Thursday, July 29, 2010

Steamer's

Steamer's is a relatively famous jazz club in Fullerton, CA. Mostly mainstream jazz, but that's cool, especially when the fabulous guitarist Willis Clow is playing there. I saw him last week as part of Buck's Vibe, a great combo headed by drummer Peter Buck (and fellow-to-Willis USC grad).


Peter has quite the following, so the club was packed on a Tuesday night. Buck's Vibe features mostly original compositions by Peter, which often turn into a cool funk groove as the soloing progresses. Here's a couple shots of Willis.



Good to hear Willis playing jazz again, although these days, musical styles are harder to distinguish, so someone with a varied musical background is at an advantage as the groove explores beyond a particular genre.

Peter Buck also plays behind noted jazz chanteuse Barbara Morrison (she has appeared at the SLC International Jazz Fest a couple times). Barbara provided vocals on one tune this night.


After the show she says to me: "he (Willis) can sure read his ass off..." then went onto discuss Willis in context of her European tour guitarists John McLaughlin, Buddy Guy, and Carlos Santana...

A fine night of music. I hope to hear this combo again, Peter Buck is the most adventurous drummer since Matt Wilson, and the combo is solid. Check out his CD.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bastille 40th

The 40th anniversary reunion of the Bastille Family Reunion is now history. Hey, lots of us are still alive!!! Pretty well attended, with Barry, Nick, Richard, & Lynette flying in from out of state to share the event. iRod, at the first but not since, graced us with his insta-dogs, Terry rode up from Green River, Michael G. came and went, and the token nameless wanderer slept through the whole thing under a nearby tree. Pics follow (click on pic to get larger image).












Kinda interesting about the Bastille myth. People who weren't at the original reunion now show up at the reunion reunions. And friends of Bastilles... and a few who heard there may be a good time. So the family of like souls continues to expand...

And progeny now attends: both the son and daughter of Richard Cordray were at the 40th, and Curt Setzer's son as well.

The only disappointment of the day (besides the intense heat!) was the lack of music. Perhaps Wayne Christiansen's funeral the same day, and a wake for him in Heber, led to the late arrival of many folks. But the highlight of the day was the Bastille wedding! JD Hill, son of Jeanne Holdaway-Hill, wedded his lovely bride Gina in a ceremony conducted by yours truly... sealing the Bastille family name into the future.


If other folks have pics they'd like to post here, please email them to me. On to the 50th!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

For Wayne

Wayne Christiansen was a great piano player, one of the best jazz musicians to grace this city. Beyond jazz, he touched country, blues, pop... so many groups, so many people. His death saddened us so much... we've lost so much music, and also a truly fine individual. I could tell so many stories just about my friendship with him, but I can't write that many words.

I was able to record him only once, at the Day-Riverside Library back in 2003, with Jim Stout and Mark Cheney. Great players, a fine performance.

There was a tribute to him at Gracie's a few days ago. Many friends in so many social/musical contexts showed up... frustrating, since these events seem to occur only at someone's death. Anyway, some pics follow (click on pic to see larger image). I did record the music from the event, I'll figure out some way to make the performances available (there were some great moments, they only needed Wayne to take them to a higher level).


The "house band" was anchored by Ken Brienholdt on drums (his association with Wayne goes so far back...), Dan Waldis on piano, Steve Keane on bass, Kenji on guitar, also Steve Allred on pedal steel. Lots of folks sat in early... Jerry Floor, Greg Floor, Warren Truson amongst so many others, sorry I've missed some. And, of course, lots of friends showed up just to listen and share their stories about Wayne.



Jay and Joe came down from Heber... they represented Wayne's country music excursions, Cow Jazz perhaps the most notable.

My bud iRod, and local music impresario John Paul Brophy were there. Interesting story, Rod and Dixon (from a previous pic) shared a house with Wayne back in college days, with Kenny as well, Curt, Nick, and others... with delivery to and from for me by the FBI... Blackwood Hall, music, terrorism, music, drugs, free jazz, Bogart, music... we haven't the time...


Harold Carr took over on bass, with Herschel Bullen on soprano sax... first time I heard him play soprano.



Mike Miller came in from LA... with KT... and played some really fine guitar.




There was a blues side to Wayne... Jack Drier was present and Harry Lee performed...



As the evening progressed into twilight, Tully Cathey took over guitar duties...


And finished out the evening with Mark doing vocal duties on the standard... and the Mark and Wayne standard... All of Me...


Thanks so much to Mark and Ken for their efforts organizing this tribute...


And to Gracie's for hosting the event. And to everyone who came out, playing, listening, remembering... just one person, one very incredible person, missing...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Epic Fourth of July


Often a large group of us gather up East Canyon at a private "resort" known simply as The Ranch. The 4th of July weekend is usually a good weekend for this gathering, and an excuse for adults (by now geezers) to behave badly. No exception this year, but there was a big surprise that involved a live band, big sound, flashing lights, and a laser show...thanks to Joe Q and his Honda generators.

(click on pics for a larger image)

On the 3rd, campers and musicians began gathering... lots of good acoustic sessions as the beers came out of the coolers.


Newcomer Rod and his twelve string worked well with Bill and his Taylor.


Note George's tiny mandolin. George knows a zillion obscure old timey tunes, which endeared him to Harry who also loves those old tunes.

This weekend marked a couple of birthdays, adding to the celebration. Harry, and also Bobby D., for whom no ranch task is ever complete (as long as Marsha keeps the drinks flowing).




Others just lazed...


Then there was the bad nap hair... (but great smile!)


And a beautiful sunset brought an end to Independence Day eve (not really, everyone just moved to the campfire for serious drinking and serious BS, along with a rousing performance by the scum chorus... no pictures or recordings survived the tequila onslaught).


The morning of the Fourth began with an appropriate patriotic tribute...


As the participants tried to limit themselves to maintenance doses of inebriates throughout the day, final preparations were made for the night's activities, with the trucks rolling in carrying sound and light gear and the musicians instruments. A tent platform was transformed into the Dirty Dog Saloon!


George and Rosemary got the night's entertainment started (aided by Esther's vocals), and slowly the crowd gathered.




Then the headliners came out, a loose affiliation of musicians from many bands over the years such as Cow Jazz and the Bar X Barflys... for tonight, the Dirty Dog Allstars...



And a shot of the band with the dirty dog himself...


The audience was immediately appreciative (although, obviously, the drinking was taking it's toll), and between sets we visited with several VIPs in attendance.




Rachel and David above have started a nifty new magazine: Edible Wasatch. Available at restaurants and store around town.... check it out...

And here's our Impresario for the evening... Joe Q, who financed, organized, and constructed the whole Dirty Dog experience...


Night time brought very chilly air, but more tequila was passed around, and things heated up... especially once the lasers hit the smoke...



And the girls got frisky...



Even our hostess Julie hung in there (especially when she found out the kitchen had magically been cleaned up)...


Finally, the band played their last song... the saloon closed down, but the night was not over... we gathered around the campfire for warmth, more music, and, yes, more tequila...


Thanks again to Joe, the musicians, the sound and light folks, and especially Bill and Julie for a memorable (epic!) 4th of July ranch experience.