THURSDAY, DECEMBER 29th, 2005  7:01am

  have i mention this guy, kevin breit, before? i saw him a ways back on the BETjazz cable station on their show called 'duos". well, i saw him this morning doing a solo show where he had this cool set with funky stuff all around the stage as well as his various instruments and amps and effects pedals. he plays guitar, dobro, mandocello and a few other weird-ass instruments of folk/blues origin. i checked out his site and he's canadian and has played on a ton of records including norah jones, jd lang & cassandra williams. he has a very unique approach to whatever instrument he plays, sort of combining blues, slide & avant- garde. very fresh & innovative.

THURSDAY, DECEMBER 22, 2005  10:15pm

  i got a cool surprise today. my new godin montreal guitar arrived. the artist rep, mario biferali, who takes great care of me, said he'd send me a new one as soon as they had it (the one i've been using the last few months had a few minor issues). they've been backordered since these guitars have become quite popular. so this thing showed up on my door like a Christmas present. i'm surprised he didn't give me a heads-up.
  this one is quite beautiful. it's got a much more detailed face and the wood is very "striped". now, i've been meaning to update my gallery page with new some pictures and this would be a perfect time to do that. so i'll add that to my very long list of things to do. check back later for a pic of the new axe.

FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16th, 2005  9:47pm

okay, i just noticed my last two blog entries were dated "2006". so i got a little ahead of myself. as fast as time flies, it doesn't fly that fast.

  so the vegas trip was cool. i had a fabulous interview with jaijai jackson, and sandra & i got my mom a little dog for Christmas. she really wanted one. of course, she picked out the mangiest stray mutt but it's got that cute face they so often do. my brother and i went on a cool hike up a mountain and you could see the colorado river.
as mentioned in the last entry, i had another one of my high moments playing video poker at the green valley ranch resort where we stayed (great place! very classy for vegas). i was up quite a bit after initially losing a lot. but i didn't walk like i normally have the sense to do so it's the first time in a long while that i gave it all back. hey- it was 5am and i was having fun- going up & down, and this casino's house system plays the cooler of the classic rock i use to play in top 40 bands back in the 80's, plus, i got my first royal flush ever. so i got caught up in the moment. it was fun. i didn't lose nothing that 25 CD sales can't fix.

uh...could, um, 25 of you out there please go to my CD page now and buy something?

SUNDAY, DECEMBER 11th, 2005  1:18am

  so i'm off to vegas in a few hours to go visit my mom & brother and to do a live interview on jaijai jackson's "woman of jazz" radio show. i must admit, when she first contacted me and i saw the name of her show, i thought it said "women of jazz" and i wondered why she would want to have me on. i now realize that she's the "woman of jazz", not myself.
imagine my relief.
she's very cool and also is the daughter of famed jazz bassist, chubby jackson.
  so, way to mix business and pleasure. that is, if you consider a visit with mom pleasure. kidding...i love my mom. she gets mad at me because every time i go out there and we go to her favorite neighborhood casino (which i think has been decorated by the same people that decorate denny's restaurants), i win at video poker. and i mean, like, i really win. like, $1200 kinda win. she plays all the time so it frustrates her that i come out there just a few times a year and totally kick ass. i swear, since she retired out there, i think i've made a few thousand dollars or more. once, on my way to move the car after checking in, i dropped a quick twenty in a quarter video poker machine and got five hands of 4 aces and won $900. i wasn't even there for 15 minutes. i love vegas. now, i'm a good son and when i win i give my mom a bunch and also take her to dinner & stuff. the hardest thing for me is when i try to hang with my mom on her favorite machines, the nickel and penny slots. yes, penny slots. very unfulfilling. if you get a royal flush, i think you get, like, $12. but enough about that stuff...
  have i mentioned ben monder? i found an earlier CD of his on real rhapsody and i was listening to it while i worked here in my office last night. it was cool, however it's that kind of abstract jazz that's a little math like. i like it but you have to listen to it a few times for it to take hold of you. all of a sudden, in the middle of the CD, he does this amazing solo piece that's an intro to the next tune. yo gotta go check it out. the album is flux (1995) and the tune is called 'red shifts'. definitely worth checking out. i think i just read in downbeat the he's got a new one out i think.
okay, i'm off to go win the money to make my next record.

WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 7th, 2005  1:21am

*%!&%! dang it! i tried using my remote computer access on tour in chicago last week and it didn't want to work no matter what. i was very frustrated because, not only did i have a lot of work to do, but i wanted to blog from the road.
so here's how the week went...
  i was most blessed in getting to play with an amazingly cool bunch of guys: dave hiltebrand on bass, ernie adams on drums and saxophonist scott burns. jimmy halsip hooked me up with dave and dave was way cool in getting the others for me. they were all not only extremely burnin' players, but they were also the most gracious people you could ever hope to work with. all the players i've gotten to play with this year were wonderful, of course. it's just that this particular trip was a really good one.
  we ended up playing the show in milwaukee on wednesday. i never had heard back from the owner of the jazz estate to confirm the gig so i was a tad apprehensive about driving up to wisconsin when we weren't totally sure the gig was on. man, i've dealt with some hard-to-reach people but this guy is the winner. i booked my plane, car & hotel hoping that show was on. and it was. it was a good appreciative crowd and a great first night.
the next day we did a master class at chicago state university and then went right from there to tower records downtown to do an in-store. as usual, it was not a stellar turnout. (artie fufkin- "i'm not asking. i'm telling with this. kick my ass!") i always like to do them though because they serve a promotional purpose. but next time, i'm putting "depeche mode" on my posters instead of my name so i get the line around the block thing goin'. none of us had had more than 3 hours sleep so it was one of those special shows, the highlight being when we all started a different song at the same time. i started 'critical mass' and i forgot my mondo delay was still on from the previous tune and ernie started 'cable'. dave was on it but in a trio, it takes a toll when 2/3's of the band are in the weeds.
  friday and saturday scott joined us on sax at pete miller's in evanston on the north side of town. he was excellent (scott burns, not pete miller). i love getting to play a bunch of gigs in a row. five gigs in four days is way cool.
i didn't get to see a whole lot of chicago but i did hang with dave tuesday night at the green mill, a historical chi-town jazz hang. i got to see bobby brown play guitar in an organ trio that was smokin' (bobby's wife was the manager at pete miller's. small world thing).
it snowed some of the days and was butt-ass cold all of the days.
  again, dave, ernie & scott were so way cool and i'm happy i get to see them again in a month at the NAMM show in anaheim, ca. ernie tours with al dimeola and they'll be doing a show that week. dave'll be playing at the bag end booth and i'll be doing my band at the marriott, for the 5th year now.
  so now it's off to set up the same kinda stuff for my week in NYC next month. i just scored joel rosenblatt (steve khan, spryro gyra, bill evans) on drums and i have a call into james genus. it'll be a different kind of trip for sure. my first shows in new york and then four days of IAJE.

now playing: voices - mike stern
richard bona is always simply superb.

