Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Scott McLemore: Remote Location

Scott McLemore
Drummer Scott McLemore, originally from the great state of Virginia, lived in Brooklyn for many years before moving to Reykjavik, Iceland with his wife, pianist Sunna Gunnlaugs. I can only imagine that Reykjavik is a completely different lifestyle compared to the mean streets of Park Slope, Brooklyn. (If you know Park Slope, it's more mean in the sense of you can't afford to walk down 7th Avenue, much less live on 7th Avenue...)But moving out of the center of the jazz world has not diminished McLemore's musical reflexes or ambitions. His latest release, "Remote Location", combines his American fire with a perhaps more Scandinavian sensibility. It's a very satisfying album; the music here is inventive and inviting.

As a drummer, I've always liked McLemore's balance; he has very precise time and very careful
interpretation. Everything he plays is very clear, and his tone from the kit is marvelously controlled. He can bash, if it's needed, but if it isn't, he won't. McLemore is an extremely musical drummer, and knowing that would lead us to believe that his compositions would be musical and insightful as well. All the compositions on "Remote Location" are his, and they are all not only great works of art, they are great vehicles for improvisation. The opening title track has a kind of secret agent spy movie suspenseful quality to it, with a gently angular melody over an insistent jagged rhythm, which McLemore fills around with his snares turned off. Óskar Guðjónsson, a tenor saxophonist with a light sound reminiscent of Stan Getz, solos quite beautifully here; his playing is very melodic, rather devoid of the tenor "cliches"(Trane licks, Brecker licks or Steve Grossman licks....which, don't get me wrong I love! Just not all the time.....). Róbert Þórhallsson on electric bass is impressive right away. It's cool that electric bass can enhance an essentially acoustic jazz group and not immediately push it into a "fusion" zone that maybe isn't implied by the music.

Óskar Guðjónsson
"Secrets of the Earth" is soft, rather touchy feel-y, and harmonically rich. Sunna Gunnlaugs makes a gentle piano statement, as does Guðjónsson and guitarist Andrés Thor, whose solo is short but climactic. "Citizen Sitting Zen" is even more mellow, with McLemore making great use of mallets. The melody here begins with almost symphonic stark unison lines, and then relaxes into something less weighty with the addition of some harmonic awareness. (You might want to sit in the lotus position for this one....)

Sunna Gunnlaugs
It's great to hear an album where all of the music has consistency, and yet each composition is unique in it's own way. "Una Danza en la Cocina" is a nice piano and drums interlude (I believe McLemore is using either heavy brushes or , no, these "hot rod" bundles of sticks. They have a sound which is somewhere in between sticks and brushes.). This leads us into "Charlottesville", a straight eighth ballad which I want to say is something maybe Monk would have written if he live in Iceland. By that, I mean it has more dominant 7ths and whole tone scale implications than you might expect from a piece like this. "Dunegrass" is almost like three tunes in one. It begins with an almost country-western feel to it. Gunnlaugs makes a nice bluesy statement here, and showcases here warm touch and controlled energy. Ah, but wait, all of a sudden, the meter goes from 6 to 7, and harmonically ends up more lydian than blues. And then the tempo picks way up and the piece ends dramatically with some weird guitar effects thrown in for good measure.

When McLemore and Gunnlaugs were in Portland and played at Ivories, I enjoyed them immensely; they were perhaps in the top three concerts I've hears at Ivories in the past year. ( It was mostly music of Gunnlaugs, but McLemore really impressed me with his dynamics and subdued intensity.)How often will they be in Portland? Obviously, they are a world away in Iceland, so it will probably be a good while before then return to the Pacific Northwest. However, you can easily download "Remote Location" and immediately get a taste of McLemore's highly creative and listenable music.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Sarah Elizabeth Charles:"Red"

Sarah Elizabeth Charles
I'm extremely encouraged by many of the young musicians and vocalists coming on to the scene. The impact of widespread jazz education manifests itself in the fact that there are huge quantities of skilled musicians graduating and looking for work. In this over-saturated environment, mere skill is not nearly enough; today's musician must set themselves apart from the crowd. It's the x-factor which is probably the hardest thing to "teach" in music school. How do you teach uniqueness? (The amazing thing is that even this is becoming the norm; I hear so much music which is not only extremely well crafted and showing of virtuosity but is also quite original. Woe to any musician who thinks their first album should be a collection of jam session tunes.....unless they are really smoking them like nobody's smoked them before....)

