in boston 4/20/10
to hear Tony Scherr, Robin Holcombe and Doug Weiselman at The Stone
on Saturday and that was amazing. Tony sang some of his tunes, a
Jesse Harris tune, some others I don't remember. Robin did her tunes,
Doug played bass clarinet and guitar. It was wonderful. On Sunday
I played an incredibly fun gig with Don Falzone, Eric Halvorson
and Jed Levy at a place in Nyack. Everyone working there was really
friendly, a lot of musicians came out (Chris Paison, Joel Newton,
et.al), Claudia (Don's wife) was off the road and came out, Steven
Bernstein's wife Karen as there... those guys were playing so great.
Once again I was struck with how easy it is to play with NY musicians
because they listen so well. Took a couple of hours to get back
to Brooklyn but it was worth it.
In New York with Jess and had a great time. We ate at the secret
taco place, had Kiku sushi a couple of times, Jess brought the La
Pavoni and burr grinder so we were able to make espresso, had some
Terrace bagels, bought a pizza stone and jess made a great pizza,
enjoyed the train ride on the metro north, I ran in the park a couple
of times but it was cold and I got sick, missed a couple of gigs
but coming back soon, had a good rehearsal with Akiko, Eric and
Matt for our concert in Colombia next week. Trying to memorize my
music and it's freaking hard. Not the music, the memorization. I
find it easier to memorize Skippy than one of my tunes. That says
something about my tunes I think. I need to simplify. Back to Austin
On the Lucky Star (LS775) NY to Boston
Probably about my 1,000th time on the bus between NY/Boston but
at least they have wifi now. Had a good few days in NY. Heard Adam
Kolker, Jeremy Stratton and George Schuller at Grassroots Tavern
last night and they sounded beautiful. Had a very tasty Mamoun's
falafel then had to try the tacos matt pavolka recommended from
the El Reyes bodega on 4th avenue in Brooklyn (across from the Strauss
auto parts). They were killing! $2 for a pretty good sized chicken
taco with fresh cilantro, onions, a really nice red sauce. Those
were the first good tacos I've had in Brooklyn but I'm going to
try the torta's at this place:
Pretty close to the apartment. Also had a rehearsal with Eric Halvorson,
Matt and Akiko Pavolka for a (probable) concert in Colombia at the
end of the month. Ran in Prospect Park a couple of times, beautiful
weather, saw and talked to Owen Howard and Jim Black, generally
had a good time. Uh, oh, a broken down lucky star bus. They will
probably move the passengers onto this bus. Crap. More later.
Turned out okay in that no one sat next to me. Now at berklee, doing
a makeup in a few minutes and incredibly worn out. It was only a
6 hour commute so I know it's the end of the year.
george, adam, jeremy grassroots april 10, 2010
27 / 2010
busy. In Austin for SXSW and played some nice gigs: with Kevin Witt
and Alex Coke at Whip-in, with Elias Haslanger at the Elephant Room,
with 3 Collective at Sao Paulos. Heard Michael Bellar As-Is Ensemble
with Rene Hart at ER and they were killing. Went to the Tony Campise
memorial and it was really beautiful and tasteful. Austinites really
know how to do things. Played some great jam sessions with Aaron
Allen and Kyle Thompson and with Dave Sierra, John Mills and Aaron,
and with Ed Jurisinsky and Daniel Durham. Got out and did a lot
of running but the weather turned kind of bad the weekend of SXSW.
This week up and back to Boston, flight 2 hours late coming back
and I played that night with 3 collective at the elephant room and
was totally fried. Oh yeah, saw Jim Odgren in the hall on Wednesday
night at Berklee and played a session with him, Dave Santoro, Jun
the drummer and a really nice trumpet player whose name I don't
remember. That was a whole lot of fun!! But, as usual, I was totally
beat after no sleep and two 10 hour days of teaching. But fun anyway.
This week I played with 3 collective featuring Eli at the ER on
Thursday, last night at Sao Paulo's and tonight at Resistencia bookstore.
Sheryl Bailey is in town (austin) for a concert with David Krakuer
(sp) and she came by Sao Paulo's and sat in and sounded wonderful
as usual. Monday back to Boston, Wednesday back to Austin then gigs
at ER with Rich Harney (yeah!), Sao Paulo's, a recording at George
In April going to be in New York for a couple of weeks then doing
a gig in Colombia as a leader with Akiko Pavolka, Matt Pavolka and
Eric Halvorson which will be different. Akiko will be singing my
tunes and that should be good. I'm trying to memorize them now.
After Colombia a few days in New York, back to Austin for two weeks
then New York/Vermont the last week in May. In June/July I've got
a weekly Sunday gig at Whip-In and I'll be playing a lot of Monk
tunes and odd meter tunes with Kyle and Aaron if they are available
and if not then someone else. Going to be in NY about a week a month
through the summer.
11 / 2010 Austin
fly, teach, fly, gig, fly, teach, fly, gig, collapse, fly, teach,
gig, vomit, fly, teach, collapse, teach, fly, gig. espresso shots
with crema. sxsw. arguments with sax players. lovano playing gallops
gallop at berklee last week. more espresso. running by the river
chuck. nice students. more flying. taxes.
17 / 2010 Austin
In new york for the last couple of weeks in between boston teaching.
Back to Boston monday, Austin on Thursday. Heard Eric Halvorson
with Ugonna Okegwo and Vicki Cave last night and that was really
nice. Then Dred Scott at BAM and that was great as well. Been messing
around with the La Pavoni I fixed for Jess for Christmas and that's
been fun. Lionel Lueke coming to one of my classes on Tuesday when
he visit's Boston. He's so amazing. Been mixing organ quartet project
with Adam Kolker, Eric Halvorson, Ben Stivers and think I'm going
to put it out. Also put my "Fragment" CD iTunes. Had some
good hand pulled noodles from a place on Forsythe st. very near
the Manhattan bridge. Ran into David Berkman, Jerome Sabbah, Tim
Lefebvre, Nir Felder and some others in Brooklyn. Said hi to Ben
Rubin at the Dred Scott thing, saw Bruce Hall, did some mixing with
Back in Austin now after Boston/NY. Some tough travel with 2 flights
cancelled because of the "storm" but eventually made it
out of Boston. Played a nice gig with Elias Haslanger at the Elephant
Room and a nice session yesterday with Kyle Thompson and Aaron Allen.
Been getting a lot more consistent about pulling shots with the
dred scott at BAM
snow in boston
12 / 2010 austin
gigs, recordings, working on books, no online, perfecting the espresso,
jam sessions, finding the right pick, trying to get ready for travel
next week. 14 weeks of rough stuff coming up.
