Tuesday, September 4, 2001

Christmas Tunes in Summer

Hi there ...

Things are settling down a little now. It's been a busy summer. We had a great gig @ Birdland in NY. Great crowds both nights. Several musicians came by (like Annie Ross & Mark Murphy). I've always been big fans of theirs so that was a thrill for me.

The band sounded wonderful - tenor saxophonist Bob Berg wowed everyone with his deep sound. Lewis Nash grooved away and bassist Mark Helias sounded great. Danny came from KC - got to have my guitarist there! And James Williams was spirited as ever. Steve Wilson sat in and played pretty too. I dig playing @ Birdland - very nice vibe there - a real jazz club.

I recorded a few Christmas tunes for NPR Piano Christmas program which will be hosted by Nancy Wilson (when? -Christmas!) Pianist John Hicks played a tune with me and I accompanied myself on another. I was given the Downbeat Blindfold test last week too - that was quite fun and challenging. That will be out 'sometime next year'.

I was a special guest with James Williams @ the Blue Note (NY) - my first time playing there which was fun - along with John Patatucci, Jeff Tain Watts, Steve Wilson, vocalists Venessa Rubin and Roger - who's a member of James' 'ICU' band. Enjoyed them all. Great crowds - James was the consumate musical host.

Met up with my KC buddies (Danny, Todd, Bob & Paul) in Grand Forks, North Dakota for the Sun Dog Jazz Festival. What a nice festival! Very nice people and well-run, good music and a fun after-party in their pretty museum. Really hope they can continue that fest. Hung out a little with 'the Hornheads' - a very cool horn band from the Twin Cities. Got to hear the Yellow Jackets for the first time.

On the way home now on a VERY delayed flight back (agh!) That's a drag and all too common - but c'est la vie. Going to rejuvenate a little now - prepare for the next wave. We don't always know when THAT will be but you KNOW it's coming! I had some good times with my family too this summer and always value that tremendously.

Once again, thanks for checking in and for your continued interest & support.

Until next time...