Dodging the Cheese and Scoring High!

Friends, got an old side spinning now that my Dad played frequently back in the day — Quincy Jones’ The Quintessence. Check the Freddie Hubbard solo on “Robot Portrait” and you’ll hear some killer minor chord trumpet lines weaving impeccably through the changes, dodging the cheesy notes and scoring high on this listeners ears. It’s a good way to kick off the day.


Last week we had two great concerts with Camarada and it was a total splurge to play two nights in a row. Man, that used to happen a lot in the years back but not as much these days. Having a couple of concerts to work out the details and lay into the music makes the music better and it’s less operating on survival mode and more reaching forth to new ground.

The Mingei hit was filled with enthusiastic folks and we had a great spin through the music. Columnist Ken Herman wrote a wonderful review of the show and seamed to dig the band and my new tune “Saltwater.” He writes:

“The quiet, edgy ballad with its deftly interwoven themes is one of the best pieces I’ve heard from this composer.”

And then he wrapped up his review with this rap:

“It was hard to tell if Sunday’s audience was the same audience that attends Camarada’s classical offerings or primarily jazz fans who came to hear Peter Sprague, but it really doesn’t matter much when you fill every seat in the house, as Camarada did that evening in Balboa Park.”

Cool beans and click here if you want to read the whole review. Thanks Ken for kind words!

Camarada Saltwater Jazz with (left to right) Peter, Duncan, Beth, Fred, and Gunnar. photo by Rick Sokol

Camarada Saltwater Jazz with (left to right) Peter, Duncan, Beth, Fred, and Gunnar.
photo by Rick Sokol

Dialing it in for this week, we had an inspired string group rehearsal last night at SpragueLand including our long lost cello player Lars Hoefs. What a muso! He’s been living in Brasil after landing a great teaching gig at a college near Sao Paulo. It’s South America and they’re on summer break so he’s back in Cali for a couple of months playing a bunch of concerts. We’ve got him in the loop with us for this weeks show at the University of California in Riverside plus another hit down the way at the Museum of Making Music. He’s the real deal—reads like a madman, plays with passion, has impeccable intonation and sound—heavens Lars where have you been? Also in the loop is the young Mack Leighton on bass playing the ten pager charts with ease and confidence. Wild cat, him!

Come and hear the band if you can. Look below for the details. And also know we’ll be playing in February closer to home in Carlsbad. See ya’ there!


Here’s a gig that I’m not on but that I can highly recommend. Vocalist Rebecca Jade is big time beautiful in so many ways—her sound, her vibe, her jazz singing, her soul. She’s been an integral member of our ensemble when we play the Stevie Wonder shows and most recently she’s been over at SpragueLand laying down tracks for a few projects. This Sunday she’s playing a concert at the Encinitas Public Library with the Danny Weller group. The direction of the show is the music of Ella Fitzgerald. I know it’s going to cook and if I can make some scheduling magic happen I’ll be there to listen. Here’s the poster and get there if you can.


There you have if fine folks and thanks for reading into the revolution.

all best, Peter