Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January 29th gig at The Palms

Tonight was tough. Cheryl and I both took bad colds yesterday. Only my loyalty to these cats kept me outa the bed and down at The Palms tonight. Had to split after the first show, though, 'cuz I feel like crap and I gotta give a training presentation first thing in the morning at the day gig. Jerry had some crud too. Couldn't tell from the way he sang. We had a sub for Gil, who was also out sick. Wes Marshall stepped right up on trumpet and handled the book, no sweat.

Michael McDaniel showed up to hang and check it out. Nice to meet you, bro'. Sax cat new in town from Nashville. Glad to have you with us.

Band was short-handed one man, with both Johnnie Johnson and brother Tyriq outa town, so Dave Richardson got the call to step up and sing harmonies. Band sounded great. Dave's new tune "Salvation" is simply awesome. I can't wait they they get that tune and Nathan's new "Come With Me" recorded. Signature stuff that rivals the best writing and arranging and performing I've ever heard.

NOTE: Jerry will be appearing at the E String on Sunset in Henderson tomorrow (east down by Valley Verde) night at 9 with sax ace Tommy Alvarado and the guys (Chris Gordon on bass, Joel Richman on tubs, Bill Zappia on keys). Go check 'em out, A-List cats all.

OK, a few pics and then I gotta crash...

BTW- Lenny, my brother, thanks for puttin' so many of my pics up on the band's website.

OK, Cousin Jojo over in Pacific Grove sent me some funny pics, just got time to post a couple right now. What happens if the unthinkable comes to pass and we lose in Iraq?

Mullah al-Bushstani.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Weekend notes

First of all, wanna post an update note regarding my Seattle area Soul Brother Kurt Kolstad. He continues successfully on the mend from his long, frightening encounter with lymphoma. We're planning on bringing his funky butt down here for a Santa Fe hookup as soon as he's cleared to travel and is up to it. Our pal Joey T just sent me this mp3 clip of Kurt in his personal studio singin' and playin' everything on one of his original tunes "Gimme Back My Funk." Bad Boy. Recall the very first blog post, wherein I cited him doing "Nightshift" live in a small club gig (Kurt on tubs and vocal, 4 pc band, keyboard dude kickin' the crap outa left hand Rhodes bass), and he and his former band "Type A" doin' Steely Dan's "Night by Night."

Tim Scott has a cool page up citing his gigging time with Kurt. That's Kur
t on the right, and our mutual bandmate back in the 70's, our bandleader Bill Franklin front, center of the pic. I had the glorious experience of spending a year on stage with Kurt and Bill, before Cheryl and I moved to Birmingham in mid-1975 (oh, ouch, that hair! Cheryl shot that pic up in our backyard, and I developed and printed it in my basement darkoom, LOL! The days before digital...).

I love this cat.

We went to see The Las Vegas Tenors last night at the Gold Coast, courtesy of my bro' Bobby Black.

(Not my pic, BTW, got it from the RJ) Amazing breadth of vocal talent. The operatic stuff is so cool, but they also range across a ton of different styles, including some killer Broadway show tunes (the Sondheim tune in particular was awesome). Great crowd last night (which included the elegant Vegas power couple of Kelly Clinton and Clint Holmes, and Clint's adorable Mom). We were also treated to a guest appearance during the Tenors' show by the stunning Tina Walsh (recently of the Mamma Mia role of Donna). OMG, that voice!

After the show we cruised over to NY/NY to see Fahrenheit, who now feature the wonderful Jessica Mangione. We were hungry, so we first dropped over to Chin Chin.

Gotta tell ya, great food in a major Strip casino venue with a tab for two well below 3 figures? You don't see that very often. Loved it. Highly recommended.

Fahrenheit was smokin'. (So was the lounge; Cheryl and I are both gaggin' this morning, ugh.) Great band, A-List performers all (including Santa Fe's own Johnnie Johnson).

OK, MySpace update. Six of the guys now have MySpace pages y'all need to check out:
Hmmmm...where'd ya'll get all those cool stage pictures, hmmmm...(LOL! I'm flattered.)

I put up my own page simply as one more channel through which to tout Santa Fe and our friends. If you're up on Myspace, link in with us to help spread the word.

Funny MySpace story: A number of my nephews and nieces have MySpace pages, and we've linked up. But, one who've I've not seen in quite a few years is now a teenager in the DC area. She kept ignoring my "friends" invites, and finally went to her dad with a concern about this older dude BobbyG who might be a perv/pedo stalker. LOL!! when my brother-in-law Jerry saw my page, he cracked up. 'Oh, gawd, that's just your Uncle Bobby...'

