell. For a while we were hanging with Eddie Gomez and his band in the green room and Eddie was a really nice guy - the whole band was nice. Wish I could have played with him. We drank an enitre bottle of Don Julia tequila which is now coming back to haunt me on these twisty mountain roads. I don't usually get car sick but in the dark on this bus I keep looking back at the toilet (hmm, I'm smelling it pretty strongly as well). The expresso and peanut M & M's I just had at the bus station don't help either. Vince and I left the concert after we were done playing and I had an hour nap which made me feel worse. Why did I have that espresso? We're supposed to arrive at the airport at 7am but my plane doesn't leave unitl 11am. Worried that I'll fall asleep at the airport and miss the damn thing and I want to go HOME. The students were great, though, and all in all I had a good time. But, damn, 10 long days. We would leave the hotel at 9am or so and get back about 7:30pm then we were kind of expected to go out to a club about a 20" walk from the hotel and hear the groups that were playing at the festival. I made it 3 times I think. One time for a big band that was so loud that my ears are still ringing. The food was pretty good but I was being careful not to get sick and didn't go too exotic. Good beans, good salsa, pretty bad coffee (surprisingly), good beer, not so great wine but cheap. And, damn, this bus is making me sick. It's only 2:36, long way to go. I think things straighten out a bit after 3 or 4 hours. Great. I should be working on the layout of my diminished book but I don't think I can do it with all the jerking around here. Guess I'll just look out the window for a while.
April May June / 2008 Been kind of crazy the last couple of months. Lots of gigs, lots of acupuncture, lots of figuring out house renovation. I played a few guitar trio gigs at Jaspers and it felt so good to be playing some of tunes I used to play in New York: the monk tunes, the wayne tunes, the standards. I used the early 80's ovation steel string guitar I bought this summer on a lot of gigs and that was really fun. It's a nice guitar up to a certain volume level. I also finally went to see a real hand doctor and found out that I don't have arthritis after all and that it's a muscle or tendon problem. Good news in a way but I'm still kind of pissed that I spent almost $1,000 on acupuncture. Not to mention all the time there and all the pain. See if I listen to Rick Peckham again. I guess it works for a lot of people, just not for me. Sure did hurt though. I did a recording with Terry Bowness and Ernie Durawa (I'm listening to it now) and some of it turned out really well and some......well.... I also played at the National Guitar Workshop with them and unfortunately the sound was horrible. Really bad. I also put a big hole in my guitar (see pic), ate some really good food in Austin, went to Galveston and had an amazing time, mowed the lawn a couple of times, got my Ibanez refretted (plays great), didn't practice enough because of the hand, sweated a lot, got rained on a lot, played with Pete Rodriguez a lot, played a gig of my own at the Elephant Room that went really well. Pete sat in at the gig and played his ass off, Chris Maresh, Philippe Vieux and Rob Kazenel all sounded wonderful and not doing a quintet gig made things a lot more manageable for me. I missed having the trombone on the heads but it was tough with quintet not to make the tunes really long. Seemed about right with the quartet. bruce saunders quart bruce saunders quartet @ elephant room Heard an amazing two nights of the Bill Frisell trio at The Continental Club. Tony Scherr and Joey Baron. Just freaking wonderful. They have such a vibe as a trio and as individuals. They listen so very hard. I haven't heard Tony play that way in a long, long time and he was just amazing. I've heard Frisell play so much over the last 20 years but he's on some other level. Tune after tune and such beautiful guitar playing! He played Eronel in the sound check - amazing. Moon River, Alfie, Raise 4, Strange Meeting, Days of Wine and Roses, Surfer Girl, No Moe, Dylan Tunes....just one after another. He was playing a guitar made by someone in New York City made from a building on Bowery being torn down. He was using some sort of ring modulation/tremolo thing made by Zvex and also using my Deluxe Reverb! I hope some of his mojo got into it. As I told Tony, I'll never wash that amp again. I say this every time I hear Frisell, or at least hear him with Tony, but this was so freaking good. Dang. I've included a pic of Frisell with the amp. What do you think of me now? a wonderful trio check out the amp!!!!!! dr. sherr tkeyhole girl in continental jess and tony behind continental Now I'm in a hotel lobby in Xalapa, Mexico, waiting for the van to take me to another teaching extravaganza. Long trip yesterday. Left for the austin airport at 5am and got to Xalapa about 5:30pm. But at least there is internet here. I was in Xalapa about 3 years ago at this same Howard Johnsons and now I remember certain things. The hotel is more like a wedding factory and every night there is a reception featuring really loud trumpets and lots of drunk people yelling in the halls. Which would be fine except the walls are paper thin, there is no air conditioning to cut the noise, the windows don't really close - in other words, you can hear everything. I mean everything. Sleeping is going to be tough. But the weather is good, people are friendly and it's a good looking hotel anyway. Where is this freaking van? I will never learn that when they say 9am they mean 9:45. Maybe some coffee? Oh yeah. xalaoffee berklee's mexico city office driving from mexico city to xalapa with daniel and martha and sergio - really fast good gigs, online chats (shats), floors,
