Ornette’s Infiltration Into a High School Choir!

Greetings Good Folks, Ornette Coleman, free jazz, wicked warping melodic lines melting from a plastic saxophone, forging their way uprooted from the chord changes, what chord changes, beyond chord changes! Not the kind of mom and pop high school vocal choir song of choice for this modern age. Yet, it’s happened and it’s a hoot! Check it out…

A few years back I penned a lyric to Ornette’s 11 bar (blues are usually 12 bars in length) song called “Blues Connotation.” It feels like a blues but it takes a few swerves in the road. My lyric talks about the potential hazards of taking a guitar out into the world and plugging in, about shunning the old tradition, bucking the dead horse. “Free jazz, and play the blues the way you want.” I’m laughing!

Next, Lehua Pischke, a super cool vocal choir director from the Juanita High School in Kirkland, Washington contacted me (not sure where she heard our version of the tune) and asked if her choir could sing it. Heck yes, bring it on, spread the good twisted news of Ornette into high schools throughout this wide nation.

A few months passed (they were rehearsing I’m guessing) and along comes this vid of the girls singing Ornette’s blues line. Life is amazing isn’t it?

YouTube vid of the girls singing "Blues Connotation"

YouTube vid of the girls singing “Blues Connotation”

Thanks Lehua and the kids, you’re amazing and you made my day!

For this week in live gigs, I’ll be hanging out at the Roxy two times and this makes me happy. First up, it’s a Thursday night solo excursion with me and the six strings leading the way. Come and enjoy the music and the great food.

Soloing in silhouette. photo by Thomas Westerlin

Soloing in silhouette.
photo by Thomas Westerlin

On Saturday night we’re getting my brother Tripp and his daughter Kate into the loop for a night of jazz and young Kate’s angle on music. She’s a gem and she’s got some new tunes lined up. Word on the street is it that our sister Terry might fall by with her cajon and add some percussive elements into the mix. Sprague Revolution meets downtown Encinitas all coming together at the Roxy. See you there!

RoxyKatePoster_500

That’s it and I’m flying in the saltwater as we speak, Peter

Dewey Decimal’s Hidden Music Mecca

Good People, you’d never know it but hidden in those rows of books and periodicals is a ripe environment for creative music making. Silence is the mantra and pair that up with adventurous musos and you’ve got a combo that’ll rival any jazz club. Don’t you just miss those clanking glasses and the atonal buzz of the blender? How about the semi bad attitude front door man and the folks at the side table that prefer to talk their way through the set? Oh I’ll miss them dearly as I embark on this week’s Library concert tour detailing it with Dewey Decimal. See below for the lowdown.

I'm on the ground with the cables trying to make sense of the plastic spaghetti. photo by Thomas Westerlin

I’m on the ground looking for the Dewey Decimal code for hooking up cables.
photo by Thomas Westerlin

Last week was a hurricane with the UCSD Jazz Camp running all week mixed in with gigs, rehearsals, and recording. The camp was outstanding and I met up with some great young guitarists. Big fun!

Our concert at the KSDS JazzLive’s Saville Theatre complete with four vocalists harmonizing their way to heaven was a great time for all. Check out the photos…

The whole group! photo by Michael Oletta

The whole group!
photo by Michael Oletta

Kevyn and Peter. photo by Thomas Westerlin

Kevyn and Peter.
photo by Thomas Westerlin

Leonard and Gunnar. photo by Michael Oletta

Leonard and Gunnar.
photo by Michael Oletta

Polyrhythmic Duncan. photo by Michael Oletta

Polyrhythmic Duncan.
photo by Michael Oletta

Peter and the vocalists! photo by Michael Oletta

Peter and the vocalists!
photo by Michael Oletta

Lisa Hightower. photo by Thomas Westerlin

Lisa Hightower.
photo by Thomas Westerlin

Matt Falker. photo by Michael Oletta

Matt Falker.
photo by Michael Oletta

After I finish this email I’ll be making my way to the practice room to warm up my hands for a solo concert at the Julian Library tonight. This is episode one of a week of library concerts. Tomorrow night maestro Benedetti and I stir the sonics in Cardiff at their library concert space. And rounding out the week on Sunday afternoon vocalist Leonard Patton and I share some tunes at the Encinitas Library. All of these events are free to the public and the quiet listening environment makes for some real music magic. Sleight of hand, quick fingers, mentalism, various levitations, modulations, syncopations, it’s all going on at the library!