16 / 2009 back in austin,
been doing some playing, grading online classes, running in some
pretty cool weather, practicing (hexatonics mostly), mixing some
of the session I did with Eric Halvorson, Adam Kolker and Ben Stivers
way back in October. Some pics of a fun bassless trio gig I've been
doing on Sundays with Kevin Witt and Alex Coke at the Whip-In.
on the lucky star,
boston to new york, got free wifi. Really fun gig last night with
tim miller, bruno raberg and mark walker. Johnny D's in somerville,
wherever that it. I think it's a bit north west of cambridge. was
raining pretty hard earlier but now the sun is out - and shining
directly into my eyes. Gonna change seats. Not much sleep the last
few days - got to bed 1am last night and up at 5:30 so I could get
the 6:30am bus to NY. Had some pretty bad mcdonalds coffee and I
know our next stop on the lucky star is an Arby's somewhere in connecticut
so i'm not expecting much there, either. Playing a jam session in
brooklyn with stan kilian this afternoon which should be fun but
doesn't give me much time to decompress (decompose?) since I probably
won't get home until at least noon. one more week of berklee then
hopefully no flying for a while. 2 weeks of online classes then
I have 3 weeks off!! I won't know what to do with myself if I'm
not grading assignments, having online office hours and answering
emails all day. I'll sure I'll think of something to do, though.
the end of a day and a half in brooklyn. I've been sleeping and
reading most of the time. I guess I was just exhausted. Wanted to
hear Akiko Pavolka last night but fell asleep and missed it. Damn!
Beautiful weather in Brooklyn and went for a Prospect Park run this
morning - felt very sluggish after this last couple of weeks. Trying
to cook some good food, take it easy. Going to hear Hebert with
Michael Adkins et.al. at Cornelia St. tomorrow - hope to meet Eric
Halvorson for a beer tonight. It's all good.
20, 2009 / brooklyn
Been a busy few weeks. From NY last time back to Boston
where I heard two Adam Rogers clinics - he was just amazing. Back
to Austin where I played (a little) on a Tony Campise benefit. Tony
is a wonderful saxophonist who was severely injured last month -
brain surgery. But he seems to be making amazing progress and hopefully
will be able to play again. I also played with 3 jazz collective
at the Elephant Room with Sam Lipman and Charles Medearis then the
next night with Eli Haslanger's band - both of which were great.
I heard a short set of Sam, Joao and Brannen before my Eli gig on
Saturday and that was so beautiful. A week off from Berklee then
back to Boston last Monday, Brooklyn on Wednesday night. Very drunk
guy on the Lucky Star bus yelling all 220 miles from Boston to NY
(no, not me. at least I don't think so)- the driver just ignored
him instead of putting him off. Next day a rehearsal with Don Falzone's
group at my place then a gig at Nublu (lower east side) with same
group for the Nublu jazz festival. Donny Mccaslin playing with us
and with Vana Gierig's group after us - Donny is unbelievable. So
freaking strong and can play whatever he wants. I thought Don's
music went really well and Vana's group with Clarence Penn and Sean
Conly was incredible. Kind of a long walk from the F train to Ave.
C and then from the F train to my place in brooklyn - in the rain
- but today all I have is a jam session with Eric Halvorson, Tyler
Blanton and Matt Pavolka and then 2 office hours. Feeling stretched
pretty thin at this point. Haven't been this tired in a while and
I got 6 hours of sleep last night which for me is good.
- Really nice session with Matt, Eric and Tyler, nice run in Prospect
Park now 2 office hours then hopefully something good to eat.
me, don falzone, donny mccaslin
donny, vana gierig, sean conley, clarence penn at nublu jazz festival
tony campise benefit at elephant room
with Eric Halvorson and Don Falzone today which was a lot of fun.
Nice to see those guys again as well. Ran on Thursday in Prospect
Park (7.5 miles), beautiful day, all good. Tonight I drove Adam
Kolkers BMW up to Smoke where he met me after his gig - I was a
bit worried about driving in NY after so long but it seemed even
easier than Tx although the clutch in Adams car very stiff. We heard
David Berkman with Antonio Hart, Ed Howard and Ted Poor. Ted was
astounding. Great to see David again and he is playing great and
writing some fine new music. NY marathon is tomorrow and I may go
down to 4th ave to watch then to Grassroots to hear Adam K. with
oct. 27 / continental
continental to Newark then Boston. Not much sleep for the last few
days with an early morning flight on Sunday then today as well.
Had a lot of fun at USF doing a couple of clinics and a concert
last night. Played with tenor player Jack Wilkins, Mark Neunschwanger
(bass), Ian Goodman (drums) and Larue Nicholson (gtr) on Pannonica.
Great bunch of players, really nice crowd, good amp, nice hotel
room, good food afterwards. Going to be a long day today though
- up at 5am to Berklee by 1:15 then teach straight until 9pm. Tomorrow
up at 5:30am, teach until 8pm then the bus to New York. It'll be
good to be in Brooklyn again and hopefully I'll get some rest -
no big projects coming up and no flying until a week from thursday
when I go back to Austin.
21 / continental
on the plane to Austin. Great week with Jess in NY then a couple
of very long teaching days in Boston although the students are really
great this term and it's a real pleasure to be able to interact
with them. It's also nice to make something of a living having a
guitar in my hands part of the time. Played Ibanez at berklee on
a whim and glad now I didn't sell it. Pretty cool guitar. My gig
at elephant room tomorrow and looking forward to playing with Ephraim,
Red and Brannen. No rehearsal but whatever - they can handle it.
On sunday going to Tampa for a clinic/concert then Boston on Tuesday
and New York Wednesday night until Monday afternoon. Going to be
busy but looking forward to being back in NY so soon and also planning
more recordings and gigs if possible. Weather in Boston today was
amazing and I enjoyed my run by the river chuck. Hate the treadmill
at the gym. Hopefully the nice weather will continue
2009 / Boston
Back in Boston now after a great 10 days in new york. Beautiful
gig with Jeremy Stratton, Adam Kolker and George Schuller and my
friends Bruce Hall and Stan Killian sat in. Really nice recording
with Adam, Eric Halvorson and my new friend, Ben Stivers playing
organ. Ben is killing! I wish we would have been able to do a gig
or rehearse before the recording but everyone (except me) played
great and I'm really looking forward to hearing the takes. Have
to give it some time because I can't use Pro Tools away from home.
Eric really nailed everything and made the music happen as well
as engineering - very difficult. Then Jessica jetBlue'd it into
town on Tuesday night and we had Kiku sushi, Wednesday we went to
the Astoria sculpture garden, the noguchi museum, Bohemian Hall,
i lost track of thursday but I know we found killing pizza at Toby's
Public House at some point (it's about 2 minutes from our brooklyn
place), went into town on Friday and walked a lot and ate at Porchetta
in Manhattan which was wonderful, Saturday we went to the Kandinsky
exhibit at the Guggenheim (with Bruce Hall) then more pizza from
Toby's, Sunday we went to the Transit Museum and made food at home,
Monday I took the bus to Boston and Jess walked around Brooklyn.
ben stivers at The Sweatshop studio for recording
Oct. 10, 2009 / Brooklyn
a non-vomit related note, beautiful weather here in Brooklyn, my
cold is retreating ("Damn thee, mucal invader!"), got
a nice gig tomorrow, got some nice tortellini from Russo's on 7th
ave., the apartment is cleaner than it was, I got the washing machine
fixed, ordered a new refrigerator handle, defrosted the fridge,
fixed the cooktop, fixed the 64 princeton, worked out my signal
path, practiced, exercised…..busy day but feels so easy with
no gig tonight and no responsibilities. Going to read a book.
