Friday, December 23, 2005
We had a great crowd there and I saw my old friend Bob King who works there managing the bar and spreading good vibes with his smiling happy self. When you play there and see him smiling at you from across the room, it really makes you feel like you’re in a place called home. The crowd was near capacity and very exuberant. We went as a sextet because Michaelle Goerlitz who normally plays percussion was out of town on another gig. But we made due and the audience loved us. Thanks goes out to Bobbi, who took a chance in having us, Brett for the fun radio interview and everyone who made it out to see us. And last but not least, Matt, Kris, Wayne, Tom, Murray and Paul VW for all of their talent and intuition. These cats are the best!!!
Our next gig is on the 29th of January, 2006 from 4:30-7:30pm at the Jazz School in Berkeley. Hope to see you there and in the meantime, Happy Holidays, stay safe and we’ll all be together again soon.
John L. Worley Jr
Monday, December 05, 2005
Speaking of which, my BoAs gig celebrating my 50th birthday and 40 years of trumpet playing was a total gas!!!. So many friends and family came to see and partake of this fun night. Lori Stotko sat in on piano and showed everyone that she's one of the Bay Area's best kept secrets. Fred Berry, one of my teacher/mentors showed up along with my student/protégé Max Shulaker and sat in with me. Between the three of us, we bridged a 40 year span of trumpet playing. Fred has been one of the bay area's first call players as well as one of the original members of the Art Ensemble of Chicago. Max is a 15 year old monster and look for some great sounds from his horn in next few years!!! What a treat to have them and Lori sit in with me. Thank you cats!!!
Ed Johnson was going to be there but needed to recoup from an eye infection and since we had to go on a Northwest tour the following week, it made sense for him to stay home. But Ed's spirit was there and the night was definitely worthy of a "Movimento" evening as Kris Strom and I would say!!!
My mother Hana, sisters Anna and Joy, bro Richie, Stacy, Teanna, along with their hubbies, children ect came by and wow...it was very very special to have them see my gig and celebrate with me. My mom hadn't seen me play since I played Fuyumi Sakamoto in J-Town, SF the latter part of the 90's. Thanks to you all for supporting me and the music.
Lot's of fun gigs have occurred since that tremendous night. Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo had a sold out performance at Corey's Jazz Cellar in Vancouver, BC. What a great place to play and the audience was fantastic. Our gig in Bellingham WA was very cool too. Our friends Farren (she's one hell of a great vocalist) Kathy and Sharman showed up and afterwards, we all went to Sharman's pad and partied in the usual Novo Tempo spirit!!!
This past weekend I played with Johnny Mathis in Santa Rosa at the Luther Burbank Center of Performing Arts. That guy still has the voice that made a generation or three take notice. Plus the dude is totally into the Christmas scene. He's a bit scary when he starts singing Toyland but he's really all heart.
By the way...when you are a freelance, commercial/ jazz trumpet player, you have to be able to wear many different hats (to quote tpt god Bobby Shew). At this time, I'm playing the show "Into The Woods" which is a classical type of show, playing jazz (Latin, st ahead, ballads ect), small group jazz, big band ect and the list goes on. It's a time of incredible stretching between genres and I'm having a blast doing it. I'm so thankful that all of my teachers stressed versatility. It's paid off in so many ways.
So, I hope to see you all come out and see WorlView do their thang this Thursday. Kuumbwa is a very happening place to play and I'm totally looking forward to being there.
Stop by and see the cats blow if you're free. And don't forget to come up and say hello. After all, that's what it's all about!
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Well, it has been a crazy couple of weeks. Lot's of stuff going on in the world of Worl. Played a few gigs, taught a few lessons and did a T-Mobile commercial yesterday at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley. Great musicians on the date including Mary Fettig, Dave Peterson, Steve Campos, Marty Wehner and others. Nice to do a union gig 'cause of it contributing to my pension.
I'm really looking forward to November. Lot's of fun stuff going on including my 50th birthday/40 years of trumpet playing anniversary gig at BoAs with WorlView on November 5th. More on that soon but for now, a little trip down memory lane......
Where has the time gone? I remember getting my first trumpet on October 2nd, 1965. It was a Holton Collegiate and my first teacher was Richard Snyder who by the way is still playing gigs on saxophone to this day. I put the mouthpiece into the leadpipe and blew into it. Nothing but air came out and man, was I bummed!!!! I told my mom, Hana that there was something wrong with the horn but she told to play it some more and that I'll get it eventually.
Funny thing, I was pretty terrible for so many years! In fact, the 7th grade band director Mrs Heinzen put me on baritone for the whole year. I carried that piece of crap home at least three days a week. That thing was bigger than me and smelled like garbage can! I remember telling Mrs. Heinzen at the beginning of 8th grade that if I didn't get to play trumpet I would quit. She told me I better practice and did I practice? Of course. Who wants to spend the rest of their playing career playing on a garbage can with valves?
By the time I got to high school, my reading skills were pretty good and I played well when our band director Dick Larsen had us play our passages, one at a time in front of the whole band class. Dick by the way was a trumpet player and passed away this year. Thru Johnny Serrano, I inherited Dicks old Conn trumpet and have it sitting on my trumpet shrine along with my Chet Baker, Miles Davis books and of course, the book that got me thinking about the trumpet, The Reader's Digest Treasury of Short Stories with an article about Louis Armstrong.
