Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Wild For You

Hello there -

It's been awhile since I wrote. A lot has happened since December. We recorded our new cd 'Wild For You' here in NYC at Sear Sound (same studio as “In Blue”) - lovely studio. Gil Goldstein did a beautiful job arranging the new material and my players (Danny, Rod, Paul, Bob and Todd) played great on it. The release date is June 8 and we are looking forward to that!

During that same recording week, we performed at Zankell Hall (Carnegie Hall) on a double billing with Louciana Souza. Then, onto LA for mixing of the cd, and doing a performance at the beautiful Orange County Performing Arts Theater (opening for Steve Tyrell). Next, was a private function in Kansas City. Then, to Hawaii! First was some R&R in Kona, then to Honolulu for family and some work at the Honolulu Academy of Arts and Maui Performing Arts Center. As usual, a very special time there.

Australia was the next 'stop.' It was my first time there and we really loved it. A huge country of course and we traveled it! We went from Sydney, to Melbourne, to Camberra and finally the Perth Jazz Festival. Each venue was so different, from a small great club in Melbourne to a large festival in Perth. What beautiful cities!

We also got to play with a fine young bass player from Perth, Peter Jeavons. On the last day he was kind enough to take us to the wild life park outside of Perth. (It was extremely hot that day!) There, we got to see Koala bears, kangaroos and even more exotic creatures in a 'wild' setting - great! Since I am a wild life lover, it was really special - the birds too, of course. On the way back from the park, we stopped at few wineries and then to the beach! Got in and was shocked at the force of the waves, especially coming from Hawaii. (I didn't swim on the North Shore! We went to Kaimana Beach and Kailua Beach which are pretty tame.) Then back on the airplane from Perth to Honolulu for two days. (On the trip to Australia, we had a new (my first, really) road manager -Thomas, who was great! We think we'll keep him!)

I arrived in NYC having just enough time to pay bills and get a hair cut, then, onto St. Louis for a very fun gig at the Sheldon Theater. Great crowd and a lovely hall. Finally back home for two weeks! Got to hear my friend, James Williams at a cool new club called “Au Bar” on the east side. He and his band sounded great and I sat in for a few.

Back to the west coast for gigs in Fallon, NV, Palm Springs and San Juan Capistrano along with meetings and friends in LA. The wonderful pianist Bill Cunliffe played with us once which is always fun. One night I stopped in the new Catalina's Bar & Grill (Beautiful new 'digs'!). Heard Pat LaBarbera's big band (with Joe of course) and so many other luminaries like Steve Houghton, Tom Warrington, and Bob Shepard, just to name a few. Great seeing and hearing them all. We all got the sad news that night that Chuck Niles, the great music lover, proponent of jazz and DJ of KJAZZ (formerly KLON) passed away that night. He was truly a gem and will really be missed.

I then went back through Omaha to see family and do my taxes. Enough said there!
I have mostly been back in NYC since then and gotten out and about in 'my city.' Spring is very grumpy here this year. We are anxiously awaiting, but she's reluctant.

I did a live WBGO appearance with Fred Hersch one early Sunday morning. (Just got back from Omaha on a fight was at 6:00 A.M.! ) It was for the Broadway Cares Project and CD ('Two Hands, Ten Voices'). Also, went to hear Fred at the Village Vanguard. What a wonderful and interesting pianist and composer he is.

Since being home, my family and I learned that a dear cousin of ours, Bob Laemer of Seattle died suddenly of an aneurysm. He was only 53. Such a great guy. He (and his brother, Jim) built wooden ships! In traveling to Seattle, I got to know him a little better and am so glad I did. My getting to be with family and friends along the way helps balance the craziness of this life. I don't write about a lot of that here because it is so personal ... but we will really miss Bob. Our love goes out to his wife Karelle, brother Jim and folks, Bob Sr. and Joan.

OK, C’mon Spring! See you in Florida where we have some exciting gigs coming up with Diane Schuur and Oleta Adams along with the band: Danny, Todd, Laura Caviani, Scott Steed and John Cushon. Then, our own performances coming up in Connecticut, Buffalo, DC area, Boston, Pennsylvania and more. Also, back to KC at the Blue Room, then on to Chicago at the Jazz Showcase and Catalina's in LA.

It stays interesting to say the least! And you help keep it that way, thanks for listening and reading.

Peace to ALL,