SATURDAY, DECEMBER 8th, 2007  2:29am

 i'm excited about this january with all these cool shows i've got coming up. the international association of jazz education conference is in toronto this time and i get to play with MB3, a group with corey chritiansen & vic juris, and danny gottlieb on drums. and then the very next week i'm playing at the NAMM show with three different bands on three different nights (see calendar page for details). i'm just happy to get to play out this much. since all that's gone on this last summer, i've hardly done any shows. now that my new office/studio is up & running at full speed, things will get back on track...gigs, writing, teaching, raking leaves.



FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 23rd, 2007  9:23pm

 so the other day my wife shows me eric marienthal's new CD. he plays in my band sometimes and he is also my neighbor in orange county. and as of recently, he also happens to be a client of my wife. so he gave her credit on the liner notes..."hair styling by sandra von doran". how cool is that?

okay, maybe it's just cool to me.


now playing as i type: the giant pin- the nels cline singers



FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 9th, 2007  1:14am

 in stark contrast to the concert i wrote about in my last entry, i went to a completely amazing show the other night that featured the very heavy eastern blok. they're out of chicago and they played some absolutely ass-kicking balkan fusion music. all of them were outstanding and i was thoroughly impressed with the guitarist, goran ivanovic. we traded CD's and he gave me a disc he made with fareed haque that is some of the most beautiful acoustic guitar music i've ever heard. go check them out: these days, 13/8 can be very refreshing.

 and speaking of refreshing, currently playing as i type: chris potter's new CD, follow the red line. this is a whole new side of adam rogers. i studied with him a couple of times in the last few years and he played me some recordings of his more rocking projects. i think he's playing his tele on this live recording with chris. very cool.




THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18th, 2007  9:14pm

 i can't quite believe that i am actually saying this, but last night i went to the hannah montana/miley cyrus concert. and it was awesome.

 no, i don't have any daughters or nieces. it was somewhat of a behind- the-scenes field trip that started when i got a call from rickey minor, music director/producer extraordinaire, who called me up monday to let me know he was in st louis to help get hannah/miley's tour get off to a good start. i had lunch with him and hung out all afternoon and eventually we went downtown to the STL super-duper dome, or whatever it's called, and i got to see the last full-on run through before their opening show of the tour on the next night. they had a small crowd (if you can call 1600 screaming kids, & their moms, small) so it was the real deal as far as the show production went (and on the next night, when the tour really started, the place was sold out...16 thousand people). it was a trip for sure because i've never been to that kind of show, meaning a teenie-bopper artist & their fans, but i had a blast. miley is only 14 years old but she' a pro. must be from watching her daddy, billie ray, perform her whole life. the tour is all produced by disney so every aspect of it was top-drawer. anyways, hanging out all day & night with rickey was very cool. because he's a very cool guy. and watching him work was very enlightening & educational. he & i know each other from GRAMMY camp. you can check him out at

 and then the evening concluded with the obligatory after-show hang in the bar back at the hotel (sans miley- she is only 14). i was more than bemused with the fact that i was having the most stereotypical "LA hang" with the band & crew, but right here in my new midwest hometown. everyone kept asking me, "now...why did you move to st louis?" (replete with scrunched-up perplexed looking face). when i explained to them that i live in both LA and st louis, they stopped trying to speak slowly to me. when worlds collide.              

 did i mention that the kids were screaming? it was unlike anything you've ever heard. and it was one tenth of what every show from then on was going to be. now, if i can just figure out how to tap into that demographic for my shows.



THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th, 2007  4:28am

 so far, so good here in STL (hip speak for st louis). i haven't had my adobe contribute software for a while so i've not been the frequent blogger that i would like to be. i've been out here for a couple of months now so i'm getting more settled in. but i've got some LA/OC trips coming up. come to think of it, i've got a NYC trip coming up quicker. next month i'll be at the jazz improv live! convention. jamie cosnowski & her husband, eric nemeyer, put this amazing line-up together for this first time thing at the new yorker hotel. it'll be a cool hang, like IAJE only with autumn leaves. i mean, real autumn leaves, not the standard. you can check out the convention deets here.