I auditioned for the San Francisco Fireman's Honor Band that year and made 1st chair 2nd trumpet and got free lessons at the Burlingame Conservatory of Music. I used to take the bus down there from Daly City to study with a cat named Owen Bruce. He's the one who turned me on to the Arban's Conservatory method and Bach 7C mpcs.
It wasn't till I hooked up with the godfather of all of the San Francisco trumpeters, Johnny Coppola that stuff started to happen for me. I remember sitting in his living room, shaking and barely being able to play. He asked if I was nervous...ha! Boy was I. He asked me why and I told him, "You're the great Johnny Coppola and that's why". He just laughed, sipped his vino and we went on from there. He was a great influence not only with my playing and being a good human being but with my teaching too. He told me that if I did everything he told me to do, I would be a pro by the time I was sixteen. Sounds like a line to get a young punk like me to practice but man, I bit and bit hard.
I played my first gig at 15 years young with an asian rock cover band called "Far East Coalition" and we played at the Kabuki Theater in San Francisco on July 1st, 1971. Three trumpet playing friends of mine were at that gig playing with me and in the other bands, "Sand" and "The Intrigues". Johnny Serrano, Jerry Lum and Gary Wood. I'm happy to say that they are still around and it's very cool to see them from time to time. My first solo was "You're Still A Young Man" by Tower Of Power". Damn if I didn't crack the first note but got thru the rest ok. I remember looking out into the audience and seeing more beautiful asian girls than I ever saw before. We played "Valdez In The Country", "Sparkling In The Sand" and a whole lot of horn band tunes. Arty Chu played Bari Sax, Juan Watanabe played alto sax, Johnny Serrano played 1st trumpet, Denise and Tony Escobar was there too. I made a whopping $8!!! Man, that was a killer band for a bunch of young cats!
Ok, More to come later......
Sunday, October 16, 2005
I wanted to take a moment to say hello and share my day with you. It's about 10:14am, the wife is still asleep (we stayed up and watched SNL) and I'm cleaning up my email list and drinking coffee. (she just got up at 10:20....)
I had a pretty fun day yesterday. How many of you know what the life of a musician/educator is like? At times, it can seem gruelling and other times, a slice of heaven. And some days a bit of both.
I cut back my teaching load from 57 students to 37, from 6 days a week to 4 and relocated all of my teaching to Mountain View, where Susan and I live. I have a small studio on Hope Street that I'm in the process of tweaking. I still teach at West Valley Music owned by Diana Tucker on Wednesdays and love it. The music selection is fantastic and the staff is friendly and helpful.
I used to teach in San Mateo at Myriad Studios and in SSF at Bronstein Music. I miss Bronsteins very much. Rich and Don are a couple of the nicest people you could ever work with and the trumpet selection is one of the best anywhere. Anyhow, I gotta run...more on the day later.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Here is a quick note to music lovers around the world. Tomorrow night, Saturday (10/8) starting at 7:30pm pst, you can hear Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo (one of my favorite bands to play in) LIVE on the internet. We will be streaming from the Jazz and Blues Store (just click on this link and follow the directions) in Carmel, CA. You can listen for free in the comfort of your home or come on down to Carmel and see it live.
This music has it's roots steeped in the heart of Brazil and the expressive freedom of jazz - and that combination comes alive in the stunning compositions of Ed Johnson.
Ed's music, along with Wayne Wallace's expert guidance, helped shape the concept of my band, WorlView. I hope you can take a moment on Saturday night to tune in and hear for yourself the beauty of Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo.
Novo Tempo will also be playing live at Santana Row in San Jose this Tuesday, October 11th, from 6-9pm. (Another chance to hear great music for free!) The bandstand is located in the court yard in front of Maggiano's Restaurant next to Starbucks. Bring a coat, folding chair or blanket and enjoy compositions from Ed's CD's: "Over That Wave", "Movimento" and a new one that we are presently in the midst of recording. I hope to see you there and don't forget to come up and say hello.
Thanks for listening!
John L. Worley Jr.
PS. On November 5th, I'll be celebrating my 50th birthday and my 40th year of playing the trumpet at BoAs/Club Elite on Steven's Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, CA. WorlView will be playing and I hope that you stop by to help me me celebrate this milestone. It should be one heck of a good hang!!!
Tuesday, September 27, 2005
We played Sunday afternoon on the Garden Stage. What a great set! Jon and musical conductor Dr. Wayne Wallace put together a set of creatively arranged Chinese folksongs that really took the crowd to another place. On sax were Jim Norton and Francis Wong. Dave Belove (aka Butterfly) was on electric bass, Deson Claiborne on drums and myself on tpt and flugelhorn.
Man, you should have seen their faces when Francis blew this incredible solo that was at times channeling Trane, Joe Henderson and Pharoah Saunders. That was one of the highlights of that gig. Seeing the audience react to what we were doing told me we were really reaching them and they were getting it.
Look for more on Jon's band in future blogs. We also have a new CD coming out in the spring of "06". We recorded it last week at Open Path Studios in less than two days!!!! That's a testament to the strength of Jang's concept, depth of musicianship in the group and organization/arranging of the Doctor.
