Promo video

Last week my usual rhythm section of Allen Farnham, Dean Johnson, and Tim Horner got together for a gig at Trumpets Jazz Club in Montclair N.J. The crowd was great, I sold about 8-10 CD’s and everything just went well. How amazing it feels to play with this group as we come back together and the music is magical, with great purpose. Nothing to be said, just hit the music. I have 3 or 4 new tunes that the band addressed in addition to the maybe 40 other originals this band performs. Anyway I just get up there and call tunes like I was calling standards, but they are mostly original tunes. It’s a great feeling to have that confidence with your musicians. It is a setting that makes me most comfortable in this music. For me the dream is to play the music a lot and get better and better at it. This band allows me just that opportunity. The comfort zone of a regular group is a really special feeling, as many times on the road alone I experience the opposite extreme. That is me picking up a rhythm section I hardly know for a gig somewhere across the globe, with one quick rehearsal/sound check and then a concert with some of my originals and standard arrangements. I often must avoid playing certain originals, as they require more attention of which there is none, as a quick sound check does not do much for digging deeply into the music. However there is another way to look at it. If the players you are hiring are true masters of the language and the music, although they are new to your music, they can bring their individual craft, spontaneity, and personality into the situation. I can give you a perfect example of that. Last year I played a concert in California while on a west coast tour at Occidental College in Pasadena. Well the rhythm section I called was John Cambell, Tony Dumas, and Joe Labarbera. WELL! These guys swung my music into paradise, their way and it was incredible. John Cambell spent years with Clark Terry (flat out a bebop master), I met him on a Mel Torme gig at Carnegie hall years ago. Tony Dumas played with Freddie Hubbard, and I can see why. Joe Labarbera, needs no introduction as he was with Bill Evans for many years and has made a mark with his crisp, loose, identifiable style of drumming. It was an honor to play with that rhythm section. They sounded so seasoned. Anyway the music was incredible and I would play and or record anytime with those guys, but of course the originals did not have the life experience they have with the aforementioned quartet of Farnham, Johnson, and Horner. Six years together has made the music do something different. Something unified. I can’t tell if it is the personalities, playing ability, time on the road together, or a combination of all these things, but there is something special about the longevity of this band. Things get pretty intense onstage and the music goes different places every time we play.

Later in the week we played a quick set at The Zinc Bar. The money was not as good, but the music was even better! Looser and looser. Can’t wait until the next gig with the Quartet. Also The Quintet DVD of the band with Joe Magnarelli will be up for sale on my site and globally in a few weeks. I am quite excited about that. Check my site for my schedule.

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