Archive for June, 2009

5 Dream Gigs

On tour w/Julio Iglesias

On tour w/Julio Iglesias

Every musician/artist has their own mindset of what they would like to be doing or perhaps where they would like to be.  For some, it happens right outta the womb.  Maybe their parents were really known in the music industry and it was simply inherited.  Or, there are those who struggle their entire life and finally get there break say…around 5o.  It wasn’t until Sting was 30 before receiving his first Grammy.  Prior to that, he was a school teacher but always knew music was his heart.

I’ve loved every moment of my piano trio experiences.  Al & Zack are absolutely the greatest musicians and even more so friends.  Plus, the experience of recording a solo piano album with Will Ackerman and Corin Nelsen is something I’ll never forget and hope to do again very soon.  And of course, performing behind Julio Iglesias in front of thousands and thousands of people was a highlight to experience.

Sometimes, it’s not about carrying your own name or seeing yourself in the spotlights.  The simple reward is to sit on the stage with a group and just share each one’s talent.  So, in doing so here is my list of my top five dream gigs.  Gigs that I would truly love to sit on the stage and play with.  Where each individual brings their one part to make a whole.  So, if you know anyone 😉 …….

1. James Taylor – I know, I know.  Kind of odd, I know.  In high school a friend turned me onto his music and I knew that was the first gig I ever really wanted.  I even told him that once.  I was taking a class from Livingston Taylor and James walks in one day.  “I’m going to play with you some day.” I told him.  This was when the legendary Don Grolnick was still alive and playing with him.  So, my chances weren’t the best at the time (to say the least).  He smiled, nodded his head and said what any professional has probably said a million times over “I’m looking forward to it.” A very kind, respectful way of saying “uh……who are you?”. Lol.  I respect that.

2. Peter Gabriel – Really? Really? Do I NEED to explain why? Go do your homework!

3. Alison Krauss – I was first hooked on Alison from love at first note.  Everytime You Say Goodbye (1992) was the album.  Her voice haunting, chilling, plus she is  ridiculous on the fiddle (country for violin).  As with all of these artist that I’m mentioning, it’s all about one thing.  The song.  Not the art of the virtuoso, or the art of entertainment, but the most.  A good song, is a good song.  And Alison, has always been one to craft a good song.  Regardless if she inked it or not.  What I would give to play on stage with her.

4. Van Morrison – Everyone likes Van Morrison.  I mean, c’mon it’s Van Morrison.  I’ve always liked him, at an arms reach.  However I’ve never been enthralled with the guy.  Great talent, amazing writer.  But it wasn’t until I saw a rebroadcast of his performance on Austin City Limits that made me say “Wow, that would be so much fun.” Didn’t dance, didn’t have to be dramatic, just closed his eyes and owned the room.  His band was great and everyone stayed exactly where they needed to, together and in the pocket.  No one out shined the other, and no one really cared if they did or didn’t.  Again, it was about the music.  The foundation of a really good song.  His rendition of “I Can’t Stop Loving You” gave me chills. The show aired November 11th, 2006 if you wanna try to find it on youtube or something.

5. Michael Jackson – In light of his recent passing, I know that it sounds like I’m jumping on the wagon.  But the fact of the matter is, I’ve been on the Jackson train for a long time.  So, nay I say to you!!  I’ll never forget the night when HBO broadcasted Live from Bucharest: The Dangerous Tour.  It was 1992.  I was at Ricky Rodriquez’s house.  Everyone else seemed to be outside hanging out, and I couldn’t pull myself away from what I was watching.  It was spectacular!  With the design of the stage, the musicians were pretty much in the back so they were relatively out of view.  Giving the full stage to Michael, his dancers and most importantly the spotlight on energy.  Everything was so “on”.  Each note, each movement, it was like watching a Russian ballet almost.  Without the pink dancing slippers.  I was later reading an article in Keyboard magazing at the time with his keyboardist(s) and I just remember “They must be some bada** players” And from that point on, I became a fan. Not as much of him as a person, but as a musician.  I didn’t necessarily want to have the gig with Michael because it was Michael, but because his band was so ridiculous, so above the par.  They were the creme, and that’s what I’ve always wanted to be.  It was more of a dream to perform at that level in my mind, instead of just being a musician in some band of a unique talent.  We’ll miss him.  The the impact that he placed on everyone has been evident of the celebration of his music.  I wonder what his band is up to now?

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Charlotte Talks Radio Interview/Link

Mike Collins of WFAE

Mike Collins of WFAE

I had the great opportunity to appear on WFAE’s Charlotte Talks this morning.  The show is hosted by Charlotte’s staple Mike Collins who has been an amazing asset to the city.  Although I sincerely enjoyed the interview and being on the radio with him, it was the time spent away from the microphone that I enjoyed the most.  Regardless of which town you reside, there are more people with great talent sitting next to you than you realize.  Almost weekly I’m learning that not everyone with exceptional skill only reside in nyc or la.  And although I miss the crazy hub-bub of the city, there is a quality of clarity to the medium pace.  Of sitting still and hearing your heart.  The old adage of less being more can ring ever so true. As long as apathy doesn’t mapquest your address.

I found that exceptional talent in Mike Collins.  And I am ever so grateful to have sat under his influence for the hour.  I hope Charlotte is happy to have him.

You can listen to the interview by clicking _–> here <– See you Sunday at the Jazz Vesper.  6pm, free jazz, free coffee, free joy. Click on my “Live” link for info. Cheerio.

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