Ok...I'm off to my gig. WorlView is playing this evening at Santana Row from 6-9pm. More to come regarding future WorlView events and don't miss Tim Solook's gig this coming Sat, Oct 1st at BoAs/Club Elite.
Well, it's been awhile since my last post. Susan and I went to WI for vacation, been spending a little time at the beach and two weeks ago I had the extreme pleasure of playing the Monterey Jazz Festival with Carla Bley/Steve Swallow Big Band. The big band was made up of local players plus the cats in Carla's group. George Young contracted us and by the way, played his ass off!!! He's a NY session/jazz saxophonist that retired and moved out to Monterey,CA. This cat is bad!!! If any of you happens to be in the Monterey area, look him up.
Carla's music was as happening as ever. We premiered her new piece, Black Orchid as well as On the Stage in Cages & One Way. Marty Wehner played the solo bone stuff and really showed everyone what he's made of. Marty is a bad boy for sure. Louis Fasman, one of the bay area's stellar lead trumpeters played a thoughtful, melodic melody on One Time. Louis is one of my best buds dating back to the Marriot's Great America days. He kept us on track thru some perilous twists and turns. Everyone got a little space to play. I got to play a little more than the other trumpet players. I played on the ballad section of Black Orchid as well as On The Stage In Cages. The ballad was done on trumpet w/ plunger. I know that Lou Soloff plays with her a lot and likes to use plunger so I did the same. Plunger is a fun mute to play and can be very expressive. The other solo was done on open trumpet which is rare for me. Usually I play my flugel when I solo but my Bach tpt has a sound I've always wanted to get so I'm working out more with it.
Carla and Steve are two of the most supportive folks I've ever played with. It was an honor to be a part of their music reality. I'm still awestruck at her ability to hear every note in every part. I'm not the same person after being a part of this. Next, part two....The Jon Jang Seven
Thursday, August 18, 2005
By now everyone should know that San Jose hosts the largest free jazz festival of its kind on the planet. It's a great hang and you can see a myriad of local talent as well as the elite of the jazz world. Since I'm a local yokel, I want to toot my horn for the locals today.
Open Path recording artist, my musical twin and fellow Novo Tempo compadre saxophonist Kristen Strom played one of the most inspiring sets I've seen in a long time. Her debut CD "Intentions" features players like Jon Shiflitt, Jason Lewis, hubby/ soul mate and producer Scott Sorkin and Adam Schulman. She also has singing with her Ed "Two Cell" Johnson and her La Familia.
From the first note, her melodic conception and lyrical singing tone lifted us all out of our seats into another world. Her choice of material is melody oriented and the way the band flowed thru them and improvised was second to none. What a great feeling, to close your eyes while listening to her set and see wave after waves of images brought forth by the beauty of her music. I know the crowd was hip to it because they were quiet. They listened and got it! The audience should get 5 stars for being so in tune. Congrats on the debut of "Intentions" and your masterful performance Kris.
The Latin Jazz Youth Ensemble of San Francisco also knocked me out. Led by sensei John Calloway, they showed us all why they will be the future stars of tomorrow. Wayne Wallace leaned over to me at one point and said, "These are the cat's who'll be taking our gigs someday". It's nice to know that the future is in such good hands! Trombonist Natalie Cressman, daughter of trombonist Jeff Cressman and vocalist Sandy Cressman was up there wailing. I hadn't seen her in a few years since we rehearsed at the Cressman manor for the Don Byron gig at Monterey Jazz Festival. She's all grown up now! I remember her when she was this tiny little baby hangin' on Momma and Poppa's pant leg. Keep up the good work Natalie!
I saw much more music while floating from one stage after another. I saw my friends and trumpeters Tom Bertetta and Randy Smith. Tom was playing with a salsa band and Randy was playing with Octobop. I met Bobby Watson, was mesmerized by Andy Nozaka's photo exhibit in the museum, hung out with Kye Palmer (trumpet w/Poncho Sanchez), hung with one of my best buds Kerry McCoy and ran around a bit with the love of my life, my loving wife Susan. She had her own event to go to so I had my hall pass for a moment to hang out and chill. Jayne Sanchez was her fun self hosting the Repetory Theater stage and I saw Rich S. and Maureen M. in the front row cheering on Kris. Tom K. was checking out the sounds here and there and Jack and Ellen Fasman watching little Dana Rose and Laura Fasman who were checking out their poppa Louis on stage. Terry Ross, ex-lead trumpeter from the Woody Herman Orchestra was at Gordon Biersch watching the salsa band from Santa Cruz do their thing.
I also had fun being a part of a jazz panel discussion hosted by Yoshi Kato. It was called "What Do You Know..Trade Secrets" My fellow panelists were Sonny Buxton, Jackie Naylor and Art Khu. We had a nice audience and the topics ranged from jazz education to what we did to develop ourselves into artists. It was a nice blend of folks. We all were players/writers/educators and shared stories about ourselves. We all walked away with feeling like we got to know each other a little bit better.
Thank you San Jose Jazz Society, for bringing such a memorable and vital contribution to the soul of our community. Thanks to Rob Roman and Steve Saperstein for their hard work and faith in the music and those who play it. Thanks to all of the staff, Marcia, Matt, Casey and everyone else who make it all happen every year. Ah...less than 51 weeks till it happens again!