rain It's been raining a lot in marlboro country. i think it's put people a bit on edge. The other day i was driving and waiting behind a woman turning left at a stop sign onto Berkman Dr. (named after the famous pianist David Berkman - or so he thinks). A guy in a truck pulls up behind me, no great surprise here in texas. he's got a 16 oz. cup of Short Stop coffee on the dash. He probably had a bag of the double meat, double cheese short stop burgers next to him as well since he had just pulled out of the parking lot. Double beef, double bacon, double cheese on a white bread bun, 16 oz. of coffee, some fries....all is good. Anyway, this guy pulls up behind me and 5 seconds later beeps his horn, pretty long beep. Okay, I think, this guy has a gun so I'm just going to chill. Then he beeps again...Okay, I'm no girlie man, I'll stick my head out the window and reason with him. "Please sir, it's not me, it's the ultra-cautious woman in front of me" or something to that effect with maybe a fuck you in there somewhere. Astoundingly immediate reaction: man-headed-for-a-coronary jumps out of the truck and starts yelling something in my apparent direction, quite feverishly, his face turning a shade of red that leads me to believe he is not long for this world. I don't understand the words, he is so worked up that he is having trouble with pronunciation. I'm thinking he is not wishing me well or thanking me for pointing out his misunderstanding of the situation. I'm also thinking that, like many texans, he has a large handgun and perhaps a shotgun close by. Perhaps he feels sexually inadequate, maybe there is trouble at work, maybe the incredible jolt of lard based products has gone to some primordial neurons and he is in the grip of a passion to kill he cannot control. But he does seem very excited and also dangerous so I'm pointing in the direction of the car in front of me, the real culprit, mumbling something like "please, sir, kill her first" thinking I can make a quick getaway while he's filling her car with lead. She's lived a long life and I have many years to fill with tasks and...stuff. But, mercifully, the Terminator deflates almost immediately, squeezes himself back into the cab of the American made, gas guzzling, carbon-monoxcide producing, fear-inducing, truck, continues to lay on the horn and we eventually go on our merry way. Ah, america....land of excess.
Speaking of excess, I've had an excessive amount of good gigs. Some high points: The Elephant Room with Suzi Stern, John Fremgen, Eddie Hobizol, Kyle Thomson, the Torre Di Pietra Winery with the dynamic duo of Philipe Vieux and Brandon Rivas (both sounding amazing), a few gigs with the fabulous Ernie Durawa and Terry Bowness, trio gigs with Steve Schwelling and Chris Maresh and Brian Martin, trio gig with Chris Maresh and Kyle Thomson, duo gig with Russ Scanlon, gigs with Chris Apfelbaum and Paul White, gigs with Ephraim. Been playing this ovation steel string acoustic I got on Craigslist and it's a really great guitar. Sounds good even with the stock pickup through what ever amp I happen to be using. I blew up a '67 Vibrolux but Jon Bessent of Tonecraft fixed it nicely. He also worked on a Pro Junior I have but now that one seems to break up pretty early. Wish I could play with Mike Flanigan again but it doesn't look likely before I leave for Mexico in August. Had a really nice 4th of July with my wife. We went to Whole Foods and had pizza and tried to wait long enough for the fireworks but didn't make it. We had a nice walk over the Town Lake bridge but it just looks like the Colorado River to me. Beautiful day though, and lots of nice people. town lake from treo 650 Not much this week. A gig with Will Schultze and Philipe at Ikea in Round Rock, Jaspers trio on sunday with Chris Maresh and Steve Schwelling, the Galaxy on Saturday with somebody, don't know who. Still many details to figure out on the new floor in the house. Still a lot of hand pain. fun with acupuncture What have I been up to you ask? Trusty camera phone tells all. That's the shoulder and elbow area - also needles in back, shoulder and wrist of other arm and hand. My arm isn't really that yellow - it's the camera. Also did a lot of great gigs - hence the needles. Also a lot of mosquito bites - they seem to love chewing on me. still austin Playing a lot of really fun gigs, got to play with Paul White, a wonderful tenor player, played more with Ephraim Owens, a gypsy named Christian who's really wonderful. Rob Kazenel started a band with Christian, Chris Maresh, Christian and me that he calls Area 52. Still having hand problems so don't want to type too much. About at the end of the berklee online jazz class for this session and doing 5 sections of online teaching has been more work than I expected. Some really good students, though. I'm still thinking about Take Toriyama. What a tragedy. Going to Galveston tomrorrow and really looking forward to that.