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 22nd, 2005  4:58am

  i saw an incredible, me and everyone we know. it was written & directed by miranda july and it is definitely an indie film type of flick. there are some elements to it that i'm sure most would find disturbing. but for some reason, it all seemed to work for me. i love movies that are out there but maintain continuity.
  after this whole "being a jazz artist" thing runs its course, i'm going to be an independent film maker. it can't be any harder than my current gig.


THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17th, 2005  2:17am

  i finally scored a date at the triple door in seattle. they have this cool lounge called the musiquarium and i've been chasing this gig for a few months. i laid off for a while because the earshot jazz festival was going on up there last month and they were way busy with that. i checked in this week and they so okay, so i'll set up a date for february. it'll be a cool trip because my parents & my sister live in the area. also, my buddy, jeff kashua, lives there and he'll do the show with me.
for the next few months, i've got some great shows lined up. needless to say, it is very satisfying to see my efforts paying off.

now playing: i have the room above her- paul motian, joe lovano, & bill frisell
who needs a stinkin' bass player!?

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 12th, 2005  3:38pm

  well i'd have to say that my boston trip was a success on many levels. i had an excellent show at johnny D's in somerville. i played with gary chaffee on drums & john lockwood on bass and they did a great job with the charts. there was a decent turnout and i got a huge write-up in the boston globe. dana westover, the booker/soundman at the club, was one of the coolest guys to work and hang with. i shared the bill with guitarist extraordinaire, tim miller. he also used gary & john so that worked out for those guys. check his stuff out at i'm listening to his latest CD, trio, whilst i type. he, too, was an ultra-cool guy to hang with.
and, an extra special HUGE thank you goes to david lee, without whom i wouldn't have been able to pull off this bean-town trip. he's one of those guys who enjoys helping jazz artists get hooked up with the right people & places when they come into town. every city needs a guy like him!
  now i'm back and it's time to cinch things up for the chi-town tour coming up in three weeks. that's gonna be a great band with ernie adams (of al di meola's band) and dave hiltebrand (jeff kashua band, recommended by jimmy haslip). lots o' stuff going on that week. stay tuned...

TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 8th, 2005  11:57pm

  so here i am in boston. the set at rutman's violins went pretty cool. it was more or less a public rehearsal. they usually have classical recitals there and maybe some groups from berklee school of music (right around the corner), trying out new tunes. my good friend and ex-student, john sosin, turned me on to rutman's a couple of weeks ago just when i thought i wouldn't be able to set up an in-store show. he showed up that night with some other students from berklee. john's in his second year there and by the time he graduates, he is going to be a mofo for sure. i hope he'll let me open for his shows someday. man, i wish i could've gone to berklee. i had a kinda stilted jazz education due to a number of factors. i've always thought that berklee is the ultimate in music schools.
  i really love traveling and boston is a very cool city. except for when it come to driving. have you ever driven in boston? it's an absolute nightmare. i mapquested every place i needed to go to when i got here and i still couldn't get to my destinations with out getting turned around. the fact that 90% of the streets are one way doesn't help the situation.
  i swear, this is the only city where two streets can run parallel and perpendicular at the same time.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2005  1:55am

  so i'm sitting here waiting for my free hour i'm going to get in five minutes, thanks to daylight savings time. i love it when the clock on my computer goes for 1:59 to 1:00.
what will i do with this extra hour?... practice?... compose?... find a new city to book a gig in?...meditate... play solitaire?... watch a west wing rerun?
  actually, i know that i'm not really gaining an hour. but the illusion of time gained is good enough for me and my time-bound consciousness.
want to see something cool?...
go to:

MONDAY, OCTOBER 25th, 2005 11:11pm

  bummer! my gig at the mint with translucent ham sandwich, evan stone's jam band, got cancelled. i love this gig. it's very cathartic- no charts, no boundaries, and i'm not the leader. there was some mix-up with the ditzy booker gal there so evan's going to try and get them to make it up by giving us a residency there- every monday nite. that would be cool.
  we played there week before last and the was a jam session after our set. these kids from the thelonious monk institute opened with their set of bebop and, geezus, it was burning. the piano player was john clayton's son, i believe. man, kids today. nobody told them it is supposed to be hard.
  actually, it's not supposed to be hard. i am choosing to correct my wording since lately i've been heavy into rereading & practicing effortless mastery by kenny werner. saying it's hard is not affirming language.

but it's just that these kids have famous jazz parents and i didn't.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19TH, 2005  1:53am

  dang me! i'm on a roll! today i scored two shows in new york- the 55 bar in greenwich village & moto in brooklyn. moto is where i did part of my photo shoot for the record. a lot of the pics on this website were done there (not the one on the left- that's inside grand central station. go check out the press kit page). i gotta say, it's very satisfying to be getting these shows on the books. hopefully i can get one or both of these NYC gigs scheduled during the week of IAJE in january, since i'll already be out there.
  I'm stoked about the 55 bar. it's where mike stern, his wife, leni stern, wayne krantz, ben monder, and a zillion other great musicians play all the time.
i gotta go practice!

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12th, 2005  3:39am

  i can't believe it! i'm finally making some headway in my booking efforts. in the last few days i've nailed down dates in boston, chicago & san diego, with tentatives in new york & seattle. i'm just doing one-off's, this isn't all one tour. if it was, my booking agent chops would need some serious work in the continuity department. of course, i could fill in all the dates in between, although these gigs are at about one a month so were talking about another 80 or 90 shows to book.

i gotta go take a nap.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 8th, 2005  8:10pm

  on my drive home form the mountains tuesday night, i listened to one of my favorite albums- solstice by ralph towner. i was way into that record in college and have been a huge ralph fan ever since. ive been working on a couple of his solo peices lately that are in a collection of his works that he put out last year.
  so today i snagged a couple of jon christensen's drum grooves off the CD and made loops out of them. i've been doing that a lot lately 'cause i dig practicing with real drums instead of the metronome. that's always been an awesome band on lots of those ECM records- jon, jan gabarek & eberhard weber. jon & jan play on another favorite of mine, the journey home by keith jarrett.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 5th, 2005  1:19pm

  we just got back from an awesome backpacking trip up to paradise valley in kings canyon state park. it's an extremely beautiful area. the fishing wasn't great though. i think it was just a little fished out after the summer. but we did have our first bear encounter in camp. just as i was off to go hike up the river to go fish some more, sandra starts yelling. she was gathering all the food up to put it in the bear lockers they have there when she looked up and this bear was standing there ten feet away, just looking at her. my wife was waving her arms and it actually starting to come closer to her. it ran away after i came up and started to bang some trek polls. normally, bears wouldn't freak us out but there were a bunch of warnings at the trailhead that told of injuries due to improper food storage at the campsites.
there were also a whole family of deer that hung around all three days. they don't make you yell, they just make you go "aahhhh".
but i wish they would've warned us the bear was coming.

MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 25th, 2005  11:59pm

  i went saturday night to go see the pat metheny quartet at disney hall in LA. he played with antonio sanchez, christian macbride, & david sanchez. do i need to say it was awesome? pat did his thing where he does a couple of solo pieces from one quiet night, followed by a piece on his picasso guitar , then antonio & christian came out. he didn't bring david out 'till about half way through. i took my friend, glenn hall, whose company, the brainyard, does my website & ad work. we had second row center seats. it was way cool to be that close. there were softer moments where you could hear pat's pick against the strings.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th, 2005  10:49pm

  so this is so cool- i'm working on my computer, but i'm doing it remotely on my laptop (i'm sitting on the bed). my buddy, steve kirby, is my computer tech and he set me up with remote access. i needed it for when i travel. i can now control my office computer from anywhere in the world. or from in my house or by my pool. it's good to get out of the office every now & then (as usual, i'm still amused by the little things).

  this week i've started to get things going for the jazz festivals for next year. i'm going after the ones in the areas where i've already toured. that way, i've already got radio contacts and stuff. onward & upward.

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th, 2005  11:11pm 

  so tonight i got to play with my good buddy & great drummer, evan stone, in his band translucent ham sandwich. as if i have to say it, with a name like that, it's a jam band. evan would just start a groove and we would just go. what a refreshing kind of gig for me. we played at this benefit for the mr. holland's opus foundation & katrina hurricane relief and it was put on by the west coast drum center. it was a golf tournament and we played that night at the dinner/auction. there were a slew of famous/infamous drummers there- stewart copeland (the police), denny seiwell (paul macartney & wings), adrian young (no doubt), danny seraphine (chicago),& Dean Butterworth (good charlotte). fun was had by all and money was raised for a good cause. it looks like we're going to be playing at another benefit for katrina victims next month at the mint up in LA. it's fun to be in a side project that is an absolute no-stress hang. plus, i get to play mad scientist with my line 6 DL4 delay/looper pedal.

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 5th, 2005  7:50pm

  i am so overwhelmed by all the destruction and events down in new orleans. it is the most heart wrenching thing i've seen since 9/11. please, if you haven't already, find it in yourself to contribute to any organization that is involved with the recovery efforts going on down there. there are links on my home page. plus, until further notice, all proceeds from my CD sales will be donated to the american redcross & the salvation army.
  my first trip i ever took with my wife, sandra, was to the garden district & the french quarter. and just last week i had just gathered all my research to start pursuing a gig in that amazingly fine city.

time to pray.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 30th, 2005  5:15am

  yeah! i wrote a couple of new tunes! man, it's about time- i haven't written anything since my record. it's not like i shut down on getting ideas or anything- actually, i have a walkman recorder with me whenever i'm practicing here in my office and whenever i stumble on an idea for a tune, i throw it down on tape. the tapes's mostly full. and i've even got a 'word' file on my desktop that has a slew of song titles in it, waiting for actual songs to be put under them. it's just i've been caught up in the biz end of my career and, and...WHINER! no excuses.
i enjoyed creating these tunes so much...i feel a surge coming on. i'm going to road-test these things tonight at my gig at steamers with brandon fields.

SATURDAY, AUGUST 26, 2005  4:12am

  i'm in one of those practice slumps where i get myself so frustrated that i'm not getting in 10 hours a day (like i really ever did that? wait- yah, i did use to do that.) and it's so stupid because i feel like i need these huge blocks of time when i know that you can get just as much done in a bunch of small blocks of time. and then when i am practicing, i start to get overwhelmed (oh shit- i just realized i missed my sister's birthday on the 23rd. damn.) with all the cool stuff there is to work on and i think that i need to go 20 hours a day. you get the picture. am i alone in my misery? no, i think not. this is just typical musician neurosis. fortunately, i'm re-reading effortless mastery, by kenny werner, for the umpteenth time and i always get wiggy right before a breakthrough. plus, i've been meditating just about everyday and that is making a huge difference. that kind of practicing is what is really most important for me anyhow.
okay- i feel better now. thanks for listening.

MONDAY, AUGUST 20th, 2005  10:41pm

  i had a blast on tour with SHAPES this week. all the shows went very well and there weren't any catastrophes of which are sometimes a part of the whole touring experience. roger burn was actually very cool the whole time. he can be a little intense (did i say a little?). and the rest of the band were a great hang. david derge, drummer, and i have played in quite a few bands together and there was also andy suzuki, amazing saxophonist (whom'll be playing with me at spaghettinis next month) and george mullen, trombonist, and tim powell on bass and the great tollak olestad, harmonica/keys/vox, who now lives in holland. roger's material is quite challenging and i appreciate getting to play other music besides my own. i am also grateful to roger for all the opportunities he's provided for me- not the least of which is introducing me to my producer, jimmy haslip. roger is very generous and he passes along any promotion or gig opportunity that comes his way. plus, we also do three of my tunes in his band. SHAPES still has another couple shows to go this month- the baked potato in hollywood and this club called cafe amore up in idyllwild.

  i'm listening right now to east/west, bill frisell's new album. i used to do this tune blues for los angeles in my trio, back in the days when it was just a fusion cover band.we called it the new trio of doom. i thought it was an obscure & slightly funny reference to the mclaughlin/pastorious/williams group that only performed once at the historic havana jam concert in 1979. as it turns out, quite a lot of people new of that group so i inadvertently came off as being pretentious enough to think we were of those guys' caliber.

FRIDAY, AUGUST 12th, 2005   8:26pm

  you have got to check out kaki
she's my new favorite guitarist. she's a great solo acoustic player & writer and she's signed to epic/sony records (who must be thrilled to have such a talent who also has an ultr-hip look & vibe).
  i have often had moments in my career where i want to just become a solo guitarist in the vein of  ralph towner/preston reed/and now, kaki. man, then it would be so easy (read: cheap) to record and tour. my solo guitar playing as it is now is best described as a hobby, based on the amount of time spent on that aspect of my guitar playing. i've been working on it lately though, and i sometimes throw in a solo piece at my shows.
you also gotta check out madeleine peyroux. yeah, yeah, i know...she sounds just like billie holiday but her latest record is way coolly produced. and i've hardly ever really listened to billie so i just dig it madeleine's voice and style.