Star bus / October 8 / 2009
on the Lucky Star headed for brooklyn from boston. A very tedious
few days - Tuesday up at 3:30am to make a very early plane, arrived
Berklee 1:30, taught 2-10, to sleep at midnight, up at 5:30 on wednesday,
gym, taught 9am-9:30pm, up 5:30 Wednesday with a brand new cold.
Did one make up class 9-11 and made the noon Lucky Star. Not very
crowded because it's Thursday and I should be back in brooklyn by
5:30 or so. Really looking forward to playing with Jeremy Stratton,
Adam Kolker and George Schuller on Sunday, recording my stuff Mon/Tues,
my wife is coming on Tuesday night. Going to take a pizza tour of
New York since New York Magazine had an issue with all the best
pizza places in the boroughs. Wanted to hear Kurt R. at the Vanguard
but his run is over there. Actually, he's playing in Boston tonight
and tomorrow. I would love to hear him but I'm really anxious to
get back in my apartment in Bklyn and get it back in shape. A beautiful
day today and the trees are turning colors already. I guess it is
October now - already 5 weeks of Berklee gone and only 9 more to
go. Played a wonderful gig with Rich Harney, Alex Coke, Buddy Mohamed
and Masumi Jones last week at St. Cecilia's church in Austin. The
room didn't sound very good but it was really fun to play with all
those great musicians. I'll be away from Austin for about 2 1/2
weeks. About the same in November. Playing a gig with Don Falzone,
Donny McCaslin and Eric Halvorson at Nu Blu in November and really
looking forward to that.
1 / Austin
in Austin after 3 days (or 2.5) in boston. Left the house Tx 9am
on monday got to Berklee about 7pm because of connecting flights
on Continental (still much cheaper than Jetblue but not as many
miles for a free flight), time change, driving to the airport in
Austin, subway to school in Boston. Then another 45 minute subway
ride to the shithole where I sleep in Boston so a pretty long travel
day. I figure I commute about 20-24 hours a week. Still, worth it
not to live in Boston. Although it's costing me a lot. I figure
I spent more than I brought home going to berklee this month. Next
month not so bad because I'm going to be in NY a lot and the bus
is only $30 round trip. November should be good as well. But it's
good to have a guitar in my hands for 10 hours a day and the great
berklee students keeping me on my toes despite my sleep deprivation
and less than optimal living conditions. The fitness center next
to Berklee really helps, too, and the early running by the river
in good weather makes the 16-20 hour days a lot more bearable. Seeing
all my good friends there helps a lot, too. I sure miss playing
with Rick, the Jims (Kelly and Odgren), Marcello, Tim Miller, Tony
Gaboury, Bruce Bartlett, Winston, etc. Maybe Boston would be bearable
if I lived there and could play with these people. At least I wouldn't
be traveling all the time. But how to afford three houses?
looking forward to recrording with Eric, Ben and Adam in Oct. and
playing with Jeremy at Grassroots Tavern. Also looking forward to
getting back into my apartment. Here's a couple of pics of Tony
Scherr hamming it up in my apt. right before I moved to Austin.
Jess and I had a going away party and I think this was like 3am
after everyone else had left. My tele with the '52 neck - Tony is
a badass guitar player if you haven't heard. Is Tony the reason
I wear black jeans and T-shirts all the time now? Hope not (that's
kind of creepy) but he does get my ultimate respect as both a person
and a musician. One of a kind. I've known him since 1985 and he's
always been a wonderful person and genius musician. As you can see
from the pics. Very serious guy.
27 / Austin
a rough few weeks. Traveling back and forth to Boston from Austin,
a few gigs, a new "environment" page for the online classes
that is very unwieldy, had to euthanize the best cat ever (Mr. Fuzz),
sleeping in a shithole when I'm in Boston, spent more than I made
this month because of travel/lodging costs, etc. But some high points:
great gigs: Stan Killian in San Antonio, with Kevin Witt and Alex
Coke at Whip-in, with Joao, Kevin and Eli Haslanger at Sao Paulo's,
with Eli at Elephant Room, the weather has been cool and rainy in
Austin, running by the river Chuck in Boston in the mornings, a
new Macbook Pro (smaller and more portable), David Lee has given
me some great Kurt recordings that aren't available, checking out
Johannes and Ari's DVD which is killing, going to be in New York
a lot in Oct/Nov, haven't gotten sick (yet), there is beer in the
fridge, the other cats seem to be okay for now. Listening to Joe
Henderson "Relaxin' At Camirillo," Dave Douglas, some
of the flights have been somewhat comfortable, the health club where
I shower in Boston went down in price, got some good students at
Berklee., Adam Rogers is going to be doing a clinic at Berklee in
November, I'm doing a clinic/concert at USF in October, doing a
recording in New York in October....lots of good stuff.
On the down side my car started to fuck up last week on the way
to the airport to leave for Boston. $500 later it's basically just
surviving. Hope to make it through another year with that one. My
amps are all working, though.
26 / Austin
from a week in Boston. Had a good bunch of students in the guitar
sessions this year - 16th time I've done it? A lot, anyway. Great
to see Rick Peckham, Larry Baione, Jim Kelly, Curt Shumate, Bruce
Bartlett, Mike Williams, David Tronzo....probably forgetting someone.
Oh yeah, Tony Gaboury and Steve Grover came down from Maine and
we had dinner together and great to see them as well. I played a
concert with Bruno Raberg and Lee Fish and that was fun. Played
the new Collings Soco and I'm having a little trouble getting used
to the electronics on that thing - hopefully get it tweaked this
week. This week because next week I start my weekly travels to Boston.
That's gonna hurt. Still trying to figure out where I can stay in
Had some nice gigs in Austin this week: Saturday with Rich Harney
and Alex Coke, Tues. at the Continental Gallery (the best audience
in the world) with Ephraim Owens and Pat Harris. Got Sao Paulos
on Friday with Joao Vargas and Kevin Witt and looking forward to
that. Got the Collings tweaked and it's much better.
Back from a week in Mexico which was really fun but exhausting.
