Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Movin' on to The Higher Ground

Palace Station has decided to do a four-wall deal on the Sound Trax Lounge with another act. So, tonight, January 30th, 2006 was the last night for Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns at Palace Station [ :-( ]. The SRO crowd was wild with enthusiasm. The band was simply on FIRE! Ronnie Foster sat in, too. Awesome. A few shots from the evening:

I'm gonna be one tired puppy at work in a few hours. Worth it. Stay tuned, y'all. A new venue will be happenin' shortly. This band is just too good to not have one. Sorry about the fuzziness of most of these pics. I gotta learn how to get my digital camera to emulate high-speed film, 'cuz you gotta shoot available light in these situations, but I was getting viewfinder stuff like 1/8th at f2.8 (which, in Gabriel's case directly above, at least gives an indication of his animated fire).

I guess I should dig in my camera bag and RTFM -- Read the [bleep]ing Manual.

BTW- BobbyG sez that Rochon is from another Galaxy. Gotta be. I call him the Michael Jordan of bass players. Un-friggin'-real. Roch, if I get ya a "23" Bulls jersey, will you wear it? LOL!

BTW2- Blaise Sison was there tonight. Fine, fine bassist who will be a regular with Ronnie Foster at Sedona. Nice cat, too. Be sure to check him out. Also, question: What does little brother Lenny Lopez do when he's not throwin' down with those soaring, soulful, nasty vocals and layin' down the grease on percussion (and keepin' us wonderin' "what's Lenny gonna say next...")? Check THIS out. Wow. How beautiful.

Oh yeah, also - Santa Fe keyboardist/arranger Dave Richardson is in the show band for the new Luxor production of the Tony Award winning (8 of 'em) musical Hairspray. Cheryl and I will be goin', sounds like great fun.

UPDATE: Santa Fe is now in the Wikipedia. Just getting started wth that. FYI- anyone can edit a Wiki page, and anyone else can subsequently edit the edits, etc, ad infinitum. Helps keep it real. Blow any smoke, and vigilant others will jump all over it and clear the air. A recent study found the volunteer/anonymous author'ed Wikipedia as accurate as Britannia overall. Check out this entry for Jerry's friend Bill Champlin.

(check out some of the fifty-dollar word blabity-blah-blah BobbyG has contributed, LOL!)

- Bobby

Monday, January 30, 2006

The Future of Music

Right now, I'm specifically interested in the future of the glorious music written, arranged, and performed by Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns. But, that is to a significant extent inseparable from the future of the music business itself, a business I quit in 1986 after 21 years slugging it out on stages from coast to coast. So, at the moment I'm boning up -- in Chapter 7 of "The Future of Music," a title I ran across while surfing the offerings at Berklee Press.

It's kicking my butt. Gratifying to see that they proffer so many ideas that I have long thought about, and a ton I would never have even considered. Gerd Leonhard and David Kusek are two heavy-hitter industry thinkers and culture trend analysts. If you're a player or just a devoted music fan, this is a must-read. I bought my copy at Borders; reserved it online via Amazon.com and then went and picked it up that afternoon. Very convenient. They can tell you who has it in stock if you just can't wait for shipping.

Friday, January 27, 2006

How cool is THIS?

Sly Stone's Surprise

Reclusive Musician May Emerge to Perform At Grammy Awards

By J. Freedom du Lac
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, January 27, 2006; Page C01

Sly Stone, the reclusive, long-vanished funk-rock pioneer whose potent recordings in the late 1960s and early '70s defined the era and altered the course of popular music, may be about to strut back into the public eye.

According to several friends and associates, discussions are well underway about a Sly and the Family Stone reunion performance at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 8 in Los Angeles...

UPDATE: - More on the Sly Stone website.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Major Props to Paul Purtle

Some background on what led to this blog. Last year I thought about getting back into playing, after hanging it up in 1986 to go white collar subsequent to finally getting my first college degree at the age of 39 in June of 1985. I started getting out and about a bit to local music venues in Vegas, meeting some players here and there. I even stepped back on a stage one night and sat in, at the Orleans, where my trash-talking hoops pal Harry does his Elvis thang one night a week (and where my trusty-if-a-bit-rusty faux-Benson On Broadway and Little Feat Dixie Chicken chops were still in the pocket good enough to get me by). Also on stage that night was an excellent sax player, Tony Quintiliana. Nice cat. Great tone and feel. I hope we get to gig together one'a these days.

Eventually, I ran across the
Craigslist website, and in the Vegas musicians section I read a post by bassist/guitarist Paul Purtle. We exchanged emails, and he invited me to come to the Sunday night jazz jam at Hurricane Bar & Grill (where he sat in -- fine player). While we were there he said "you wanna hear the real deal in Vegas, go to Palace Station tomorrow night to check out Santa Fe. They're insane. Every cat in the audience would die to be on that stage." So, I did. OhMyGod! Yep. Rocked my world all right.
Thanks, Paul.

Paul is one A-List player. Check out this funky mp3 clip from his website samples.

BTW- The jazz jam at Hurricane is hosted by some equally A-List dudes, drummer
Joel Richman, and esteemed veteran sax man Tommy Alvarado (Tommy sings his butt off, too). You wanna sit in, you better bring some Serious Game.

UPDATE: Acclaimed veteran keyboardist, recording artist/writer, and producer Ronnie Foster appears every Friday and Saturday evenings beginning at 10 pm at Sedona, 9850 West Flamingo (W. Flamingo & W 215 Beltway). Ronnie appears regularly along with many of the members of Santa Fe in the Clint Holmes show at Harrah's, and a number of them can be found blazing away with him at Sedona. You never know who's gonna show up and sit in -- a few weeks ago it was George Benson!

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

INAUGURAL POST: The Crown Jewels of Las Vegas Music

This weblog has been started to serve as an online watering hole for fans (and soon-to-be fans) of the stunning Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns of Las Vegas, an utterly explosive 14 member funk/fusion/salsa/soul band comprised of some of our town's premier players, cats that play all week in some of the best shows on the Strip, and then convene at 10:15 pm on Monday nights in the Sound Trax lounge at the Palace Station Hotel & Casino (I-15 & Sahara) to let it all hang out in a spirit of loose, irreverent fun for the pure love of music. Six-piece blazing horn section. The charts are CRAZY good. The unreal rhythm section makes it difficult for you to stay in your seats, the killer lead and harmony vocals leave you shaking your heads.

And, most important of all, they are the nicest group of people you'll ever meet. The mutual affection in the room is a blessing to behold. These dudes make the world a better place. As bandleader Jerry Lopez says, "Let the Healing Begin."

For some live CD mp3 audio cut samples, click here, and for some Windows Media Video (wmv) format video clips from their live DVD, click here. Turn the sound up LOUD!

We also encourage knowledgeable players and fans to chime in here about all topics musical, 'cuz we support live music and the dedicated performers and writers who so enrich our lives. Let us know what you think, and share with everyone what you know about other hip stuff going on in music.

UPDATE- re: some other hip stuff FYI. Here are a couple of mp3 cuts from my long-time drummer/writer/singer friend and 70's bandmate Kurt Kolstad of the Seattle area, [1] Steely Dan's
Night by Night (w/his band "Type-A"), and [2] a live bar gig cut of The Commodores' Night Shift, a 4-pc group (Kurt on lead vocal and tubs, keyboardist throwing down big-time on left-hand Rhodes bass). Kurt is MY MAN! Kurt's been having some really tough health times lately. Say a prayer and send some healing energy his way. He's a beautiful and necessary cat.