austin Been getting in some much needed practice and playing some great gigs with Philipe Vieux, Brandon Rivas, Brannen Temple, Pete Rodriguez, Russ Scanlon, Alex Coke, Kat Edmonson, John Fremgen, Steve Schwelling, Ephraim Owens, Chris Maresh, Chris Aflerbaugh...probably forgetting someone. Too much computer and guitar has totally screwed up my left hand so trying to take it easy on the computer. Been getting acupuncture 3 times a week from Dr. Gu - he's pretty incredible but the gigs make it worse so I have to get more accupuncture - then I have to do more gigs to pay for dr. gu...... Take Toriyama, the great person who also happened to be a great drummer, passed away a week and a half ago. Unspeakably sad and tragic. You can see and hear him play if you click Squib or Pedal (videos). For that concert Take took the bus to Boston (4.5 hours), played one set with me, got back on rhe bus to NY (another 4.5 hours). I think I paid him $125. Another time Take, Alexis Cuadrado and I drove to Washington from NY to play with Antonio Arnedo. I think that was an 7 hour drive each way. We drove, played the gig, drove back. Take never complained, always played great and never said a word about his incredible sorrow. And I'm so pissed at him because now I can never pay him back, not that I ever could, for all he did for me. I hope you got some peace, Take.
jet blue - back to austin (finally) Going back to Texas after being away for too long. Jetblue on time (maybe even early). Had an amazing time in New York, playing some gigs, seeing a lot of old friends, getting some sleep. Eating something besides sandwiches (sushi from Kiku), doing a little practicing (too little), trying to finish some tunes. Yesterday was great: played in the morning with Justin Flynn, Scott Neumann and Carlo DeRosa and Carlo's place in Ft. Greene. Those guys just play so well and are so musical. It was too short but really fun and we played a new tune of mine, one of Justin's and some standards. Oh yeah, we played The Sorcerer and that was difficult but good. justin and carlo scott - notice the view from carlo's window Then last night Alan Ferber's band played at the Tea Lounge - there were no subs! All original band members and a string quartet as well. Alan is playing and writing his ass off. Some really amazing solos from everyone (except me) and a lot of people came out. I saw David Phelps, Scott Neumann, Pete McGuinness, Bill McHenry, Paul Sullivan, John Hebert and Lo Gen, Mike Fahn, Maryann McSweeny, David and Donna Phelps, Ben Rubin, Nir Felder (on the street), Ziv Ravitz (on the street) and probably some others that I forgot about. It was crowded. Got to bed about 2am and up at 6 - this seems par. No more berklee/boston but still doing berklee online. Going to Bastrup today to supposedly play with Eric Johnson - I'm afraid Eric's going to have to stand in line to whip my musical ass. I'm still hurting from last night, last week and last year. will/alexis @ tea lounge mark and alexis Quick update on the "jam" with Eric Johnson in bastrup: eric was indeed there, i got to play a couple of tunes with him along with Alex Coke, Hannibal Lokumbe, Roscoe Beck, Grace, Rob, John Steinman, Paul Glasse - I think that's it. Everyone sounded great but Eric was killing. It was really great to hear him in an intimate setting like that - he is such a great player. Also an incredibly nice guy. A long but very good day.
