Monday, July 31, 2006

Birth of the Cool, Kemi and Jim's wedding and the Port Townsend hang.

Well, it’s almost August and I’m back on the blog folks. Lot’s of exciting stuff happened since my last blog. We performed Birth of the Cool at the Stanford Jazz Festival and it was a night of magic. The cats performed impeccably and the audience loved it. I hope we get a chance to perform it again because not only was it a gas to play but that music needs to be played! It was one of the more difficult roles I’ve had to play as a trumpeter. It gave me a whole new insight into Miles playing just getting thru all of those tunes in one concert.
I just got back from spending 5 days in the Pacific Northwest. Last Wednesday and Thursday I visited my friend Farren up in Port Townsend. It’s truly one of the prettiest places to be and I’m envious that those folks get to live there 24/7. We hung out with some of the hard core blues camp cats on Thursday night. They have a tribe that comes up there every year just for blues week at Centrum. It was cool sitting around those cats and listening to them share bits of blues history. One cat had a jug (!!!) strapped to his neck so he could sing, play guitar and blow some bass notes while strumming. Very trippy folks!!! They all are very into their blues scene and have a sort of communal tribal hang thing going.
For next three days, I hung out with the soon-to-be newly weds, Jim and Kemi Norton (oops, Kemi, did you take his name….) Friday night we had dinner at the Wild Ginger, a fantastic restaurant located above the Triple Door where I played a couple times with Ed Johnson.
Kemi’s mom, Marion, Jim’s mom Joan and dad, Jim Sr, Barbara, Yoko, Kathy (maid of honor) and I enjoyed each others company and got to know each other better. Barbara and Kathy came from Cleveland, Ohio, Jim Sr from NY, Joan and Marion from the SF bay area. Saturday was the big day. Kemi, Jim, Kathy and I made our way to a kick butt dim sum house and had a scrumptious feast before the rehearsal w/ Rev. Castro. By the way, he’s a pretty cool guy and made Kathy and I feel at home w/ our part in the ceremony. Thanks Rev!
After the rehearsal, we made our way to Dennis’s pad and got shaved, sheared, dressed and the girls did their makeup thang. And then it was off to pre-ceremony pictures. I have a feeling that there will be some wacky pics in the mist of all the gorgeous shots. (Especially with the bouquets)
Afterwards, Jim and I made our way to the site, Volunteer Park to way for the girls and the guests to arrive. Next….the ceremony!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Birth of the Cool dress rehearsal

Well, we had our dress rehearsal tonight and man, what a magnificent piece of work it is. It kinda reminds me of the days when I used to play with the Bay Area Jazz Composer's Orchestra led by the late (damn, I'm still not used to saying that) Jon English. The music is so rich and timeless. I really feel blessed to be a part of this. Playing this music really hips me to what kind of chops Miles had to be able to play this music. My respect for him jumped from 10*'s to 11*'s. (thank you Spinal Tap) Kris Strom is playing alto sax and once again, we play like musical twins reading each others minds and listening in the way that most folks dream about. She is the real deal and don't you forget it!!!! And by the way, for those who missed her interview with Chris Cortez yesterday on KCSM, it was fascinating and a informative view into the worl(d) of Ms Strom. That girl is my musical horn playing soul mate. Yee haaa!!!!! I'm looking forward to tomorrow nights performance. Trumpet students take note....90% air, 10% everything else. Pacing is the key to me making it thru what is proving to be quite a challenge. Stay tuned....I'll blog back at ya after the concert. And by the way, if you fall by don't forget to come up and say hi! This WorlBoy is a tired pup and heading to bed. Later!!!!!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

It's hot here in Mountain View (and boilin' in Temecula)

Hi Friends,It's been a busy month in the land of Worl. Did sessions with Wayne Wallace, Chris Camozzi, Victor Fields, taught at the Jazz Goes to College jazz camp at SJSU, played with Swing Fever in Scotts Valley, Marcus Shelby Jazz Orchestra at the Fillmore St. Jazz Festival and played with the Jennifer Scott group, Ed Johnson and Novo Tempo as well as presented a master class for Conn/Selmer at the Temecula International Jazz Festival. If you click onto the link, you can read an article written by Diane Rhodes from the local paper, Press-Enterprise. (Thanks Diane for including me in your article!!!) All of this stuff plus trying to squeeze in my poor neglected private students (sorry kids!!!) for their lesson times since my last blog.
Last night we had a horn rehearsal for our (Re) Birth of the Cool re-creation for the Stanford Jazz Festival this Friday. That music is so beautiful. What an experience it must have been for Miles and the cats playing it back in “48” for the first time. When you listen to the recording, you hear how those charts influenced a whole generation of musicians. Not only was it the birth of “chamber jazz” but the basis for the West Coast Jazz sound that Gerry Mulligan (one of the prime suspects on the BOC sessions), Chet Baker, Shorty Rogers and many others presented in the 50’s.
If you had eyes to go….it’s sold out!! Look for it later this year though. We’re going to try to do another concert somewhere in the Bay Area in the winter or early spring.
Well, I have whole bunch of fun gigs coming up. Next Monday, July 17th I’ll be playing with the big band called Fasmania at Gordon Biersch Brewery in San Jose. Fasmania is co-led by Louis and Kelly Fasman. Louis is one of the top call lead trumpet cats in the bay area and has played with everyone from Maynard to many of the shows that come into town. Currently he is playing “Vanities” for TheaterWorks here in Mountain View. Kelly is one of the most sought after percussionists/drummers in the area. She plays a lot of shows and played with WorlView at our gig in Albany a few months ago. She was rippin’ on those congas!!! The band is made up of the best cats in the area so fall by and hang for a bit. If you’re familiar with GB, you know that the food is stellar and the beer is…..the best!
So fall by, have a brew with me and till the next blog, stay happy and well my friends.