Good that she's aware, though. Lotta slimy stuff out there.

I randomly get these "friends" requests from some underdressed "Lydia" or "Aimee" etc who wanna be my "friend." Usually porn hustle come-ons. Then there's transparent stuff you see like this when you log out of MySpace!

Yippee-eye-ohhhh-tye-A, let's saddle up, l'il darlin'!!! Jeesh. Yeah, that's lovely. I also gotta laugh at the jiggly animated ones where the yummie young chick is hiking up her skirt, etc. YO- I'm married, almost 61, and at that stage in life where a cigar is just a cigar, and if I go to Paris it's for the art and the architecture (and le Tour of course).


Jazz guitar virtuoso Robert Conti throwin' it down at NAMM (link to video).

REMEMBER: The Healing resumes tomorrow night in The Lounge in The Palms, 10 p.m. Be there.


They had to put him down :-(

Born in the valley
And raised in the trees
Of western kentucky
On wobbly knees
With mama beside you
To help you along
You'll soon be a growing up strong.

All the long, lazy mornings
In pastures of green
The sun on your withers
The wind in your mane
Could never prepare you
For what lies ahead
The run for the roses so red.

And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
Your fate is delivered
Your moments at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And it's high time you joined
In the dance
It's high time you joined
In the dance.

From sire to sire
It's born in the blood
The fire of a mare
And the strength of a stud
Its breeding and its training
And its something unknown
That drives you and carries
You home.

And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can
Your fate is delivered
Your moments at hand
It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance
And its high time you joined
In the dance
It's high time you joined
In the dance.

- Dan Fogelberg

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Happy Birthday to the blog

Well, the blog is now a year old (pic above, this cat 23 years ago, LOL!). Actually, as I sit here writing this on my laptop in The Lounge at The Palms at about 8:20 p.m., a full 365 days of blogging this magnificent band will have accrued by the time I post this stuff when I get home from the gig after midnight. My first post is dated January 24th 2006 (see the links column). Been a fun year, I hope I’ve added some value.

I first saw the band at Palace Station in September of 2005, on Paul Purtle’s insistence. I’d been rooting around town meeting some players and feeling out the possibility of returning to playing after 20 years, just mostly for fun (and to maybe use my music -- I have a boatload of competitive original material –- to possibly help raise money for my stalled-since-9/11 cancer support effort), with a vision of having my own horn band perhaps. I still remember vividly sitting there when the band struck up “Just Kidding.”

I was frigging Tasered, man! No other way to describe it. In all honesty, it was a depleted-uranium tipped torpedo below my own musical ego waterline. Like, ‘Gladd, you suck, dude, you got no game compared to these cats. Why even bother?’
By the end of the second tune – the Earth, Wind & Fire Medley – I was completely blown away, stunned, Shocked & Awe'd.

I was instantly hooked, though, and I dug around on the ‘net and found Jerry’s email address (had to get it off a WHOIS search though his jerrylopez.com domain name), and just emailed him my thoughts and appreciation. Embarrassed his ass with my over-the-top effusive rhetoric.
Cheryl was in southern Louisiana all fall doing Katrina emergency response and cleanup work with her company (ticker symbol SGR: they’re the cats that pumped New Orleans dry), so I was at the gig every Monday from that first night on. My own band thing would have to wait.

Eventually I got the idea to start a blog for Santa Fe to help document this precious phenomenon and spread the word. I’d been hanging out online at several political blogs, one of which was housed at the free Blogger.com (which is now owned by Google). Looked easy enough, so I signed up and started.

That was a year ago.
Since then I have learned so much from these cats – about where the bar is set for music in this town (or anywhere), for sure, but most importantly about the true, wonderful humanity they evince. I got’cher Role Models right here. There ain’t an ounce of ego trip within 50 miles of anybody in this band. Jerry accepted me as a friend right off; interesting, given all the friends he already has and all the people hittin’ him up all the time for all kinds of reasons. I am also now blessed to have come to know so many other fine, fine performers here in Vegas and beyond. I love and respect you all.

So, I’m about 17 months behind on my own musical goals. BFD. Patience. Bein’ around these cats has got me writing again, and practicin’ again, and re-thinking my whole attitude toward playing music and life in general. Probably extended my life span by way more than this 17 month diversion. That “healing” thing, y’know. Jerry, that book "The War of Art," I really owe you and Mundo for that, bro'.

My goals this year are (beside finishing my danged textbook manuscript) to [1] do everything humanly possible to get Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns out to the world, and [2] get my old school ass back on stage (probably solo acoustic or small group semi-acoustic for starters, using the 12-string, which I'm lovin’) and keep writing new music.