MONDAY, AUGUST 13th, 2007  3:03am

i'm having a bitchin' summer, as they say in junior high. i had a blast at GRAMMY camp (hangin' w/ earth, wind & fire, ricky minor and lee ritenour just to name a few) ("namedropper", you're thinking) and then i had a couple of awesome nights with jason smith's band, tipping point, in LA at the jazz bakery. and in between all that i've been setting up my new home in st louis as well as fixing up my place in LA, so needless to say, i've been busy and subsequently my blog has suffered from neglect. soon i'll be back to my usual pace on all things. my next blog topic: humidity.

SUNDAY, JULY 15th, 2007  1:22am

  what happened to my blog? where the hell did i go for the last month?
i'll tell you what happened...
  i moved, that's what happened. a very un-expected opportunity came up and sandra & i bought corey christiansen's home in st louis, missouri. we're keeping a place here in orange county, california, so i'll be living in two states for a while. it's a long story full of amazing synchronistic events but i have to get up to start GRAMMY camp in three hours so, to be continued...

TUESDAY, JUNE 12th, 2007  1:22am

  so you know what i learned at the baked potato the other night?
don't book a show on the same night as the final episode of the sopranos.

THURSDAY, MAY 24th, 2007  3:24am

  yesterday i had one of those great adventure-type days up in LA. i had a meeting with the instructors & director of GRAMMY camp, which is coming up this summer. then i went over to the baked potato to put up some posters for my upcoming show. as it turned out, kevin eubanks and his rhythm section from the tonite show were playing that night. now, i was trying to shape my day so that i'd end up there around there first set at 9pm. since i had planned on first swinging by my old teacher's, jimmy wyble, house to visit, that should have worked out that way but he wasn't around. so i get to the potato at 6:30. after waiting around a bit for the staff to get there and open up, i put up my posters as kevin and the band showed up. they ended up doing a sound check/rehearsal for almost an hour so i got to see them play after all. lucky me. he's a great player for sure. it was cool to meet him and the guys. i already knew the bass player, derrick murdock. he and i have played together here & there. gerry etkins was on keys & marvin "smitty" smith on drums. what a great band.
  after swinging by the musician's institute for more poster hanging, i went on down to the jazz bakery to see my new buddy, dave stryker, play. dave is a very fine guitarist on the melbay record label. we met last january at IAJE. he was there with his partner, saxophonist steve slagle. it was yet another great band with gary novak on drums & ed howard on bass.
  although LA's not NYC, you can still catch a lot a fine music in one evening.

MONDAY, MAY 14th, 2007  2:43am

  i currently seem to be going through a stan getz phase. for some reason, i've never really checked out his stuff before. same with some other jazz greats...clifford brown, dave brubeck, joe henderson. no reason really, there's just so much music to listen to and just so much time. but what's cool is that between my emusic & real rhapsody subscriptions, i am able to check out almost any record i want to. right now i'm listening to stan's 'live at the left bank'. it's got richie beirach, dave holland, and jack dejohnette. very burning.

FRIDAY, MAY 4TH, 2007  4:17am

  i really had a blast last night at steamers. bill berg, ric fierabracci and i were really playing like a band, mostly because we actually rehearsed the day before. plus, bill really knows the book now and ric is such a great reader. i had a couple of new tunes and ric had a great chart he brought in. there was a really good crowd for most the night and that's always cool. bill is back to his home in north carolina now so the next show, at the baked potato, will be with joel taylor, who is awesome. ric's doing it again and, for the first time, sax wiz katisse buckingham will be playing with me. i've been wanting to get him into the band corral for a while now. i'm really looking forward to it. katisse has his own cool band and lately he has also been subbing in the yellowjackets. his own music is an eclectic mix and as it turns out, he is quite the rapper. so i'm going to make him do his thing over my tune, 'refi". that ought to increase my audience demographics, subsequently resulting in my heavy rotation on MTV.
or not.

