Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sniff, sniff...

I'm fighting a bit of a cold today, so 'scuze me while I go get a tissue.

Classes start next week, and I'm now one term over the one-year mark at Cal Poly. This upcoming quarter, my schedule will include overload for the first time, so I'm fully expecting my life to completely suck at the midterm point when the paper grading kicks in. I won't turn my nose up at the extra money, but don't think I'm not gonna be earning it.

Subbed on a friend's big band last night, and we backed up the jazz legend Ernie Andrews. That dude is a MONSTER... nobody sings like him. Toward the end of the evening he got this monologue sort of thing going... kind of a "I've been doing this for sixty years" stroll down memory land, then out of nowhere, he turned on the afterburners and belted out a magnificent line from the bridge to start off the tune "You Are So Beautiful." I was so blown away I barely made my own entrance a few bars later. Very cool.

Speaking of subbing, though (which I've been doing a lot of lately), I'm filling in on a recording session tomorrow so I'd better go have a look at the music. But first... a few upcoming gigs of note:

Tuesday, April 3rd
Big Bad Jazz Band at the M-Bar Hollywood
Corner of Vine and Fountain, 7:30pm
(My regular bari sax gig)

Thursday, April 5th
Evening dance with Clyde Reasinger's Big Band
Joselyn Center, Burbank CA
(I think I'm on alto that night)

Sunday, April 8th
Hollywood Bowl Sunrise Service
LAPD Concert Band
(My flute gig)

Saturday, May 19th
Chadwick Williams Band at Paladino's
(R&B bari sax... whooyah!)

Sunday June 3rd
Big Bad Jazz Band in concert
with special guest, pianist Shelly Berg
Glendale College Auditorium
(bari sax again)

Feel free to e-mail me for details on any of these shows...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Calling all rail geeks...

Oh boy... a photo database for foamers!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The cat on the piano...

Now we just need to teach her the ii-V-I progression...

Nora the piano-playing cat

An exhausting few weeks

I don't know for sure why I'm blogging about it at almost 4am, but maybe I'm still too wound up to sleep.

Classes are pretty much finished for the quarter--all that's left is to get grades worked out and submitted. Then it's prep for next quarter's classes... one of which is getting a total overhaul. Getting a full night's sleep seems like a distant memory.

On the music front, I'm really busy. Had two R&B gigs this weekend with Chadwick Williams, one at 14 Below in Santa Monica and the other at the Derby on Los Feliz. I keep thinking we're such dinosaurs that people will throw us out of these places, but it seems like this classic R&B stuff really connects with people. Go figure. I'm still doing a fair bit of legit playing--both on clarinet and flute. Jazz is happening, but the bar is being raised in lessons now so I'm spending as much time as possible working on it all. Last but not least, I've been trying my hand at arranging for a couple of the ensembles I'm in, and I'm having some early successes. Two tunes (one significantly better than the other) for the nonet, a couple for Chadwick Williams, and one jazz interpretation of "Amazing Grace" for the clarinet ensemble. It's challenging, but a lot of fun.

Stress on the homefront. Kinda ugly, and I hate being conflicted like this. I guess one of life's harsher lessons is that even with the best of intentions, sometimes everyone loses.

Actually, maybe I always knew that.