Don't know why but it was. Cooler there but very humid. Really wonderful
people there and wonderful musicians. Got to play a bit with Edgar
Dorantes and that was really fun. Hanging out with Aleph and Alberto,
all the students at Jazz UV, the great faculty there. Played a couple
of concerts of all my music, did a TV show, passed out from exhaustion
at the dinner table on Friday (a bit embarrassing). Ate some trout
in Coatepec, drank some coffee, ate some eggs in the hotel. Very
difficult to sleep in the hotel because of traffic noise which never
seemed to stop except from about 3-5am.
in Austin, gearing up for Boston in a few weeks for Guitar Sessions
then Berklee in September - already booking the flights and that's
depressing. Heard Helen Sung at the Elephant Room this week and
that was very good.
view from hotel room - non-traffic side
lake in xalapa
aleph and alberto playing at Tavola - a great restaurant and great
trucha (trout) in coatepec
6 / Austin
I gotta say, I'm so tired of talking about jazz and I find it impossible
to read about it. I love to listen to it and I try not to be make
any sort of preconceptions. Like a wine snob or something. "Oooh,
wellllll, I find this blah, blah...." It's freaking music and
it's honest and good or it's not. Sometimes, of course, I get pissed
off when I'm playing with people and they are obviously not listening
and playing too loud or something. I rarely find, in Austin, that
jazz players are not loud enough. Although I played with the great
musician Russ Scanlon the other day and it was really quiet. He's
the best. But that's usually not the case. But reading these different
blogs with "critics" going into such detail as to why
they don't think a certain recording or artist is "good"
is an exercise in futility.
24 / Austin
Great gig last night at the Continental Club Gallery with Ephraim
Owens and Chris Maresh. The place was full, it was late and everyone
was so QUIET! Just listening - it's been a long time since that
has happened. Stephen Barber was there and that's so cool that he
would come out and such a nice person. Met Dave Pulkingham and he's
really nice as well. Late night and then up to run and it's already
85°F by 9am. Crap - it's hot.
both Tina Marsh and Terry Lipman passed away this month. I had only
met them once or twice but they both seemed like incredibly vibrant
people. Went to Terry's memorial and that was really beautiful -
on Lake Travis. Ephraim played, Sam played, lots of funny and sometimes
touching tributes from people around the world. Then later the same
day to Tina's memorial and there were many people there as well.
Very hot but all sorts of performances.
2009 / Austin
Been buying amps like there is no tomorrow. Got the '64 twin then
a '65 princeton reverb showed up on craigslist for what seemed like
a great price so I bought that as well. Unfortunately, it was a
great price because it was way out in Llano which is about 2 hours
from Austin one way. But I drove out and bought it from a guy named
Roger who probably paid $50 for it - he buys estates then sells
everything piecemeal. The amp also needed some work and I went back
to my good buddy Brian - Jon at Toneworks gave himself a 450v jolt
and "isn't taking any work" after getting out of the hospital.
I found Brian on the internet and he fixed the twin for me in 24
hours for what seemed like a very good price. I took the princeton
to him and figured it would be about the same but he really reamed
me this time. Like a drug dealer - gets you hooked then.....
But the amp sounds really good. It's almost as loud as my Deluxe,
lots of low end. Then I had to get a new speaker, of course. More
money. It had the original Oxford but I thought a Eminence would
be cleaner. It is but just doesn't sound as good. Crap.
Lots of gigs this week. Played last night with Kevin at Whip-in,
drums and guitar. That went pretty well but I think people are over
the duo thing. Tonight it's both sets at the Elephant Room - early
show with Nathan Hook and late with Sam Lipman. Tomorrow early at
Elephant Room with Liz Morphis then over to Sao Paulo to finish
the night with kevin witt. Saturday trio at Romeo's with Rich Harney
and Alex Coke, Sunday duo brunch with Liz Morphis. At least I'm
playing a bit. Also trying to get a gig with a trio, Steve Schwelling
and Pat Harris, where Steve plays tablas/drumset and I play acoustic
guitar. Got together with those guys last week and it was really
fun. But Dipak at Whip-In is strangely silent when I email about
a gig. Oh well.
July is looking good except for a trip to Mexico for a week for
a jazz camp. August Berklee Guitar Sessions. September: back to
- may 22, 2009
Well, that previous entry was kind of dark....sorry. I think being
in boston or flying or being really tired or a combination of these
is the problem. Or I'm just an asshole - or all of the above. Since
I've been back in Austin I've had a string of really nice gigs including
an organ quartet gig with Brannen Temple, Red Young and Ephraim
Owens that was really a lot of fun. I played a couple of recitals
at UT with some very nice players including one with Russell Haight
that I really enjoyed. All Monk music with a really nice band. Been
doing the drum/guitar duo thing at Whip-In with Kevin Witt a couple
of times a month and that's a blast. One thing that's been really
nice is my new amp. NEW AMP!!!! A 1964 Twin that's amazing. It died
the first week I had it and I was scared that it was a transformer
but I found this great repair guy in Austin, Brian @ http://www.ottos-guitars.com/guitaramp.html,
and he fixed it in less than 24 hours. Jon from Tonecraft was in
the hospital and I hear that he got a jolt (450 volts) when he was
working on an amp. Ouch. But Brian turned out to be great and I'm
really digging this amp. In general, musicians play really loud
in Austin and even with the Vibrolux I couldn't cut the gigs. The
amp was breaking up too much. But the Twin is really warm but still
clean. And freakin' heavy. It's about 15 lbs. heavier than the Vibrolux
and it would never work in NY unless I was as happening as Adam
Rogers (never happen) and had cartage. But in Austin it's fine -
usually no problem with parking and even after a few beers I can
still get the thing back into the car without hurting myself. I'm
running it on about 3 or 4 and that seems to be plenty of juice
for just about anything. Jess is in the last stages of the Senate
session so she's working 60-70 hours a week which is a drag. But
only 2 more weeks of that. I've got a couple of my own gigs coming
up, going to Xalapa, Mexico, for a jazz guitar camp in July, Berklee
Guitar Sessions in August then back to teaching in September. I'll
be in NY a lot more in the fall - can't afford to fly Austin/Boston
every week. It really hurt, financially, physically and mentally,
for the last couple of years. I really don't want to be away from
Jess and away from Austin so much but I just...can't...do...the
travel/teaching thing every week.
- april 13, 2009
Okay, berklee freshman, enough with the Trane "I Hear a Rhapsody"
solo. I was playing that when I was 20 also but even though you
play tenor I think I had an easier time of it because you seem to
PLAYING THE FIRST CHORUS OVER AND OVER. Yes, it's a beautiful solo,
yes, I applaud your choice, you have a nice sound, you seem to be
in tune but....I'm paying $90 a night for a closet sized room in
the fine town of Boston, sharing a bath with some mature ladies
and shady Europeans who seem to need to spend a whole lot of time
preparing their toilet hence preventing me from accessing the mildew
encrusted facilities. Now I'm trying to grade online assignments
because I'm way behind and you are bugging the shit out of me. All
I can hear is your fucking tenor through these paper-thin walls
- after 10 straight hours of teaching the last thing I want to hear
is this. The teaching was not so bad, by the way. But NOW IT'S OVER
SO SHUT THE FUCK UP. You are going to force me to got to the front
desk and annoy the gay guy running this establishment once more
or call the cops. I really don't want to do either one. I want a
little peace and quiet in my overpriced closet, I want to not put
my feet on the nastiness that is the shower floor, I want some condiments
on my soy sandwiches and access to a toaster, I want to be with
my wife. Am I whining again? Perhaps. But for God's sake, a tenor
player should be able to play the Rhapsody solo by the time they
are 15. Maybe you are some infant over there, some sort of freak
of nature, a 10 year old readying themself for the big Berklee audition.