TUESDAY, APRIL 24th, 2007  3:34am

  I went and saw john abecrombie play last night at the jazz bakery. he played with marc johnson, peter erskine & marc feldman. what a great band. they sounded awesome. it was the first time i'd seen marc perform live and he was astounding. it was a nice blend with john's playing. i ran into my friend, drummer jason smith. he tripped out because he almost called me that day to see if i wanted to go with him to the show. jason & i played at the jazz bakery last february with his miles davis bitches brew tribute project, tipping point. anyways, we hung out with john & the guys after the set and it was cool to talk with john. i mentioned a show of his i saw back in 1979 at the lighthouse in hermosa beach, california. he remembered that band and a few other details that impressed me, giving that i'm challenged to remember things about my show last month. the keyboard player was richie beirach. i've always dug the ECM gang. he also remembered his show i saw over ten years ago at catalina's, also in california. he was playing duo with ralph towner, of whom i'm a huge fan. john said he remembered that particular evening because there was a guy sitting in the front who was reading the entertainment section of the LA times, looking for some other place to go check out. that's okay. i once had my friend's girlfriend tell me they came to my show because "they didn't ahve anything better to do."

SUNDAY, APRIL 15th, 2007  8:21am

  okay, i know the diatribe below in my last entry was a tad cynical. so perhaps i will be judged harshly for expressing my intense delight in my new dynaudio BM5A near-field monitors & my new presonus firebox firewire interface. plus, the matching dynaudio 9S subwoofer should be here on tuesday.
  i swear i'm not going to turn my spare room into an iso-booth. but i do have to say that i love the look of brushed aluminum face-plates on rack mount gear.

MONDAY, APRIL 9th, 2007  4:17am

so far, so good. getting a handle on logic 7. however, it'll be a while before i'm makin' records at home. which isn't even my goal. i just want to write and make demos of my compositions.
  i have too many friends who started out that way. they get a little studio set up in their office, and then invariably get caught up in getting some cool preamps & mics. then they turn their garage into a sound-proof studio, which gives them more room to buy more gear. when they realize they have maxed out all the credit cards to get that third avalon preamp (but it looks so bitchin' with that brushed aluminum face plate!), so they start to do demo projects for local musicians they know, which eventually leads to them promoting their studios to the public. however, they then have to buy more gear to stay competitive with all the other project studios (of which you can't throw a rock and not hit one in southern california). unfortunately, the perceived glamour of running a full-fledged studio is quickly dashed when most of your clients turn out to be non-musicians who have written some songs that they want to record for their spouse so they can give them a CD on their 50th wedding anniversary. my friend, steve crum, calls it "helping people fulfil their dreams". he has a really nice project studio in his garage.

but those avalon preamps do look pretty cool.

MONDAY, APRIL 2nd, 2007  8:14pm

  well, i just cracked open my box of logic pro 7, so you can add that to my course list down below. this extreme learning curve will hopefully be facilitated by the apple publication, logic pro 7- professional music creation & audio production by martin sitter (special thanks to scott wilkie for hooking me up with all of this). i think this book, coupled with all the logic reference manuals, just made my house sink three inches on it's foundation. much credit am i getting for all of this? i think i'll opt for pass/no pass.

THURSDAY, MARCH 29th, 2007  4:44am

  wanna-be polymath that i am, i have loaded up on a bevy of assorted books to study for my latest spurt of woodshedding. i think i have the equivalent of a pretty good sized load of classes at the university...

- the jazz musician's guide to creative practicing by david berkan
- forward motion (from bach to bebop- a corrective approach to jazz       phrasing) by hal galper
- winning state by steve knight
- muscle management for musicians by elizabeth andrews
- how full is your bucket by tom rath & donald clifton
- the serious jazz practice book by barry finnerty

  the first two and the last one are found at sher music publications. almost all of their stuff is excellent. now, none of these books have been mentioned on oprah, but so far they have a lot of cool concepts in them.
and no, 'how full is your bucket' is not a time management book.