TUESDAY, AUGUST 9th, 2005   2:22am

  so i've been selling a whole bunch of gear on ebay and boy, did that ever turn out to be a much bigger project than i anticipated. i've never dealt with ebay before, so i enlisted the help of my great friend corey witt to list all the stuff. he's very ebay savvy. but then i had to deal with all the ebay gear junkies who deluged me with emails. fortunately, i sold most of it and i still have even more stuff to unload.
anyone interested?...
- roland 1680 digital recorder
- echoplex digital pro looper
- aria archtop (gibson L-5 copy)
- casio CZ 1000 keyboard ( a must if you're in an 80's cover band)
- two DeCuir guitar cabinets w/ 12" fender speakers

all offers will be considered.

wait, i mean money offers.
you've got to be so careful how you word things on the internet.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4th, 2005   6:53pm

  so i got to be involved with grammy camp the last couple of days. it's a week long program for high school kids from all around the country that's put on by the grammy foundation. what a blast. i worked with these two very talented guitar players, zack wiesinger & doug ratner. zack, 17, was a great blues player with a very cool vibe and doug, also 17, is already a burin' bebop player. it was very humbling for me to have this kid playing circles around me but i was comforted in that he studies with both joe beck & jack wilkins, and he started playing guitar when he was still in the womb. doug already has an excellent CD out and is definitely on his way. there was also this 14 year old drummer, corey, who was mind blowing! man, kids today! the camp was a great thing to be a part of and it looks like i'll be involved with the grammy foundation's programs in the future. it was also cool that this camp was held on the campus of citrus college, my alma mater. the whole music department has been given a multi-million dollar face lift and is now quite the facility with orchestra size studios. very different from when i went there in '79.

  by the way, did i mention i finally received my new mesa/boogie lonestar head with the two matching single 12" cabs?
totally awesome!

WEDNESDAY, JULY 27th, 2005   2:24am

  my wife & i went on a nice trip for our second anniversary- we drove last minute up to the sycamore mineral springs resort and had a great time relaxing with yoga, massages & hot tubs filled with scalding mineral water. i managed to stop by boo boo records where i had played last february and pick up some money for CD's sold, thus turning the whole trip into a tax write-off. for all you IRS auditors out there, i was kidding!
  so i didn't have a very productive week. i seem to be in a slump of sorts. i don't know why. i'm not prone to depression but i'm just having trouble getting motivated. i can't afford to waste any time as i am striving to book chicago, boston & NYC before the weather turns.
oh well, this too shall pass. it's nothing that more lattes can't help.

MONDAY, JULY 18, 2005  11:11

  saturday night was a blast! i play with craig snazelle and a drummer friend of his at this cool wine bar outside of portland. we just played standards, which was fun for me because i rarely get to do that these days. and of course, because there was zero stress for me compared to my own shows, i played my ass off. it was so easy for me to be detached from the results (zen speak) that i was coming up with great stuff. now, for those that don't know me, i seldom go off about myself in this manner. but those of you who have read effortless mastery by kenny werner, know exactly what i'm talking about.
  on sunday, i tagged along with craig to his quartet gig he had out at this very nice winery in dundee, oregon. i sat in the last set and we all had a more than pleasant afternoon outside in the gorgeous summer weather. that night , when we got back, craig, our friend ken johnston (my roadie for the trip) and i all went fishing on the molalla river. we didn't catch anything but the hang was excellent. we fished until nine because it was still light out, thanks to the high longitude of the area.
and then on monday, craig & i wen t on this totally bitchin' hike in the silver falls state park. it was on the trail of ten falls and it was exactly that- except we ran out of time and only saw nine of 'em. these falls were mostly in the 100 to 180 foot range. very beautiful. we got some great fishing in.
  all in all, it was a completely excellent trip up to oregon. i give myself an A+ in the ability to combine business and pleasure.

SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2005  11:37am

  still reporting from the road...

  so the gig last night at jimmy mak's was great. there was a good size crowd and craig & kurt did an excellent job (and kurt only had the music & charts for less than a week- yikes!) J.D., the club manager was an absolute pleasure to work with. special thanks goes out to my good friend, kenny johnston, for being my roadie/photographer/videographer & all around nice guy (any private eye fans out there?).
  on thursday afternoon, the day before, i had an excellent interview at KMHD with greg gomez. he, too, was an absolute cool hang. this guy actually read my entire blog to prepare for the interview. his questions were, needless to say, relevant and in-depth. it was one of the best interviews i've ever done. thanks greg!! it's always a blessing to have guys like that on your side. that station is portland's coolest & they have my record in permanent rotation so they must know what they're doing.
  tomorrow will be a cool de-briefing kinda gig as i will be playing as the featured artist in craig's trio at this very cool wine bar in milwaukie, oregon (see calendar page). it'll be a blast 'cause we'll be playing standards (or, "hacking some 'dards" as craig would say) and i don't get to do much of that these, my parents and sister will be hanging at that night.
  and by the way, can anyone guess what song of mine was my parent's favorite last night at jimmy mak's?

FRIDAY, JULY 15th, 2005  1:43am

  reporting from the road...

  so i'm having an awesome time up here in oregon! i'm staying at the farm of my long-time buddy, craig snazelle. there's horses & a nice view of mt. hood. between this hang and bill berg's mountain mansion on the southeast tour last month, it hardly fells like "touring". you know- like five guys piling into a van and staying at motel 6's. craig & i use to play in OC in the don miller big band and he's been up here for about twelve years now. he's the bass player for the gigs this week, along with his pal, kurt duetcher, on drums. we've been rehearsing over the last couple of days in the barn's tack room. it's full of horse gear and it's all made of cedar so it looks, smells and sounds great. the horse stalls next door don't necessarily smell great.

  we played last night at music millennium, a very bitchin' record store ( and i mean record store- they had tons of LP's, as well as CD's, of course). they're owned by my distribution company, burnside distribution, so they guys from BDC were there. that was a good show. actually, it was more of a dress rehearsal for our gig tonight at jimmy mak's, portland's best jazz club. there's going to be a great crowd and my parents have come down from seattle for the show. alway's good to have the folks there. whenever they come to one of my shows, i immediately revert to being 8 years old- "hey dad! watch me jump off the high dive! dad! are you watching?!". but they don't really get my music ("hey dad! watch me play an Ab melodic minor scale over a G13 chord!) but i know they like this band better than when i played in rock bands.
  my parents are cool- i could play an F# over a G13 chord and they'd still love me.

but would you?

SUNDAY, JULY 3rd, 2005  1:22am

  so i got my mesa/boogie lonestar head this week. the matching cabinets (one 12" speaker each) will arrive in a couple of weeks. i'm temporarily using some decuir cabs i have( that i'll soon be selling on ebay). it's been a while now since i used this new rig of mine, with the lexicon MPX1 for effects. i had to take my line 6 vetta II on last month's tour with me. so i got this whole new rig set up in my office, getting it fine tuned because i'm taking it with my on my portland tour next week.
  i am going just a little crazy with this "finding my own sound" thing. it occurred to me last night that i'm not sure i've ever been totally happy with any amp set up that i've had in my life. i can get it sounding good at "bedroom" levels but it all changes as soon as i hit the stage. and i even know why that happens (see line 6's FAQTRAQ page). but i am still frustrated when i play with my band 'cause it all changes. and i play it loud at home, too. but you add bass & drums and then you have too many frequencies swirling around. that's why i am really enjoying having everyone play ultra quiet these days at shows.
oh my God! am i getting old?