Fred and Peter with the double rainbow.

Fred and Peter with the double rainbow.

The last gig of the week that doesn’t fit into the library mold is our trio hit on Thursday night at the Westgate Hotel in downtown San Diego. Trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos is curating this music series and I’ll be there with my trio playing jazz by the poolside in the early evening warmth of July. Sounds perfect and I hope you can make it!

That’s it for now folks and thanks for reading along.

happy summer, Peter

The Restorative Magic Zzz’s!

Hey Gifted Listeners! I’m at it early. Yesterday was packed full of music and lugging gear and I slipped off to sleep for once at a reasonable hour. Good sleep is heaven! Restorative magic doing its thing. I’ve got a semi-free day today and first on the list is to submerge into the wild blue’s 72 degree creation. Ocean’s awaiting!

We had a busy weekend with a cool Blur Ki’s hit, a 12 year old kid gig studio voice over session, a big time El Cortez wedding, a best ever LJ Arts fest concert, and culminating early last eve in the warm sunset light of Rancho Santa Fe shaking the airwaves with Leonard, Rebecca and the gang of merry pranksters. It was a fantastic set and thanks to all that joined in with the music!

For this week we’re jumping in tomorrow night and playing a concert at the San Diego City College’s Saville Theatre as part of the KSDS JazzLive series. It’ll be our Ocean In Your Eyes program featuring Kevyn Lettau, Leonard Patton, Lisa Hightower, and Matt Falker on vocals along with the roots rhythm section of Gunnar Biggs, Duncan Moore and me.

The new recording is getting a lot of play on the radio and for this we’re happy and thankful. Play it up, spread the word, we’re all in!

Ocean In Your Eyes’ musical direction is jazz swinging with intricate vocal harmonies telling stories of “baby I woke up this morning with the blues and you’re the problem” to “baby I’m letting go and giving up the tension.” Other themes addressed include:

  • Charles McPherson is second only to Bach.
  • New York is now.
  • Making an acquaintance via the soft-shoe.
  • The never ending rain of Seattle.
  • Secrets expressed through the hands.
  • Old school enormous long distance phone bills.
  • My girl’s gotta knack for kicking back.
  • and finally, jaywalking your way into someone else’s life in search of everlasting love.

These are all original creations with lyric collaborations with Randy Phillips, Kevyn Lettau and Garry Shaeffer.

Recently we’ve added the incredible Blind Faith song “Can’t Find My Way Home” into the band’s setlist and the vocal harmonies on this one are off the charts. Can’t wait!

Look below for the gig details and it’ll be a wonderful night of music and camaraderie. See you there!

Our last Ocean in Your Eyes gig was at the Empresa Elementary School and here's the view from the stage. I'm not sure they could entirely make sense of the jazz vocal harmonies but they sure dug the "rap" section on "Seattle Stomp."

Our last Ocean in Your Eyes gig was at the Empresa Elementary School and here’s the view from the stage. I’m not sure they could entirely make sense of the jazz vocal harmonies but they sure dug the “rap” section on “Seattle Stomp.” Kidstock rules!

OceanInYourEyes_500

Also up on the calendar for this week, I’ll be at the Roxy Restaurant on Thursday night doing my solo guitar explorations. It’s always a fun night with good folks in attendance, a few friends chiming in on the second set, and the magic food of the Roxy pleasing the palate of those who partake. Falafels!

PSUCSDSolo

There it is friends, thanks for reading and remember to keep the sky in your head!

adios, Peter