Bill Zappia just came in. He’s subbing for Dave on keys tonight, obviously. Bad Boy.


OK, I gotta spew for a minute. Iraq is in flames, Iran may be on deck, the planet is seriously overheating, 47 million people got no health insurance, 218,000 homes were destroyed just in New Orleans by Katrina, with most of their owners still displaced…and the mainstream media is obsessing today over the ostensible crappy treatment of some of the hapless/no-talent “American Idol” early round contestants? WTF?

The Today Show gave it a full ten minutes this morning, and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough had a whole panel of commenters heatedly jawing about it tonight.
Look, y'all, these screechy “loser” contestants are ACTORS. C’mon.

In my best John McEnroe harangue: “YOU.PEOPLE.CANNOT.BE.SERIOUS!!!” Sorry, but this Simon dude is just another WWF Vince McMahon huckster, minus the bling stuff and gaudy suit. This stuff is akin to “Bum Fights” set to song and dance.
Great marketing tactic, though. Stir up a huge stink over “mocking” the musically halt and lame. Appears to be working.

“No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

- H.L. Mencken

End of rant. I feel better now.


Wow. Wow. Wow. Bill Zappia tore ass on keyboards, and the band even did the new tunes composed recently by Nathan ("Come to Me") and Dave ("Salvation"). These tunes are at a whole 'nuther level. Bill just cut 'em, no sweat, no rehearsal. Just done.

Tom Delibero subbed on trumpet tonight, as did Dave Perrico briefly. Eventually Gil and Danny showed up after their other commitments. Brother Tyriq sat in at the end of the night to do "Soul Trilogy." Splits and all.

We had it all tonight. Our blessed brother Adrian Garcia came to hang tonight, that was really special. The stunning Michael Grimm sat in and sang, with the equally badass Drew Zingg sitting in on guitar. They did a rendition of "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" that went off like they'd all rehearsed it for weeks. You gotta go hear Michael and his band (I posted about them earlier on this blog).

More later, lots more. It's almost 3 a.m., and I gotta be back up in 4 hours, fixin' to go crash. Got some good pics (amid my usual ton of crap ones). Here's some I nailed of Gil, Tom, and Jerry, respectively for now.

Let the blogging continue...


OK, that was something of a record. It's 8:10. I slithered outa the bed at 7:24, jumped into some clothes, whipped out down Windmill and across the 215, hit the new Starbucks at Jones, where I ordered an acre-foot of coffee and a cinammon loaf, and I'm sitting here at my desk with time to spare prior to the weekly bi-state conference call. I got in the bed at 3:38, and then (as usual) couldn't get to sleep, instead repeatedly hitting mental rewind about aspects of the gig (am I trippin', or are the Fat City Horns makin' hip little changes to the "Intermission" chart?). Gonna be an interesting day. We got a big meeting with a medical group this afternoon at 3. I'll be on fumes by then.

Quickly noted. Met a beautiful young thang last night who happens to be from Alabama. She and Cheryl talked a bit of Southern Belle shop. Her name is Bonnie Mizell, keyboardist/singer/writer. Check out her website. Also on the talent/beauty front, our girl Jessica Mangione was at the gig last night (see my prior post). Get by and check out her gig at NY/NY this week with Fahrenheit. Also, another talented youngster I met a while back at the Stirling Club, Laura Simpson, showed up last night. She's been elected President of the Student chapter of the Las Vegas Jazz Society.

Awright, back to my life as a federal contract bureaucrat. Will post more pics tonight. Later.


More pics from the evening. A fine evening it was. Another one coming up next Monday, too!

Below: Cirque "Ka" lead performer Joerg and Cheryl, and my daughter Danielle and Jerry's "music director" Sari. Joerg is the most kinetic fan in the room, great fun to be around.


Below: Our resident guitar genius is tearin' up at the NAMM show, with Gil Parris on guitar, Danny Gottlieb on drums, and Mark Egan on bass.

See for yourself. This cat is SICK! The video below was shot during the session for his latest jazz CD "To The Brink." (He's trading 4's with our awesome homeboy Rocco Barbato) I have the CD, courtesy of my bro' Robert. Unreal.

The Hole - video powered by Metacafe

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Healing is about to resume...

Monday night January 22nd in The Lounge at The Palms, 10 p.m., Santa Fe and The Fat City Horns will return, with a vengeance, no doubt. For those of you who didn't get to come to the The Jazz Society concert up in Summerlin, I can assure y'all that the new compositions by Nathan Tanouye and Dave Richardson are just fabulous.