JUNE 13th, 2005  10:18pm PST

wrapping it up..

saturday, june 11-
  tonite we played speakeasy jazz in winston-salem. another great night! we had a really great crowd. it was packed. bryan white, who played with us in greenville on monday, did a much better job. he obviously used his 5 days in between to get the material more nailed down. it is definitely not an easy gig to walk into without a rehearsal. i know i wouldn't want to do it. the owners of the club, connie, the owner, and her partner, who's name i now forget, were extremely accommodating.
  you know what? all of the club owners at all of the venues i played at on this trip were really, really great to work with. what a treat. i had such a blast traveling around this region and meeting all sorts of people who were so pleasant and who were big supporters of jazz music. i am really blessed that my first real tour (9 gigs in 10 day in 3 different states) went so smoothly. i have to say it was a huge success in that i accomplished all that i set out to do- make my calendar page/booking resume look good, find new fans, sell some CD's and have a a whole lot of fun doing it. i would like to give a big thank you to all the people that came out to the shows and to anyone who was a part of this experience, in particular john boullie at WSHA fm, jim steele at WFDD fm, sean miller at WBCX fm, roland dierauf at WNCW and renee willaims at WCLK, all of whom helped a ton with the promotion of all the different shows.

and to book the rest of the US.

JUNE 11th, 2005  2:38pm EST

road blog...

friday, june 10-
  so here's how our gig(s) for tonight came about...
  i wanted to play in the city of asheville while i was out here because it's such the cool artist hang and has a great vibe. while in raleigh last sunday, i scored a last minute gig at malaprop's bookstore & cafe in  downtown asheville. the only problem was i didn't have a bass player- all the ones we've been using were already booked that night. so i called a bunch of numbers i'd gotten from a local musician, mike holstein (great bass player), and finally hooked up with this guy curt heiny. bill & i meet up with him sunday  when we cruised through ashville, on the way from raleigh to brevard, so we can give him the charts & CD. he's a cool 'dude' kinda guy and he is par for the course of the strong neo-hippy element of that city. he then explains to us that he's in about 5 bands, that he's know the local scene real well and that he thinks he can get us a cooler gig than the bookstore ( which was going to have to be an 'unplugged' show). i tell him have at it, or even try and get us a place to play after the bookstore because we were going to be done by 9:45pm.
  so check this out- he calls me the next day and says he's got some possible things for asheville but asks me if bill & i would be interested in opening for bill frisell down in athens, Georgia, on thursday night!
i'm like, "holy shit! you are so hired to be my booking agent!". turns out he know the people running the venue mr. frisell was performing at. now, that gig didn't happen but it came close. how amazing would that have been to score that gig last minute?! and, as it turns out, curt wasn't able to get an ashville show happening either. it was all because of it being so last minute, of course.
  so we do the thing at malaprop's and it was totally great. after our experience of successfully playing ultra-quiet at bluenote LP in raleigh, we loved doing an acoustic show. the employee's of the bookstore were very cool and there was a very nice crowd- very responsive. and it turns out that curt could play! he did a really good job considering he only had the charts & CD for 5 days ahead of time. we were done playing by 9:45 since the place closed at 10 and i was like, "we gotta find a place to keep going!". playing out on the sidewalk was out because it was raining so i went across the street to this cool bar and we ask the manager if he'd like a free band for the night. he was this cool african dude named zimbufu, that curt knew, and he said "sure, have at it". so we brought our gear over to the flying frog, set up and played 'till one thirty am. how cool is that??!! it was such the bitchin' road thing to do and i gotta say that i was impressed that bill was game. i knew curt would be into it because he's just a young dude who does nothing but music. we had a great time playing in the foyer of this bar, which also had a covered outdoor seating area. i even passed a hat (actually, a gig bag) around afterwards and made a little money for the effort. we just wanted to play. that's what it's all about
and another thing about curt- he tells us at the end of the night that he's only been playing bass for about a year & a half!! if he had told us that when i called him sunday, bill and i would've been like, "uh oh". but he did a fine job and he's definitely going to be a mo-fo soon enough.

one more show to to winston-salem.

JUNE 10th, 2005  4:07pm EST

tour diary...

thursday, june 9-
  our only day off this week. i'm really enjoying the stay at bill berg's house here in brevard, north carolina.
so let me tell you about bill berg, the drummer i'm touring with...
i've been a huge wayne johnson trio fan since college and bill is the drummer in that band. a few years ago, wayne and i got to be friends and i eventually then met bill at the NAMM show. he and i did one gig together a kikuya, in orange county, CA, last summer. since then he and his wife, kaaren berg (yes- 2 a's. it's swedish) retired out to western north carolina. both of them were animators for the last 20 years at disney studios. they've been responsible for all the 2-D animation that that studio has released for the last two decades: 'little mermaid', 'beauty & the beast', 'emperor's new groove', etcetera. they are now focusing on their painting and live here in the very cool artist colony-like area of brevard/asheville.
  i found out during one of our long drives to a show that bill was the drummer on 'tangled up in blue' by bob dylan. actually, he played on the whole album and there is a book out by andy gill & kevin odegard that chronicles that period of dylan's career. it has some cool illustrations in it that bill drew during the sessions. and if that's not enough, he also played in flim & the BB's, a very successful fusion band in the 80's. jimmy johnson (flim) played bass in that band as well as the wayne johnson trio.
i've got to say that getting to play with one of my all-time music heroes is an incredible rush. i've always loved bill's approach to drumming and he's definitely taking my tunes to an extremely high level. every show we do, he gets more & more awesome!
and this house he and kaaren have here is absolutely amazing. it's huge and it overlooks the pisgah mountains. the view from their deck is overwhelming. today we had some home-made pie from the pie lady who was at the country store down the hill. it was the real deal.

the "last minute gig story" will have to wait until tomorrow

JUNE 9th, 2005  2:09pm EST

the latest from the road...

so i'm winding down the tour with a few shows left. it's been an absolute blast so far.

monday, june 6-
if you had told me a year ago that i'd be playing with my band at the handlebar in greenville, south carolina, i would've said (in whiney voice) "can't i tour in new york instead?". as it turns out, it was one of the hippest gigs of the week. yeah, the club setting was befitting of the name 'the handlebar' but the crowd was real receptive and the guys running it, john egan & monty craig, were the coolest. john is a transplanted new yorker who loves jazz and God bless him for keeping a regular monday night jazz thing going all this time. you know- every city, large and small, needs people like him to help keep jazz alive. he and monty took great care of us. i really enjoy meeting the people out here on the road. i've been holed-up in orange county for too long now.