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
I played with Dr Wayne Wallace and Rhythm and Rhyme Saturday on the Latin Jazz stage. Wayne as you all probably know is a prolific composer/arranger as well as trombonist of monstrous proportions. His band is made up of the best cats in the Bay Area and tore it up!!!
Check out this line up:
Louis Fasman-lead trumpet
Marcia Miget- tenor sax
Melecio Magdaluyo-bari sax, flute
Murray Low, Frank Martin-keyboards
Micheal Spiro, John Santos-percussion
With Wayne leading it all, it turned into one of the most exciting afternoons in the history of the festival. At one point we had Micheal Zilber on soprano sax, Dan Weinstein on trombone and Open Path recording artist Kristen Strom on stage tearing it up. Louis and I had some fun playing harmon muted solos on "Silver Serenade" which brought forth a comment from Wayne along the lines of "Angry Harmon's" or something. On "Take The A Train", Louis played an "F" above (!) double "C" as loud as the one I played an octave below!!! From the strong ensemble work to the imaginative solos, Wayne did his thing again and created another afternoon of music to remember.
On Sunday, Louis, Kris, Wayne and myself joined the ranks of the San Jose Jazz Orchestra on the Main stage to back up Geri Allen, Bobby Watson and a gospel choir to honor the memory of the late Ray Charles. Geri Allen played wonderful, Bobby Watson sounded great, the choir swung and the band kicked butt for 15 minutes. Yes, you heard me correct. I couldn't believe we got only 15 minutes after all the work that went into putting the band together. We were supposed to play longer but everything was running late and we took it for the cause. More about this in my next blog….
My severe disappointment was abated when Ray Vega walked on the Latin Jazz stage and showed everyone why he is considered to be one of the greats in any style or venue in the modern trumpet world. Ray and the band (Murray Low, Micheal Spiro, Dave Belove and Paul VW) had the crowd on their feet dancing, shouting and testifying from the time he got on till the time he left to catch his red eye flight back to the Bronx. Ray was gracious enough to invite me to the stage a blow a few tunes with him. I will never forget the fun and excitement playing next to him on Rahsaan's Run and the other tunes. Thank You Ray, for allowing me to share the stage with you. You are the man my friend!!!
Afterwards, a group of us walked across the street to Gordon Biersch (for the 2nd time that day…can’t get enough of that Marzan stuff) and closed that place down.
It was great to see so many friends at the festival, Kerry McCoy, Lorenzo Perez and his family, John Hablieb, Tom, David Murray,Tom Bertetta, Mark the soundman extraordinaire, Andy Nozaka, Yoshi Kato and the folks on the Jazz Panel Discussion of which will be in my next blog coming very soon. Thanks to all for supporting live jazz. A great time was had by all.
Monday, August 08, 2005
We opened with Horace Silver's "Out Of The Night Came You" and ended the evening with "Autumn Serenade", dedicated to my wife Susan. The crowd was pretty damn feisty. We had quite a thing going at times, and it made it tough for me to play at times because I was laughing so hard. I have a habit of putting my foot in my mouth and that's all I'm going to say about that!
There were so many friends that fell by to see us and many new ones that we met for the first time. Tim and Gordon from Open Path Studios, Joe Doll, Cheryl Hopkins, Andy and Stephanie, Mike and Ann, Matt Beasley (the best artist rep a guy like me could ever hope for) and everyone one else, thank you all for making that gig, one I will remember always.
Skyline alumni (19**) and old friend, bassist John Hettel joined us for the evening and played his butt off! The upright bass he played on came from Gordon Stevens. During the break, Gordon climbed on stage to say hi to his old friend and played a couple of notes on it. Dr Wayne Wallace was on fire as usual and Kris Strom brought the house down on her solo on Stanley Clarke's "Why Wait". Greg played her new CD, "Intention" during the breaks and what a masterpiece that is. Look for it on CDBaby.com and Amazon.com soon. She is so talented and I confess she is my musical horn playing soul mate! From our work with Wally Schnalle to our present day musings with Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo, there is no other I would choose to work with. So Kris, if you get totally famous from your CD going triple platinum, I hope you still will play with us.....
Murray was his usual incredible playing self, weaving in and out of every style with grace and ease. Paul VW and Michaelle had the crowd on the edge of their chairs more than a few times with their dynamic interactions. On a different note, this was Paul's first gig back since the passing of his wife Carmen. She was a beautiful person and will be missed by all of us. I didn't say anything that night to Paul, the band or the audience but that evening was silently dedicated to her memory.
Thank you all again for coming out to see us at Espresso Garden & Cafe. Our next WorlView gig is on the evening of September 27th at Santana Row. This show is being presented by the San Jose Jazz Society. Stop by, check us out and come up and say Hi. See you then!!!
Ps. I’ll be back soon with blogs on my upcoming performances at the San Jose and Monterey Jazz Festivals.
Monday, August 01, 2005
I want to talk alittle about one of our past gigs and our next gig coming up this Friday, August 5 at Espresso Garden and Cafe.
