Currently embracing the out of doors this week with 2 cool concerts coming up. There are a bunch of wins to taking the music outside:
So with these convincing propaganda angles at play, consider joining us for these outdoor events this week.
First up, on Friday afternoon I’m playing solo guitar at Flower Hill Promenade. It’s a gig that I strum usually two times a month and it’s always a good free flowing time of samba, jazz, and The Beatles.
On Saturday at 3pm me and the boys are playing a set at the Leucadia Summer Fun on the 101 music festival. It’ll be Leonard singing, Duncan drumming, Mack bass-ing, Danny Green on the keys, and me guitar-ing. We’ve got Cream’s “Swlabr” in play along with Hoagy Charmichael, Beatles, Leonard Cohen, and a PS original. This event is north county bohemia cool in full regalia and I think you’ll dig it. Hope to see you there.
Sunday at 5pm will find us setup and launching into two sets of music at the little park at the corner of La Flecha and Avenida de Acacias in downtown Rancho Santa Fe. It’s sponsored by the Village Community Presbyterian Church and we’ve had the good fortune of playing this yearly gig for many years. It’s a ton of fun complete with good folks, beautiful surroundings, and of course a delicious palette of jazz music. The band is Lizzi Trumbore on vocals and trombone, Tripp on sax, Mack on bass, Duncan on drums, Danny on keys, and me on the guitar. Lizzi is in town just for a week or so and we’re thrilled to include her into our loop. Come on out if you can…
That’s the word folks and hope to see you out there in the free air of June.
I hope I’m catching you at a good time. Fun times over here at SpragueLand with a bunch of cool concerts coming up, a little sun poking through, killer veggie soup that Stef whipped together, and a new T.V. show discovery that might be of interest to you.
It’s called SongLand — have you seen it? Stef and I just watched the first two episodes the other night on Hulu. (I think you can also see it on regular NBC TV). It’s a reality show where three super successful pop music producers audition young up and coming singer/songwriters with hopes of finding a song that’ll work for the superstar guest pop artist of which said pop artist will record the tune and all of the folks involved in the process will make a ton of money and be artistically fulfilled. Hah, that’s a mouthful!
John Legend is the first superstar to be on the show and we watch and listen as the up and comers audition and the pro producers give their critique and suggestions on how to improve the song. It’s all pop music but these are some smart folks that know their world. It’s not jazz but it’s modern day rocket science in how they add elements and details to the arrangements that sharpen the tunes and make them ready for pop radio. One song is picked, John Legend records it, it sounds good, and hopefully it does well in the big world.
The second show highlights Black Eyed Peas lead person Will.i.am. and this guy is a hoot and a half. I love the way he talks and his ideas are funny and cool. His song pick out of all of the possibles is this quirky little ditty called “Be Nice”. It goes like this:
Be different, be nice
It’s so nice to hear this expressed in song all the while in our current world, from the top on down, so many folks think it’s cool to be mean.
Fun stuff and let me know if you see it and how it resonates.
Rad cool Beatles hit last week! We’ll do it again down the road…
I only have one concert this week and it all takes place Wednesday night at 6:45pm. That’s a funny start time but we’ll take it! It’s Leonard and I jamming at the Carmel Valley Library and you’re all invited. Free entrance, freedom music, in a freestanding building. I hope you’re free to come…
Coming to you on this infinite grayscape morning where the weatherman’s repeated mantra is “June gloom”. I get tired of hearing that one and yeah, I know it rhymes and all but it’s just like rubbing salt in the wound. The potential for lack of sunlight depression disorder is running wild over here on the coast. We did make it inland over the weekend for a friend’s wedding and the sun was doing it’s thing. Elevation —it made it summer over there!
So what do you do when the weather is weighing you down? I’m finding that listening to Wes Montgomery is one surefire solution. Right now filling the airwaves is Wes’ Movin’: The Complete Verve Recordings. It’s working —dark monotone morning dissolving into unreal chord stabs, octaves, beautiful single note melodies, gorgeous tone, superb time sense, big band Oliver Nelson and Don Sebesky arrangements, pop tunes of the day with a jazz delivery, all of it, no comparison to the dreary atmospheric circus going on outdoors.
The Verve Record era is one of my favorite setups for Wes’ long storied career and on this album I’m discovering tunes that somehow got past me in earlier years. What a joy!
Also, recently I acquired a beautiful jazz arch top guitar built by the same fellow (Andy Powers) that created my double neck guitar and it’s inspired me to explore back in time to some of the great jazz guitarists that I grew up listening to. Kenny Burrell, Tal Farlow, Wes, George Benson, Pat Martino, and Barney Kesell to name a few. The fat toned six strings never sounded better!
This week is a busy live concert sprint for me and it all starts on Tuesday evening out in the East County. Will there be sun out there? More reason to drive east! It’ll be me and my guitar playing a free one hour concert at the Rancho San Diego Library. I’ve played this venue before and if the weather is good they hold the concerts outside in a pretty courtyard. Good sound and good listening folks in attendance, it should be a fun one!
On Thursday night me and the Planet Cole Porter gang are playing a show in Del Mar at the Powerhouse Community Center. Good for us but unfortunately bad for you, it’s already sold out. So for that reason I won’t go into the details but know we’ll be riding the wave of Cole and thinking about you…
On Saturday I’ve got two shows going on. First up is our annual involvement in the San Diego Festival of the Arts held at Waterfront Park in downtown San Diego. Our time slot is for 12:30 – 2pm and it’ll be Leonard and me jamming samba, swing, Beatles, and Hendrix. Come on out if you can…
On Saturday eve we’re going full on Beatles for a show at the Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad. The San Diego Folk Heritage Society is putting the concert on and we’re calling it BeatleJazz. The angle is all Beatles music filtered through our jazz sensibilities. We’ve got Tripp on sax, Justin Grinnell on bass, Duncan on drums, and me on guitar. It’s always a good day in the sun to be immersed in the great songs of Paul and John. It’s a clean machine!
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
Ending up this week’s concert run, on Sunday afternoon I’m playing a solo show at the Mission Trails Church in San Diego at 3pm. For years I played solo hits at the Mission Trails visitor center and then the folks that organized that series moved it nearby to this church. This will be my first time there but I’m told it’s a good scene with good sound. I’m game and I hope you are too!
That’s it for now and all this time Wes’ music has been spinning along. Now we’re at Bumpin’ on Sunset and even though the overcast isn’t lifting, the view from here is onwards and upwards, straight ahead and strive for good tone.