Sarah Elizabeth Charles is one of these studied modern musicians who is going beyond the
curriculum. Her debut CD, "Red"(Truth Revolution Records) is pleasantly provocative. It is an acoustic jazz vocal recording, however, it's so much more. Charles has a crystal clear voice and impeccable phrasing. It's very accessible, however, her musical sensibilities are quite wild and free. Secondly, and this might be what marks the significance of this recording(as well as the trend among the younger vocalists I hear nowadays)is that Charles is not afraid of her band! Let them play! And she does. It's a musical collaboration, rather than "Hey, guys, this is MY freaking gig!" The team effort makes for better music. Pianist/keyboardist Jesse Elder, bassist Burniss Earl Travis, and drummer John Davis are playing on this CD like it's a gig and not like it's a singer's gig. (Not to say that young musicians shouldn't know how to make a singer's gig. That's an important art in itself. Hopefully not a lost art. )

pianist Jesse Elder
The title track, "Red," opens organically with a mellow electric bass solo, which blends into a wash of Rhodes, cymbals, and reverb-y vocal. The use of overdubs and stereo panning gives it an ethereal, trippy effect. It's essentially an open vamp, but the hurried activity of Davis' sends the piece to a peak. After it dies down a bit into a "In A Silent Way" vibe, there is overdubbed excerpts from studio conversation, which have an even more trippy, "I Am The Walrus" kind of vibe. (Maybe don't listen to that part while driving...ha ha.)

There's a really radical 7/8 meter treatment of Jobim's "How Insensitive"; it's almost unrecognizable,which is perfectly fine by me. (You could modify the old joke: How many jazz singers does it take to sing "How Insensitive?" Apparently, ALL of them.) We've heard this song done as a light
Burniss Earl Travis
bossa enough. Let's hear Charles' version. The enthusiasm of the rhythm section makes this one cook.

As I listened to the G7 funky original "Perspective", I thought about how much I liked the sound of this recording: this was recorded at the well known Systems Two, located in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn. It's a great room and a longtime favorite for jazz musicians. But the sound is a bit dryer than what I tend to expect from Systems Two.( I actually am not a huge fan of excessive reverb.) Kudos to mixing engineer Dave Darlington for doing justice to this project.

John Davis
"Red" is a nice mix of material. Four of the tunes are from Charles' pen. Besides the aforementioned Jobim tune, there is a hip version of a Haitian folk song called Wongolo Wale. Again, great use of vocal overdubs, and keyboardist Elder takes a nice ride on the Fender Rhodes. "Mesi Bondye" is another Haitian song(The phrase means "Thank You, God"). This has a nice jazz interpretation of Afro-Caribbean rhythm, and is a dramatic way to end the CD. Seven tunes seems a little short for an album these days; however, it's quality over quantity for Charles' first project. I would have liked to hear Charles improvise more; I know she can since I heard her scatting the first time I heard her in Bern, Switzerland. Well, maybe she didn't think it was appropriate for this project. All that said, "Red" is a great debut and you should run through the internet to buy this CD right away! I eagerly anticipate more great music in the future from Sarah Elizabeth Charles.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Masterclasses from "The Shed", the first annual PSU Jazz Camp

Back in July, I posted about a brand new happening at Portland State University: "The Shed," a 3 day intensive jazz camp held at Portland State University. It was quite a success; we are looking to expand it to 4 days next summer. Each day consisted of masterclasses, small group coaching, and jam sessions. I thought the masterclass were very interesting because each one reflected the unique personalities of the respective instructors. These classes have been posted on youtube, and I'm posting them here; if you have the time, take a look and see if you learn anything. (I'm certainly learning a lot by watching myself!) Masterclasses can go many different ways; they can be mostly talking, mostly playing, half playing and half talking. They can be completely scripted or off the cuff. They can involve the students in a number of different ways. I think we showed a broad spectrum of possibilities. I'm looking forward to next years' "Shed!" Enjoy!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Really Crappy Story

When you are out on the road, your internal clock can get pretty screwed up; between the jet lag, lack of sleep, strange food, and constant traveling, you might find yourself in some very uncomfortable situations. The more I travel, the more I try to anticipate these kinds of problems before they happen. But you never know: sometimes there are events which you can't foresee. When they occur, you might be forced to improvise. And by improvise, I don't mean bebop licks.

