Friday, August 31, 2007

Santa Fe at Spring Mountain Ranch on Sept 7th

7 pm at the Spring Mountain Ranch outdoor ampitheatre next Friday, Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns will perform under the auspices of the Las Vegas Jazz Society. Everyone come on out for what will be a great show!



The mix and master of our new CD "Let the Healing Begin" was finished yesterday and was delivered to the duplication plant today. We should have them in our hands shortly.
For those of you that pre-paid for yours, we will have them sent out to you immediately!

ALSO: this coming Monday night, GUEST ARTISTS with Santa Fe & the Fat City Horns are Ronnie & Mike Gutierrez! Great friends of ours and incredible musicians. They will be performing songs from their new CD "Like father like Son." Wonderful Salsa music!

When our trailer with all the equipment was stolen a few months ago, Ronnie GAVE us a new set of DW drums, Gon-Bop congas and bongos! What a guy. His generosity was way above and beyond the call of duty. We will always be grateful for this gesture.

Please come out and meet Ronnie and his father Mike on Monday night, and hear some great Salsa music. They will come on stage about 10:15 and do 30 minutes, then Santa Fe & the Fat City horns will finish out the set, and do another show a little later.

Look forward to seeing you all out there!

- Jerry Lopez

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Yes!!! I have the new Santa Fe live CD master in my hot little hands. OMG! I literally welled up in tears midway through the first tune. The eminent and gracious Michael Ruff did the final master for Jerry. It just roars off the disk. Man!

I gotta make the last updates to the artwork today and run everything over to OddsOn for replication The wait will have utterly been worth it, y'all. I could not be more proud of these cats. We are indeed privileged.

AD OF THE YEAR (courtesy of my wife)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 27th gig at The Palms

Blogging will be delayed. It's 3:45 a.m., and I just got home. I was heading down I-15 when Jerry called me to say, 'hey, you're right behind me, you wanna go get something to eat?'

A no-brainer. I have just had the most glorious conversation, after the most glorious of music tonight. I am so blessed.

I just dumped 138 pics outa my camera. Got a lot to weed through. Tomorrow.

We had special guests tonight, Alex Ligertwood (Santana and many others) and Brandon Fields (uh, everybody in the business?). Wow-eee.

Tuesday: I'm back up. Nailed some good shots of Mr. Come Back Home, and His Much Older Brother Dr. Lenny.

Below, some additional random shots. I didn't have all that great a shooting night, my "keeper" percentage was relatively low this time.

Brandon, thanks for comin' to hang and sit in. Awesome, bro'. Cat reminds me of my favorite reed dude Marc Russo. Here's a nice YouTube clip I found of Brandon:

Sunday, August 26, 2007

In my spare time...

Putzing around in iMovie on my iMac between hospital visits this weekend. I did the voiceover in GarageBand the other morning (LOL! in my bathrobe and PJs, while slurping my second cup of coffee), amid my crazy dogs barking, the AC unit going on, cars driving up & down my street, and planes flying nearby. Had to use the noise gate function (which works fine, but the noise then get stuffed inside -- albeit masked -- within the V/O, marginally changing the vocal timbre).

Thanks to Ric Gould for introducing the band on live CD recording night (the "Intermission" horn thing is from the new CD), and for his and Jackie's gracious ongoing support. BTW- the uncompressed QuickTime version of this clip is available here at (looks a little clearer).

See everyone tomorrow night at The Palms. I am so ready.

ps- the new CD mix is just about complete, and I met with the duping vendor this week. We'll have them available soon. I'm 99% finished with the cover art, just need the exact song length times from Jerry.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

In good taste?

I heard about this yesterday on NPR. Maybe they'll bring it to Vegas. Hey, I don't make the news, I just report it.

From the website...

The Plot

JIHAD THE MUSICAL tells the story of a young Afghan peasant, Sayid. Coming from the desert, Sayid dreams of proving himself to his bossy sister Shazzia and to the world, by making it as a flower farmer. Enchanted by a mysterious veiled woman, he leaps at her offer to work for a company that ‘exports poppies’ to the West. Unfortunately, Sayid soon discovers that the woman is a terrorist, and the company a front for a jihadi cell seeking to blow up targets in the West, most particularly one known as the Unidentified, Very Prestigious Landmark.

Farce ensues as Sayid is brainwashed by the all-singing, all-dancing jihadis, vowing to fight for their cause. Meanwhile, a sinister reporter, Foxy Redstate, uncovers the plot, encouraging Sayid to keep her in the loop in the hope that such an exclusive will propel her to media stardom. Sayid finds himself caught between the terrorists on one hand and the media on the other, driven to share in their enthusiasm for the impending terrorist spectacular. Fortunately help is on the way in the form of his no-nonsense sister, who teams up with a surrender-prone Frenchman to come to the rescue. Everything comes to a head on the night of the attack, where, caught between his sister, the bloodthirsty global media, and the jihadis he has come to see as a new family, Sayid has to decide whose side he is really on.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Why I do what I do


Yeah, I'm bummed as well.