lucky star - whee Did hear and play some great gigs this week. Heard Jeff Newell's New Trad Octet at Barbes on Friday. With David Phelps playing his ass off. Then David was kind enough to ask me to play with him at this place called Puppets Jazz Bar on 5th ave. in Park Slope. With the ultra happening Eric Udel playing bass - the owner played drums and he sounded good. Wasn't a whole lot of jazz happening although we did play Grantstand, but it sure was fun to play with maestro Phelps and to use some distortion. Played some Led Zepplin, the Chicken, stuff like that. Phelps sounded amazing and so did Eric, Eric Halvorson came out for a while and people were really nice. Fun. mr. phelps the combined signal paths - the sneaker connection Then last night I went back to Barbes to hear Lambic - Paul Sullivan and Steve Moses doing an improvised, loop based thing with guitar, baritone guitar, drums and trombone. That was really killing. It sounded so fat for just two people. Now I'm on this damn bus headed for my last week at berklee for a while. I'll miss all my friends there but I sure won't miss the travel and it'll be great to be in austin for a while and work on some different bands and music. more newsletter - so much more - worship my sandwich more exciting news about me. please, let me know if you would like to subscribe to my newsletter. i made a sandwich today. not just any sandwich, mind you, but as you can see from the pic, a newsletter worthy sandwich (I'm going to send a newsletter to my chum who sent the unsolicted newsletter to me). I think i may alert the new york times food critic. but wait, don't even look at it. it's kind of a "found" sandwich, not that I picked it up off the street (although I've seen some street pizza that....) but found in the sense that i used materials found in my pint sized fridge in brooklyn. But speaking of street food, how come there is so much vomit on the streets of Boston? Sometimes I see 3 or 4 vomit puddles in a week. I even saw a large piece of chocolate chip cookie in a puddle of vomit once. Gives new meaning to the phrase "tossed their cookies." What's going on up there? Which reminds me of the time I leaned up against the steel beam at the Jay St. subway stop in Brooklyn and set my guitar gig bag down in what turned out to be a puddle of vomit. Ah, memories.
Back to the sandwich. Out of ketchup (too many late night condiment sandwiches after gigs) even after a trip to Eagle Provisions the other day. I hate to digress but Eagle Provisions is pretty happening. They have an incredible beer selection and if you are into meat, they've got a whole lot of that and weird Polish meaty delicacies pickled in genuine Polish pickling agents. Speaking of which, I got some great pickles and mustard from our friends in the Eastern bloc at Eagle and also picked up some Morningstar Farm faux-chicken patties that I'm fond of and what with the functioning toaster and the microwave, this was a nice sandwich. What do you think of me now? worship my sandwich I don't know what it was about that newsletter that bugged me. I guess because it was unsolicited and then I actually read the damn thing. I could have been listening to Coltrane or practicing or something but there I was reading this bullshit newsletter. Hey, much like you are doing now! Reading about my sandwich. I think my sandwich is more interesting than that other guys lame gigs though. And seeing how I have another 3 hours on the NY/Boston Lucky Star bus, writing about it gives me something to do. I should be doing schoolwork though. It's hard to concentrate when there is a powerful odor of old Bok Choy wafting around.
newsletter Got a "newsletter" today on my berklee email. Letting me know about all the great things this particular guy is doing. The weird part is that I read it. It depressed me. I thought I'd write one to cheer myself up and I used his as a guide. Here's my newletter: "nothing going on" Got no gigs today or tomorrow - I got called for oh, a lot (!), but I taking quality time for myself. I'm going to stay in my spacious and luxurious brooklyn apartment and do many important, impossible for you to understand- uh, things! Or maybe I'll just drink a beer and cruise ebaY looking for old guitars. I guess it's the heavy rain, the no sleep thing, the end of the semester, being away from home. Now the guys renovating the apt. next door have started the hammering which I'm sure will continue nonstop until 8pm. It's 8am but they want to finish. Arghhh. Up all night because of the people upstairs tromping around until 2am and then my buddy calling me at 3:30am saying "no, I can't rehearse on that day. Rehearse so you can actually get a gig because the guy that books the gig makes it a stipulation that you rehearse which you apparently won't be able to do. So, you're fucked." Well, he didn't say all that. I think he said "Whoa, dude, you asleep?" Me? no, no, it's fine, I usually don't think about sleep until 4am. I was, uh, writing my newsletter. Sometimes during the day I picture myself sleeping all night. 8 wonderful hours of sleep. Not to be, not to be.
