Sunday, March 26, 2006

WorlBoy's last couple of days and future news

It's been a busy couple of days. Last night I played a little big band gig at the Golden Gloves boxing tournament with Dick Bright and the DBO. Here was the line up. Louis Fasman lead tpt, Charlie McCarthy alto sax, Tod Dickow tenor sax, Aaron Lington bari sax, Rene Jenkins trombone, Mike Hatfield piano, Dave Rokeach drums and Rich Girard bass. I saw Sugar Ray Leonard (but no Donald Trump), plenty of women in short shirts and skirts passing out beer bottle openers and selling t-shirts. Tecate girls, round card girls ect....Sex sells and they weren't too shy about it. It was the first time I've ever been to a live boxing match. I saw a knock out as well as some Women's boxing. I'm sorry to say that boxing does nothing for me. I guess I'd rather watch two or four folks wack a tennis ball back and forth rather than a couple of people hammer on each other. It seems so primitive. But, that's my opinion folks....The gig was cool but the sport bites.
Today I go back to Open Path to rehearse with Kat Parra's new project, produced by the maestro himself, Wayne "The Doctor" Wallace. We'll record her work on Thursday and Friday.
Speaking of the Doctor, Wayne is getting ready to record his 3rd Rhythm and Rhyme CD in a few months. David Yamasaki is flying in from Hawaii for that. It'll be great to see him and Joanie again.
Well that's all for now. Have a great day folks....

Saturday, March 25, 2006

ReBirth of the Cool

Wayne and I will be co-leading a fantastic tribute to Miles Davis and his 80th birthday with a recreation of his historically important, "Birth Of The Cool". This celebration will be happening on July 14th at the Campbell Recital Hall, located on the campus of Stanford University in Palo Alto, CA. This will be a part of the Stanford Jazz Festival's concert series. Both Wayne and I are excited about the music, players and the historical significance of the gig. The Birth Of The Cool sessions were considered to be the birth of chamber jazz as well as the catalyst that launched the West Coast Jazz Movement that included Dave Pell, Shorty Rogers, Conte Candoli, Bud Shank and other West Coast legends
Here is a line up of the personnel.
Wayne Wallace- trombone, arranger and Co-leader
John L. Worley Jr - trumpet, flugelhorn, co-leader
Kristen Strom - Alto Sax
Fil Lorenz - bari sax
Diane Ryan - french horn
Steve Tyler - tuba
Murray Low - piano
John Hettel - bass
Jason Lewis - drums
Jamie Davis - vocals
Don't miss this one's gonna have a few surprises and most likely be sold out way ahead of time so......I'll have contact info for tickets soon.

Ed Johnson recording session and other news

Hey Cats,
I had the privilege of being in the studio today with Ed Johnson, his producer Scott Sorkin, saxophonist virtuoso Kristen Strom and one of the bay area's finest engineer's Gary Mankin.
Some of you may know of Ed Johnson. He teaches guitar at Griffith Strings in Palo Alto, Ca and writes hauntingly beautiful melodies that rival Ivan Lins, Toninho Horta, Hermeto ect.... The list goes on. Ed is one the bay area's best kept secret although when this new CD is released, the cat will be outta the bag. His band, Novo Tempo, is probably one of the most exciting and heartfelt bands I've ever played in. We've been together for 4 or 5 years now and this band is happening.
Keep an eye out for us at Santana Row(in San Jose, CA) and the Temecula Jazz Festival....
Tomorrow I go up to SF to play at the Golden Gloves Boxing exhibition with Dick Bright and his band DBO. I hear that Donald Trump and Sugar Ray Leonard will be there.
Sunday I'll be rehearsing with Kat Parra's group for her recording sessions that will happen next week. She is a dynamic singer and will knock a few people's lights out when her CD is released. Wayne "The Dr" Wallace is producing her CD and you know it's gonna be bad ass if Wayne is in the house. Look out for her soon, folks...
Well, it's late, my hall pass is up and it's time to say goodnight Gracie...
Good Night Gracie.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Foothill College Night Band concert