WorlView celebrated it's one year anniversary at SF Jazz's Summer 2005. The concert took place at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA. There must have been close to 300 people going crazy while listening to us play. The band was on fire and the crowd loved us. What a rush to play for all of the folks. I had some friends stop to say hi. Dr. Arleen Chang and her family, Patti Wilkes ( I used to teacher her son Deon), Bruce Knowlton, Mai & Yousef, Laura, Rita, Pauline (Jeff High Alumni), Clifford Brown Jr who did a great job introducing us and so many more...It was overwhelming and probably the best concert I had played in a while. Thank you all so much for coming out to see us play. Your enthusiasm was contagious and it inspired us to new heights!!!
You can see WorlView live in concert, this Friday at the Espresso Garden & Cafe in San Jose, CA. The concert is being presented by TrueWind Music and for those of you who haven't seen a performance there, you have to check this place out. It's an intimate place that serves dinner, libations and some pretty happenin' coffee drinks. I played there recently with Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo and the gig was incredible. The acoustics are great for both the listener and the musicians. Novo Tempo had a blast playing there and when the chance to play there with WorlView came up, I jumped!!! (Thanks to Matt Beasley, u are the man!)
Here is a list of the cats with me Friday night:
Dr. Wayne Wallace- trombone, Kris Strom-sax, Murray Low, John Hettel (filling in for Tom Bockhold who had to go out of town)-bass,
Paul vanWageningen- drums and Michaelle Gorlitz on percussion.
We hope that you can fall by and say hi and dig our tunes. For more info, call 408-298-0808 or go to TrueWindMusic website.
Thursday, June 09, 2005
Jon Jang-piano, composer
Wayne Wallace-musical conductor, trombone, alto trombone
Jim Norton-soprano sax
Francis Wong-tenor sax, flute
myself- tpt, flugel
Dave Belove- bass
Dave Rokeack- drums.
What can I say....from the fiery lines burning through the room from Jim's soprano to the pharaoh like, Tantric waves of trane's soul channeling from Francis Wong's tenor, Jon's music and Wayne's arrangements gave birth to the promise of new horizons soon to be discovered. This is a band not to miss if at all possible. I feel that this band like Novo Tempo, will make a very valuable contribution to the music scene here in the bay area and points unknown. How could I have gotten so lucky, playing in so many happening bands with the cream of the crop musicians.
My next post will bring news of a WorlView 4.0 gig at BOAS on Sunday, June 19th that will feature Curt Moore on drums, Murray Low on piano and Tom Bockhold on bass. We'll also be featuring some of my talented students, Wyatt Butler, Akhil Gopal, Max Shulaker, Brenda Keener, Arnold Sears and a couple of other folks. This gig will debut some promising talent taking the stage perhaps for the first time in their budding careers as well as folks that have been there, done that...After all, Arnold is pretty close to 80 years young I believe!!!
Talk to ya later!
Wednesday, June 08, 2005
For those of you who’ve never been to the Triple Door in Seattle, you have to go there. It’s a hot place to be with the exception of the cigarette smoke. PHEW!!!! (us Californians are spoiled and hopefully will help keep our lungs, cancer free.) If you go to either gig or see live music at the Triple Door, you have to enjoy the incredible cuisine upstairs in Wild Ginger. My Ling Cod was tasty and everyone else was as happy as I with their dinner. The stage and sound was top notch and the band sounded great. The gig was another fine Novo Tempo performance. Novo Tempo has the right personnel and that results in great chemistry and that makes it easy to play well and love thy fellow musician. A slice of heaven on the bandstand!
We had a lot of friends and fans come out to hear us and I want to say thanks to Kimee, Farren, Gigi, my wife Susan (for coming out of bed sick to hang) and all the rest of the folks who stopped by. We love you all!!!
Our rooms at the Silver Cloud were comfy and we had a hellacious hang after the gig. Last ones left standing were Matt, Ed, Rene and I. We all had a good laugh the next day, rehashing the important issues of the day that were discussed at great lengths the night before.
After our very cool stay with wild child Farren in Port Townsend, we made our way to the home of another Sweet Potato Queen, Kathy Stanton in Washougal, WA. Novo Tempo played at the Washburn Performing Arts Center there and Kathy graciously housed most of the band at her beautiful abode. Jennifer, Rene and Leslie stayed a spa near the Bridge of the Gods but partied with us after the gig. Kathy made us feel right at home and I have to tell you, that was the start of a crazy couple of days. Our gig was even better than the Triple Door and afterwards, Kathy, Farren and my wife dragged me kicking and screaming outside to dance half naked under the canopy on the deck. (Ok, so I wasn’t kicking and screaming and if three gorgeous women wanted to dance with you under the stars….ok fine!) Charmin and her boy friend came out to hang with us and it was great to see her again. A young man named Willard took many fine pictures of the band and as soon as I get a chance, I’ll have a few of them up on my web site for all of you to see.
It was a sad day when Susan and I dragged our stuff to the airport and said goodbye to so many wonderful people. Thanks again to my Northwest posse, Farren and Kathy for making our trip one to remember for all time. Love to you both!!!!
Next edition will have details of the newest collection of SF heavy’s, The Jon Jang Seven, musical director Dr Wayne Wallace and our debut gig at the Intersection for the Arts Tuesday June 7th.