thursday, april 26 - brooklyn - 2 words: Donny McCaslin. Day-yam. I didn't think it was possible for Donny to get better but I guess I was wrong. He played with Alan Ferber's nonet at Smalls last night and he was just amazing. Long solos that always seemed to be going somewhere, playing over these really hard changes for the first time like he'd been doing it for years, wonderful rhythmic and harmonic complexity like I've never heard, great sound. Whoa. Had at least 3 subs: John Riley, Loren Stillman and Jason Ridley and they all sounded unbelievable. It was a really fun night. Saw my friends Rob Sudduth, Pete Brainen, Mike Blanco. I guess Pete has a sister in Austin and we were talking about him coming out and trying to do some gigs. That would be very, very nice. I miss playing with Pete - he's an amazing musician and a lot of fun to hang with. Met a couple of new friends including Roy from my online class who came all the way from Jersey to hear the band - I even sold a CD to a guy from Germany. Things have been really busy though. Not much sleep lately with gigs, travel and teaching. Finishing up the year at Berklee and doing makeups for a couple of weeks ago when I stayed in Austin.
Played Saturday in Austin with John Steinman at my new favorite place the Galaxy Cafe, up at 4:30 Sunday to go to NY to play with Jeremy, Adam and Owen at the Grassroots, back to Bklyn by 12:30am, up at 4:30 Monday to go to Boston, teach untli 9pm, up at 5am on Tuesday, teach until 9pm, up at 5am on Wednesday, teach until 11am, get the bus to NY, Brooklyn by 4:30pm, get back on the subway with my gear at 6pm to go to Smalls to rehearse a little then play till midnight and home by 12:30. Wow, that was a long, boring sentence. I didn't even say how much fun I had playing at the Grassroots. Adam brought in Mushi, Mushi by Keith Jarrett - a lot of memories for me with that one. I had Bop-Be on vinyl a long, long time ago. I love that tune, you would think that I would have been able to play it better. I also didn't mention playing with Steve Schwelling a couple of times in Austin: with Glenn Schutze and another time with Eli Haslanger, both times a whole lot of good music. Met this guy named Oscar at Smalls last night and he asked me when my next CD is coming out. Got me to thinking more about what I want to do and when it's going to happen. I'd really like to do something with Adam Kolker, Hebert and an as yet unnamed drummer but I think I've already done that one. I still like listening to Fragment, mostly because of how much fun it was just to be around those guys. There was a picture of two girls kissing on a CD cover at Systems Two in Brooklyn and we were having a good time figuring out who was going to be kissing who on my CD cover. Nobody wanted to go for that but I thought Satoshi and Hebert a good choice. But it sure was good to hang with those guys and I don't know if I want to do another CD with them because I love their playing so much, which I do, or if I just want to hang out. I don't think Sato would want to do it because he is always looking to stretch and I think he would think the world doesn't need another stock "jazz" CD, besides which, we've already done it. I would tend to agree. I'd also like to record with some of my new friends in Austin. I've been working on some guitar, bass, drums music that's more electric although I have yet to play it with anyone. Not really funk or "fusion" music although it's as close as I can come to that with my writing. Been listening to Bill McHenry again and I love the way he writes straight 8 music that sounds like nothing else. Also Dave Douglas. He writes such great music. I was talking to Donny about him last night because Donny has been doing some gigs with Dave. I can't remember what I said or he said but I do remember talking to him. No, I wasn't drunk, just tired. Well, not very drunk. I guess there's a new policy at Smalls where musicians get the first drink free and then it's full price after that on drinks. So, a very small glass of very cheap wine is $8 plus tip. That'll make me cut back a bit. Or a lot.
