All I Want For Xmas...

Ruby, my dear...  You'd look great in my man cave...


Malibu Musings

So I got out of town headed to SoCal just in time to avoid the Yukon Express.  Part of my trip was a few days on the Pepperdine campus in Malibu.  While the nights were cold and the days chilly, the campus was still beautiful, situated as it is in the Malibu foothills overlooking the Pacific.  An incredible place for a university, too bad it costs a fucking fortune to attend (lots of Asian students, spending all that export money).  A sunrise from above the campus...

So with cool but pleasant days, what better than to hike the ridge line to an overlook of the whole area.

(proof I made it)

From this point, there are views back to Santa Monica, over the ocean, and up to Zuma Point.

And, of course, gotta have a pic of the baseball stadium...  go Waves!

Looking back from the point to the foothills, up highest is the College of Business and the Villa, a hotel for guests and visiting profs, as well as housing (lower) for the lucky few.

And, on the top, for the old telecom professional, the comm towers...

The weather would turn bad, but we got a couple cool sunsets.

And now back to the winter cold.


Honky Tonkin'

Recent road trip discoveries brought up an interesting speculation...

If you spend a night at this roadhouse:

Is this what happens to your dancing shoes?

(click on pics for a larger image)


Will Lovell III Memorial Concert

Family and friends gathered for a memorial concert celebrating the life of Will Lovell.  In particular, many of his musician friends played long into the night.  The evening culminated in a reunion of SLAJO, performing two compositions Will Lovell had prepared for the band.

Pictures and tunes can be accessed via the SLAJO web site.


Death of a Jazzman

Around the new millennium, this city was blessed with an amazing jazz scene. Fueled primarily, but not exclusively, by a crop of young and creative musicians out of the University Jazz Studies program, combined with a revived popular appreciation of the genre, jazz became the hot music around town.  In clubs like the Zanzibar, Monk's House of Jazz, the Urban Lounge, and others, these musicians formed a floating series of combos, and eventually a big band, to bring an exciting brand of jazz to its new and old fans.  I was lucky enough to see, hear, and even record much of this music.

One musician in particular formed the backbone of many groups, the bassist Will Lovell III.  He had the power, creativity, and especially the sensitivity to drive or to follow the other players as they propelled the music forward.  Out of all the groups who performed during this era, perhaps the award winning combo John Henry and the big band SLAJO (Salt Lake Alternative Orchestra) were the most famous.

After about 10 years, this amazing local jazz scene slowly dissolved, as the musicians began leaving for advanced degrees elsewhere, and to seek fame and fortune in larger cities.   Lovell himself, while playing and touring in country and rockabilly groups as well as jazz combos, would get his degree and move to Los Angeles.  While there, one of his gigs was with Willis Clow in the guitar ensemble Wirechoir.

Lovell also began playing on cruise ships.  And, unfortunately, this is where he met his end.  We've just heard that Will Lovell drowned in a swimming accident while off a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  This is a tremendous loss to all of us who knew him and enjoyed his music.  I'll always appreciate the times I spent with him, drinking wine after a recording session at Joanne's new modern, or the afternoon at the first USC-Utah meeting in the Los Angeles Coliseum.

Below are links to a couple tunes I recorded that feature Will Lovell.  The first is from his Senior Recital, the second is from his group One-Fifty-One at the Zanzibar.

For more pics and music, please check out the SLAJO web site, and note the links to John Henry as well as the New Improvised Music Festival where Lovell played in the trio Friendly Robot.

A great musician, a great guy...  he will be missed.


Surf and Turf

Yet more photos from our Prince Edward Island vacation.  Starting with more lobster!

And the source of the world's best ice cream (it is damn good and highly rated)...

That's it...  until I find more.  Possibly a few pics from Halifax and Toronto will make their way to this blog in the near future.


Prince Edward Island--Adieu...

Some final pics from PEI...  I hope to return to the island again, it is a beautiful place and I've barely explored the island's many features.

Charlottetown, the main city, has a beautiful harbor area, along with a protective fort (interesting history to this place, worthy of more research).

Along the harbor is a cool convention center, and a little local art.

Of course the city is filled with old victorian houses and beautiful churches (see previous posts in this series).

This may seem odd (I wonder why), but I found interesting traffic signals.  Since I'm color blind, horizontal lights, especially those with duplicate red lights, can mess me up a little.  But look closely at this light...  each color also has its own shape!  Great idea for those of us who are color challenged.

And there's great reasons to return to Charlottetown:

Finally, a couple "arty" shots from around the island...  First, of all things, a garage door, and then a cool old fishing shack in Georgetown.

That completes my pics from PEI.  A wonder trip, a wonder place, and really fine people.  Now if winter heating bills weren't $10,000/year....


Prince Edward Island Pt. 4

The next day, we followed the PEI National Park shoreline quite a ways, headed to the End of the World....

Actually we were at East Point, the NE tip of PEI.  This is blue fin tuna territory (500-1500 pounders are landed).  And a cool lighthouse open for tours.


East Point is also where three different tides converge...  from the Gulf of St. Laurence, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Northumberland Strait.  Also East Point is just a cool place to hang.

As we left East Point, the world resumed...

Further down the Eastern coast, we stopped at Basin Head, home of the singing sands.  The sands weren't singing that day, but it was a cool place with some nice herons hanging out.

The black clouds in the pics above meant we had to hit the road...  seems that the remnants of "Hurricane" Gabrielle were still dogging us.

Prince Edward Island Pt. 3

We spent a day driving around the central part of the island, crossing through some beautiful landscapes and headed to the Prince Edward Island National Park, and the infamous House of Green Gables.

A favorite stop was another Provincial park, Cape Cabot.  Since we were "off season", the beaches were pretty much empty, and I had to play lifeguard.

The obligatory tourist stop on PEI is the Ann of Green Gables house.  This is a nice little park area, again, well preserved, with walk through the "haunted" woods.

We then cruised along the northern coast, and the PEI National Park extending for miles.  Supposedly the warmest water north of North Carolina.

We ended the day at the famous Glasgow lobster dinner...  what a feed!  And very happy people all around us.