Thursday, June 09, 2005

Jon Jang Seven debut performance June 7th, 2005

Last night the Jon Jang Seven made it's debut at the Intersection for the Arts in San Francisco.
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

Ed Johnson & Novo Tempo tour part two

After our very cool stay with wild child Farren in Port Townsend, we meandered down to Seattle via the Bainbridge Island ferry. That was worth the price of the ticket. Great scenery and it didn’t take that long.
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

Back from the great northwest with Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo

Part One:
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