The Frontline!

Aye, aye Captain!

There’s a hurricane brewing down south and some ocean waves are expected up here in the north. Happy news for us surfers!

It’s my early morning ritual — gray flat ocean, go out no matter what. It sets the brain straight.

El brain needs to be straight to be able to count pages. It turns out that last week’s missive about the SJ surf article was missing a page (thanks Lyn for letting me know). It now makes more sense:

The missing page from the article.

Last week I was teaching at the UCSD Jazz Camp — yay young gifted musos jumping off the cliff to a career in jazz. If it works it couldn’t be a better design for a life. I love it!

Also last week, a stellar uplifting concert at Dizzy’s honoring the great Butch Lacy who left this fine planet in search of new sonic vistas. Bless the good man and we played his songs and more, shared tales of wild escapades in downtown La Jolla in the 80’s, gazed into a fine collection of photos from over the years, and reconnected with his daughter Piper and her spirited family. What an inspired evening!

In search of the Lacy sound with (left to right) Barnaby Finch, Mark Lessman, Gunnar Biggs, Duncan Moore, and Peter.
photos by Michael Oletta

This week I’m thrilled to announce the release of my new album called Samba Andaluza. I’m really happy with the music and here’s the background on how it came to be:

For the last set of years I’ve had a group called the Peter Sprague String Consort. We’ve made two recordings and have enjoyed playing numerous concerts. It’s one of my favorite vehicles for composing and it’s a beautiful sound— the mix of a classical string quartet with the funk of a jazz trio. Two of the core players from that group are Bridget Dolkas who plays violin and Lars Hoefs who plays cello. Both are exquisite musicians with a jazz sense of time and a sound that’s irresistible. 

From time to time we would branch off and explore a smaller version of the Consort with just the three of us. This too has a unique feel and sound with the violin carrying the melody, the cello supplying the low-end, sometimes playing with the bow, sometimes playing pizzicato and supporting the ensemble like a bass. And for me I’ve got all of this freedom to fill out the middle section of the music.

This project has come together over the last 3 years. Lars has a full time teaching position at a university in Brazil and we’ve had to time things when he’s on his summer break. When in San Diego we would team up, rehearse, play a few concerts and record a couple songs at my studio. Over the years we’ve gathered enough music and now it’s happily making it’s way into the real world.

Samba Andaluza —it’s the title of this album but also the title of one of my songs. This composition, and most of the music on this recording carry with them the influence of Brazil, jazz, and Spain. Andalusia is an area in southern Spain, home of flamenco music and rich in artistic culture. For my song I mix together the Brazilian samba with the Andalusian flavor. For our group too, we like the blend of jazz with classical and exploring different musical styles and colors.

We’d love you to check out the music and you can find it here:

or here:

or here:


For live music this week we have only one public concert and it takes place on Saturday night at the famous Java Joe’s in Old Town. It’ll be me on guitar along with vocalist/guitarist Nina Francis, the young Kate Sprague on vocals, and my brother Tripp on sax/flute and percussion. It’s a Sprague Family hang with Nina and we sometimes refer to the band as “The Frontline”. Most bands have a rhythm section and then “the frontline” of vocalists and horns. We’re on a budget and there isn’t enough physical space on stage so we just go right to the frontline setup and let the sonic magic pour in. What a sound, what a vibe, you’ve got to hear it for yourself! We hope to see you there!

Peter and Nina rehearsing at SpragueLand

One last treat, my hero Paul McCartney has done a Carpool Karaoke with James Corden and it’s a true delight. They cruise through Liverpool singing and carrying on and we’re all along for the ride. It’s already logged 24 million views and check it out here:

adios, Peter