BTW- anyone out there doin' the MySpace thing, let's hook up. I put up a page simply to hustle the band -- as well as our many friends.

Among these friends: coming up this week at NY/NY (4 p.m. - 9 p.m.) will be Joe Burriola's excellent band "Fahrenheit." Santa Fe's Johnny Johnson plays guitar and sings with them. And, the beautiful and talented Jessica Mangione is now on board. I'll be down, Joe.

Also, our homie Bobby Black is doin' his thang big-time with The Las Vegas Tenors:

Other random stuff...when I was in Boston in December for medical system training, I saw an episode of HBO's "The Wire" in my hotel room, which I'd heard much about but had never seen (I don't take HBO, etc, 'cuz I'm afraid of putting in too much couch potato time).

It blew me away.

I've since bought the DVD Seasons One and Three editions (Season Two was outa stock, but I'll have it and Four -- the current one -- soon).

This is about the baddest thing I've ever seen. The screenwriting and acting are the dramatic analog of Fat City Horns charts. I am not kidding. Then there's the sheer volume of work. The full four seasons comprise about 50 hours of final cut footage, the equivalent of at least 25 full length theatrical movies (I've watched about 17 hours thus far, in complete awe). Everything about this show; the unbelievably knowing writing, the acting (they use a lot of locals who are not professional actors -- you'd never know they were amateurs), the cinematography, the lighting, the sets, the editing, man! No stereotypes among the various characters, either. No simplistic bad guys vs. good guys.

I have long been an ardent student of film. It never ceases to amaze me that
any film ever gets made (even the crappy ones), given the egos, huge expense, and complex logistics (e.g., see the great movie industry insider book "Final Cut," about the fall of United Artists' Studio in the wake of the "Heaven's Gate" production disaster) And, this kind of stuff -- "The Wire" -- is even more amazing, in light of the volume of high quality stuff they consistently churn out on the tightest of schedules.

A word of warning: "The Wire" is not for the squeamish. While it never indulges in gratuitous violence, it comprises a hyper-realistic, explicit, frequently depressing look into American urban life at its most raw, in settings where life is at its cheapest and people can be at their most duplicitous and vicious.

Highly, highly recommended.


I have my usual 5-6 books in play ongoing (plus all of my periodicals). Couple of cool ones I'm reading, Wikinomics and Made to Stick. Great stuff. Always looking for new ideas, some great ones in these books.

Another good one new in hardcover is Alan Deutschman's "Change or Die," which stems from his FastCompany Magazine article of the same title.

OK, more later, I'm off to 24 Hour Fitness on Sahara & Buffalo to impersonate a basketball player. But, before I go, one more insane Bad Boy - Raul Midon (Jerry knows him). Wow-EEEE!


I used to joke (prior to the drought) about how -- this being Vegas, after all -- we could/should have snowmaking equipment built in to our sprinkler systems so we could simply dial up nice little blankets of snow in our yards during the Christmas holiday period ('...honey, would you go out to the garage and set the front yard to "flurries" before you come to bed...'). I mean, we are the kings of world-class fake stuff, right? Fake Venice, fake New York, fake Paris, fake Rome, etc.

Well, our OPEC friends have punked us. When you gas up you cars, here's what you are helping pay for: Ski Dubai! They've built a friggin' indoor ski resort in the heart of OPEC country.


Just got an email from my friend Kate Logan, who hosts Songwriter Night every Tuesday at 9 p.m. at the Sand Dollar Lounge at Polaris and Spring Mountain Road.

Kate apprises that this Tuesday Michael McDaniel will also perform at the Sand Dollar gig. Interesting bio, this cat:
Born in 1971 and becoming a saxophonist at a very young age Michael’s career has taken many diverse paths. Including composition of music for television shows (Almost Live, Talk of The Town) stage plays (Light Hauz, Seattle Lights) and performing in clubs, theatres, and arenas in 14 countries. The growing list of world-class artists he has shared the stage or studio with has only further expanded his musical diversity. Artists such as Luther Vandross, Branford Marsalis, B.B. King, Michael Powers, Kevin Sharp, Isaac Hayes, and Carl Weathersby just to name a few.

Shortly after winning his second award for Sax Player of the year (Music City Blues Awards 2004) he was bestowed with the N.J.R.C. award for the Best Independent Southern Jazz CD for his 2003 project “From The Heart”. Michael has also spent time working in conjunction with instrument manufacturers such as Yamaha Winds, E.M. Winston Instruments, and Keilwerth Saxophones in development of new horn designs for both sonic and aesthetic improvements.
Check him out. Audio samples here.