Foothill College in Los Altos, CA has two evening bands that rehearse on Tuesdays. John Gove is the director and plays trombone in the 8 o'clock band as well. The 6 o'clock band has some fine semi-pro players and swings pretty damn hard. The rhythm section has a good pocket and John's choice of material suits them perfectly. Kerry McCoy, a long time friend of mine since "74" plays bass trombone in it as well as Lori Stotko on trombone (and also was featured quite a bit on piano in the 8 o'clock band).
The 8 o'clock band is filled with local heavy weights Alex Murzyn on tenor sax, Johnny Baumont on bari sax, Paul Tarantino on alto sax, Modesto Bresenio on solo trumpet, Tom "Mr Sunshine" Bertetta on lead trumpet, Curtis Nash on jazz trumpet, Kelly Fasman on drums, John Hettel on bass ect...A couple guys sat in and sight read the concert in the sax section, Gene Burkert on tenor sax and Ron Graham on alto sax.
John picks charts mostly from the bands of Maria Schneider, Dave Holland as well as some stuff from the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis book and others. A couple of stand out solos came from Lori Stotko (almost on every chart!), Modesto on "Tones For Jones Bones" and others....The band played great and showed a maturity than comes from having so many experienced pro's in it.
There should be more venues available so bands of this caliber can be seen and hear more often. When is someone going to step up to the plate and open a place big enough that could serve our communities need for more culture. We need a space like the Improv in San Jose so we can present a higher quality of entertainment that reflects the talent that resides here. Any takers out there? If anyone has a thought or idea let me know. Email me or post to this blog and talk to me. For that matter, everyone should feel free to leave a comment or two (not any of those lame advertisements that pop up that don't have anything to do with the subject). I really hope to hear from some of you who read this blog.
Be well and thanks for helping to keep jazz alive here in the South Bay.

WorlBoy updates

Here are a few notes about last weekends gigs.
The Rudy Salvini gig was fun. That was last Sunday in Alameda. The band swung pretty hard and I hope Rudy gets a few good takes for the next CD. He likes to record the band live on several dates and picks the best of the bunch. For those of you who are purusers of antique stores, head over to Alameda. I saw tons of them and I'm sure it would keep a guy like me busy for hours. I got bit by that bug from hanging around my Uncle Hobart, who collects everything from American Indian artifacts to furniture from the early years of our country when George Washington was the first president. My specialty is non other than trumpets, cornets and sheet music (go figure). I can't wait for a free day so I can look around a bit in those shops.
I played at the Tribute Show, dedicated to the Rat Pack last Saturday. They are going to close April 16th so if you haven't seen it, you better go soon. I like the music but the racial jokes suck. For God's sake, it's 2006! The world is a different place...isn't it? The band is good, theater is nice and the cast is ok. TheaterWorks on the peninsula presents a higher quality of work but in some ways, you can beat how swinging that music was back in the day.
next blog...Foothill College night band concert last Tuesday.....

Thursday, March 16, 2006

more from Da Worlboy

Happy Birthday to Joy, my baby sister. She turns 29 (again) and I hope she is having a great day. You go Sis!!!
I had a fun rehearsal with the Rudy Salvini Big Band yesterday. Got to play some solos and lead. I used to be in the band years ago when Allen Smith, Fred Berry, Bob Yance and Johnny Coles (to name a few SF heavy weights) played in it. Allen used to mentor me quite a bit and I am a better player/human being from it. Allen played with everyone and I mean everyone. He retired from the band a month ago. I guess it was time. He'd been in the band since the 50's.
The trumpet section yesterday was made up of Tom Bertetta, Niel Levonius, Steve Campos and myself. It was good to see some of the other cats still hanging in there. I'm looking forward to the gig Sunday.
Tomorrow, March 17th is the 45 year anniversary of Booker Little, recording his Out Front album. Robbie Kwock and I declare March 17th as Booker Little Day!!!!! If you've never heard of Booker Little, look him up!!!! He was a freakin' genius on his way to changing jazz trumpet playing in a major way when his life was cut short at 23 years young of Uremia. He played on many Eric Dolphy recordings and also with Max Roach. Check him out....

