Hello Dear Friends!
Thanks so much for checking in. I hope you are finding the things that soothe you and amuse you, that inspire you and you can aspire to amidst all of the weirdness.
Quite a lot of cool stuff has happened since my last update. In May, Extended dropped their latest CD, Without Notice, that is thankfully getting a lot of notice! I was thrilled to produce this project, and the playing and the sounds are simply fantastic – please check it out.
Another beautiful project that I was thilled to produce, and also got to mix, is off at the masterer’s as I type: Brad Walker & Extended Side By Side. This is the result of a live concert that the group shot at Esplanade Studio. The playing is so amazing and simply so perfect, and the sounds are so killing that it is almost impossible to conceive that it is a live recording. These cats are just that good.
In April I got to work in the house band under the direction of Gerald French for a new late night TV show that should be coming out sometime soon. Gerald had us working out some of the vibe at his slot at the Mahongany Jazz Hall. The feel was just so good that the owner asked him to keep the project together, so Gerald, Roderick Paulin, Richard Moten and Paul Longstreth and I have been holding down Sunday nights since then. I love these cats, and I love this joint (to me one of the stand out places in town at this moment), and I have really been looking forward every week to playing the music.
I have been working with Byron Asher on his next Skrontch Music recording, which we tracked at the end of January. This has been a really cool project to be involved with. Byron is such a deep thinker and musician, and his clarity of vision brings a lot of power to his music. He also has assembled an stellar cast of musically diverse personalities and found a way for them to intersect meaningfully. The music exists at the the crossroads of traditional jazz and free jazz, with an electronic element, also. The project is coming along really nicely, and I am looking forward to you all hearing it when it is finished.
In July I was blown away to get to work with Reis, Demuth & Wiltgen on their newest recording project. It was a huge undertaking that included the trio, the Luxembourg Philharmonic, Joshua Redman and Vince Mendoza all recorded live in the orchestra’s hall in Luxembourg. It was a lot of microphones papa! The entire process was amazing to witness and be a part of. As good as the stuff sounded in the moment, I still was completely moved listening to it while I was making the roughs of the sessions. Can’t wait for the world to hear this one.
I played some really nice dates in Portugal this summer with Cindy Scott. We met and heard so many fantastic musicians while we were there, and got to work with the incredible arranger, composer and pianist Carlos Azevedo. Carlos is a truly inspiring individual that is constantly turning out amazing work. Check out this video of one of his arrangements.
I have been appointed as the new Coca Cola Endowed Chair of Jazz Studies at the University of New Orleans. It is a nice title for sure, but it comes with a ton of responsibility, both spirtually and administratively. As I studied personally with Ellis Marsalis, the person that got the whole thing off the ground in the first place, and worked closely with Harold Battiste, the man I would call the soul of the endeavor, I feel truly compelled and personally invested in setting the program on a good course for the next 30 years. There is a lot of work to do for sure, but we are all feeling a great hope about what we can accomplish.
So - that is my report! I am wishing for you all the best that I can.
Thanks to the people that keep me sounding good with their fine products: Mesa Boogie, D’Addario Strings, Bryan Galloup Guitars and Robert Keeley Effects.
That’s all for now. Hope I get to see many of you soon and get to make some music for you.
ps: I started an email list thing a while ago, the big plan being
to send out my news and my gig list about once a month. So far I’ve
sent out exactly one mailing! I swear I will get it together eventually.
So, if you want to take the chance that one day you might get something, click these words
If, at some point, you become terminally swamped by electronic correspondences
(which at the rate I’m going could never happen!), you can un-sign
up too, the convenient and automatic disconnect link comes with every email!
Also, you have the option of letting me know where you are, so I won’t bother
you with gig notices for stuff nowhere near you.