Bought a 1967 Es-330 from a guy on craigslist. Really great sounding guitar that, like most of my guitars, needs a set-up. Played it on the gig with John Steinman and it sounded wonderful. I've always wanted a Grant Green guitar but it didn't make me play like Grant Green. Or enable me to play this way. The middle finger of my left hand has what seems to be arthritis and it's not getting any better so I've been thinking about learning how to play left handed. Like a switch hitter in baseball. That would be a nice gimmick but I think it would take a long time to learn that. I've tried it before and was never very successful there. I'm rambling. Some pics dave, loren, donny, jeremy @ smalls alexis @ smalls - john riley behind the post playing his ass off little less profanity my wife told me I was getting a little profane on the old journal page. She's right, as usual. I edited a bit for those of you who take exception to this - and for me, too. nameless hour delayed flight from boston to austin. promises to be 2.5 hours late tonight. Wind. Wouldn't wind help keep the &^%&^%& plane in the air? Are flights really late this often? 9 out of 10 flights for me. At least in the east to west direction. I've read a book since I got to Logan many hours ago and we aren't even to Chicago yet. Who knows how late the next one will be. But.... it was a pretty good book.One of those airport books. the silver lining on a cloudy day. Listening to....me!!!! Well, kind of. one of my students asked me yesterday if I transcribed my own solos. no %*&^%*^%* way. i'm not strong enough to even listen to myself without puking up a ration of snickerdoodles - actually I'm not strong enough to even try a snickerdoodle. by the way, ye old iPod seems to have died and all I have to listen to is what's on the laptop. do yourself a favor and get applecare for the ipod. anyway, I saw "Strange Omen," a CD I did with Mike Cain and Glen Velez many years ago - so I played it and was pleasantly surprised. What a great concept Mike has! What an amazing player. This is such a nice vibe and Mike wrote such good music. He let me put a couple of my tunes on it. I think because he knew it would change the texture of the programming to have different composers but listening to it now the strength and depth of Mike's writing and playing is obvious. He's the one with the vision. Just having the courage to present a debut CD with guitar, piano and percussion is an incredible thing. Mike is living in Brooklyn again but I haven't seen him in many years. I think he's teaching at NEC and playing pop or rock gigs although I think I saw his name on the Bar 4 list at some point. This has been one endless week. Three or four 19 hour days in a row. Looks like today is the grand finale - up at 5am and to bed at what promises to be 4am EST. Going all day except for the long wait at Logan - off and on the tarmac. Now listening to Scofield play Monk's Mood. He's such a great player. He was probably about 25 when he recorded that with Hal Galper. And he keeps getting better and better. I finished recording the video's for the online jazz course today. Don't know what to think of that. It sure has been a lot of work and it's not finished yet. I really wanted the course to be good but.... it seems kind of fragmented to me. I had a vision in the beginning of focusing on one thing like pentatonics but they talked me out of it and now I think I tried to cover too many topics and the course suffered for it. The video's are done - that's a good thing. Maybe Berklee online will leave me alone for 24 hours. Think I'll see about a tiny bottle of wine on this latest flight. Had to run to the gate in Chicago which I really hate but at least I made it on, otherwise would have had to overnight at O'hare. Can't remember if this was a free flight or not. I got a couple of free ones this semester but some others were extra expensive so it ended up costing the same. Like, I get a one-way cheap JetBlue flight free but an AA one way to Boston costs $300. This particular flight may be a voucher for an overbooked flight I got around spring break for an extra 3-4 hours at various airports. I know this is all really fascinating. I'm gonna listen to some music and spare you any more details of my endlessly boring day. Plus the wine lady is here. I'm tempted by the $3 "snickerdoodles" but that's just because it's been 12 hours since I had anything to eat. Not sure what a snickerdoodle is. Sounds kind of evil, like something the obviously drug-addicted wolfgang puck invented to make people puke but in a fun way. I must find out how these people market themselves.
What's up with the "up a notch" guy? I think David Berkman played on his show. He's in chelsea market on 19th st. and 9th or 10th ave. in manhattan. I like the cheap coffee there but what's his name, emerel?, kind of ruins the vibe of the place. Okay, i'm rambling. gone......