I was on a 10 day tour of Italy with the great bassist Buster Williams. The quartet included Stefon Harris on vibes and E.J. Strickland on drums. We were doing the typical one nighters, with a fair amount of driving and flying. One day in the middle of the tour, we had a very early lobby call, and basically spent all day in the airport trying to get to Milan. Once we arrived in Milan, there was a drive to the hotel, drive to soundcheck, and then drive to the restaurant. Having barely eaten all day, we were pleased to arrive at an unlimited pasta and seafood buffet restaurant. If you've ever been to Italy, it's pretty hard not to overeat. I was a little concerned about overdoing it on the shellfish, but I was starving, so I didn't think about it too much. Add wine and coffee and dessert, of course. 

The next thing I knew, we were back in the car, and then back in the dressing room, which was right next to the stage. And then, since we were running late, and the auditorium was packed, the promoter said, "OK, time to start!" So now, without any time to think, we were on stage, playing the first tune of our 90 minute set.

Maybe three or four minutes into the song, I began to notice that certain feeling that one might have after eating a huge meal after not eating all day. I was feeling the urgent need to use the facilities. Let's put it this way: although the tune we were playing, "Song For Sensei", is in 6/4, my internal song was in a "2" feel. As in Number 2. Do I have to spell it out for you?

Around minute 5, regardless of the discomfort which had now started to distract me from Stefon Harris' vibraphone wizardry, I had convinced myself that I could muscle out another 85 minutes on the stage. Around minute 7, now into my solo, I noticed that I was starting to sweat profusely. It was not a particularly warm room. It was the realization that  I needed to run, not walk, to a bathroom. The problem was, there was no bathroom near the stage or the dressing room; I would have to somehow leave the stage, go through the dressing room, go all the way outside the venue, out into the front, use the bathroom,and then go all the way back. The logistics of that, plus trying to concentrate on the music, kept me in limbo for the reminder of my solo. (The other issue was that we had just begin the concert; leaving the stage at this point in the program didn't seem to make any musical sense. I was racking my brain trying to think of something.)

At the 9 minute mark, I made an executive decision: either leave the stage and take care of the business at hand or have an even MORE embarrassing situation on my hands. And my trousers. 

I endured maybe a few more minutes. The tune ended. I lept from the piano. I whispered to Mr. Williams: "Play "Concierto De Arunjuez."(Buster would always do a solo version of this piece on our concerts. Usually, this would occur closer to the end of the show, but I had decided to change the program…) Williams nodded, and to my surprise, launched into his solo feature without any concern.

I mad a mad dash off the stage, out through the dressing room, around the venue, into the front, into the restroom. As I sat on the porcelain throne, I realized that I never could have made it through that concert. I wondered if I had actually gotten some kind of food poisoning. I don't know, shellfish at a buffet? It's possible. 

Even though I was still feeling some intestinal discomfort, I reached a point where I figured I could make my way back to the stage. I made it just as Williams was finishing his solo interlude. The rest of the concert went as scheduled, and we took our bows and made our way back into the dressing room.

I slowly confessed. "Buster, sorry to do that, but thanks for covering for me with "Concierto De Arunjuez."

Williams was surprised. "What do you mean?"

"I mean I asked you to play solo bass….. because I had to run to the bathroom!"

The great Buster Williams
Williams barely batted an eye. "Really? I just thought that you were in the mood to hear me play some solo bass!"

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reggie Quinerly-"Music Inspired By Freedmantown"

Reggie Quinerly
I recently received a copy of drummer Reggie Quinerly's newest CD, which is entitled "Music Inspired By Freedmantown." I must admit, after hearing the first tune(called "#13 A Corner View from Robin Street", which is a harmonically colorful swing-shuffle tune), my first reaction was " I hope this isn't one of those recordings where the leader forgets to feature themselves!" I say this because I have experiences listening to recordings or live bands when this has been a problem, at least for me as an observer. Sometimes, the bandleader will either be too intent of letting the side players, all star or not, have a chance to shine, OR despite the fact that they are obviously motivated enough to book a studio (and shell out bread for a recording), somehow they are hesitant of actually creating a space so that he or she can actually stand out as the main musical topic of conversation. This is especially likely with rhythm section players who lead bands. All of that being said, there are ways to avoid that. Mr. Quinerly has done just that; he has achieved it by producing a solid album overall, an album which well features his
Tim Warfield
compositions, arranging, selection of musical collaborator, and some extremely musical and tasteful , and skillful drumming. In fact, the more I listened, the more Quinerly's taste, sense of space,and musical vision spoke more volumes to me than if he had taken a long extended drum solo on every song. (And when he finally does solo, it is, not surprisingly, killing!Check out his up tempo prowess on "I'm Old Fashioned".)

