Tuesday, February 28, 2006

we've moved!

Susan and I have moved to new place in Mountain View. We had the most incredible friends help us with our transition. Louis Fasman, Lori Stotko, Kerry McCoy and Altagracia, David Brimmer, Cheryl Hopkins, Johnny and Mary Baumont, Victor and Denise, Sue Vincent, Steve and Falline.
We couldn't have done it without them!!!! Look for a spectacular house warming party you guys coming at ya like a mac truck!!!
We now enjoy a much bigger place, far nicer than the place we lived in for years. We will miss most of the folks we became friends with in our old complex. Susan has her own art studio. I have high speed internet so I'm happy as a bee.
There is so much going on at the moment. I'm playing a tribute to Burt Bacarach this Saturday at the New Octavia Lounge in SF with a singer I haven't met yet named William Morin. But it sounds like the gig will be a gas and if you want more info, go to www.williammorin.com
Well, this pup is pretty burnt so I'm going to say goodnight and more to come soon.
ps. Look for a WorlView press release coming at you about a gig of all gigs WorlView will do in September......

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Feedback about the closing of BoAs/Club Elite

Hi Friends,
Here are a couple of emails Matt and I have received about the closing of BoAs/Club Elite. Feel free to join in the discussion if you like:

Mr. Kitagawa - I think you are the right person to contact, but I'm not sure. I am hoping that by writing the entertainment department at the Merc, I will be able to encourage more people to attend live performances. If suspect that people in your department are already sold on them, but it so easy to just pop in that DVD or CD that live performers have a tough road to hoe. Also, I'm convinced that by not attending live performances, people miss out on the very best of what human society has to offer. My own journey into live performance started reluctantly by being pressured into chaperoning for school field trips. Figuring I might as well try to enjoy myself, I just relaxed and found that I was blown away. Between Arts Express (City of San Jose) and Stanford's Lively Arts student matinees, I've attended Indian Dance, Taiko drumming, Chinese acrobats, Silicon Valley Symphony, a saxophone quartet, solo pianists, poets, musicals, choirs and Bobby MacPheron. It takes a while for our neurological system to register the difference between a live and a recorded performance, but once it does its like going from black and white to color. Who wants to go back? Not me. Over the years I've started to reach out on my own and see what's out there. I've attended everything from opera in San Francisco to free solo singers at the park to rock concerts to bistro jazz. Though there were a few exceptions, the more obscure and "home grown" the event, the better it was. The best full productions I have attended have been with West Bay Opera. However, the most exquisitely pleasurable sensory experience I have ever had was an evening spent listening to a jazz combo at BoAs in Cupertino. An experience like that leaves you positively euphoric. As I listened, I couldn't help but think, "Now this is why I put up with the maddening hordes. its experiences like this that justifies the existence of cities." It is also an experience I wish every one could have, and I think they can. The cost was dinner and a $5 cover. Listening to music on the radio while I drive doesn't do it for me any more. Music coming out of that stereo is just a cheap trick. Yes, I listen to the stereo. But I now know what real music is about and I will no longer settle for less. Yours Truly - Deborah G.

So, John, if Boa's was such a success, how come it closed????
Mike V.

Hi Mike,
BoAs and the Club Elite were separate entities. The club was doing very well but the restaurant was having problems. The club was often sold out on weekends and would help the restaurant by bringing in customers for them. Sounds strange but the end result was the restaurant was losing money while the bar flourished. The bar flourished because Matt would bring in quality entertainment on a consistent basis and when the word got out, people would flock to the club.
Considering that Club Elite was a destination spot rather than one supported by foot traffic such as Pearl's in SF, they did very well.
Too bad about BOAS. You had a good run there...hope you can find anothervenue. Your band must have gotten to a new level, being able to play togetherso much..... That's all for now,Jim N.

Hi Johnny W,Nice message - well put! BBLV

Friday, February 10, 2006

WorlView 4.0 gig news and BoAs is closing!

Hi Friends,
Here is a email I just sent out to everyone. Feel free to post a comment or two about your feelings regarding the closing of BoAs. I'll miss that place.

Hi Friends,

Along with this Gig Announcement, I wanted to let you in on some sad news for Jazz in the South Bay.

First, the GOOD news: My quartet, WorlView 4.0 will be playing on, Friday Feb 17th at the Agenda Lounge from 7:30-9:45 PM. We'll be playing downstairs in the restaurant. Listeners seated closer to the band will ensure themselves the chance to hear better (hopefully) because the socializers will be in the rear of the restaurant. So, plan on making a reservation - if you possibly can. We really would love to see you there! Here is the contact info:

Agenda Lounge
399 S. First Street
San Jose CA
Reservations 408-287-3991

The SAD News: I'll be playing at Boas/Club Elite for the last time this Sunday, February 12th from 6-9pm with Rory Snyder and the Jazz Composers Quintet. We will be playing a mixture of different styles ranging from straight ahead, modern jazz as well as a ballad or two. Please call ahead for reservations, because this is the last night they'll be open. I know we'll be having a large crowd.
***Please notice that the reservation number has changed. If you would like to bring your dinner with you, feel free to do so. If not, Joe will have plenty of popcorn and peanuts for everyone.

As some of you may already know, Boas Restaurant closed approximately a week ago. Even though the Club Elite stayed open, they will close this Sunday much to the disappointment to everyone. Club Elite has been a great success for music lovers thanks to all of you jazz fans, to Matt Beasley and to the wonderful musicians who considered it to be their jazz "home" in the South Bay. It was a classy place, with good drinks, plenty of free parking in a safe area, where anyone could feel comfortable stopping by either alone or with friends or family.