Somehow I doubt it. But.....whatever. I'm going to knock on some
doors soon. Beware my wrath.
- april 8, 2009
Okay, okay, I'm a whiner. Everyone knows that, just let me have
my moment of depression. Maybe a few moments...whatever. I was listening
to a recording I did with Don Falzone, Donny McCaslin, Eric Halvorson,
Adam Rogers, et. al., today, and I sound relaxed. Donny completely
buries me but at least I don't seem to be rushing. We did this last
summer so it's not so long ago and makes me feel like the recordings
I've heard of myself from Austin are an aberration - I have tamed
the rushing monster at times. Not completely but at least in terms
of playing with musicians I've played with for years and I sound
comfortable. I still don't like my overall vibe on the stuff, especially
playing after Donny who totally annihilates everyone and everything.
In a totally nice way, of course. Donny, the friendly Mastadon.
If I could play one chorus like Donny...... sorry, waxing rhapsodic.
Anyway, great to play with my good friends Joao and Kevin, played
a nice gig with Sam Lipman who always sounds incredible, great to
play with Ryan and Kyle on that gig, playing with the fabulous Chris
Maresh tomorrow...I'm a whiner. I should be counting my blessings.
These are some great musicians and I feel blessed to be in their
company. Played some great gigs with Ephraim, Chris, Sam Lipman,
Tony Campisi, John Fremgen, etc. Hope I didn't leave anyone out.
headed for Barcelona Feb. 23, 2009 9pm my time 4am ES
Headed to Spain to play with Masa Kamaguchi and Xavi Maureta. Continental
still serves food, such as it is, I have a whole row to myself and
it's only an hour late. Granted, it's going to be about 24 hours
of travel with the flight from austin to newark and the layover
and then we play our first gig with no rehearsal but it'll be great
to play with masa again. I've been working on trying to memorize
my own tunes for the last couple of weeks and it's brutal work.
I can memorize Monk's "Skippy" in one or two days but
my own tunes......not so easy. Not because they are more intricate
or complicated than Monk's, just not as logical or musical - or
good. But they're mine. Been a really nice couple of months in Austin,
doing a few gigs but mostly practicing and doing sessions at the
house, eating really well and hanging out with jess when i can.
It may have been a mistake taking the semester off from berklee
but it sure has been nice. Jess and I ate at Vespaio the other night
and it was incredible, the weather has been amazing, I've been playing
with some really nice players and hearing some nice music. Went
to hear Eli Haslanger the other night and he sounded amazing as
did the whole band. Really wanted to hear Darin Layne last night
but wanted to wake up at 5:30am so the jet lag thing wouldn't be
so bad. Hopefully hear him next month. Played with Chris Maresh,
Rob Kazenel and Sam Lipman in San Antonio and that was good, did
a nice trio thing at Romeo's with Steve Schwelling and Pat Harris,
a nice duo gig with Brian Martin, a nice gig with Chris, Sam and
JJ, some other really nice ones. Been working on well, "work",
virgo, some of my own tunes, young and foolish, sippin' at bells,
serenity in 9, some other stuff. Gonna shut down now and watch Max
Payne on the tiny tv before I try and crash for a few hours. Maybe
I should use another word than "crash" when I'm flying
35,000 over the middle of the Atlantic. Later.
Day 2? Day 3? Anyway, Wed. Feb 25 / Barcelona
Well, saw Max Payne (bad) as well as a really bad quasi-Lord of
the Rings movie with Jason Stratham (in the name of the king?).
Now, ta-da!, jet lag. Lagging a bit here. Mighty long day(s) yesterday(s).
Up at 5:30 am, fly to Newark , layover a few hours, fly to barcelona
(slept maybe an hour), plane an hour late so arrive 10am, missed
Valencia train - next train 2:30pm. Subway to Masa's, hang out for
an hour, subway to main train station, train to Valencia, slept
maybe 45". See Xavi on the train, very cool. Walk to hotel,
2 hours until sound check. Try to sleep and can't do it so shower,
practice for a while, Skype Jess but get her voicemail. A nice coffee
in the lobby of Hostel Antigua Morellana (www.hostelam.com) for
.50 Euro, walk to Jimmy Glass (www.
jimmyglassjazz.net). Quick sound check, run 2 tunes, it's all
good. Go down the street for a café doublé, beer for
Masa and Xavi, back to Jimmy Glass now it's 9pm and there are people
in here! Very nice. Meet someone who has all of my CDs (ebay) and
wants me to sign. Go in back room, hang out until 9:45 and then
play a set. It's great to play with Masa again and he consistently
get the most solo applause. I'm so tired and hungry that I think
I'm going to fall down. Play an hour, take a break, drink a glass
of wine with a really nice cheese sandwich, see Perico Sambeat and
talk for bit. He's got his horn and sits in the next set and sounds
great. We end with a Perico selection of Just In Time a lot faster
than I was equipped to play after about 40 hours of no sleep, not
much food and a couple of glasses of wine. Hang out in Jimmy Glass
drinking wine and breathing second-hand cigarette smoke unitl about
1:30 then back to the hotel. Around 2:30 I finally am able to sleep
and wake up every so often - I'm right by the elevator and anytime
someone uses it I'm awake for a few minutes but am able to go back
to sleep. Masa and I have an 11am train so by 10 I'm checking out
the coffee machine in the lobby again. We walk to the train station
where I have a really nice coffee-doublé in the café,
we make our train and back to Barcelona by 2pm. At Masa's apt. by
2:30, eat some pasta, crash for a while (it's siesta time after
all) and here I am, thinking about practicing but not very seriously,
listening the the guys in the alley out back arguing about something
and banging on pipes, using some sort of power tool, grinding, banging,
arguing, etc. Wonder what happens tomorrow?
jimmy glass - valencia
Been sort of sitting around since Masa and I got back. Took a short
nap, practiced, read some magazines and then about 9:30 Masa started
dinner and we had some really fresh raw shrimp and a nice pizza.
Drank some wine, talked about how moving from new york to places
like barcelona or austin is really hard in some ways and easy in
others. Easy because there are more gigs, life isn't a constant
struggle, the life style is better, the food is great, etc. Hard
because the musicians can be really good but it's very rare for
things to work out like they do in New York and the whole musician
attitude is much more closed and judgemental. Now it's midnight,
I took a Melatonin, got my earplugs in because Masa's roommate stays
up all night watching movies and it's pretty loud. I was hoping
to sleep tonight. No gig tomorrow but a rehearsal with Masa and
Xavi. Looking forward to tomorrow.
Went out for a walk on the Ramblas Thursday and went all the way
to the port, walked around down there, walked back to the Metro
(red line) and back to Clot. We played in Granollers Friday night
and that was fun. Saw Joan Sanmarti and he was nice enough to bring
a Boss adapter so I could use my effects (I forgot the adapter at
Masa's). Jeremy Stratton and his wife Eva came out and I was great
to see them. The gig went pretty well but some of the new tunes
are still difficult for me and I don't always remember everything.
