The Kink Factor of Gila Bend

Friends, I’m up early after a late night studio session with the Danny Green trio ripping it up! Odd meters, samba, frevo, and killing Brazilian influence. Look for it when it surfaces a couple of months out.

The endless desert drive featuring the kinky place where time stopped - Gila Bend, just passed through our auto window. Bob Magnusson was my passenger and we did a back and forth to Sedona, Arizona to meet up with the Road Work Ahead posse. Sedona is a magic spot —perfecto weather, red rock views, and a fun clinic with some young musos blending into an inspired concert for the Sedona Jazz Festival. New friends, great food, and the idea to file back in the brain about when the world is getting to be too much, Gila Bend is always ready to accept your membership. I’ll be back!

The Road Workers hunt down dinner while the red rocks illuminate in the Arizona sunset. Left to right, Bob Magnusson, Jim Plank, and Bill Mays.

The Road Workers hunt down dinner while the red rocks illuminate in the Arizona sunset. Left to right, Bob Magnusson, Jim Plank, and Bill Mays.

One of my most far reaching musical influences is Chick Corea. His music and his spirit of play have been part of my life all the way from the early days when I was a teenager studying jazz at the Interlochen Music Academy. More on that here but good news for this week —Chick is holding an online teaching seminar where participants can experience the wisdom from one of the great jazz masters. He’ll play with a group, talk about what elements he strives for, demonstrate his techniques on the piano and you’ll even be able to ask him questions. This is a rare opportunity and even if you can’t watch it live, once you register you can watch it at times that work for you. I’m signed up and here’s the link for more details.

Chick's gig at Disneyland, an "E ticket" to the hilt! Me on the left, Chick on the right. He's surrounded by an aura of light and an arsenal of digital keyboards. June, 1984.

Chick’s gig at Disneyland, an “E ticket” to the hilt! Me on the left, Chick on the right. He’s surrounded by an aura of light and an arsenal of digital keyboards. June, 1984.

Up for this week, Leonard and I are driving to Yuma, Arizona on Thursday to play a concert as part of the Village Jazz Series. It’s a cool scene, outdoors and the weather at this time of the year is perfect. It’s a long haul but if you have some cohorts in Yuma, let ‘em know we’re coming.

Then we turn the car around, head back to Chula Vista and gear it up for a show at the First United Methodist Church of Chula Vista on Sunday. It’ll be Leonard sitting on the cajon, playing a killer groove and singing Stevie Wonder riffs all the while I’ll have the double neck navigating chords, looping bass lines, adding warping distorted echo licks —all of this energy morphing into the serenity of “Shenandoah”. It’ll be a good ride and I hope you can come along.

Peter and Leonard coming up with a game plan to make songs up on the spot.

Peter and Leonard coming up with a game plan to make songs up on the spot.

all the very best and keep the sky in your head, Peter

Mount Rainier’s Snowy Spring Break!

Heya, I thought spring break for college kids was all about darting to the warmth of Mexico. Or to take over Palm Springs’ conservative downtown. Or even better, make the pilgrimage to that lake in Arizona where the rules ceased to exist long ago. But check this out, last week my daughter Kylie and I took in an entirely different scene at the base of Mount Rainier, Washington. For her spring break Kylie decided to go to Boston to visit a friend. She had a few days off over the weekend before she bolted so I decided to fly up and touch base with her first at her college in Tacoma, next we made our way to the full blast winter saga taking place at the base of Mount Rainer, and finally to Jimi Hendrix’s museum in Seattle. It was a great trip, nice to unplug from SpragueLand and the button pushing and best off, to reconnect with our twenty year old jet setter Ky. She’s a great kid and we’re already looking forward to her visit back home over the summer.

Kylie and Peter getting ready to hit the mountain trails. That's the Alexander's Country Inn in the background.

Kylie and Peter getting ready to hit the mountain trails. That’s the Alexander’s Country Inn in the background.

Your guide, Mountain Pete leading you off to the great unknown...

Your guide, Mountain Pete leading you off to the great unknown…

Snowy spring break in Mt. Rainier!

