|Hi Good People, coming to you late in the day—the magic hour of light. Everything looks better than it really is. I like this. I like illusions in sight and trickery in sound! Heck, let’s go all the way and maybe just join me in tap dancing into an alternate universe. “Space is the place” sonic avatar Sun Ra once said…
I’ve been up super early, breaking the muso stereotype, surfing in the ocean by 6:30am. It’s been windy and bumpy but super fun. Today was special and after the morning ocean session I carved out some studio time and recorded a new vid of me playing solo on “The Susan Variations.” The music will make its way to YouTube in the next couple of days and I’ll be sure to let you know.
Coming right up tomorrow (Thursday), I’ll be back playing solo at The Roxy. I miss that place and I miss the gang that shows up there. See you soon!
If you live out in the Vista area I’m scheduled to play a solo hit on Sunday at the Vista Library. Library gigs are the new frontier—high level of listening with good sounding rooms and the revolving option of SILENCE as part of the music. I hope to see you there.
I’ve been going out to hear other musos lately (last week was some great music by Anthony Wilson and the Seasons Quartet) and this week on Sunday I’m heading over to the Athenaeum Studio to hear guitarist Roni Ben-Hur and his trio. I’ve never heard him live but I know he’s playing up a storm. Here’s the details for the concert and here’s a little backstory on him:
Jazz guitarist Roni Ben-Hur has earned a sterling reputation as a musician and educator, renowned for his golden tone, improvisational brilliance, compositional lyricism, and ability to charm peers, students, and listeners alike. Eminent jazz critic Gary Giddins wrote in the Village Voice: “A limber and inventive guitarist, Ben-Hur keeps the modernist flame alive and pure, with a low flame burning in every note.” Ben-Hur—born in Israel in 1962 but a longtime American citizen, now based in New Jersey—has released nine albums as leader or co-leader, with Time Out New York calling him “a formidable and consummately lyrical guitarist.” The Star-Ledger of New Jersey summed him up this way: “A deep musician, a storyteller, Ben-Hur works with a warm, glowing sound and has an alluring way of combining engaging notes with supple rhythm.” Jazz guitar star Russell Malone got it right when he said: “Everything Roni does is beautiful. He has the magic touch.”
That’s it for this week and thanks for reading, Peter
|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!
|Good People, I’m just back from a rubber band bend the body session at the ocean’s edge and the summer’s prelude is lining up. It’s looking to be a good one with warmth, my daughter Kylie back in the hood, a fair amount of work, and some open space too to goof off! Beach blanket blendo!
I’m listening to Maria Schneider’s new release called Winter Morning Walks as I write to you. It’s filling the office air with majestic swaths of creative orchestration. Beautiful!
Over the last couple of months I’ve had some requests to transpose two of my jazz solos books over to Bb and Eb instruments. It took a bit of time but I’m happy to announce that the Charlie Parker book is now available for both concert and Eb instruments. The Sonny Rollins book is now in both the concert key and a version for Bb instruments. In the process of getting these transcriptions over to the computer from their earlier handwritten versions I also was able to upgrade the level of accuracy of the notes and rhythms as I think my ears have improved over the years plus the audio technology that exists today is far superior than what I was using back in the day. Click here to get the details on the books and you’ll dig their inspired notes.
Up for this week is my happily continuing Thursday night hit at the Roxy in Encinitas. I play solo guitar and traverse between Brasil, the Beatles, Gershwin, Hendrix, Bach and Weather Report. I include some of my originals too and I dress all of the music up with ongoing possibilities of loops, escape hatch diversions, spontaneous medleys, and when it’s quiet enough in there, wide open sonic space. It’s a hoot! Come and join me for music and great food.
On Friday night I’m meeting up with bassist Ben Wanicur and his group to play a show at Dizzy’s. Ben’s just released a new CD of his own music and that’ll be the road we travel down for this gig. It’s called The Excluded Middle and it’s interesting stuff with great players and inventive tunes. Check out his site here and we hope to see you there.
I’m thrilled to be included in the Christ Presbyterian Church’s concert schedule and on Sunday night I’ll play an hour long solo guitar program. The church has great acoustics and silence will be our friend. It should be a nice one and look to the gig calendar for the details.
That’s it for now. Stay well and keep the sky in your head, Peter
“The Space Between Two Thoughts”
My recording The Space Between Two Thoughts is our band Dance of the Universe Orchestra’s second project. A wandering hippie named Jamil Soorami came into the gig one night and gave me a poem called Dance of the Universe. I think it was a coincidence, in other words, I think he had written the poem before meeting us and when he heard our band, he flipped out and figured we ought to have his poem. I put music to it and this along with the epic The Space Between Two Thoughts composition rocketed our group of young musos off into thin air. It’s a wild tune that goes to a bunch of different places and I love the “chant” section where Ron Satterfield goes stellar! Check it out!