Granollers is about half an hour from Barcelona. We played 11-1
and by the time we got back to Masa's it was about 2:30, we stayed
up drinking wine until about 3:30 or 4. On Saturday we played in
Vic at a place called Jazz Cava and the place was a lot like a cave.
A kind of old fort looking place, all stone with tiles on the floor
and a sort of curved ceiling. It was really cold and damp inside
but they had a guitar amp which was great because even though it's
really nice of Masa to loan me an amp, his amp is kind of lame.
We went out for pizza across the street then started playing about
11:30. Lot's of people - nice crowd. On the first tune the fabulous
amp (solid state Fender Princeton) died so I used the bass amp that
Masa wasn't using. Played some tunes we hadn't played yet on gigs
and they were semi-successful. Played until 1 and then a encore,
packed up and back to Barcelona. Stopped by cops twice for sobriety
checks. Back to Xavi's and I drove from Xavi's to Masa's because
Masa doesn't have a license. Drink wine, 4am sleep. Up at 10 and
today a concert here at Jazz Clot Underground. All my clothes stink
of second-hand cigarette smoke because everyone smokes here - all
Had a really nice concert at Jazz Clot Underground last night. About
65 people there including Joan Sanmarti and Muna, a really nice
singer from Mexico, her friends. Joan sat in on a couple of tunes,
the concert went well. Met Joe Smith and a guy named Bruce Arkin
and some others. Using Masa's really crappy amp but as long as we
played quietly it sounded okay. I was pretty hungry since the only
thing I ate all day was one of Fabio's Bomba's which is a rice ball
about the size of a tennis ball. Tasted kind of like a tennis ball,
too (sorry Fabio). This morning the noise started pretty early so
not much sleep but I just walked to the Sagraga Familia and checked
it out - very impressive. Now I'm in a Starbucks drinking coffee
and eating carrot cake. I was hoping for some wi-fi so I could grade
some assignments but no luck - not as advertised. Coltrane was on
a second ago with A Love Supreme now it's a very nervous sounding
Joe Pass playing How High the Moon.
Master class at the Taller de Musics today. They got me a taxi over
there (sweet ride), it was really easy, nice people, talented students,
paid well, got some good espresso. Afterwards I went to the cafe
and had 4 sardines, some maccaron (macarroni - i'm going for menu
items i recognize) and some wine (they put the whole bottle on the
table), found the subway and got back to Clot no problemo - subway
in barcelona probably easier for me than NY subway for Spaniards.
Spent the afternoon and evening grading online assignments and starting
to get pretty hungry - it's almost 10pm now and I guess this dinner
isn't going to happen. I would go out but Masa has fired up the
oven about 2 hours ago but I think he may have fallen asleep. Not
eating a whole lot here in Spain and I think tomorrow that's going
to change. I want to eat some tapas. I'm in freaking Spain! I deserve
to eat greasy meatball and pork fried tapas and drink passable and
very cheap wine simultaneously. Tomorrow Jamboree and it'll be good
to be playing again. It's fine to teach but I'm not really playing,
Rainy today. Walked around a bit around noon, found a laudromat
fairly close - really need to wash some clothes. Going out now to
replenish the wine supply. Jamboree tonight. Finished grading all
my online classes at great personal anguish. Yow. It's tough to
be in Barcelona grading online assignments.
Getting burnt. Ready to sleep in my own bed. 5 more days, 3 more
gigs. I really sucked last night. Just couldn't play. Fabio playing
80's Italian rock really loud. For some reason even though he usually
sleeps until 3pm he woke up at noon. Argh.
Friday - 4am
Okay - now extremely burnt. I'm an old man after all. Nights up
late (witness the time), kids yelling by 8am, guys working out in
back by 9am, leave for the gig at around 7pm. Kind of cold outside.
Ate greasy tapas in whatever city we were in - about an hour outside
of Barcelona. Pig intestine tapas, some fried squid, patatoes bravos
- thick french fry kind of things with extremely heavy aioli - mayo,
garlic and parsley - cheap spanish wine - all in all very tasty
and now I've had my tapas fix; around the corner from Griffin Jazz
club. 10am Finally figured out
how to find Masa's password for the wifi using keychain access and
hope to work that out. (didn't work). Patricias computer stolen
on Thursday, probably by squatters next door. 2 more gigs. Last
night went pretty well; small place, decent amp thanks to Joan Sanmarti,
played some new tunes and only 1 non-original (Monk's "Played
Twice.") Great lunch from Patricia about 2pm Friday, off for
tonights gig in about an hour I guess. Fried, fried, fried. Did
I mention I was fried?
el pla des encants / Friday / Callela
Friday gig went well but long day, sleep 4am and up at 9am for drive
to Castellón for last gig. Masa's car very hot because unable
to turn off the heater. About 3 hour drive, really nice hotel in
Castellón. Go to lunch and have more patatas bravas - fried
potatoes in a spicy aioli which I'm not crazy about. Chicken croquettes
are good and a really nice shellfish thing. Beer. Try to nap at
the hotel but no good. Meet Toni Porcar, the guy who booked us and
go out to dinner. Toni makes wine and it's really good, tons of
food. Aioli of course, grilled vegetables, octopus, bread with olive
oil and tomatoes, salad, more wine. I had hake (fish) as an entré,
masa had monkfish, Xavi had turbot, toni and fernando had meat.
Then after dinner cigars, grappa, coffee. Seriously full and by
now it's 10;30 and we play at 11. Back to the hall for the concert,
goes pretty well. Wine, whisky, etc. Concert is over and back to
the hotel, pay for an internet connection, Skype Jess and 4am try
to get some sleep. Now it's 9:00am on Sunday and we're going to
drive back to Barcelona in a hour or so.
castellon gig - toni's pic
gig - toni's pic
xavi / castellón
- Tuesday - Wednesday / Continental to Austin March 10
Went to he beach with Masa, Patricia and Hugo and had a really nice
Paella but missed changing my Euros at the bank (banks close at
2). Gave a lesson in the afternoon, graded some online assignments,
hung out with Masa drinking wine until about 2am. Up at 6 and for
some reason just couldn't concentrate and almost missed my 6:50
train to the airport. Bought a ticket the day before but I guess
they are only good the day of so had to get another. Made it to
the airport by 7:45 for my flight but totally spaced on changing
Euros at the airport because I was trying to find my way around
the airport and didn't realize no cash exchanges once you are past
security. Crap! Long, long flight but not too bad. I watched 4 movies.
Eventually Newark then an almost 6 hour layover. Now it's 10pm or
3am Barcelona time, I'm on Continental flight 806 for austin and
have been traveling for 20 hours now with 3 more to go. Caught a
glimpse of myself in the mirror of the BCN flight. Mighty scary.