Snowy spring break in Mt. Rainier!

The EMP Museum in Seattle designed by Frank Gehry. We call it the Jimi Hendrix Museum.

The EMP Museum in Seattle designed by Frank Gehry. We call it the Jimi Hendrix Museum.

That's Jimi's paisley shirt that he wore in London. It still looks good to me and I'm currently at Macy's trying to find one. Striking out!

That’s Jimi’s paisley shirt that he wore in London. It still looks good to me and I’m currently at Macy’s trying to find one. Striking out!

Wall 'O Guitars at EMP! Great looking sculpture that through special mechanics can actually play the instruments.

Wall ‘O Guitars at EMP! Great looking sculpture that through special mechanics can actually play the instruments too.

Last month when I was on tour in Poland with Dianne Reaves, the concert folks video taped the show at Bielsko-Biala. Peter Martin, the pianist, just sent me this link of our opening band number that night. It cooks and the video production is fantastic! That’s Peter Martin on piano, James Genus on bass, Terryon Gulley on drums and me on guitar. Click on the photo and it’ll take you to the video.

DRPolandOpeningNumber1B

On tap for this week I’m looking forward to a Thursday night solo guitar hit at The Roxy in Encinitas. I was playing this gig every week but now it’s morphed into a once a month event as I’ve gotten ultra full on traveling gigs and the studio world. All good however it plays out and the main thing is to strum a few chords for friends and fans. See you there!

RoxyGig

Last up for the week on Friday the Magster and I hop in the Element and make the drive to the magic of Sedona for a weekend workshop/concert hang with the Road Work Ahead group. That’s Bob and I along with Jim Plank on drums and Bill Mays on piano. It’ll be a hoot and if you’ve got connections in Sedona, let ‘em know we’re in town sharing the good words of jazz. Details are below.

Rehearsing at SpragueLand with Road Work Ahead. Left to right, Jim Plank, Peter, Bob, and Bill Mays.

Rehearsing at SpragueLand with Road Work Ahead. Left to right, Jim Plank, Peter, Bob, and Bill Mays.

Play on folks and thanks for reading…adios, Peter

SongStoryHeaderWide

“Wall Street”
One of the songs I’ve been working on in preparation for the RWA hit in Sedona this week is my tricky little prankster of a song called “Wall Street”. We recorded it on the Intersection CD and it’s been in our wheelhouse lately. As I was in the process of composing it became clear to me that I ought to call the song “Wall Street.” It starts with some high-tension educated notes leading to a riff that embodies the smirky swagger of someone who just got away with something. All politics aside, the magic is happening secretly on the down low. Check it out!

Vocal Equalization Therapy

Greetings, today I’ve been putting on the final fairy dust for my new CD that’s heading off to the printer. It’ll emerge and will be celebrated at a special concert at the Museum of Making Music next month. Look out, vocals taking over!

Last weekends Dizzy’s gig with Sinne Eeg was a true joy with her amazing singing leading the way. Killer scat solos interweaving like an alto sax sonic excursion. We had a great turnout and we’re hoping we can do it again the next time she zips through California.
Sinne and Peter at Dizzy's.

Sinne and Peter at Dizzy’s.
photo by Bob Snell

Dizzy's with Sinne Eeg. Left to right, Gunnar Biggs, Sinne, Peter Sprague and Duncan Moore.  photo by Bob Snell

Dizzy’s with Sinne Eeg. Left to right, Gunnar Biggs, Sinne, Peter Sprague and Duncan Moore.
photo by Bob Snell

Up for this week on Thursday I’m heading over to the UCSD Loft to play a concert with the young and ultra talented Joshua White and his band. Joshua has been ripping it up in San Diego and beyond and this will be the first time we play a show together. We’ve had some magic moments sitting in at Gilbert Castellanos gig but have never done a whole planned out concert together. It’ll be insane on many levels and I’m expecting we’ll visit some unique sonic vistas. Hope you can make it out.

Joshua White

Joshua White

That’ll be it for now and all the very best, Peter