monday, april 2 - 2008 / AA flight 504 just left St. Louis for Boston - 1:15 late Had some great gigs in the last few weeks: played my music with a group in Austin (Rob Kazenel, Mike Mordecai, Steve Zirkel, Philippe Vieux). They all sounded really good and Steve just nailed it. I hadn't played with him before and he's amazing. Also played with Mike Flanigin at the Continental Club and that was really fun. Mike plays B3 and sounds wonderful and Kyle Thompson was playing drums and I love playing with him. Played at the Fredericksburg winery with Philippe Vieux and Aaron Allen - that was great. Did a guitar duo thing with Rick Macrae (he sounds fantastic) at the new Galaxy Cafe and doing it again this saturday, then one with Glenn Rexach the week after that I'm really looking forward to and one after that with John Steinman - it's always great playing with John. Played with Terry Bowness and Steve Schwelling at Luna in San Antonio and with Terry and Chip Vayanes at the Elephant Room last night. Both of those were really great but since I got to bed at 3am and woke up at 5:30 to make this (*&^(*& up AA flight I'm really, really tired. Had what turned out to be a 3 hour layover in St. Louis where I bought a small Starbucks coffee for $2.02 and they made me pay the (*&^(*&^( .02 out of a dollar. So I left .02 on top of their tip box for the next person. Assholes. Then the AA flight was an hour late so I'm going to have to run to make it to my 4pm class at Berklee. I will say that the JetBlue flight back to Austin last week was on time!!!! It's some sort of freakin' miracle. I was going to do Berklee makeups on Wednesday but the video guy says Wed. is the only time he can do the rest of the video's for my online class so I'm going to have to try and do these makeups at the end of the month. Flights got really expensive so I'm going to stay in Boston and New York for a couple of weeks. Got a couple of gigs with Alan Ferber and one with Jeremy Stratton and I'm really looking forward to that. el montan motor ho - next to luna in san antonio it's that kind of neighborhood but a great club steve at luna tuesday, march 20 / is this austin? Kind of a whirlwind assault on ny - left austin on sat. and back on monday. which turned out to be tuesday - jetblue 1.5 hours late which is good for them I guess. had an amazing time playing with lindsey horner, lieven venken and neil kirkwood at cornelia st. on sunday. i hadn't played with neil before and he is just a stone cold mother-&*^%%*&. playing with lindsey and lieven was just amazing as they are mother-^(*&^, too...but I knew this. Saw andrea (lindseys wonderful wife), allison miller, suzi stern, bruce hall, mark rabul and met some really great people. the audience was wonderful, the staff, too, the gig was short and it was such an honor and privelege to play with these guys. on sunday also made a recording for berklee online with the amazing bruce hall and john hebert at bruce's studio - sure wish i could play some real gigs with these guys. they are so much fun to play with and so much fun to be around. Then on Monday a jam session at my bklyn apt with adam kolker, owen howard and jeremy stratton - such as great time, such great musicians. the sun was out, too, as you can see. cornelia st. with lindsey t near bruce's house ft. greene, bklyn online class recording park slope brooklyn near my (our) apt. adam and jeremy ah, mass transit saturday,
march 17, 5pm - 2008 / abia (austin airport) 6am Back at Austin Bergstrom Inter. Airport. Wheeee. Sun's not up yet which is good because I don't want too good a look at my fellow passengers and I don't doubt the feeling is mutual. I guess that's one of the things I hate most about air travel - it's always so bright it's like being in a bathroom. Well, except in the bathrooms where it can be kind of dark. And the noise - I wear noise-cancelling headphones but there is always white noise of people talking, planes arriving and departing, announcements that are either blaring and painful when you don't need them or barely audible when you do. It's SXSW in Austin and I'm not really going to be around for much of that. It's been really hard to get around, too- downtown is gridlock, the airport is jammed, lot's of people with tattoo's, funny hats, skinny jeans and bored or drunken (or both) looks on their faces. I'm going to NY for a couple of days to do some fun stuff - play with Lindsey Horner at Cornelia St., do a recording with Bruce Hall and John Hebert and play a jam session with Adam Kolker, Owen Howard and Jeremy Stratton. Been doing a little playing in Austin - got together with Terry Bowness and Ernie Durawa to run some tunes for a gig we have next week in San Antonio. Terry has got some really beautiful tunes and we did some Joe H. tunes that work really well with organ trio. I'm going to have to find some more Joe tunes to play around here because I'm also doing some with Suzi Stern. We might actually be able to get together with a band this month. I think I'm doing a gig with her on May 24 at the Elephant Room and that should be a lot of fun. Got my ipod on shuffle songs and just heard a Ron McClure recording from "Descendents" with Scofield. From a long time ago and Scofield sounds great - not that he doesn't sound great now. One of my students said J.S. has been playing a tele on some gigs. I was playing mine yesterday and it was kind of fun. I guess my review of the Buscarino Corey model guitar is going to be in Just Jazz guitar magazine coming up - not exactly sure when. Never read the magazine myself but I'm guessing it's about jazz guitar and guitarists. Dexter on the ipod now - he's pretty great. I really like this shuffle feature because I get to hear a lot of stuff I haven't heard in a long time. Including recordings I made which can be a painful thing: "This guy sucks!----Oh, it's me."