Long day. No food on this flight (and no more looking in the mirror
at any cost) which is a first for a Continental flight for me. But
I have a row to myself and it's the row with the empty exit row
seat in front. Sweet deal. But I'm ready, really ready, to be at
home. 3 hours seems like an eternity at this point. And I've got
those freaking Euros to deal with. At Newark the exchange was $112=100
and at the Barcelona airport, worse than the barcelona bank, it
was $126=100. Crap. Crap. Okay, think the day is hitting me now
and I can sleep. Also think I've got a cold.
having a lot of fun. Played today with Aaron Allen, Sam Lipman and
Rob Kazenel and it was great. Been doing a couple of jam sessions
a week, working on new music, practicing, doing good gigs. Played
last night with Joao, JJ and Philippe and that was really nice,
Thursday with JJ, Chris maresh and Sam and that was nice, too. Ephraim
Owens sat it and that was great. Not too many people out as per
the usual lack of interest in my music but there were some moments
and I feel it was successful. Stephen Barber was there and just
that alone makes things all good. He's so heavy and just to have
him checking out the music, warts and all, is a real thrill. He's
off to NY next week to do something with Peter Gabriel and somebody
else totally heavy so I can't believe he's in the house for one
of my gigs. And I also can't believe how nice of a person he is.
Well, maybe not. I've met some really heavy musicians (totally by
accident) and it seems like the heavier they are, the nicer they
are. Frisell, DeJohnette, Holland, Barber, on and on, they are all
the nicest people on earth. Including the people I know that other
people don't know like John Hebert, Tony Scherr, Bruce Hall, Adam
Kolker......so many others who are incredible humans as well as
incredible musicians. Hmmm, perhaps it was the wine we drank at
Rob's during the session that makes me wax so sentimental. Anyway,
things are good here. No gigs tonight, Jess is cooking up some really
killing mexican thing (she's been checking out Rick Bayless' cookbook
and it's amazing), we've got netflix, my chops are up, got nothing
tomorrow, the cats are fed, it's cold but only in the 40's and not
NY temps. Life is good.
- january 16, 2009
in Austin for a month now - weather has been good most of the time
but it's starting to be cold more often than not. Yesterday it was
a chilly 55° when I went out to run in the park. Practicing
a lot, at least one jam session a week, a couple of gigs here and
there, writing music, messing around with the drums, drinking lots
of coffee (and maybe some wine as well), surfing the internet. Getting
ready to go to Spain in a few weeks with Masa and working on music
for that. Can't figure out which guitar to play and that's driving
me crazy. I've been eyeing the Sadowsky semi-hollow guitar but the
very last thing I need is another guitar! I've already got way too
many. Been playing the Ibanez AS-200 now and then and trying to
get used to that but more often than not I'll bring 2 guitars to
a gig. Also playing through a Valvetech amp that seems pretty nice.
Argh, gear! Had some nice gigs with Stan Killian, Paul White, Rich
Harney, a really fun 2 nights with JJ Johnson, great one with Sam
Lipman. Been a nice month.
and I went to First Night in Austin on New Years eve. It was kind
of cold but nice to be walking around and not have a gig. Went to
hear Ephraim Owens at the Elephant Room and it was packed. Nice
to see so many people listening to jazz on a big night. Jess almost
got spewed on by a guy lurching off the bus (we parked away from
downtown) but otherwise people seemed fairly subdued. Nice night.
austin new years eve 2008
austin - 11:45 new years eve 2008
paul white and ephraim - elephant room new years eve 2008 (paul,
where'd you get that sweater?)
of the Union
Spent the last half of last week in Vermont. Took Cape Air to Rutland
for $50(!) each way - cheaper than the bus. Cold in Vermont - about
5°F at times. Had a nice time with my brother, mother, Tracy
and Jess came via Albany and her plane wasn't even canceled this
time. Viva not holiday travel. A little snow in VT but nothing serious.
Now the unholy trinity of Logan/JFK/Austin - left Berklee at 3:15pm
and home in Austin about 1:15am EST. But, it worked out okay. Ground
stop delays at Logan and JFK but still made it with time to spare.
Head winds, international back-up at JFK meant an hour sitting on
the runway waiting for wheels up. But what about the new Jet Blue
terminal at JFK? Very happening; sushi bars everywhere, totally
wired, lots of places to eat (if you can afford it) and drink but
I limited myself to one $10 beer - right by the gate! Very nice
and a big improvement on the old terminal.
I won't be using JFK much in the coming months so by the time I
get back to NY in February for my Spain tour things in the new JFK
terminal will be beat to shit. Taking a leave of absence from Berklee
for a semester and perhaps my senses as well. Not the best time
to be without a job but the travel thing is so rough in the winter,
I want to finish a lot of projects (books, recordings, writing music,
practicing, etc.), I want to be home with my wonderful wife, I want
to sleep in the same bed for 2 weeks in a row, I want to play a
lot more, practice drums, I want to fuck around with Pro Tools,
I want to play a lot of sessions. This semester was rough because
because I took some weeks off from Berklee which meant that when
I was in Boston I was there for a longer period; there were a lot
of 10-14 day stays this semester. But I had some great students
and while Berklee itself seems to be totally freaking insane with
the amount of political infighting and intrigue and just plain bullshit,
the students are getting better all the time and I'm really going
to miss their energy, enthusiasm and talent.
But, Fall '09 is around the corner (I can't believe I'm already
thinking about when I have to go back on my first day of the leave
- I've only been back in Austin about 10 hours) and I'm going to
spend more time in NY to save on plane fare. If I still have a job
that is. We'll see. In the meantime, spent the morning working on
Hexatonics, playing my own guitar rather than a berklee loaner,
drinking my own coffee, trying to wind down. Colder in Austin than
Boston right now although for a few days Boston was in the teens
I won't complain about jetBlue ever again. But I did get a new phone
yesterday and I even got it to sync with iCal. Wheeeee. Got a couple
of hours to put a new Pete Bernstein transcription into Finale.
Kinda cramped, my feet are freezing and my head is burning up but
headed for my connection in Charlotte. At least I got a flight on
the first Monday after Thanksgiving. Had a couple of nice gigs last
week: 3 Jazz Collective with Ernie Durawa sitting in and yesterday
John Fremgen and Paul Glasse. A lot of fun. Now...some Finale fun.
Last week was pretty ridiculous.
Monday: off to Austin/Bergstrom airport 10am, play on student recital
7pm (just made it), teach lesson , back to apartment 11:30pm
Tuesday; Berklee 6am-10pm - lessons/classes/makeups / Sleep 11:30pm
Wednesday: Berklee 6am- 6pm / Gig with Bruno Raberg, Tim Miller,
Marcello Pellitieri at Johnny D's 8:30-11:00pm / bed and breakfast
Thursday: Berklee 8am-10pm - Makeups / Apartment 11:30pm-5:30am
Friday: Austin flight 8am, arrive noon, dentist for emergency crown
replacement 2-4, gig in Georgetown with Rich Harney (leave 5pm)
6:30-9:30, home 11pm
Saturday: Leave for Denton 8am, rehearsal UNT 1pm, soundcheck 3:15,
gig 6-10 (2 tunes), dinner at gas station 11:30pm, sleep 2am
Sunday: 8am drive to Austin, arrive noon, collapse 4pm.