SATURDAY, MARCH 24th, 2007  11:11pm

  i had a great time last night. my gig with zack weisinger at BB king's in north hollywood was a blast, albeit a short set due to zack's dedication to the basic blues guitar tone axiom- LOUD. the sound guy cut us off halfway through. i thought it was hysterical but you had to be there. the bass player, paul, plays in eric sardinas' band and the drummer, bernie, plays in walter trout's band, so, needless to say, they are used to extreme decibels. eric & walter are very notorious for playing way loud and zack is following suit. he was a student of mine at last year's GRAMMY camp and he is a total wiz kid, a blend of frank zappa, hendrix and the doctor demento show. but it was deja vu because, as zack's instructor, i had to get on his case for always being way too loud. however, last night i was his employee so i just went with the flow. zack's tunes are a blast to play and i'm digging being in someone else's band for a change. i like not being in charge.
  since we were done early in the evening i went around the corner to see who was playing at the baked potato and i was happy to see it was mike landau & his band. i haven't seen him in quite a while and he is truly a guitarist's guitarist. i didn't recognize the rest of the guys in his band but it was a smokin' set of blues/funk rock & ???. it was also cool that i saw the owner, justin randi, and scored a show for myself their in june.
  from there i swung by steamers jazz club on the way home to catch the last set of rachel z. when i parked a few door down from steamers, i found myself at the table ten bistro and heard some cool violin so i quickly poked my head in. it turned out to be chris murphy, whom i am somehow on his email list and realized that i'd seen this gig of his last week in my inbox. he was playing with a looper and it sounded great. it was a happy accident that i landed in front his gig. anyways, i proceeded down to steamers. i had planned on going to rachel's show for a while but then zack came up with his gig. i at least heard the last tune. afterwards i hung out with the rachel and her band (drummer & her husband, bobby rae & bassist, maeve royce, while they had a late dinner. rachel & i compared myspace tactics and mused on the state of the jazz music biz. it was an awesome hang. she is an amazingly talented artist in her own right, aside form touring with peter gabriel and wayne shorter.
anyways, it was a blast of an evening for myself as i enjoyed one of my favorite activities which is hitting a bunch of clubs in one night and getting to support my peers' music.

FRIDAY, MARCH 16th, 2007  3:48am

  it has been decided...
  i have chosen apple logic pro 7 to be my DAW. i figure that any of the main ones out there would be enough for me so i want to be a good apple boy and go with that. i've got a few good friends (ric fierrabraci, scott wilkie) who can help me out, plus i'm going to get this book that everyone is recommending that will help with the rather steep learning curve that logic possesses. i should get it & have it up and running by next week.
and after's time to write the next record.

THURSDAY, MARCH 8th, 2007  11:47pm

  so last night i went to see leo kottke & david lindley at the cerritos performing arts center. i love going to shows last minute. i stumbled onto the concert listing the day before at david's website while researching lap steel instructional DVD's. i ended up going by myself after my buddy who thought he could go couldn't. i was trying to find someone  for the extra ticket right up to the time i left the house.
  it was a great show. i love david and he got the most amazing sound out of his hawaiian lap guitar. and i'd never seen leo perform although i've been a huge fan forever. they're both great story tellers as well as players.

FRIDAY, MARCH 2nd, 2007  5:09am

  help! i need to get recording software. i've been using adobe audition on my PC and i figured i'd take it over to my new mac. however, it's one of adobe's few programs that aren't offered for that platform. bummer. but this is a wonderful opportunity to step up. it's just that i'm not really into opening that giant can of worms...comparison shopping for recording software. unlike most of my peers, i'm not really into home recording. i tend to write my music as charts and then hand them out to the players and describe concepts. but i did think that now i'm on mac, it might be time to start recording demos at home. you know, use my computer to write with, kinda like i wrote 'cable' & 'critical mass' with sibelius, my notation program.
  anyways, i'm getting all kinds of advice form my friends. yet most of it is desparate. i'm leaning towards sticking with the apple family and getting into logic. my good buddy, mac guy extraordinaire & ex-boss, scott wilkie, can help me get into it so i'm not so much in the weeds. tackling that kind of learning curve is a time-consuming venture i was not really planning on right at this time. but actually it would be a blast and open up a whole new world for exploring my creativity. (geez...i'm starting to sound like the home page of all these software websites i've been checking out)
  but besides all this, i'm am totally digging my new world o' mac. i've got my "hot corners" goin' and i even have a bevy of widgets at my immediate disposal, including an obscure webcam of a tiny airport in italy somewhere. but either the cam's not working or it's always night time when it is on. oh well, you know what they say...not all widgets have to have a purpose.

nobody really says that.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2007  2:46am

  man, last night was a blast! everyone in the band played their ass off, including tom scott, who came in to hang. he played a few tunes with us. there was a pretty decent crowd. i sent out a mass myspace email but not until 5am day of! with all i've been dealing with in my computer transition, i just couldn't get to it in a timely matter. but it still worked. some old & new fans came in to check us out. plus, it got my page out to more people in southern california. i gotta say...myspace has been really working for me. i've made some good hook-ups as well as getting people out to shows. good ol' grass roots networking.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18th, 2007  11:37pm

  this gig i'm doing tomorrow with jason smith is going to be cool. it's a miles davis tribute band doing tunes from his 'bitches brew' days. the band is great with too many players to list here since they're all listed on my calendar page. we actually pulled off two rehearsals this week. that was a lot of guys to get in the same room at the same time. we're playing at the jazz bakery which will be a first for me.