Indeed, Quinerly shines as a drummer who supports; luckily, he has top notch musicians to inspire him. Tenor Saxophonist Tim Warfield is one of the most underrated saxophonist of our time. (Warfield, in addition to being well documented as a sideman with Christian McBride and Nicolas Payton, has made a bunch of great CDs for the Criss Cross label.)Guitarist Mike Moreno is an up and comer, and really shines on "Live from The Last Row", a flowing bossa (the opening riff reminds me of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed."), which is quite lyrical and harmonically astute.
Every time I hear Gerald Clayton, I'm more and more impressed; this young pianist is quickly becoming one of the most in demand sidemen in jazz, and it's perfectly evident throughout the CD; check out his solo on an uptempo version of "I'm Old Fashioned"; he's got the speed, but most importantly, he's got the rhythm, a beautiful consistent tone, and he also knows how to develop ideas. Vicente Archer is one of my favorite bass players, and he also supports well here; on "Fenster", Archer lays down a relentless groove which Quinerly solos over quite inventively.

There are some vocal surprises on this date: Quinerly presents a spoken word explanation of exactly
Enoch Smith Jr.
what Freedmantown was; the fourth ward of Houston, Texas, settled by 1,000 recently freed slaves in 1866(according to wikipedia). It's a poignant interlude, accompanied by Enoch Smith Jr. on organ. Speaking of Enoch Smith Jr., I was unaware that Smith was a vocalist. What could be called the "title" track features Smith's soulful tenor voice on a song called "Freedmantown". Music by Quinerly and lyrics by Smith, it's a gentle backbeat which might remind you of the "Mo Betta Blues" theme song. I've reviewed Smith's piano recording in jazztruth; I'm wondering if he plans to record as a vocalist. He might have a whole new career.

Ever since I met Sarah Elizabeth Charles last year at the Bern Jazz Festival, I've thought she was one of the top young jazz vocalists to watch out for. Her clear, passionate sound is invitingly featured on a duet with Smith(here playing the piano quite sensitively) called "Victoria". Quinerly and band are tacit here, except for the fact that Quinerly composed the music and the lyrics. This to me is another example of the high level of musical maturity evident on "Music Inspired By Freedmantown". You can't go wrong on this one,
Sarah Elizabeth Charles, STILL hogging all the first names!
folks; it's available now on Itunes.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tour Diary: Jack DeJohnette 2012 European Tour Part III(Legend Of Curly's Gold)

Ljubljana, Slovenia
Dear Tour Diary:

I'm writing this deep inside the Iron Curtain. Well, formerly known as the Iron Curtain. Ljubljana, Slovenia, to be exact. Ljubljana is the capital city, and located in the center of the country. Slovenia was part of Yugoslavia during the Cold War, and  gained it's independence in 1991. It is now part of the European Union. I just went for a nice run down into the center; I found my way to a lovely park that had some beautiful sculptures. It was a very cultured way to do my interval training.

But let's back up for a minute. When I last wrote, I was in the Azores Islands far off the coast of
Portugal. After that three day excursion, we flew pack to Lisbon and then to Amsterdam, the capital and largest city in the Netherlands. We got in very late at night, and some of us were hungry, so I and some of my bandmates ventured downtown to grab a kebab. On our way, we witnessed a car hitting a bicyclist. Europeans seem to be very keen using bicycles as transportation; however, you can never be too careful, especially at night.

