Within the past week, I had the pleasure of taking in two fantastic shows within the span of two days. Brad Mehldau and his trio with Larry Grenadier and Jeff Ballard took the stage at Finney Chapel in Oberlin for a rare and deeply satisfying set. Touching on material from their upcoming release Ballads and Blues, the generous performance was something to behold. Then, it was off to Ann Arbor for a performance of The Bad Plus and Joshua Redman. I haven't really followed The Plus, but was amazed at how good the show turned out to be. Deep and emotionally charged, despite it also being very cerebral. What a great way to kick off spring!
Sorry to say that personal problems have kept me away from major site revisions and blog entries for quite some time. God willing, things have settled down and I hope to keep more up to date with things. In the meantime, don't forget to check out my column, The Vinyl Post over at All About Jazz!
Wow, I'm still trying to recover from the Labor Day festivities in Detroit. As par for the course, I headed to Detroit to cover the festival. Talk about diversity. From Shiela Jordan (see left) to John Scofield, there was the usual smorgasbord of music that found one hopping from stage to stage all weekend. Keep an eye out for my coverage to post soon at All About Jazz. In the meantime, check out my photos at my AAJ gallery.
The highlights were many over the 17 days I spent in June traveling about in California. It was with great pleasure and profound meaning that I experienced Sunday services at The Church of St. John Coltrane on Father's Day.
Mere words do little to express the spirit of the music and of the Lord as my parents, son, and I got to know the wonderful musicians, singers, and leaders who bring the message of Christ and jazz to San Francisco every Sunday. It was quite moving and certainly something not to be missed if you planning a trip to San Francisco.
How grateful I was to also have a chance to play drums on two pieces with the church ensemble which they call Ohnedaruth. The music was uplifiting and the space is inspiring, filled as it is with many lovely icons depicting Coltrane with saxophone in hand.
Many thanks and God Bless to Archbishop King and Sister E for welcoming us to their sanctuary. What a blessed afternoon it was!
I don't know where the past five months have gone, but here we are in June. Time goes by quickly when you are raising a teenager and working at a demanding job. I am looking forward to starting my summer vacation in just a few short days. Then it's lots of roller coasters at Cedar Point and off to California for two weeks, including a stop at the San Francisco Jazz Festival. Stay tuned...
Well, glad to see 2012 go its way. However, I have many great memories from this past year. They all involved family and friends. I had a blast spending time with my son at Cedar Point with our season passes and hanging out with our friends, The Koszkaldas. I also enjoyed a top of December trip to Ann Arbor to visit with our friends, The Cases. One of my favorite pictures of the year (above) features my son Nathan and Henry Case. The holiday season also allowed for visits with so many of my dear friends and I feel blessed that my job allows me the time to make this all happen during the holiday season. As for film and music, not much has changed since my last posting. I will add the movie "The Odd Life of Timothy Green" to my favorites list. As I glance at others' top 10 lists of jazz releases, I realize the new music has taken a change in a direction I no longer find appealing. Maybe it's just that I'm getting older, but I'm more excited about the latest Japanese jazz reissues than the latest from Robert Glasper or Vijay Ayer. I can count on one hand how many new releases I really dug this year. Oh well, let's see what 2013 brings!
Planning to head to Pittsburgh for First Night. What a great way to ring in the New Year! This year the Dirty Dozen Brass Band will be the headliner to bring in 2013. Cleveland's own Hubb's Groove will also be playing that night.
It's a little early for a end of the year list, but I have been thinking about a few of the things I have been enjoying this year and here's a starter--
1. The Walking Dead- I just can't get enough of this show!
2. Donald Fagen- Sunken Condos
Fantastic new disc from the Steely Dan frontman with several memorable new gals to meet like Miss Marlene.
3. Moonrise Kingdom- Wacky and highly entertaining masterpiece from Wes Anderson with two newcomers that steal the show.
4. Jaws/E.T. - Great to see these boyhood favorites get restored for Blu-ray
My review of the Detroit Jazz Festival has just posted at ALL ABOUT JAZZ. Click here to check it out.