tuesday, march 13, 2008 / 5pm / logan Had a brutal week on JetBlue last week: 4 hours late. I left for Logan from Berklee and got to my front door about 5am boston time. JetBlue called it "weather related" although the weather was fine. But today I'm on AA and the weather seems fine. In fact, this being spring break time AA overbooked the flight to Boston and I was able to get a free flight. Of course it took a couple of extra hours but I didn't mind if I was getting something out of it. I don't know about JetBlue. That airline has lost it's appeal to me. I guess I'll be flying American at least a couple of more times since I got this voucher and I'm doing a one-way to Boston in a couple of weeks since JetBlue was so expensive - spring break on jetBlue lasts a month. Speaking of spring break, no Boston next week but I'm going to NY to play with Lindsey Horner and to make a recording for my Berklee online jazz guitar class with Bruce Hall and John Hebert. They don't know it yet but I want to try and get 100 examples recorded in one day. So on Sunday I'm doing these 100 examples and etudes and then playing with Lindsey at Cornelia St. That will be a lot of fun. I think we're doing all Lindsey's tunes except maybe a monk tune or two. I'm kind of burnt and don't know if I can work on the computer for the next 6 hours or so. Want to find a bad book to read but most of the ones at the various Hudson News stores are bad in a bad way. I want bad in a good way. Doing some fun stuff this week - playing with Steve Schwelling and Glen Schutze, Terry Bowness and Ernie Durawa and the gig with Lindsey. Can't wait for that - all great players and people. Okay, now on the flight from Chicago to Austin. Found a crappy book but my reading light doesn't work, it's a totally full flight because of SXSW and I have another spoiled devil-boy kicking my mother-(*&^(* seat and screaming. I really don't have the energy to argue with his parents so I'm bypassing their lame asses and telling the little *&*^(*& to cut it out - or step outside. You and me devil-boy. I can take you even though I'm really tired. After all, you're only 2 feet high. You might outweigh me at this point though. No chips on this flight although I can buy some for $3. Naw. Listening to Frisell - calming. Feel the calm. Ah yes, I don't have to fly for another 3 days. Calm. [shut the fuck up spawn of satan]. And it's a 7am direct flight so it'll be empty I hope. Plus going to NY when all of NY is coming to Austin or Cancun or someplace warm. Boston weather really nice this week. Heard that Scofield was playing a tele on his last gig in austin. Saw david gilmore at berklee and he's a really nice person as well as being a great musician. i didn't know he's playing with joss stone who i really like but i sure like him from his cd's and from lost tribe. also didn't know he was in wayne shorter's band for a while. that's freaking deep. okay, wasted enough time - better work.
friday, march 2, 2008 austin (finally) Had kind of a meltdown with the old journal- it's getting buggy and hard to work with so i just started over. If you want the old journal you can find it here. old journal At the bottom of that journal is a link to an even older journal. Such an exciting life. Things have going pretty well. Lots of gigs, lots of flying, trains and buses, lots of nice players and people. Here's the Alan Ferber gig at Smalls last week. you can see me in the bottom picture in the mirror taking the picture. Got to meet Dave Smiths alter-ego. Everybody played their asses off, it was really crowded, got rides back to brooklyn both nights, the pro junior did the trick, made more money than usual, met some nice people (spike wilner, ari roland and others), I wasn't sick yet. bus to boston totally sucked on sunday, worked really hard and got sick, going back to boston on sunday - way too soon. shooting some videos for the jazz guitar online course so have to bring a shiny guitar with me which will also suck. jetblue not high on my list for christmas gifts this year. I'm tired. Been dealing with Dreamweaver and all it's bugginess. more later.