tuesday, june 7-
you can't ask for a better crowd than a bunch of music students at a prominent music school. nite driscoll, randy hoexter, & the rest of the gang at the atlanta institute of music were extremely great to work with. they, too, took great care of us. except for the power outage during the soundcheck (due to summer thunderstorms), it was an excellent show and i really enjoyed interacting with the students there. they were all extremely fascinated with my godin 11-string nylon string fretless guitar. neal starkey, the bass player for that night did fine job with the tunes. it's not easy to step into this trio with no rehearsal, that's for sure. special thanks to shawn miller, from WBCX fm, for taking the time to come out to do an interview and hang.

wednesday, june 8-
i had the most excellent day today. bill berg & i got to the jazz loft, in downtown atlanta, in the afternoon and had a nice casual sound check. i fixed some gear issues i was having and their PA worked out just right and bill & i got to play, just the two of us. then we walked over to this nice mall here and had a nice dinner. we then went over to WCLK fm and had a great interview with renee williams right before the show. and then a funny thing happened.
no one came to the gig.
and i mean no one. we played for the first hour to many empty chairs. then during the second set this one guy did come in . but he doesn't count because he said he came in because he thought this other singer was performing that night. ouch! but you know, i've read enough interviews with jazz artists, and i've heard enough stories from artists of all levels, to know that this happens to the best of us. i was more concerned that the owner, george eccles, wasn't going to want to pay us. but he turned out to be totally cool. we did end up with 4 people by the end, one of them being renee williams, who came over from the radio station after her show. she was more upset than i was because she felt responsible since she didn't get to promote the show the last couple of weeks, like she was going to, due to circumstances that aren't worth getting into. so, i guess doing a radio interview 30 minutes before downbeat isn't the best promotional strategy. i'm surprised people listening didn't just turn their cars around and drive right back to the city and come to my show. watch me learn as i go.
well, that's enough reporting for now.

tomorrow's blog entry- a last minute gig and some home-made pie...

JUNE 5, 2005 1:54am

  so i just finished the first run of my road trip- raleigh: thursday at borders and friday & saturday at the bluenote LP.
  so far, so great! bill berg is a phenomenal drummer and the bassist from here, damon brown (whom jimmy haslip recommended), did an excellent job. the borders gig served its purpose as in-store promotional show/rehearsal. we played in the cafe which was huge and it had a nice good sized crowd hanging out. plus, they had a scrabble tournament going on the whole time. i had a thing where everytime someone spelled out the title of one of my tunes, they got a free CD. i'm going to shoot for a milton/bradley sponshorship for my next tour. kidding.
  the two nights at bluenote LP were also a blast. the owners, arman & azad atashi (identical twins), were the coolest people to work with. however, the acoustics of this very beautiful restaurant were such that we had to play unbelievably quiet. which on one level was very cool because it took the tunes to another level. but when it got loud, it was LOUD. next time, we're going to put a full-on show outside, in the incredible plaza that azad, an architect, designed. i can only hope the rest of the shows go this well.

  next stop...the handlebarin greenville, south carolina.

MAY 29th, 2005  7:43pm

  so the vegas trip went well. i won't go into all the family stuff (wait for the movie) but the show at the jazzed cafe was very nice. unfortunately, the posters i sent never got there so there was very little promotion other than the radio interview i did the day before with gig brown at KUNV. there was a good crowd thanks to the fact that that the venue is a very successful restaurant. kirk, the owner, was exceptionally gracious and took very good care of me, as well as my mom. yes, i took my mom to the gig. she was my "CD girl" for the evening, as she manned (or is it "mommed") the sales booth (her table). maybe i should take her with me whenever i tour.
  up next is the show at steamers with eric marienthal & terri lyne carrington. that's going to be a blast for sure. the next night, i leave for north carolina for my first real tour in support of the record. that, too, will be a blast. special thanks goes out to my drummer for the week, bill berg, of whom i would not have been able to pull this trip off without. we'll be playing with an assortment of bass players from each town we're in. i'm going to do my best to blog from the road, so stay tuned. there should be some good stories, given that we'll be doing a whole lot of driving throughout north & south carolina as well as georgia.

  no.....i'm not going to play the theme form 'deliverance.'

MAY 19, 2005  7:05PM

  so it looks like everything is all lined up for my first real tour in support of ITPM. it' got a little dicey with the bass player story for raleigh but then jimmy haslip found me a guy. then the bass player for atlanta had to bail but he handled it superbly- he called me up with a sub all ready to go while he was sitting in his car at that guys gig with my charts ready to hand off to him. now that's the way to back out of a gig. it was already sorted out before he even let me know he couldn't do it. very professional. plus, he had a good reason as to why he couldn't play my shows.
  now i'm off to las vegas this week. i've got a night at the jazzed cafe and a radio interview at KUNV with the very happening gig brown. my mom lives out there so it's a combination biz/family trip. plus i'll stop by my niece's graduation in lake havasu, AZ. and it's also my birthday, of which i don't give a shit about. but i'm not above using it to get people out to my shows. when i get back i have a week to get ready for the southeast tour. the night before i leave for that, i'm playing at steamers with eric marienthal & terri lyne carrington. that will be awesome. i'm a lucky, lucky guy.

MAY 9, 2005  10:45pm

  yesterday i pulled out shatki's CD, natural elements. man, that record rocks! (in an indian kinda way). i've been listening to a lot of indian & nepalese music lately while i work in my office. it aids is staying focused & relaxed. that record has always been one of my favorites. john mclaughlin's latest shatki records are cool as well, but natural elements is my favorite.
   and, to change the subject, has any one seen the movie primer? it's a fascinating indie sci-fi thriller about time travel- i'm about to go watch it for the second time (w/ director's commentary), just to grasp all the paradoxes that occur at the end. there are, of course, lots of discussion boards online about it. i rarely check those out, but i needed some help with this one.

APRIL 30, 2005  1:32pm

  i can't believe it! - i actually booked 6 gigs over 8 days in 3 states.
i just might get this booking agent thing down. i did tons of research online and then i used those contacts i made to get even more details. it appears every region in the US has a jazz society of some kind. or sometimes i'd find a band that plays music similar to mine and check the calendar page on their website and see where they gig at. a city's artist district also proved a good place to look for hip venues. all basic research stuff but i have a blast figuring it all out. and i'll still get a couple of in-store performances going at borders or tower as well. i guess i need to book flights and find amps now, don't i? alright, enough high-5-ing myself...back to work...

now playing on rhapsody:
robert johnson- the complete recordings

APRIL 18th, 2005  3:11pm

  so i get to play with my new rig tomorrow night. i've got the mesa/boogie lonestar amp and a lexicon MPX1 for effects. man- that lexicon is a bitch to program. i thought i was pretty happening with these kind of units, but i'm about ready to enroll in some online courses at MIT. i did get a very happening reverb & delay so that'll get me through the gig. i'll get the bells & whistles going in the next few weeks of tinkering with it.

