|Greetings Good People, the south wind is blowing early, Bobby McFerrin is ripping it up with his Vocabularies on the speakers, and I’m rising from the slumbers documenting the RIDE that just happened plus switching on the HWC button (here’s what’s coming) to fill you in. This is what I’ve got…
The Ben Wanicur gig at Dizzy’s went beautifully with a nice turnout, a nice scoot through a 13 beat cycle, a little dough plus a nice review from sage jazz writer Robert Bush. Check ‘er out…
The last minute jazz brunch on Sunday turned out to be a fun hit for me. I like playing during that time slot and thanks to all the fans that turned out. The owners dug it too and they’ve hired me to play Sunday brunches marching forth. I hope to see you there downwind sometime soon.
Rounding out last week was a super fun solo show at the Christ Presbyterian Church. At the end of the show I held a little show and tell explaining all of the tech looping/synth/wild guitar effects that hang out on the floor in front of me. Folks dig seeing how the magic tricks unfold.
This is wild! Yesterday I was out surfing and the spot where I was has a surf cam on it. It just got upgraded to a feature that lets you rewind to a particular time of the day and watch the cam. I remember the last wave that I caught was pretty good so I hunted it down (pretty easy) and magnified it a little. What a hoot! I’m the little dot zipping along. Revelation: our life is forever cruising in front of some camera so keep it real, people!
Here’s another interesting YouTube moment. Some months back I worked with composer Michael Roth on a soundscore for the Sam Hunter play The Whale for it’s month long run at South Coast Repertory in Orange County. Matthew Arkin plays the main character and below is a short film of his remarkable transformation into Charlie, the 600 lb. man. Matthew’s actual preparation (make-up, prosthetic, and getting into costume) took about an hour but he sped up the film to show the job in just under 8 minutes. That’s me and Michael playing the music for the video.
Coming up for this week, I’m not playing my regular Thursday Roxy gig but instead I’m thrilled to hear Anthony Wilson’s Seasons Guitar Quartet concert at The Scripps Research Auditorium (formally known as the Neurosciences Institute). Anthony is one of my favorites and his playing with Diana Krall’s group is jazz guitar at it’s finest. He’s an amazing composer too and for this concert, the centerpiece will be his composition for 4 guitars. And he’s picked some of the best players in the world to join him; Larry Koonse is a true hero and is one of my all-time favorites; Chico Pinheiro is an avatar of the six strings and brings the magic of Brasil into the music; A fellow I haven’t met yet but I’ve heard on recording is Julian Lage, and he’s an amazing player. This will be a great show and here is a link for more info. Maybe I’ll see you there!
On Friday night I’m honored to join Gilbert Castellanos and Bob Magnusson for a night of jazz at the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego. I’ve played this gig once before and it was super inspiring with Gilbert playing at the top of his game plus an enthusiastic and attentive audience. Can’t wait!
Rounding out the week I’m connecting with saxophonist Brian Levy and pianist Mikan Z. for a wild Saturday romp at Dizzy’s. We’re playing this hit as a slimmed down, no drums, no bass trio—pretty unorthodox trajectory. All the players are world-class so I’m anticipating some fireworks, magic, and comedy bits too. See you there!
That’s the word for now and thanks for reading along.
“Chanting with Charles”
This week I’m playing a show with Gilbert Castellanos and we’ve been playing this tune on our last few concerts. I wrote the song way back when and the inspiration came from hanging out with alto sax avatar Charles McPherson. He showed me a ton about playing jazz and also was instrumental and helping me land my first legitimate record deal with Xanadu records. Charles was always telling me how important Bach’s music was and how it was like jazz, just without Philly Joe Jones and Paul Chamber’s on bass. So for this version of the tune we play a Bach 2 Part Invention to set up the mood. Check it out!