This is not how I wanted their day to go. Ma remains hospitalized at St. Rose down on Eastern. Dad is now safely ensconced at Silver Ridge since May. She's OK, but I'm anticipating now that things will only continue to decline. My Pop (he's 91 and addled with dementia) may just go on and on and on for years yet. My Mom, though -- I just don't know anymore.

It's all pretty surreal in some ways. I've spent most of my adult life thousands of miles distant from my parents. I left home literally the day I graduated high school, to go on the road with a lounge act in 1964, to the utter fury of my Dad, who disowned me for a time (I absurdly had a college football scholarship, but the music was in my bones, and I was through getting my undersized-if-aggressive ass kicked every Saturday). My parents were apoplectic over my decision. It took years for them to accept it. By that time I was on the west coast (SF and the Seattle area) and they'd retired to Florida.

Now, this little Buffalo Bob buckaroo gets to ride herd in his own corral. Yippee-aye-oh-tye-aaaa!

The geriatric roundup is now done, no more red-eye trips to Florida.


Thursday evening we took nephew Chasley to Lindo Michoacan, where we all mowed copious portions of our favorite Mexican food and washed it down with plenty of top shelf margaritas. Afterward, at about 11:45 pm, and just as I'd sunk firmly into a tequila-enhanced slumber, the phone rang. Mother had fallen twice over at the Cottage and was throwing up. 911 to St. Rose Siena up on Eastern. Ugh.

Figured I was gonna be sittin' in the ER for a while (which indeed turned out to be the case), so, along with my Power-of-Attorney papers and Mother's IDs, I grabbed my old copy of Steven Batchelor's "Buddhism Without Beliefs," a cool little book I'd read repeatedly while sitting bedside every day and night during Sissy's final 3-month hospital stay in 1998. It's a comforting read, one always worth coming back to.

A few snippets:

Even when I do things for the sake of others
No sense of amazement or conceit arises.

It is just like feeding myself;

I hope for nothing in return.

- Shantideva

'There are also moments when we experience ourselves not at odds with others but as participants in a shared reality...'

'Ethical integrity originates in empathy, for then we take the well-being of others to heart and are moved to be generous. Our thoughts, words, and deeds are based on a sense of what we have in common rather than what divides us...'

'While rooted in empathy, integrity requires courage and intelligence as well, because every significant ethical choice entails risk...'

'Ethical intelligence requires both the intelligence to understand the present situation as the fruition of former choices, and the courage to engage with it as the arena for the creation of what is to come. It empowers us to embrace the ambiguity of a present that is simultaneously tied to an irrevocable past and free for an undetermined future.'

'Ethical integrity is not moral certainty. A priori certainty about right and wrong is at odds with a changing an unreliable world, where the future lies open, waiting to be born from choices and acts. Such certainty may be consoling and strengthening, but it can blunt awareness of the uniqueness of each ethical moment. When we are faced with the unprecedented and unrepeatable complexities of this moment, the question is not "What is the right thing to do?" but "What is the compassionate thing to do?"...'

Yeah, it's a good book. Buy a copy, you'll dig it.

Now, as these principles pertain to Santa Fe, of course, I'd love to be able to be a personally profitable force for them, but that's not why I've done what I've done -- and will continue to do -- for them, and for the increasing number of others I've come to know through them. My admiration for those who risk it all to create music, and who devote such tireless energy to making it the best it can be, and who unfailingly interact with others in such a gracious and humble manner, well, my admiration and respect and empathic compassion compel me do do whatever I can to assist.

Two years ago next month I heard Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns for the first time, at Palace Station. I'm still not over the euphoric, humbling shock. As I said in an earlier post, I was friggin' tasered that night!

So, yeah, who knows what will come of the entire effort? But, recall the words of Tom Scott the night he sat in with Santa Fe back in April:

"I have to say, I am stunned. Not just the sheer amount of work, but the talent on this stage. You people are privileged to witness this band."


I take this privilege seriously. This is why I do what I do. Maybe some day it'll "pay off" in the conventional sense. I want it to pay off for Jerry and the guys. Irrespective of whether I ever see a dime of profit or not.

OK, enough gooey sentimentality: now, for a diversionary trip back down memory lane back to the year I left home:

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The musical genius of Nathan Tanouye


The first time I heard the opening flourish strains of Nathan Tanouye's title cut ("Crossings") on his Russ Freeman CD project (last tune on the disk), I was immediately struck by inescapable imagery of "Saving Private Ryan," and I thought, 'jeez, this cat oughta be writin' film scores.'

So, tonight I'm pissin' around in iMovie (in between trips to the hospital to deal with my Ma), copped a few D-Day stills off the 'net, and assembled them with a few of my own, culled the first 75 seconds of "Crossings" audio, and just threw it all together to make my point.

No frills. Just took the default 5 second frames with the slow zoom-ins (which gets old, I know. Ken Burns I'm not right now), no cross-dissolves, or trying to map the edits to various beats or notes (you can overdo that, anyway; reflexive editing tightly to downbeats is the sign of an anal hack). Interesting how some of it just "works" passably outa the chute.