The gig with Tim, Bruno and Marcello was really fun (Johnny D's).
I'm hoping to be able to do it again. This was thanks to David Lee
who also gave me a bunch of recordings of live Sco and Kurt. What
a truly nice person he is. Tim and friends were amazing and it seemed
very easy. Marcello was kind enough to give me a ride both to and
from the gig, played his ass off and is a great person (even if
he is a drummer). I really want to do this again.
The gig with Rich was really fun as well. We played some standards,
some of the tunes in my book and some of Rich's originals. I have
to say that I enjoyed Rich's tunes the most and I hope we can do
this duo thing again soon.
The UNT hang was really great. Not because I love big band music
so much (I was totally expendable) but because I got to see and
hear all these great musicians from UNT that have gone on to do
wonderful things. Pietro gave me his new CD and it's amazing. Rez
Abbasi plays his ass off and Dave is on some new level. The whole
band is killing and I really love Gary Versace's accordian playing.
Now back in Austin trying to write, trying to practice. The weather
is incredible and I'm trying to rest up for the next two weeks which
are going to be intense traveling and teaching again. Taking next
semester off from berklee which was a tough decision but got a lot
going on anyway: tour of spain, gigs in maine (I hope), subbing
for Jim Kelly for a week in March at berklee.
No pics except this pic from my window riding home from UNT on Sunday
and a phone pic of the gig at Johnny Ds (couldn't get the freaking
ical to sync).
the state of the universe, the economy, my life, my very expensive
new dental work, the lameness of the berklee email rants. Reading
neal stephenson's book "in the beginning was the command line"
and that's really nice. Taking a semester off from Berklee in the
spring and that was a huge decision, especially considering the
economy. But my bosses have been incredibly supportive - Rick and
Larry are incredible - wonderful musicians, exceptional humans,
incredible teachers. Did I say "incredible" enough?
a few gigs in austin but nothing earth-shattering - the story of
my life. Working on a Spain tour in February if Dave Allen doesn't
book all the gigs first. Practicing. Feeling my oats. Weather beautiful
in Austin - kind of hot today though. Did an outdoors gig with Kris
Kimura in San Antonio today and that was a nice hit. Good band,
easy gig, long drive. Kind of a festival gig and everyone eating
"turkey legs - $5" which has to be a Texas thing. Soundman
at gig as lame as could be but who cares anymore. Didn't bring my
camera so no pics.
Back to Boston day after tomorrow and just tired, tired, tired.
Missing my NY friends but had a nice gig with Tony Campisi, Evan
Arrandondo (sp), and Rob Kazenel on Tuesday. It was pretty easy
- no Coltrane tunes in 5 - relaxed and fun. Maybe I should lose
the hard tunes and just play standards. Sure is a lot less tension.
bus! NY to Boston
Back to Boston after 3 days in New York. Had a really good time:
recorded with Eric Halvorson and Don Falzone, went to hear Tony
Malaby at Cornelia St. Cafe, heard Adam Kolker at Grassroots. All
really great. Tony's band was Gerald Cleaver, John Hebert, Ralph
Alessi. They all were incredible but Hebert was really, really wonderful.
Adam Kolker was Diego Vogolino, Jerome Sabbah, Aden ?. Also, incredible
band but Adam was amazing. Saw Rob Sudduth, Maggie Grebowitz and
Stan Killian, Bruce Hall sat in and was killing. Ate a falafel from
Tahini on Bowery, drank beer. Back to Bruce's in Ft. Greene about
midnight then up at 5am to get to 34th and 8th ave. in manhattan
for my first bolt bus. Pretty nice ride. Wifi more or less, lots
of legroom, clean and $20. I'll do it again. Back to berklee to
teach on Columbus day - back to Austin on Friday. None too soon.
Been almost two weeks.
and jerome at grassroots
malaby herbert alessi @ cornelia st.
bus 6am 34th and 8th ave, nyc
don at sweat shop studio
Ho hum, just finished my 3rd week in boston. Flights have been okay
so far but the connecting flight from jfk problematic. Not too many
gigs but did some fun ones: 3jazz collective, Brian Martin trio
at romeo's, chris maresh trio at central market, my own gig at elephant
room. Going to stay in town this week for a recording with terry
bowness and then stay in boston for almost two weeks in october.
Trying to get to New York to record with Eric Halvorson while I'm
stuck in the northeast. We'll see. Very busy with school, practice,
berklee online, etc.
moon at central market for chris maresh's gig - beautiful night
Went up to Denton on Tuesday to do a clinic at UNT and play at the
university, uh, club I guess. The clinic went okay but I was getting
fried already and felt kind of stiff as far as playing. Played with
a couple of good students - Ryan and Ross. The gig was fun; played
4 tunes with Lynn Seaton, Stefan Karlsson, Sebastian Whitaker and
Shelly Carroll. Amazing players and it was a lot of fun. It was
great to play with Stefan again and Shelly, too, and a real treat
to play with Lynn and Sebastian for the first time. Gave some lessons
the next day and then drove to Dallas to play with Mike Drake at
the Sammons Center. Mike is just tearing it up and that was a really
fun gig although the sound was very bad because of the cave-like
room. The next day played a next gig with Mike and John Adams at
a wine bar (cellar) in Dallas - really fun. A beautiful day (good
because in the great Texas tradition we were outside), really nice
crowd including some students who drove all the way from Denton,
decent sound, really nice band. John sounded wonderful, Mike was
killing as usual and we were done by 9pm so I could drive back to
Austin. Jeff Robbins, my friend from FSU and NTSU days, was there
although he got there late so didn't sit in which was really disappointing.
The drive back was okay but the Texas driving thing....pretty much:
1) If you are in the fast lane on a 2-lane highway be sure to match
speed with the driver in the slow lane. Try to make sure you are
going under the speed limit and be sure not to let any drivers behind
you who do want to go the speed limit get past - preferably for
as long as possible. This is especially true for truckers.
2) Once established on the highway, change speed erratically if
there is no one with whom you can match speed. Change lanes without
looking in the rear-view and especially without a turn signal.
3) If the highway does happen to be somewhat open, be sure and find
someone to tailgate, especially someone in a 1995 Honda. When the
driver in the Honda changes lanes to avoid the bright lights from
the hi-beams on your full-size pickup truck, be sure and change
lanes as well.
Anyhoo, made it back to Austin eventually - about 1:30am.
Gig with Rich Harney at Romeo's that was really nice then a gig
the next day with Patrick Cornelius, Kyle Thompson and Ryan Bowman
in San Antonio at Carmens. Pretty tough music but Patrick was killing
as was Kyle and Ryan. Sunday off and now back on JetBlue for my
first day at Berklee. Flight is supposedly on time, just had a sandwich
and now it's time for a nap - maybe.
ryan and kyle at Carmen's in San Antonio
patrick cornelius carmen's san antonio