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

WorlBoy goes to SF

Well, Dan Brown is the real deal. He turned 16 today and plays great alto, writes and arranges like someone way older and dresses like the cats used to back a few years ago when swing was king again. Aside from a few personnel glitches the gig was a blast. Joining me on tpt was Eric Wayne, Mike Olmos and Henry Huang. Henry took a solo today that would have given Tim Hagans a run for his moola. Every time I hear that guy he grows in leaps and bounds. Mike Olmos....well what can I say. He's the best young tpt player to come up in the area since Tom Harrell lit up the various venues from SF to San Jose.
My friend Larry Leight stopped by to say hello. We used to play in Vice Grips band called Zooma Zooma. I misss that band very much. I guess when Vice feels it, we'll get back together. It was the only band that I ever played in that had a one drink per set minimum!
Later that evening I went up to Foothill College to do a dress rehearsal with their night band which is run by John Gove. John is a killer trombonist and writer. We have a concert next Tuesday and we'll be playing some tunes by Maria Schneider, Basie, and Miles/Bill Evans. Lori Stotko will be featured quite a bit as well as Modesto Briesenio, John Hetttel and others.
Tomorrow I go up to SF again to rehearse with my dear old friend Rudy Salvini and the cats. More to come.....

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

WorlBoy heads up to SF

Tomorrow I'm going up to SF to play with a couple of my favorite trumpet players, Mike Olmos and Henry Huang in a band led by 16 yr old Dan Brown. I'm subbing for Dave Scott and he tells me that this kid is a young lion. Can't wait to check it out for myself.
Heard a couple of great concerts in the last two weeks. The first was Jon Faddis with the Stanford Jazz Orchestra led by Fred Berry. Jon sounded as great as ever. Bebop up to G's above double C with a few triple C's nailing all those in the way. How does the man do it? Inquiring trumpet minds want to know. Niel Levonius, a former student and frequently seen in the big band on stage at the Tribute Show at the Marines Memorial theater has been playing lead with the band for a few years now, held the lead book down quite well. Swinging his you know what off. Gillespiana is no easy work to pull off and if it wasn't for Niel (and Jon playing at times two octaves above him) anything could have happened. That piece is tough and the SJO did quite well. Fred kept them in line, on time and sounding fine. Way to go Fred. He's another one of my heroes!
Last week I saw Marvin Stamm and Bill Mays play with the Daddios band from DeAnza college as well as Homestead HS. Marvin and Bill have an uncanny ability to play as if they are twins separated at birth. Marvin is one of my all time favorite players, gliding thru every register with grace and ideas that would have made Clifford proud. Bill is the catalyst and has a way of slipping in something unexpected and turning it into a whole new world. What remarkable men. I'm just blown away at the beauty that flows from them. One fellow of note also is Ed Morrison. He is the lead trumpet player and probably one of the best that ever came out of the San Jose area. He's got the whole package. Total range throughout the horn, beautiful fat sound and makes the hardest lines sail effortlessly from his bell. Plus the guy plays great jazz!!!
This weekend I'll be playing with Niel in Rudy Salvini's big band. Rudy has kept his band together for 50 + years. More to come about Rudy, Allen Smith and my 8 years in the band.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Fun gigs I've done lately

Yesterday afternoon, I had the great pleasure of playing with four of the South Bay's finest jazz musicians. It was with the Aaron Lington Quintet and we had a blast playing at the Improv in downtown San Jose. If you've never been there, check it out either for the comedy which happens nightly or the Sunday afternoon jazz series hosted by the San Jose Jazz Society. Aaron is one of the heaviest bari players to land in town. His playing has the fire of Pepper Adams, his compositions are subtle and intelligent and is a great cat all around. John Shiflitt was on bass, Tim Solook on drums and Dahveed Behroozi on piano. Aaron also has a new CD out (yesterdays concert was his CD release party) called "Cape Breton" on NohJoh Music. It was nice to play with such great cats and the audience got it into it. There were many friends and folks that I've never met before in the audience and the band was received warmly. Next post will include news about Wayne Wallace and my upcoming concert at the Stanford Jazz Festival's tribute to Miles Davis 80th birthday celebration. Peace, John