I've not used this app before, it came bundled with my iMac. It's OK, but not ready for Prime Time. (Like me.)

Nathan could easily score for film. I told him that the other day at the Serpentine Fyre rehearsal. I friggin' meant it.

UPDATE: OK, just checked. The larger conversion is now uploaded to YoooTooobe.

The Normandy Beach / D-Day cemetery shots are pics I took in 2004 when Cheryl and I went to see the Tour de France. The last shot before the flag coda is me Ma & Pa in the nursing home earlier this year.

My Dad left his leg behind in Europe during WWII, and one of my Mother's brothers was pissin' his britches and throwin' up in one of those D-Day landing craft, so "Saving Private Ryan" kinda shook me up a bit more personally. Only 2 of the 5 Gladd brothers survived the war years.

I'm gonna post the YoooToooobe thingy on the blog with props to Nathan. I have studied the "Crossings" CD intensely, man. It is a MASTERWORK.




So Cheryl and I recently went to see the totally amazing Bourne Ultimatum, and then just had to come home and re-watch the first two Bourne flicks for the umpteenth time. So, as I'm watchin' the Bourne Supremacy (the 2nd in the series), the day gig statistician in me is compelled to randomly silently count scene lengths. Maybe 1.5 seconds on average per cut, meaning perhaps 4,500 - 5,000 edits across the entire flick. The edit rate in the new pic is even more frenetic (gotta be 6,000+ edits in that flick). Amazing, the technology and creative effort of film. Man! the work involved.


Is anyone else already sick of this endless Presidential pre-campaign campaign, with its ad nauseum litany of patronizing platitudes and outright weak-assed lies? Enjoy some Robin Williams, LOL!

Calls to mind this 1996 Bill Champlin tune, Party Time in DC (mp3, Jerry Lopez on guitar, Rochon on bass, the awesome "MayDay" CD).

No gig tomorrow night

The Lounge in The Palms will be dark tomorrow night. They're resurfacing the floors.

PS- the new CD is almost ready for duping. Jerry suffered a motherboard crash which set him back several days on the mix, but he's back on it, and I'm almost done with the cover art pieces. Patience, y'all, it's gotta be as good as we can make it.

And, again, thanks to all of you that pre-ordered. In the wake of the recent equipment theft, the pre-orders have really helped us keep things moving.


Blaise invited us to come see The Family Stone Experience at the Cannery last night. It was great fun. (A-List homeboy Nate Wingfield on guitar) Thanks, my Brother. A much-needed respite from the week (my Mom is yet again back in the hospital). While we were there we bumped into Andy Ebon & Raoul, and Bad Boy bassist / producer David Inamine. I first met David one night when he was subbing with Ronnie Foster at the Artisan. Great player, and a really nice cat.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Serpentine Fyre rehearsal

The brothers Johnson & Johnson (Tyriq and Johnny of Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns) are doin' an additional new thing, an Earth, Wind, & Fire tribute (tentative name "Serpentine Fyre"). A-List cats, serious enterprise, I can attest. Right on the money. Tyriq invited me to their rehearsal at MDV today. The lineup:
All twelve weren't there today, but the eight Chasley and I heard were off-the-scale fine.

This is gonna be awesome. Wow.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Monday August 13th gig at The Palms

Serious Bad Boy Abe LaMarca filled in for Jamie tonight. Man, this cat can sing! Really nice dude, too. His beautiful guitarist/vocalist wife Christine came to hang also. Sweet couple, they are.

Band was all over it again tonight. Great crowd, too, way into it. Below: I had pretty good luck shootin' the ever-awesome Dr. Lenny tonight.

Thanks to Wayne Brady and his peeps for comin' to hang. Jerry's gigging at the Venetian with Wayne now.

Cheryl's nephew Chasley is back in town (below with my niece April, and below that with April and Aunt Cheryl). Really great to see him (he stayed with us for a while and went to school out here before heading back to Alabama).

Below, I nailed some shots of Rochon pretty well tonight.

BTW- it's 4 a.m., and I'm mowin' a big bowl of Cheerios while blogging. Got a late start. Had an email from Bill Champlin when I got home I had to respond to (about stuff for the upcoming Sons of Champlin Vegas dates). I could not be more flattered that he's usin' my pics from the Santa Fe appearances on his website and his MySpace page. I am gonna absolutely gonna wear out the camera lense next month when he's here.

OK, photo essay time. A random assortment of the keepers from the gig:

Gil threw down so hard tonight during his ride in "San Diego" he gave himself a nosebleed.

Below: Brother Tyriq got called into action to preside over Andy Ebon's return to The Seat of Funk.

Andy wasn't the only one dancin'. Phil was summoned forth to throw down. Below, Jerry's long-time friends from Texas, Tony "Ham" Guerrero from Tortilla Factory, and his people, came to hang.

OK, 5 a.m., gotta crash for a couple of hours and then get April to the airport by 8. She's goin' home for a couple of weeks.


CD draft cover artwork in progress (click to enlarge):