Friday, December 23, 2005

Merry Xmas everyone

Hey all, the Kuumbwa gig with WorlView was tons o’ fun. I got to break in my new Kanstul flugel. My old one, a Custom Class model made by Zig Kanstul had been giving me some problems on my last few gigs. The valves when they worked (thanks to Lionel Emde at Hornucopia who kept them moving) were silky and smooth. But from the beginning, they always stuck and would give me problems from time to time. This is a trumpet player’s nightmare! So I took it to Dick Akright at A&G Music in Oakland, CA and he shipped it off to Kanstul to get new valves put in. He had another Kanstul, a copper bell model w/ a slightly larger bore that played beautifully!! So, I whipped out the ol’ credit card and took it with me to the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz and played the gig that night with it. If you haven’t played one, you have to try it. The valves worked perfectly and the tone is gorgeous. The copper bell is a beautiful reddish color and I think I’ll name it Susan, after my wife. It matches the color of her hair and reminded me of her every time I looked at it.
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

WorlView live at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center Thursday 12/8

Well, it's been awhile since my last post. I want everyone to know that WorlView is playing this Thursday, December 8th at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center in Santa Cruz, CA. We’re very excited about playing at one of the premier jazz clubs in Northern California. I’ve played there many times as a sideman but this is the first time to play there as a leader. Thanks to my friend/artist rep Matt Beasley for hooking me up. If you ever get a Sat or Sun night free, stop by BoAs in Cupertino, CA and say hi to him. He’s the cat who makes it all happen there!
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 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!