Tuesday, June 07, 2005
Last week Susan and I went up north to visit some friends and to play a couple of gigs with Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo. We planned to visit my friend Farren who lives in Port Townsend, WA for two days and were planning on seeing Jennifer and Rene in Vancouver BC for the next two days but Susan came down with Sinusitis. Farren was the most gracious (Sweet Potato Queen) hostess and let us stay at her home for four days while Susan tried to recover. I finally had to take her to a hospital in Poulsbo so she could be seen by a doctor. After a couple of days on antibiotics, she was fine and was able to enjoy her last vacation day.
Here are some highlights of that trip.
Port Townsend is a beautiful place! Farren is so lucky to live there. From the natural beauty to the quaint downtown area, it's a totally happening place to be. I jammed with Farren and her friends a couple of times. I'm so bad with names so I won't mention them at this moment but as soon as Farren reads this I'm sure she'll remind me. Farren has a beautiful, alto voice and one personal highlight is scat singing with her and trading fours. Everyone there had a very personal style of playing. From the woman playing tenor by ear and gliding thru the changes with great instinct and feeling (she reminded me of Pee Wee Claybrook) to the cornet and vocal ballads by a gentleman who is a chef and makes a special type of seasoning, these folks were into it.
Susan and I saw a couple of beautiful towns, Gig Harbor and Poulsbo. Gig Harbor is a small place with a coffee bar/pottery studio that serves kick ass lattes and folks make pottery there. We met a guy who lives on a sail boat with his wife and she’s a writer. She is working on a children’s book and he's taking a puppet (of a ground hog?) and photographing it in all the places they're traveling to. Gig Harbor is also the home of Novo Tempo drummer Mark Ivester and a old friend from high school, Janice Sartain, aka Gigi Yob. It was great to see Gigi after all of these years and to meet her husband.
Poulsbo is a cute Norwegian fishing village where you can get a smooth latte at a dozen or so places on the main drag and some happening Italian food and wine. The wine cat used to play trombone (6 months) and knew his stuff. Poulsbo would be a fine place to retire. Susan also met the wife of the fire chief and she works in the local stamp store. Susan’s way into stamping for those who didn’t know.
Next: part two
Saturday, May 21, 2005
WorlView is set to hit tonight at 8:30pm and I'm excited to play with the cats again. Percussionist Michaelle Goerlitz will be joining us for the first time at BOAS/Club Elite. Paul VW will make his debut there as well.
We have the regulars:
Dr. Wayne Wallace-trombone
Kristen Strom-sax and flute
My executive producer Brenda Keener will be there helping by selling WorlView CDs. I know many of my friends will be there to support live jazz which is getting harder and harder to find these days. It will be combination of beautiful ballads and interesting blue note style along with a touch of latin jazz.
I want to take a minute to thank my friend and person who does my artist rep work, Matt Beasley for all of his help and support. For those of you who don't know Matt, he has his own booking agency, Avatar Productions and works with such luminaries as Nate Pruitt, Ed Johnson, Rick Vandiver and his lovely and talented wife Jennifer Lee. Thanks again Matt, you've helped keep my dreams alive!
I also want to thank my wife Susan Clare Worley for all of her love and support. Many of you understand why they are truly our "better halfs" (no she didn't pay me to say it!) Susan and I will be celebrating our 8th anniversary this July 5th. Love ya!
On behalf of my band and I, we hope to see you all tomorrow night at BOAS/Club Elite at 8:30pm. And please come up and say hello!
Monday, May 16, 2005
I had an interesting week rehearsing and recording with Mark Appelbaum and the Stanford Jazz Orchestra. We recorded last Friday at Skywalker Ranch in Marin. What a beautiful setting for a studio. I had recorded a soundtrack with Jon English and the Bay Area Jazz Composers Orchestra there a few years ago and forgot how magnificent the grounds were. The engineer was Howard Shores main guy and he got a great sound for us. We are playing that music this coming Wednesday evening at Dinkelspiel Auditorium on the Stanford campus if anyone wants to fall by. You will hear sometime totally different than what you expect from a Stanford Jazz Orchestra concert and that's all I'm going to say.
Hope to see y'all at either concert or both and if you make it, come up and say Hi.
Sunday, May 08, 2005
If you don't know Stu, he's a bass player, works for Sprint and is married to pianist/trombonist, hand therapist and generally the funnist woman on the planet, Lori Stotko. Stu is one of those guys you see climbing the walls (really!) at Planet Granite in Belmont, CA. They both live in Half Moon Bay, CA. and are my wife Susan and I's best buds.
Check in regularly with his blog for ideas of where to go to see live jazz, profiles of jazz musicians and just a fun place to land if you have a minute or two of free time. Ed Johnson is the featured musician this week.
Friday, May 06, 2005
Tomorrows show is at 8:30pm and we hope to see you there.
Tonight some of the cats went to the Giants game to see the home team whup the Senators. Did they? I guess I'll find out when I watch the news later.
And by the way, Sebastien Lanson officially turned 30 years young today.
Happy Birthday Mon Ami!!!