The weather was gorgeous the next day, so I set out for a run. I had wanted to do two hours, but since an incident in Dresden years ago, I am afraid of getting lost, so I did about an hour outdoors and then did another 45 minutes on a treadmill in the hotel. . Before I knew it, it was time for sound check and concert.We were playing in an concert hall right next to the hotel; it's called Muziekgebouw-part of the Bimhuis, which is the most famous jazz club in Amsterdam. It was one of our best concerts of the tour, and the audience was enthralled. Within the framework of our repertoire(all compositions of our leader Jack DeJohnette), the room for creativity seems to grow exponentially.

The next gig was in Rotterdam, which is a one hour drive from Amsterdam. Rotterdam has a much different vibe as a city; not as fun or pretty as Amsterdam. But then again, we don't get to do much sight seeing. I went out to find a health food store, went on the treadmill, took a shower, and then it was time to go to the venue. Again, it seemed as though the band was starting to lock in even better than the night before.

The next day, we drove back to Amsterdam and flew to Venice,
Rovereto, Italy
Italy. A two hour drive took us to Rovereto, a beautiful old city. As to be expected, the promoter Enzo took us to a fabulous dinner at a restaurant steps away from our hotel. The Rovereto region is known for wine; it is said that Mozart, on a visit to Italy, wrote to his father about the wine of Rovereto. The region is also know for grappa; in fact, despite my almost total abstinence from alcohol since March of this year, I had half a glass of wine and one taste of grappa with my meal. It was worth the guilt.

The next day, we had the morning and afternoon free. I decided to try another two hour run. I found an absolutely breathtaking trail next to a river and cutting through seemingly endless vineyards. Apparently, this running and biking trail goes for about 85 kilometers. It was right within a valley; mountains and clouds surrounded me. I could see a huge castle in the distance. In terms of scenery, it may have been one of the most incredible runs I've ever
This is where I went running
done. Somehow, I felt as though I wasn't even worthy of such a scenic experience.

I was able to walk around Rovereto just a little before the soundcheck. And of course, after soundcheck, the promoter took us to an even better restaurant than the previous night! I maintained my willpower and resisted the pasta(Rudresh Mahanthappa was raving about it. I tried not to let that bother me…..ha ha). And the concert was even better than the previous night. When you have great audiences who are attentive, respectful, and clearly hungry for good music, it makes our job extremely easy. Luckily, Jack DeJohnette's career has earned him a lot of respect; therefore, when people come to see him, they are very much familiar with his playing. At least, in Europe this is true.

Our tour is winding down. We have a gig in Salzburg and then another in the Ukraine. I'm looking forward to getting home to see my family and to attend to my students at Portland State University. But I feel extremely blessed to get the opportunity to get to go out on stage with a jazz legend(not to mention three other fabulous musicians) and be as creative as possible. And then to get paid, eat good food, see the world, and still have some time to exercise! Sometimes in this way I also don't feel like I'm worthy. But I just try to learn and enjoy the experience as much as I can, and not to take it for granted.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Tour Diary: Jack DeJohnette Group European Tour Fall 2012 Part II Electric Boogaloo

The band.....
So far, so good: our tour is shaping up well. The music has been outstanding, and when I'm on the bandstand with Jack DeJohnette, Rudresh Mahanthappa, David Fiuczynski, and Jerome Harris, the re-inspiration occurs by the minute. And the minutes go so quickly. Time flies when you are having fun, especially when you are playing fun music. It seems like five tunes equals ninety minutes with this band; yet it never seems like any time is passing. When everyone is in tune with each other, it's effortless. It also seems like the audiences are in tune with us; there's a lot of enthusiasm, and we always do an encore.

Lund, Sweden
As my thick passport will prove, I've been to a lot of different countries. But this trip actually has taken me to some new places. Lund, Sweden, was a new place, but as usually, there was no time to look around. This is all one night gigs, but when we can, we try to go out and look around. However, sometimes it's impossible; one or two flights, a car ride, check in, soundcheck, gig, back to hotel, and get up and do it all over again is the glamorous life of the touring musician. I'm actually amazed as how smoothly it can function. Our booking agent, Saudades Tourneen, has been booking bands in Europe for decades, and they know how to get a band around the continent. Hopefully I'm not jinxing anything by writing this; we all know that anything and everything CAN go wrong on a tour-from lost bags to missed connections to bad weather to transit strikes to sudden illness to acts of God and God knows what else. But like I said, so far so good.

