Tuesday, February 09, 2010

February 8th gig at The Trop LV

OMG! It's 3:12 a.m., and I just now got home. Too many gracious people made far too certain I would have to stay and hang and celebrate my birthday, a la Cuervo. I'm dumping about 270 shots from the gig in to iPhoto at the moment, but my customary late night in-depth post-gig report may be a casualty of tonight's festivities.

Tom Scott and Freddie Ravel sat in and blew the roof off the theater.
Santa Fe was on fire! Wow. What an awesome show...

Jerry Lopez. Master of all he surveys...

More to come...

OK, 4:30, I'm toast. More after some Zzzzzs... gotta reflect on some thoughts for a more detailed narrative, while I continue to cull usable shots.




First, before I continue, I gotta again say a loud THANK YOU to the lighting manager (in addition to the Trop stage tech staff more broadly). When they introduced me to Robert last night, he asked me about things, and, while thanking him for all his efforts, I noted that Danny was mostly in the dark last week, and he replied, yeah, that they'd already placed and aimed more instruments, both for Danny's position on the horn riser and other areas of the stage that they themselves had identified as needing improvement.

It is indeed a New Day. Wow.

Trop LV management and staff could not be more in support of the band. Go to facebook.com/tropicanalv and let them know how much we all appreciate it.

BTW, didja see this?

We are blessed to be at The Trop.

The cats opened the show with one of their venerable set list opening "chess moves." Fat City Horns flourish into "Esta Noche," followed by the slammin' Earth, Wind, & Fire Medley. In the FCH were two of our esteemed subs, Garrett Hypes on bari and Dave Stambaugh on alto.

Great night to be subbin' 'eh, with Tom Scott in the house and in the Fat City Horns?

The set list was a nice mix of legacy stuff and cuts from the new CD: "When The Curtain Goes Up," "Greazy Thing," Indian Summer Day," "This Time," (best tempo ever on that great song of Jamie's), "I Feel Good," "Negrita," "Soul Trilogy," "We Are Nothing" ...

More shots.

Below: The post-show big band hang. These cats were shreddin', man...

Below, the calm before the storm backstage. The backstage area is big enough to put up full-court hoops, LOL. They have a number of sets for the various shows, some of which have golf carts embedded inside with which to move them on and off the active stage. All pretty cool. It just reeks of Vegas history back there, too.

One great night. I'm still lookin' through more shots...

Thank you all for coming!



Windy Karigianes is totally fine. You wanna hear some great jazz, get over there. I thought this gig was done, but apparently not.

Lotta music going on this week, including Tony Davich's Phoenix returning to Mandalay Bay tomorrow and Thursday, and some of the Tower of Power cats sitting in with the Lon Bronson Band at Green Valley Ranch this Thursday. More updates shortly...


So, who shows up at the gig last night? Cat I haven't seen in a quarter century (2nd from left, with the white hair and 'stash).

Michael John. The backstory: In 1975 Cheryl and I had moved from Seattle back to Birmingham, AL. Shortly thereafter I copped a gig at an after-hours joint known as "The Courtyard," where I played guitar in a slammin' cocktail jazz quartet fronted by a great cabaret singer by the name of Dena Carroll. Fine players, and I was diggin' the chance to work on my jazz chops. She had a book, charts & all. Hip stuff. Great fun. Challenging.

But -- not too long afterward they fired the band (all black cats, except for me and Dena), really 'cause we attracted too much of a black crowd. The management just summarily one night said "We're making a change, you and Dena are gonna work with this cat who plays the off nights, Michael John (or else)..."

Michael, an architect in the day job world, played guitar and piano and sang, did a James Taylor / Eagles / Dan Fogelberg / CSN&Y / Kenny Loggins / Michael Martin Murphy etc schtick. Cat was very, very, good, but, boy was I pissed. New in town, really needed the gig (but the racist aspect of it totally sucked). Didn't know squat about the whole country/folkie idiom, and wasn't really interested in learning it.

But, I ever-so-reluctantly agreed. We were (rather uncomfortably) introduced. A week of rehearsals, and here I go, a whole new direction.

Hit it off like magic. The vocals just seemed to fly without effort, we just zoned and jelled, phrasing and harmony-wise. We ended up working together the whole time I lived in B'ham
. Wild-assed local success. We became tight friends.

Michael lives in Bend, Oregon now. We've been in touch episodically, but I'd not seen him in decades. I think he was living in Denver the last time we hooked up, back before I moved to Vegas.



Dr. Lenny Lopez just called me to report on today's Santa Fe rehearsal with Freddie Ravel. Freddie will be our special guest artist Monday night, and the cats will be doing full arrangements of four of his original tunes - which will include the debut performance of his newest song, "Gratitude."

Click his name, check out his rap sheet, wow, an amazing C.V. This will be great fun.

Also, click on Dr. Lenny's name above and go check out the cool new work he's done on his own website. Yeah, bro'.

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