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
Ed has done it again. He's written six more masterpieces that bring forth a myriad of thoughts and feelings with every note, chord and breath. Jennifer Scott and Rene Worst are here from Vancouver, Mark Ivester is here from Seattle and we have our bay area regulars, Kristen Strom (TQ, short for Tone Queen), Scott Sorkin, Jason Lewis and Michelle Gorlitz plus the master of the digital arena, Gary Mankin. Last but not least our producer Leslie Evers, bringing her presence and intuition, working side by side with Ed, bringing to life another masterpiece on Cumulus Records.
We played at the Sanchez Art Center in Pacifica, CA last Saturday evening. It probably was one of the best nights we ever had. This band has the uncanny ability to pick up where we left off from the last gig and kick ass on the next. We played as if no time had passed since the last time we all got together back in...(it escapes me at the moment but you catch my drift).
We saw many of our friends, Morning Nichols, Bobby Norris, Dave (manning the soundboard), Gary Woods, Shawn Terry and Terri Derogatis, her mom and dad, Tami Ellis, Lionel Emde, Rene Batti and many more during the night. Thank you all for being there, it means the world to us to play for you.
For those of you who are listeners rather than players, this is the kind of band that musicians like myself work so hard in the woodshed to be able to play in. You step onto the stage with folks that you respect, love to play with and from the first note, take off like a flock of birds. Twisting, turning thru every musical nuance and the only way to describe it is to call it "magical". It's a totally different experience than playing what we musicians call a "casual" or a commercial type of gig where we step onto a stage and wish we were somewhere else, doing something else with someone else...
Don't get me wrong. You can have fun playing with cats playing "BrickHouse", "Twisted Sister's" greatest hits and the rest of whatever someone else wants you to play. But there's a catch. Nowadays, when you play a gig like that, the band plays an hour set and the DJ fills in for the next set. Then the band usually plays one more and is done and the DJ finishes out the night. It seems that the audience talks during the band's set and when the DJ is on, they rush the dance floor! Even if you play the same exact tune, exactly like the record, the audience will sit there talking about God know's what until the DJ comes on. It doesn't matter to them how good you are or how good you sound! People don't know what to do when they see a live band. They've lost the ability to communicate and interact with live musicians. It's a shame that music in that section of the universe has come to that. The day will be here soon where the bride and groom's 20 year anniversary first dance will be "Cop Killer" and even the DJ will be replaced with an Ipod and 4 hours of digital anonymous blah.
Okay, enough of the soap box...
Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo will be playing at BOAS this coming Sat, May 7th from 8:30 to midnight. If you want to experience an evening of musical bliss that takes you from here to Rio and many ports in between, stop by and be prepared to have your hearts moved and your minds opened.
And when you do, treat yourself to a fabulous dinner experience. The cuisine is world class and Joe the bartender serves up some tasty libations. The cover charge is $10, $5 with dinner, $5 for those under 21 and they can stay till 11pm.
This is one of my favorite bands to play in along with Wayne Wallace's Rhythm and Rhyme and of course WorlView (which will be at BOAS on May 21st).
And if you do stop by, please come up and say hello. We love to see our friends and want the chance to thank you all in person for supporting live music in the South Bay.
Tuesday, April 26, 2005
I've been getting into playing ballads as of late and we played "Too Young To Go Steady". Sebastien 's tunes were fun and it was a first, playing them with the cats. I want to mention that drum/percussion duos...They were cookin and brought down house more than a few times on that thing that they do so well babe.
Well, Sebastien went back to Spain. He's trying to line up a tour for us over there for next spring with cats and cross your fingers for us!
For more info on future WorlView gigs go to my calender page on my website.
One bit of bad news tho....
Our lovely kitty Oley passed away on March 28th. She was suffering from liver cancer and passed peacefully in Susans lap. She was 16 years old and just the most special cat in the world. Funny how a little little furrball can get so entrenched into your heart. She was my first real pet. She was with Susan when I came into the picture and bring much joy into our world. I didn't realize how much my heart would break when she left us. Our vet, the Western Dragon came to our apartment that Monday evening, an hour after I got home from teaching and helped ease Oley's suffering. We had her cremated and have her remains with us. She will always be special in our hearts and we miss her so. I want to say thanks to WD for her help in taking care of Oley. She was wonderful and I couldn't imagine sharing Oley's passing with any other vet. You will forever be in our hearts for your kindness.
One week after, Susan and I flew out to WI to celebrate Zeke (her Dad) and her birthday. Zeke turned 80 this year!!!The weather was pleasant and warm and nothing like I imagined. We shopped and partied till we dropped. We celebrated with family and friends and a good time was had by all. We are looking forward to returning in August for a couple of weeks.
Till the next blog....go visit my friend Stuart Nafey's blog. He's directly responsible for making me a potential blogging fool. And here's a funny game that came to me via my friend and fellow musician, Phil Allen "Kill The Horns".
Friday, March 18, 2005
Sebastien and I were on KCSM 91.1 with Clifford Brown Jr at 1pm yesterday. It was very cool to hang and chat with Clifford. He has a way of making you feel comfortable, like you are in your living room with a group of your closest friends. I saw Alisa Clancy and Melanie Berzon (more KCSM dj's) and it felt good to be back at the ol' alma mater. I went there in "73" right out of high school and studied with Fred Berry. "Trumpet's....what the #%%## was that!!!!"
