It's been a little while! Things continue to go beautifully in my musical life. In the past couple weeks I've been to two stirring performances in the Chapel Space at The Good Shepherd Center, both put on by the Earshot Jazz Festival. The first was given by Nate Wooley on trumpet and Paul Lytton on drums. It was pretty out there, man. Like, avant-garde to the max. There were some really cool moments, to be sure. But imagine if your food was all texture, and no flavor, no soul. Texture is important, but it can't be everything, dig? That's me anyway. The second show was a tribute to Billy Strayhorn, with two acts. The openers were Michael Brockman, professor of saxophone at the UW and Duke Ellington scholar, and Randy Halberstadt, an incredible pianist who happens to be my old teacher. I hadn't seen him in six years, and it was great to reconnect. They played three Strayhorn compositions, and their expertise was something to behold. Such seasoned cats! The main act ensemble was, believe it or not, a soprano saxophone quartet, called STRAIGHThorn, a play on Strayhorn. Anything formed for the purpose of a pun is likely to leave you wanting, and I'd have to say that, unfortunately, this was no exception. Oh well!
In personal-professional news, I played half an hour of solo piano at Osteria La Spiga last night, and it went really well! Keep your eyes out; it's very likely I'll be playing there again before long. I'll add any dates to my calendar as they come up.
Lots else is brewing too, but for now I'll leave you with a video from my gig a couple weeks ago at The Mix. This is our version of "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy," and I'm pretty happy with my solo on it (which starts at 5:33).