Monday, December 03, 2007

Monday Dec 3rd gig at The Palms, with special guests The TRIO

PRE-GIG: I dropped down to the The Palms this afternoon for some setup scut work, and was blessed to get to hear Marco, Joey, and Steve doing a sound check with Sonny and running through some tunes. Wow. Gonna be awesome.


Unreal gig tonight. A full house of fans standing, dancing, singing, clapping, and howling at the end. We were witness to musical magic. Almost two hours of it from the TRIO! They went on shortly after midnight and kept going till almost 2 a.m. Wow!

I've got 147 shots to sift through. Blogging is gonna take a while.

The Marco Mendoza TRIO blew the roof off the place tonight. Marco is a frigging T-Rex, a total monster on bass, vocals, and showmanship. Steve is an entire kick-ass band on keys. Joey is pure Shock and Awe on drums. Together they simply roar with total power sculpted with virtuoso finesse. They sounded like, well, a fourteen piece band. LOL!

And three of the nicest cats you'll ever meet.

Below, here's bass player critical mass back in the dressing room: Rochon, Rocco Prestia (Tower of Power), and Marco.

Santa Fe ramped up after a bit of a bumpy start and caught fire big-time during the first show, throwin' down a breadth of originals, including the two very new ones debuted last week. Tonight was the first night for the full roster of the Fat City Horns II. Each of these cats is a top player, but the Santa Fe book is so difficult, we don't fully realize just how much work our original Fat City Horns put into it. Their smoothness and tightness didn't just happen by accident or virtue of individual chops. I've watched 'em at a couple of sectionals. The sheer amount of work, man, attention to detail and nuance.

Some more shots from the night before I crash:

Above: props again to Jerry Jones of Fifth Avenue for filling in once more on "Come Together."

More after I get back up. It's 5 a.m. Again, thanks to Marco, Steve, and Joey. That was simply amazing.


More pics from a stunning night. I'm still sorting through the rest, but these are keepers as well.

Pure euphoric magic, man. Thank you Marco, Steve, Joey! Thank you Jerry Lopez for making all this happen.


Some of the guys have a fine, fun new project, Ritmo Caliente.

Above, L to R: Pepe, Gabriel, Lenny, David Inamine ('nuther Major Bad Boy; I love the way he plays), and Sante Fe alum Carlos Perez. Check out their MySpace site (click the name). Pay it forward.

Boy Katindig this Sunday

Smooth Jazz keyboardist Boy Katindig will be at Sonny's this Sunday, 5-9 pm.



Washington [MSNBC, Reuters] - The Supreme Court ruled this morning that there cannot be a Nativity scene in Washington, D.C. this Christmas. This isn't for any religious or constitutional reason, they simply have not been able to find three wise men and a virgin in the nation's capitol.

There was no problem however finding enough asses to fill the stable.


IN MEMORIUM: CARLOS "PATATO" VALDEZ: Nov 4, 1926 - Dec 4, 2007

For over 60 years Carlos "Patato" Valdez demonstrated how a musician could combine technical skill with superb showmanship. His conga playing demonstrated the fusing of melody and rhythm, and his keen understanding of rhythm is rooted in dancing. Patato even mastered the art of actually dancing ON TOP of his congas during his performances, to the delight of the audience.

Valdez dazzled an audience well into his eighties with his rumba moves. He's also is the man who gave Brigitte Bardot a mambo lesson in the film “And God Created Woman”. Valdez also expressed his understanding of melody through bass and tres, the Cuban folk guitar.

Valdez' understanding of melodic percussion was well ahead of his time and his technique required advances in drum technology. During the late 1940's he helped develop the first tunable congas, as earlier models were tuned by the unwieldy method of heating them with a sterno can. His interest in design, as well as his friendship with LP Founder Martin Cohen, led to the development of the LP Patato Model Congas, one of the top-selling conga drums of all time.

It is Valdez' spontaneity and charm that enabled him to draw audiences from vastly different backgrounds and cultures into the irresistible Afro-Cuban rhythms which he created. Patato will be remembered by all as a giant of a man, and his spirit shall live forever through his music.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Bobby, I just wanted to stop by and say hello after seeing the show Monday night (the 3rd) and meeting you briefly there. I was in Vegas back in April for the NAB show, and stopped by to hear the band then. Needless to say, when I found out I would be there again last week, my first order of bidness was to come see and hear the boys. What a frigging night! Not only was I amazed at the new horn section, playing those ridiculous charts, but my mind was TOTALLY BLOWN by The Trio. I’ve been a musician for 40 years, and have heard a lot of amazing players, so for someone to see me with my jaw on the floor is a pretty rare occurrence. Well, that’s just where my jaw was by the end of the evening. It’s hard to single any one musician out, but I have to say Joey Heredia tased me, bro’! I picked up both the new Santa Fe CD and Mendoza-Heredia-Neto live CD. It’s great to listen to these live recordings and to think back on just how awesome the performances were. Both times I’ve been to Vegas, the nights at the Palms have been the greatest treat. Please convey to all the guys my deep respect and gratitude for their musicianship and faithfulness to their craft.

John B.