Hunting Down the Pretty Notes!

Solid Friends!

Paul Simon’s on the box.

Not totally sure about a lot of things but this I know for sure:

“I don’t want to end up a cartoon in a cartoon graveyard”

Thanks to him we welcome this hilarious zen truth. 

He sure has a way with words and music. A true craftsman with his meticulous method of working lyrics until they are just right is in stark contrast with how they’re doing it now in pop music composing as illustrated in this cool book I’m reading:

The Song Machine: Inside the Hit FactoryI never knew about how it’s done in current times and it’s a real ear opener. “Topliners” unite with beat makers and producers to churn out “smashes” with the hope of taking over the world. More power to ‘em! 

Me? I like learning about it but still, fill the air with Coltrane and Joao Gilberto and I’m cool.

I love this world with so many options in how to make it spin!

The holiday season has been a hoot with mega surf, great music, almost infinite food options (just discovered a delicious place in Encinitas called CAVA), family parties, chilly evening walks, catching up on “This Is Us” episodes, and of course, the Christmas Eve concert.

The concert —it was a hoot folks! Our biggest version of it ever with around 20 musos, tons of spirited people in the audience, ridiculously warm Cali weather, friends and foes all coexisting pleasantly (actually I didn’t see any foes) —a really great time.

We had the sun warping into the guitars, challenging the tuning at every turn and enthusiastic fans charging the stage and accidentally stepping on cables. All in good fun! 

We forged through and at the end we delivered a spirited Metheny inspired rendition of Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’ “ that pulled all of the elements together nicely. 

Here are some videos from the concert:

also check out:
The First Noel
The Christmas Song
Don’t Stop Believin’
Love For Sale
The Ex-Mass Marketing Blues

If you’re looking at my performance schedule and wondering why there’s a big gap in it, that’s because I’m embarking on a composing mode and leaving some space to hunt down the pretty notes. As I mentioned a few months back, I was awarded the Chamber Music America “New Jazz Works” grant and this is what I’m about to lean into. The big piece will be for guitar, cello, violin, and percussion and I’ve got some starter ideas to get me going. What a life, getting paid to be creative!

I’m heading to NYC in 2 weeks to attend the CMA Convention. It turns out the Doris Duke Foundation folks want to meet all of the 2018 grant winners. All good by me and I’ll bring my guitar and surfboard ‘cuz I know it’s warm out there this time of the year. Hah! Hang ten!

For live music this week, on Friday afternoon, if the weather holds, I’ll play some solo guitar at Flower Hill Promenade. It’s a fun little hit for me and make it out if you can.

Paid meditation!
photo by Rachel Fawn

On Friday night, for sure, we’ll be at Ki’s Restaurant in Cardiff with Lisa Hightower on vocals, Tripp on sax and flute, and me on the guitar. We’ve got a few new tunes to add to the cool blendo of jazz and samba. See you there!

Ki’s with Tripp, Lisa, and Peter

There it is folks — onwards and upwards!

best, Peter