Bucharest, Romania
This is one of the largest buildings in the world
From Lund, we flew to Bucharest in Romania. Eastern Europe always has a touch of the exotic, and there is always something to learn. Not many people realize that Romanian is a romance language; it's probably the closest living relative to Latin. Many assume that because they are near Bulgaria and Hungary that they speak a Slavic language. We had a bit of time to look around Bucharest; our guide Sabina was nice to take us around the city. She kept saying how everyone thinks it's so ugly. Indeed, the combination of different styles of architectures piled on top of each other can be striking. I actually found it charming. Bucharest is home to two million people, and it really bustles. Romania was one of the more oppressive societies while the Iron Curtain remained in place. Now, it is much more westernized; in fact, the wifi in the hotel was faster than anywhere we've been on the entire tour!

Heidelberg Castle
After our short but sweet time in Bucharest, back to Germany; we flew to Frankfurt and drove to Heidelberg  which I didn't know is apparently a huge tourist destination. We performed in an really magnificent restored castle in the old part of the city. The Heidelberg festival is part of a long three city music festival; we were the inaugural performance for the season. We usually play ninety minutes straight through; however, this performance was two sets. The audience was very attentive; Germany has a long history of supporting jazz. It seemed like they were hanging on every note at times. Our alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa was particularly fired up; one his big saxophone inspirations is tenor saxophonist Gary Thomas, who is also one of my big inspirations. I'm always glad to hear this kind of angular vocabulary being played, and Mahanthappa was definitely in this zone. DeJohnette took some nice unaccompanied drum solos; a few times, he seemed to be extraordinarily intrigued by the way the hi-hat sounded when it rang on it's own. DeJohnette is one of the most creative musicians alive; I think it's because he's an incredible listener, and he draws on everything that he hears.

Terceira Island in the Azores
As I write this, I'm in the Azores, which are islands far off the coast of Portugal(kind of right in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean). I'm on the island of Terceira, in a town called Angra Do Heroismo. We're actually in another time zone; only 4 hours ahead of New York(as opposed to 5 in Portugal). It was a long day of traveling from Frankfurt to Lisbon to here; luckily, we missed flying in a big storm, which was bashing the coast this morning right outside my window. I was annoyed by the fact that there was no internet at all until around lunchtime. (I was forced to watch TV; most of it was Portugese, which I had no interest in. And the American shows they get are the worst. I watched CNN a bit. I was pretty depressed to hear that everyone thinks that Mitt Romney won the first debate. I don't see how you can win a debate if you are lying the whole time. I think they should take off points for that.) This morning, I went down to their well equipped gym. I ran on the treadmill for two hours. I can run longer, but even the more disciplined of us still get incredibly bored on a treadmill. I've been really lucky to have a gym in every hotel on this tour; I haven't yet missed a day of exercise. Usually, it's quite hard to keep that up, especially on a one-nighter kind of trip.

We have a day off today; I'm planning on Skyping with my family, and practicing and taking care of odds and ends. I'm also looking forward to seeing Thomas Stanko perform later this evening. We met Stanko and his daughter in the airport in Frankfurt and they are really nice people. Stanko is playing with some really top notch Danish musicians tonight. it should be a great show; Stanko is 70 years old and in great shape. He shows no sign of slowing down. I hope I can still walk when I'm 70!


Tomasz Stanko
Since internet has been spotty here, I wasn't able to post this in a timely fashion. It's the next day-last night I actually went to the Tomasz Stanko performance. Stanko played some really beautiful mellow phrases. His writing is sometimes spare, but there were gentle melodies and expansive harmonies. Stanko is Polish, but his band was made up of top musicians from Denmark: Jakob Bro on guitar, Soren Kjeargaard on piano, Anders Christensen on bass, and Jakob Hoyer on drums. Hoyer was very tasty, but did have a moment to solo over a vamp; during that solo, he channeled drummer Brian Blade a little bit.

I also picked up a bunch of Clean Feed recordings in the lobby of the concert hall; I got CDs by Chris Lightcap and also Ran Blake. I'll have to put them on the review list......

I saw Stanko and crew at breakfast. Stanko was kind enough to lend me some valve oil for my trumpet. What a mensch!

It was a pretty quiet day; I did some more treadmill running, and then we went into town for a fabulous lunch. The seafood here is pretty unbelievable. We had our sound check earlier and tonight-very late-is our gig(11:30 PM!) Stay tuned for more tour updates....