  man, i'm diggin' getting into my new macbook pro. it is definitely a better hang. and hopefully now my peers will think better of me. or at least maybe now they'll not judge me so harshly as they did in my lowly PC days. i'm sounding like a snob. i mean iSnob.

WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 14th, 2007  2:17am i get it.
mac is the coolest.

MONDAY, JANUARY 29th, 2007  12:55am

so it has been decided. i'm making the switch. no more PC.

by this time next week....

macbook pro w/ 17" screen

WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 24th, 2007  3:33am

  so NAMM proved to be yet another adventure in sights, sounds, smells & budget models at the dean guitars booth. this time had a different dynamic for me since i stuck close to the godin guitars booth. i played there throughout the day after robert godin's clinics (see youtube post). they're a very cool company with really cool people. i connected with all their sales reps to get more clinics scheduled this year. i also played two early evening shows at the marriott & the hilton with bill berg & david hiltebrand. those went really well. i still enjoy NAMM after all these years of going. it's total fun if you have the right attitude. and the right shoes.

TUESDAY, JANUARY 16th, 2007  11:59am

a great week in NYC...

  the show at cafe soleil was an absolute blast! there was a huge turn out, thanks to the 5000 myspace emails i sent out (yes- 5000 emails...but that's another story). everyone in the band played their collective asses off, especially joel rosenblatt. he is such a great drummer. and charles flores did a fantastic job on bass as well as being a wonderful human being. lew soloff (of blood, sweat & tears fame) stepped up to the plate, for sure. it was really great having trumpet in my band for the first time. plus, he got extra credit for bringing a celebrity element to the evening- his pal paul schaffer, of SNL, showed up and hung out.
  the IAJE conference was its usual mashup of shmooze-fest, great music performances & numerous lattes. then at night, it was the mad cab dash to see as many great sets around town as possible.


- jonathon kreisberg @ la lanterna
- adam rogers, john patitucci, & antonio sanchez @ the hilton
- the john hollenbeck large ensemble @ the sheraton
- greg osby interviewing ornette coleman @ the IAJE conference
- billy cobham, victor bailey, sylvain luc & didier lockwood @ the
  cutting room
- meeting charlie haden @ the borders CD store in the hilton
- the matt wilson arts & crafts band @ the sheraton
- wayne krantz & keith carlock @ the iridium

THURSDAY, JANUARY 4th, 2007  5:56am

  so i'm excited about going to NYC for IAJE. it'll be an interesting band for the cafe soleil gig (see calendar page). and i will be squeezing in lessons with jonathan kreisberg & hopefully adam rogers, ben monder, and whoever else i can score some time with. IAJE is the huge shmooze-fest for jazz so i'll be working it once again. plus it's just great to get to hang in manhattan. between al the clubs & all the performances at the conference, i'll be getting my fill of awesome live jazz.
  and then the very next week, of course, i'll be at NAMM in SOCAL (i'm trying to cover all the alphabet this month). that, too, is a great hang. this time, in addition to my usual evening hotel lobby shows, i'll be doing some solo performances at the godin guitars booth. those people are great to be with & robert godin, himself, will be doing clinics daily. i've been gooing to NAMM for over 25 years and i still have an absolute blast, attending all four days.

MONDAY, JANUARY 1st, 2007 11:11pm

  happy new year to everyone. i anticipate another wonderful year and i wish the best for all. i'd like to suggest we shift our thought energy to the positive. perhaps we could focus more of our attention on important matters, like the situation in darfur, rather than tomkat & brangelina, or paris hilton, britney spears & lindsay lohan. i suppose i'm really directing my comments to the press.
  a good start in raising consciousness would be to go & rent the DVD, an inconvenient truth, by al gore. i was not expecting such a excellent treatment of the subject, especially the addressing of the point skeptics make that the earth is just going through one of it's climatic cycles.
clearly it's time we start paying attention.







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