Club Elite's success proved that jazz is a viable part of our South Bay community. We have to keep that thought alive as we look for a new home! If any of you have thoughts or suggestions for future places like Club Elite or you wish to thank Matt for his major efforts in keeping jazz alive, send them to Matt Beasley at mattbeas@aol.com . Or else, reply back to me and I will forward it along to him and also post it to my blog if that's ok with you.

Please join us Sunday as we say goodbye to one of the South Bay's brightest spots for jazz that served the community so honorably. Last chance, folks....We will miss it - as I'm sure you will too....

Club Elite
20030 Stevens Creek Blvd.
Cupertino, CA
(DeAnza Blvd exit off 280, between DeAnza and Wolfe Rd.)
Call Joe Darny at 408-489-3133 for reservations.

Yours in Jazz,

John Worley Jr.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Big Apple on Weds

So, like I was saying, the Big Apple bite a chunk outta me but in more ways than one. I walked more that week than I did in a year or so. The sun was out, it wasn't too cold and things were exciting.
After the hang Tuesday night, I stayed with Brian, Callie and her roommate at Callie’s pad out in Brooklyn. That night, I could hardly sleep. There was so much noise on the street outside. Trucks driving by all hours of the night people talking and just lots of city noise.
The next morning, we went to a diner for breakfast and it was just like the stereotype diner. There was a cook in the kitchen yelling to what seemed to be no one in particular “I gotta cheese omelets here….hey, pick up this corn beef hash and eggs…” ECT. I couldn’t help but laugh. It was so right on the money.
Afterwards, I took the subway back to midtown where I met Matt and went out to lunch with Fred Berry and Q. We went to a place across the street from Carnegie Hall called Trattoria (something or another). Great Italian food with a beautiful antipasti bar with lots of fresh seafood. Fred told us a great story about how Jon Faddis took Dizzy there once and Dizzy went nuts on the antipasto bar.
That night Matt and I went out to the Cornelia CafĂ© in the Village and saw a band called Askenov’s Accident (?). It was a pretty avant garde band and I totally dug it. Cong Vu was the trumpet player and I think Chris Speed was there too. Cong Vu played the most unconventional trumpet solos I’ve ever heard. It was almost like he was hissing thru the horn. When you over blow your aperture and pump lots of fast air thru the horn, you get this high pitched hissing sound which he used more as a percussive effect than a melodic one. His normal tpt sound was dark and almost brooding and his ideas were very melodic.
The only drag about the concert was there were these guys sitting at the table across from ours talking so loud that it was very distracting. Everybody kept turning around looking at them but they kept talking. The weird thing was they were there for IAJE!?.
Afterwards I met Brian and we went his pad to crash.
More to come later…….

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

WorlBoy goes to the Big Apple

Some of you have asked me about my recent trip to the Big Apple and the IAJE convention. I had a total blast out there. And I owe it all to my wife Susan. She gave me my “hall pass” so I could celebrate my birthday (which was in November) with some of my guy friends. Thank you Hon!!!!
Matt Beasley and I flew out there Tuesday the 10th on Jet Blue from the Oakland Airport. When we walked onto the plane, the first person I saw was my old buddy John Kalleen and his son Hank. It turns out that John was taking him out there to check out the music scene as well as a show and the convention. Sitting a couple of rows back was the infamous bassist, Peter Barshey and across from him was the director of the Monterey Jazz Festival, Tim Jackson. For all of you who haven’t met Tim, he’s a very down to earth kinda guy. One of the nicest cats on the planet IMHO.
Jet Blue is the way to fly out to NY on a budget. Roomy leather seats, plenty of leg room, on time and there is a TV on every seat back. The staff was very friendly and accommodating. The flight took four or five hours and before we knew it, we were landing at JFK.
We got into NY by taking a town car to mid-town Manhattan. John, Hank and Matt were staying at the Sheraton and I was staying with a drummer friend, Brian Fishler for a couple a nights until my buddy Niel Levonius came two days later. Brian is a marvelous drummer from Novato. It makes me feel a little geezer-like when I think about the fact that I used to do gigs with his parents, Ken and Bobbie Fishler.
Matt, John, Hank and I went out to dinner across from the Sheraton at a place called Rosie O’Gradys and had a great dinner. Good steak, good wine and nice wait staff. I recommend this place highly. Afterwards we went to the Irridium on Times Square and saw the Mingus Big Band. What a great band. Blistering solos from everyone and the trumpet section kicked ass. Eddie Henderson, Kenny Rampton (lead) and Alex Sipiagen were on that night. Alex took one of the most incredible flugelhorn solos I’ve ever heard and Kenny….What can I say. Tone like Shorty Baker, beautiful ideas and a nice cat to boot. Plus nailing the lead book as good as anyone I’ve ever heard. I feel fortunate that I got to hear him again on another Mingus Big Band concert. (more on that later) Eddie Henderson is the elder statesman in the jazz trumpet world and holding down the title like Mohammed Ali. Still kickin’ ass and taking names.
One thing though….We soon found out that each set at most venues cost between $25-30 and they last only an hour. No encore plus a food/drink minimum. When we got our check (yikes!!!) we bitched miserably until the manager came over and told us that this is the way it is out there. So, we were in new territory and had to learn to accept a new set of rules. That was the first bite the Big Apple took outta me. Hah!!! Afterwards I met Brian, Callie and her roommate in the Village for a hang and the next thing I knew we were taking the subway out to Brooklyn to crash. So that was my first day (and night).
Next blog I’ll talk about what happened on Wednesday. See ya!!!