Monday, May 07, 2007

After two years - An Update!

It's been nearly two years since my last blog update. Things have been very busy on both the personal and music fronts. Soon after the last blog I posted (days, in fact) I met Meredith and we have been together ever since. Go check out my personal/non-music page to see where my energy is going these days!

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Friday, August 05, 2005

19th Hole Blues Jam

Every Thursday night starting at around 9:30pm, the 19th Hole in the Woodlands hosts a blues jam. A little over a week ago - July 28th - I showed up for the first time after being invited quite some time before.

I'm glad I did - the house band not only showcased some great local talent, but was also a group of really cool musicians who made me feel very welcome for my first outing there. I was told I could jump up on stage at any time. Also, they were very considerate of my horns and keeping them safe from the heavy traffic that goes with the territory of shuffling musicians.

I played a few "warm up" tunes with different groups. Then, a couple of guys from Austin started playing a more jazz influenced non-vocal tune. I picked up my tenor and joined in. It was fun to stretch out a little.

The last tune of the night featured an incredible blues vocalist. I don't have her name - but she's a "regular" at the 19th Hole. Her stage presence is outstanding. Her vocals are spot on and vocal improvisation (both lyrically, and musically) is impressive. I had to join and lay down some tenor over this.

I was happy with my solo - then the guitarist and I broke into a call/response thing (trading fours). He would play a line, and then I would play a similar line. Anyways, after going back and forth for a little while we switched to playing the same line in harmony. Finally, he surged into a guitar solo.

The audience response was great. Thanks to everyone at the 19th Hole for making me feel at home. The staff, audience, and musicians are a great bunch. Since this runs every Thursday, I'm looking forward to my next opportunity to share the 19th Hole stage.


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Thursday, May 12, 2005

Performance Calendar Updated

I've updated my music calendar through August '05. In order to see more details on each gig, "mouse over" the underlined text. This should show a box with more info. Don't click on it!

It's official "Luckless Pedestrians", the Steely Dan tribute band, changed its name to "Black Friday". Speaking of - Black Friday has a gig coming up this month. Check it out!

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Monday, May 09, 2005

Weekend Austin Trip & Gig

I just got back from a weekend of relaxing and playing in Austin. TJ Funk played the Cinco de Mayo Festival at The Fiesta Gardens, opening for Ruben Ramos. It was a great show, and Austin is always a great destination.

While in Austin, I checked out TC's Lounge. The club was spinning some great music (not live, I'll have to check it out on Thursday for that), cooking some great food, and the staff made me feel right at home.

These days, I'm rarely in Austin - which is a shame. The city has so much to offer. I need to pick up more gigs in Austin.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Steely Dan Cover Band - Debut!

Hello again. Last Saturday, the Steely Dan cover band played at Al's Sports Bar off of Westheimer. The show started with a few delays due to the amount of time 3 bands take to setup all their equipment and get the sound hooked up. Once we got the green light, the band really took off. The audience was great! I saw lots of smiles, head bobbing, and folks singing along to these Steely Dan tunes. Even the more obscure ones. Personally, I was very pleased with the entire show. Even though I couldn't really hear what I needed to (no decent monitor for the keyboard or sax), I think everything still sounded A-OK out there in the audience.

Many thanks to everyone who came to see the show. I look forward to the next gig with this group. None are currently scheduled, but our first showing did generate a "buzz".

Check out the link to the Steely Dan cover band on this page or surf to:

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Thursday, February 10, 2005

RIP Jimmy Smith

Jazz organ pioneer Jimmy Smith dies

Organist Jimmy Smith, who helped change the sound of
jazz by almost single-handedly introducing the soulful
electric riffs of the Hammond B-3 organ, has died at
age 79 at his home in Scottsdale, Arizona.

A spokeswoman for the Concord record label said Smith
died of natural causes on Tuesday.

Born in Norristown, Pennsylvania, on December 8, 1925,
Smith ruled the Hammond B-3 in the 1950s and 1960s and
blended jazz, blues, R&B, bebop and even gospel into
an exciting stew that became known as "soul jazz" - an
idiom that produced many imitators, followers and

"Anyone who plays the organ is a direct descendant of
Jimmy Smith. It's like Adam and Eve - you always
remind someone of Jimmy Smith," jazz organist Joey
DeFrancesco said in an interview with Reuters last

"He was the big pioneer, not only of the organ but
musically. He was doing things that (John) Coltrane
did in the '60s, but he did them back in '56 and '57,"
he added.

Paired with jazz guitarist Wes Montgomery in the
1960s, Smith first made his mark as a soloist on Blue
Note Records where, as one critic noted, he turned the
Hammond B-3 organ "into a down and dirty orchestra".

Among his best known albums on Blue Note were The
Sermon! Back at the Chicken Shack, Midnight Special,
Home Cookin', and Prayer Meetin'.

The pipe organ had been used in jazz in the 1930s by
such famous players as Fats Waller but it was
obviously too big and too heavy to be lugged into jazz

Smith was able to take his electric B-3 on the road
and created a jazz trio of organ, drums and either
guitar or saxophone.

Smith himself provided the bass lines by using the
organ's foot pedals.


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Friday, January 21, 2005

Comments Work & Music

First, a general announcement - the comments now work so go for it.

Also, this Tuesday I went to see some great groups. The Dead Kenny Gs (Skerik on Tenor) opened for the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey followed by a jam with all the players. To find out more about these groups, check out

The show was great. I've never seen Skerik live, but have a few albums he's played on. Really great playing and effective use of electronics.

The entire group was phenomenal. Every player had a unique approach to the instrument (Rhodes electric piano, Bass, Trap Set, Tenor, Percussion/Xylophone). Anyone who is a fan of John Zorn, free jazz with heavy traditional roots, or just a great show with multiple layers of virtuosity - check these guys out.

Until next time ...

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