Last time I blogged, I was going in the studio to record some tunes with the quartet. We got three great cuts and Kris Strom dropped by and played on one of them. Curt, Tom, Kris and Sebastien did a great job and of course, Gary Mankin was his usual amazing self. If any of you are thinking of doing a CD, check out Open Path studios in the Willow Glen area of San Jose, CA. Very professional and comfortable.
I had a few friends drop by to say hi. Pianist, trombonist, hand therapist, yenta and writer Lori Stotko, Niel and Jennifer Levonius. Niel is a trumpet player here in the South Bay and also put together and maintains my web page for me. Afterwards, we had dinner and played a few games of ping pong. The ball was flying and it doesn't seem possible but you can work up quite a sweat smackin' that little ball around.
Got some great news the other day. Pianist Jon Jang and Wayne Wallace are starting a new band and one of our upcoming gigs is at the Monterey Jazz Festival in September. Looks like Susan and I will be staying there the whole weekend because I'll be playing with the Carla Bley/Steve Swallow Big Band too. Should be a great weekend for jazz.
On another note...it's raining and I hope it doesn't rain too heavy tomorrow. I'll be flying to LA in the morning. Talk to you all soon.
Wednesday, March 09, 2005
myself-tpt & flugel
We'll be recording at Open Path recording studio in the Willow Glen are of San Jose. I've recorded many times in that studio and I would recommend it to all! Gordon Stevens, Tim Volpecella (Tim, I know I spelled this wrong...sorry!), Scott Sorkin all have a good thing happening and I always look forward to a great experience in the studio there.
Here are the tunes we'll do today:
Choo On This-comp. Me
Dancing Sumo-comp. Vincent Jourde
Too Young To Go Steady- ?
and if we have time...
Organ Grinder-comp. Woody Shaw
(I took a few lessons from Woody when he lived in the area back in the 70's. What a talent!)
Sebastien and I went to Yoshi's last night and saw the Kurt Rosenwinkel quintet (thanks KCSM).
Man, that was a great band. Kurt and Mark Turner wrote some happening tunes and everyone played well. I was hoping to see Jeff Ballard on drums. We used to play in a few bands here in the bay area until he went to NY and got famous. (with Chick Corea and everyone in the jazz world, you go dude!) But the cat on drums sounded great and it was very inspiring to hear such a high level of music.
We'll finish this CD in a few months when I can get the other cats (and the dough to fund it) together. This CD will be released sometime next year as WorlView 4.0/5.0 (quartet/quintet)
but I'm going to do a live date with the septet at BOAS that we'll record as soon as everyone is available. The folks in that band are in a million different groups and scheduling can be a trip at times. I'm sure many of you who have their own bands know this very well. That CD hopefully can be done by late Nov or Dec.
Ok, I'm looking at the time and I've gotta run....I'll fill you all in at a later time about the session. Bye!
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
We'll have the following folks with us at this gig:
I received many nice emails from people who came by to see us at BOAS last time. I want to thank everyone for supporting us and say hi to our new friends Gary and "Mel", Wayne Adachi, my wife's friend and art tart, Peggy and Ben Johnson, Tom and Lyndi Carr, Dave and Shirley Deneau, Al Molina and everyone who stopped by to hear us.
The next day I'm off to Pasadena to play at a CMEA event there with the Aragon High School Jazz Ensemble led by my friend and fellow trumpeter, Mike Galisetus. If you haven't heard this band, check out one of their gigs. They are absolutely smokin'!!!
I'll post again before the gig and in the meantime, thanks for supporting live music!!!!
Tuesday, February 22, 2005
There were so many of our friends there, drummer Tim Solook, Peggy Johnson and hubster, Brenda Keener ( who was the executive producer of "WorlView") and her upcoming singer/daughter Layla, Dave and Shirley Deneau, Garrett and wifey and many more....
We are looking forward to our next gig at the Sunnyvale Community Theater on March 18th. My buddy Sebastien Lanson will be featured as well as other members of the group...more to come regarding that gig.
After that concert, I'll be off top LA to do the guest artist thing with the award winning high school, Aragon High School from San Mateo, CA.
Band director/trumpet player Mike Galisetus has assembled of of the best HS big bands I've heard in a long time. More to come about that gig..
Once again, thank you all for supporting WorlView and making it out to our gig. Talk to you soon.
Friday, February 18, 2005
I'll be going into the studio with Tom Bockhold, Curt Moore and my good friend, guitarist Sebastien Lanson in March. Sebastien has been living in Sevilla Spain for almost a year and will be coming out to play a few concerts with myself and the Collective West Jazz Orchestra led by Fil Lorenz. This is one hell of a band!!! Check in with my calender on my web site-johnworley.com for more details.
Thanks all for now so I hope to see you all out there and till then....asta!
Thursday, February 17, 2005
My band WorlView is playing this coming sat, Feb 19 at BOAS/Club Elite in Cupertino CA. We're playing selections from my CD WorlView as well as tunes to be recorded and released on my next two CD's.
Here is a list of the cats in the band:
Murry Low- piano
Go to my web site...johnworley.com and check out the calender page for more info regarding this and future gigs. I'll have pics and a review of this gig shortly.