on rhapsody right now:
domineco scarlatti- piano sonata in E major

APRIL 8th, 2005  6:45am

  that's right- it's 6:45am, as in that's how long i've been up. i did a major make-over on my press kit this week and it was quite the project. i tend to get rather "detail oriented" (read: anal retentive) with these kind of things so it took many hours of tweaking. but two things came of it: 1. my press kits now looks really bitchin' and, 2., i have new super powers that i did not have before, i.e. adobe acrobat pro & photoshop elements & ABBYY fine reader. wait a couple of days and then check out my handiwork on the press page of this site.
  and now for some good news...
  i won best instrumental in the orange county music awards!! the award show was at the grove theater in anaheim ,ca, last saturday night. it is definitely a "small pond" kinda thing but it does feel good to win.
  what was really funny was that i hadn't eaten all that day and we were planning on having dinner there but they weren't serving food inside. all i'd had all day was two cups of tea and one cup of coffee. needless to say, by the time my category came up, i was praying to God not to win because i was afraid i'd pass out if i had to get up there and give an acceptance speech. i couldn't believe it when the presenter called my name. i somehow managed to get through it and remain upright but i have this thing i do in situations where i don't want to look nervous- i tend to overcompensate and act completely aloof. the audience probably thought i was high or ungrateful or something. but the way the whole show was going, i was the least amusing thing, that's for sure. between the show's producer, martin brown, being a tad unorganized (he's a really super-nice guy, though) and one of the hosts (this gal who i'm still not sure who she was getting drunker and drunker and more & more potty mouthed as the evening progressed, it was like something out of 'animal house'. the show was taped and will air on local cable, ad nauseam. and the cool thing is that, as this year's winner, i get to perform at next year's show.
  special congrat's go out to my pal, jennifer corday, who won 3 out of her 5 nominations. and i can't believe how close i came to wearing that exact outfit she had on.

MARCH  29th, 2005  2:49am

  i went and saw mike stern last week at catalina's up in hollywood. terri lyn carrington was on drums with richard bona on bass and bob franceschini on sax. it was, of course, burnin'. i talked with richard after the show and he was cool. what an amazing musician that guy is! jimmy haslip had given him a CD so that was nice when he said he'd been listening to and enjoying it.
  i got my montreal guitar from godin last monday. i like a lot. it definitely is a different sounding guitar than the flat 5 model they sent me earlier. i also officially started my quest to do a major makeover on my rig. i went out and bought a mesa/boogie lone star amplifier. i really like that as well. i'm still going to check out a few different amps, but i think i might have nailed it right off the bat. for effects, i'm going to mic the amp with a sennheiser E609 and run that into a lexicon MPX1 multi-efx processor, and then run that into my two roland KC-350 keyboard amps (that i use for my acoustic rig). so i'll have the pure guitar tone with the stereo effects. according to my new gear advisor, rig-builder extraordinaire, brian swerdfeger, that's what larry carlton, michael landau, and all the big boys are doing these days. what ever rig i come up with, i will then develop a road version of it, so i can be set for these out of town gigs coming up.
i'm still exploring options so anyone out there with any suggestions, i'm open to 'em...

MARCH 18th, 2005   11:54pm

  last sunday i went to see kurt rosenwinkel up at the jazz bakery in culver city. that's a great room to hear people play at. i sat in the very front row and it was cool- i haven't done that before. it's a different vibe, for sure. kurt's a trippy guy and a trippy player. i really love his composing. it's real heady stuff though. as much as i admire his music, it's like an overload for the brain and i started to just shut down and get sleepy almost right away. (and i had just downed a triple-shot latte!)
  those of you that know me know i rarely pass up an opportunity to promote my record, no matter how dorky it makes me look. i'm always getting my CD into the hands of the jazz greats (and not so greats). so here's kurt, in between sets, just standing by himself at the counter out front, reading a downbeat magazine. no one else is around at all and i'm standing right nearby, with 3 or 4 copies of ITPM in my pocket of course (what a nerd!). but then i have this sudden attack of reverse ego and decide the hip thing to do would be to do nothing...not even go up & say "hi, i dig your music", let alone give him my CD. never, never, never do that again! i so missed a great opportunity to promote my thing and let a guy know how much he's appreciated. he comes to LA maybe every two years- he lives in switzerland for christ's sake!
  oh well.
  i do realize that all this is just happening inside my own head. i'm pretty sure kurt's already over it.

MARCH 12th, 2005  6:04am

  i have officially begun my search for a new guitar and i believe i have already found it. mario biferali from godin guitars sent me a flat five model and it is an amazing instrument. i was looking for a 335 type guitar and this is very close. check out the details at the web site.
  mario's is also going to send me a montreal model to check out as well. i'm pretty sure i'll go with one of the two. the flat 5 has a 24 fret neck so the front pick up isn't as warm as i'd like, due to it's displacement from the 24th fret "sweet spot." the montreal is a 22 fret and is also all mahogany, of which i've had no experience with.
  next, onto the world of tube amps...

MARCH 6th, 2005  1:58am

  i just got back from seeing the pat metheny group at the spreckles theater down in san diego. what an amazing, wonderful, intense show. i bought the new record, the way up, last week and i never seemed to find the quality 68 minutes to sit down and listen to the whole thing in it's entirety. for those of you who don't know, there is only one tune on the CD and it's 68 minutes long. it was interesting to hear the work for the first time live. it was an awful lot of music to take in. they opened with that track and then proceeded to play for another two and a half hours without an intermission. pat's drummer, antonio sanchez, has gotten even more amazing. the rest of the band was their usual great selves, and pat, of, course, was burning. i think he is the most amazing musician on the planet. i mostly appreciate his diversity, as a guitar player, and a composer. and lyle mays deserves more attention than he seems to get. the evening was truly inspiring.

FEBRUARY 25th, 2005  3:56am

i think it's time for some reviews...

movie: eternal sunshine of the spotless mind
  i finally saw this brilliantly written and filmed film. i normally can just barely tolerate jim carrey, who i think is immensely talented, it's just that he is a bit much, a lot of the time. he was brilliant in this, as well as kate winslet. the writer, charlie kaufman, is nominated for a golden globe and i think an oscar? he deserves it. the screenplay was brilliant.
what's another word for brilliant?

cereal: heartland granola mixed with kellogg's raisin bran
  i've always thought mixing cereal was lame, like when my brother combined fruitloops with special K and cocoa puffs. that was just wrong. but this thing with the granola and raisin bran works. i think i was trying to recreate this organic nature something brand of cereal but i like mine better. you ever see the road to wellville where john cusack and that guy are trying to invent a cereal. now that was funny.

and an update...

  i'm still working diligently on the economy picking technique for my right hand. it's definitely starting to gel, but i realized that i was tilting my hand too much on the consecutive upstrokes. so i'm making adjustments accordingly. i now spend at least an hour a day just blowing with a drum loop at 320 bpm. you gotta check out paul carmen's CD metronome - it's the best thing in the world for practicing.

