Make It Up, Improvise!

Greetings Friends, 

I’ve been working at the jazz camp
all the days of this week
I’ve been working at the jazz camp
passing along guitar techniques

Can’t you hear McPherson blowing
bebop into the sky
I’ve been working at the jazz camp
make it up, improvise.

It was a fun week at UCSD’s annual jazz camp with the camaraderie of the instructors, new inspired young jazz kids forging the future of music, killer Greek food lunches, and music at every turn!

Opening night faculty concert with Anat Cohen on clarinet, me on guitar along with Larry Koonse on guitar. It was a hoot!
photo by Dan Atkinson

My singing friend Allison Adams Tucker just scored a wonderfully deserved cover story in this month’s San Diego Troubadour newspaper. I get to play with Allison every now and then and she’s recorded on a couple of my CD’s. What a voice! And it was fun reading her story and learning about her early roots. Check it out:

Tomorrow, on Sunday, I’m playing a solo concert at the Mission Trails Visitor Center in San Diego. They have a really nice theater with great sound and the concert is free! I’m thrilled to play solo and I’ve been practicing all week. Can’t wait for the sonic excursions we’ll take together.

Looking down the neck.
photo by Stef Sprague

That’s it friends and thanks for reading along, Peter

Periph Mayhem Moments Served Up Coyote Style

Good People, a few years back, when we were playing summer shows on the outside patio at The Coyote Bar and Grill, up in Carlsbad, did you ever attend? Wicked circus with all sorts of peripheral mayhem moments in play! It’s great that no one ever got hurt although on one occasion a gifted and inebriated fellow plowed into my guitar and bent the fancy German engineered guitar tuning pegs. Also on another Sunday, we were in the middle of an extended jam and I looked over and saw a tow truck hoisting my van to tow away. Wow, the place was CHARGED! The music too seemed to take off and in the late August afternoon heat things just got amplified. I miss the scene!

Out of all of those sketchy events a song emerged and I’m thrilled that we’re playing it again this week. “Weird Science, Modern Times” documents our travails at the Coyote.

When you beat a path toward the screaming sax and where a crowded life’ll fall away
Kundalini rise under summer skies when the guitar-a-nandas come to play
and then when it sparks your mind loosens up your spine 
weird, weird science modern times
Peter skidding in with his guitar and amp 
hook it up 
get in gear the sonic palate’s tuning up 
bring your good ears of jazz 
dress down, drink up 
transcendental hang zone 
freedom in sound you know 
slo mo

“Weird Science, Modern Times”
recorded on Calling Me Home
by Peter Sprague and Randy Phillips

So this week on Saturday we’re taking the tune out for a spin at the Summer Fun on 101 music festival in downtown Leucadia. There’s music happening all day and our slot is at 3pm. It’ll be me, Leonard, Tripp, Gunnar, and Duncan throwing down the beats and hanging with the beautiful people of Encinitas. Come and join in and we’ll go surfing afterwards!

Next up, Leonard and I play a duo hit at Ki’s on Friday night. It’s always a great scene with excellent food and a killer view out to the pacific. Hope to see you there!

On early Sunday eve at 5pm we’re assembling the band to play a free outdoor concert in downtown Rancho Santa Fe. Rebecca Jade and Leonard will be on vocals, Danny Green on keyboards, Justin Grinnell on bass along with Duncan on drums and me on guitar. We’ve got a great set planned with all of our favorite music in play. Can’t wait and hope to see you there!

Here’s a pic from the same event a couple of years back!

That’s the story folks, weird science modern times….best, Peter


The Hippies, the Summer of Love and the Jazz Man!

Hi Friends, getting back into the gig email after a week of private gigs. It’s been fun and it’ll also be nice joining up with you back in the real world.

Setting the vibe up here at SpragueLand for this morning’s scribe, I have Charles Lloyd’s “Forest Flower” album filling up the air space. It’s a live recording from the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966 featuring Charles on sax, Keith Jarrett on piano, Cecil McBee on bass and Jack DeJohnette playing drums. Amazing stuff and dig Keith’s opening line of his solo — pentatonic major heaven! The band plays the “Forest Flower” tune and the whole 2nd part “Sunset” is 11 minutes of a major chord vamp where they toy with all the outer limits of the major scale. It’s fantastic and the audience is right there with them. This moment takes place right around the same time of the Summer of Love, in the epicenter of where it was all going on. You can feel the hippies influencing the jazz man. I dig it!

In this month’s cover story for the San Diego Troubadour they illuminate the wonderful life of Rebecca Jade. Rebecca is the gal that sings up a storm on our “Planet Cole Porter” release and she’s one of my favorite vocalists, bringing together jazz and soul with a warm sound and impeccable pitch. It’s neat to read about her early years and how she’s rising to great things as we speak. Great detail brought forth by premier jazz writer Robert Bush.

Check it out here:

Also in the June San Diego Troubadour is an excellent, ultra positive CD review of Planet Cole Porter. Paul Hormick writes a bunch of cool stuff but this really stood out, “it is such a joy to review CD’s as good as this one. Planet Cole Porter receives my highest recommendation.” Yeah man, thanks amigo, how much do I owe you? Hah! Here’s a link to follow if you want to check out the whole review. 

And if you’ve been on the fence about checking the CD out for yourself, no worries we’ve still got copies over here at SpragueLand with your name already on them!

Up for live music this week, I’ll be joining pianist John Opferkuch on Friday night at Northern Spirits in San Marcos. Mack is on bass along with Charlie Weller on drums. Can’t wait!

And rounding out the week, brother Leonard and I are playing at the San Diego Festival of the Arts on Sunday afternoon right there on Harbor Boulevard in downtown SD. Super cool scene, we did it last year and the mix of sun, ocean breeze, good listening folks, and festival setting can’t be topped. We’re in!

Leonard and Peter jammin’ under the purple moon.

Happy summer good people, Peter