FEBRUARY 16th, 2005  11:11pm

listening to as i type: bill frisell- unspeakable (won grammy for contemporary jazz)

  so my run up to san luis obispo went great. all three gigs were cool and darrell voss & ken hustad did a fine job. SLO is a very laid back college town in central california, with cool people- hippies, both young and old. i am now very encouraged in my quest to play cities in this manner throughout the US. today i talked to a very cool club owner in raleigh, north carolina, and that looks likely to end up being a two night gig in april. i'll use bill berg on drums for that one because he just bought a house in that area. i have my gig at jimmy mak's in portland in july and tomorrow i call tula's in Seattle.

  so last week eric marienthal calls me to ask a favor. eric hosts this jazz cruise in long beach every month that's a big floating smooth jazz concert and russ freeman (of the rippington's) is going to play that weekend. eric asks me if russ can borrow an amp. of course he can. then eric calls me the next day and says russ needs a guitar. he assures me russ has a pick. i say sure, he can use my tom anderson hollow drop top classic, that i just got set up at  tom's shop on the way home from SLO. i thought the next call would be eric asking if i can play russ' tunes for him at the show. (it turns out russ was out here on business when the show was booked and he had no gear with him). i figured it would be a cool hang for a saturday morning/afternoon so i drive up there with my stuff and everything goes great during soundcheck. there were all these musicians there that eric gathers to do these shows. this particular concert also had saxophonist paul taylor and a high school big band that was put together by the grammy foundation, as well as their jazz choir. it was a big yacht but still, needless to say, it was a tad cramped on the "stage."
  eric's band starts off the day and i figure it's going to be a while until russ goes up there to sit in so i'm on the top deck of the boat talking to my mom on the phone when Q, the manager of spaghetinni's jazz bar & grille, who puts this whole thing on, comes running up the stairs and says "they need you!". i figure it was now in between sets and i just needed to get russ going with my rig. alas, that wasn't the case. apparently, russ had been on stage for about 5 minutes,  trying to get my guitar and amp to just make a sound (it was doing fine at sound check). i guess at first russ made a big deal over the mic about this cool guy, matthew, who lent him his guitar and amp. and then the stuff doesn't work. so when i walk into the room, the crowd all starts to cheer as russ says over the mic "there he is!!". i certainly wasn't prepared for that. they were figuring i was going to save the show and get russ up and running. i go up to the stage to see what's up and i immediately think the problem is with the amp because it was acting a little funky at my last gig. i had quickly looked at the guitar to make sure all the switches and knobs were right so i'm thinking the amp is dust or something. the sound men were up there and eric was nervously chatting with the crowd , who were all fascinated with this very intense scene. i'm doing my best to be cool but i'm freaking because i had but one purpose that day and i was failing miserably at it. so i figure the crowd is now starting to hate me for ruining russ' show.
  well then one of the sound guys reaches over and flips the switch on my guitar that toggles between the pick-ups and the piezos (i won't bother explaining the details) and the guitar comes on. the crowd cheers again as i am now back to being a hero, even though all of the fiasco was my fault because 1. i should have been hanging out near the stage the whole time and  2. i didn't see that switch was in the wrong position ( and ya know, earlier i did tell russ not to touch it!)
after russ is done i go up to him and say "i'm fired". but he didn't care. nor did eric. those guys have been doing this for years all around the world and it takes a whole lot more to get them rattled. they were just so glad i brought them gear so russ could play the show. and it was cool hanging with russ, whom i've never met. he was a very cool guy. and, eric called me today to do a duo gig with him tomorrow night here in OC. all's well that's ends...with a paying gig for me.
  but the real moral of the story is when you're hired to be a roadie, stay off the fricking phone with your mom.

FEBRUARY 8th, 2005  1:48pm

  those of you that know me know that i have rather a wacky sleep schedule. well, after coming back from france, i've never been so erratic. i'm either staying up till 6am or getting up at 6am. on wednesday, i stayed up until noon. i seem to get by on these 2-4 hour naps. i'm pretty sure that somewhere in the last week, i completely missed a whole nights worth of sleep. every day's been different and i gotta say, it's kinda of fun. did you know that the sun is up at 8am? and that there's all these other people that seem to be driving off to somewhere. and, these guys in a big truck come and take you trash away! it's like a whole other world out there that early in the morning.
  so tomorrow i'm off on my first road trip to san luis obispo, california. that is, my first trip with as my own thing. it all came together quite nicely- i have a club date at grappolo, an in-store at boo boo records, and a clinic/performance at cuesta's only 4 hours away, but it still counts as a tour, of sorts. i'm using this drummer, darrell voss, and this bass player, ken hustad, that live up there. they sound cool and come highly recommended.
  i've also finally booked a gig in portland at jimmy mak's. i've been chasing that gig for a while so i'm enthused that i'm starting to make headway into my plan of playing all over the US. I've got a lot of other irons in the fire for clubs in all these other cites so over the next month i'll get quite the series of  shows lined up.

FEBRUARY 2nd, 2005  5:52am

  well, i'm back safe in the US. i've got lots of regrouping & follow up to do with all the conference attending i did last month. i promised details of all of them so i will be writing about them over the next few weeks. but right now, it's late and although i'm not jet-lagged per se, my body now seems to want to stay up until 8am. that's a little late- even for me. so i'm off to try and sleep.
  stay tuned...

JANUARY 25th, 2005 13:38

  i'm reporting live from the MIDEM music conference here in cannes, france. it's been a few way crazy days of networking and shmoozing. what a blast! i really enjoy all of this. lot of interesting people.
i'm pursuing distribution of my CD for europe & asia and i've made some fantastic connections. i've also heard some great bireli lagrene, this fabulous guitarist from belgium. when i get back i'll give a full report plus write about the highlights of the IAJE festival and the NAMM show of last week. (i'm a little trade showed out, at this point)
until then, it's off for more meetings, croissants & espresso's, and dodging crazy french drivers as i cross the salles.
  the concept of "pedestrian right of way" here means the driver doesn't hit the guy only as a last resort.

JANUARY 12th, 2005  4:35am

  crazy busy!!
i just finished three days at the international association for jazz education conference in long beach, ca. it was my second time (last year's was in NYC) and it was a blast once again. it's a big schmooze-fest and a there's a whole bunch of great music going on as well. i got to see the bad plus, the yellowjackets, eddie daniels with the big phat band (gordin goodwin), joey defrancesco, who had the great jimmy smith sit in, and my buddy, larry steen and his world jazz ensemble. it was all very inspiring. i got to see a lot of my friends from around the country and i made some new ones as well.
  now it's time to get ready for the MIDEM music conference in cannes, france. i've been setting up these meetings with various people from around the world that i contacted through the huge data base the midem people provide. it should be an interesting hang. i've never been before so it's definitely going to be an adventure. i'm looking to come back with a distribution deal for europe and asia. as if i don't have my hands full with north america!







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