Please feel free to add your comments to my post - it would be great to hear your thoughts! Let us know what you thought of the show and anything else you would like to express. Thanks! -- Bruce
If you were at the show on March 28 at Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, I hope you still read my comments. If you were not at the show, well, you missed out on some great musicians, a surprise visitor (alto player), wonderful Photo Artists, and a wonderful post gig champagne and dessert reception hosted by my dear friend (and lyricist) Jacqulyn Landon. Before I get started, I will say up front - Jacqulyn was so gracious and worked so hard at putting together a wonderful reception. Because of her, many stayed for cheer and chat and had a great time! That is the kind of show we like to put on! Thank you Jacqulyn!
Friends and Followers: This topic is first because it is most important. The goal of our band is to bring you new, fresh, original jazz music, to express our music and ourselves through our instruments, and to present great shows. Yet none of that can occur if you were not to attend. Everyone has been so wonderful, so supportive. Many have traveled long distances (I'm talking from San Francisco, San Diego, and other places) and many have used what little spare time they have at our shows. All of us in the band appreciate this immensely - we truly do not take it for granted. We promise to continue bringing you new and good vibe!
The Trio: Without Alex Smith (drums) and Michael Alvidrez (upright), all of the music I am composing would be basically academic and fall into the category of "who cares." Both Alex and Mike were on their game. And the three of us are really starting to coalesce and stand with stability; like a 3-legged table (here comes my analogy.) A quartet can and should strive to be as stable as a trio should be, but like a 4-legged table, some have legs of non-equal length. It would not fall, but the music would sound, well, unstable. A trio on the other hand must work as a team with equal strengths while simultaneously focusing on their respective instruments. Alex and Mike were on their game - true monster players. The videographer (Jeff Scott Grace; www.gracephotography.co) told me later "I got great close ups of your drummer doing his Gene Krupa thing." Funny, Jeff was right. And if you were there, you know what I mean. Alex was all over the map. Mike was playing super great lines and kept me honest to be sure. I lost myself here and there, but that is why great bassists are great - they know how to pull the pianist back in. And when he solo'd, he swung and sung - it was beautiful.
Surprise Guest; the legend Richie Cole! I'll come back to that in a moment.
Guest Vocalist - Angela Vicente! Angela is not just a jazz singer, she is also a songwriter and plays piano/guitar. In her own words; "Music is the only thing that makes sense to me, and the whole world makes sense to me through music." From my perspective, my music makes sense when Angela is presenting it through her voice. If you close your eyes, you will hear a beautiful, mesmerizing, haunting, sexy, and calming tone that is sweet as pie. And when you watch her perform, you are immediately drawn in and captivated. Her smile and movements on stage can only make you feel wonderful. My originals are indeed unique as they should be, otherwise they would not be original, and from my perspective, each song requires a specific voice to accurately express the melody and lyric. To say it straight - she nailed it. And if you were there, you are probably shaking your head up and down in complete agreement. And the girl knows how to scat - wow!
Guest Alto Saxophonist - Mark Isbell! Mark has a unique, smooth, and delightful tone. His performance was incredible and exciting. Playing in front of an audience is what he is driven to do. Give him a song, tell him it's time, and he takes off like a rocket. His forte (in my opinion) is latin music - Bossa Nova for example. I write a lot of latin jazz tunes which is why I asked Mark if he would join us on Saturday. Im so happy he did, and I know you were happy as well from the response.
Photo Artists: You must keep your eye out for these 3 wonderful artists: Charles Uebele; uebelephoto.com, Rebecca Bogdanoff; (find her on Facebook and at firstname.lastname@example.org), and Sonny Chu; sonnydelightphotography.com. All three of these pholks (I did that on purpose - because I'm so clever) graciously spent a lot of effort taken pics of the event. These pholks are not merely photographers - they are true artists. Check out the selection of their creations I put on my photos page. But check out their sites for more beautiful works of theirs. They clearly were there because they love what they do. Don't hesitate to peruse their work. If you get to talking with them, you will find they are all seriously wonderful people!
Surprise Guest Richie Cole! Richie Cole is a true jazz legend. I have been listening to him since the late 70's. I met him for the first time a couple hours before our show. I felt like a kid meeting a movie star. Although we had never met, he was open and friendly. If I had the time, I would have asked him a million and one questions about his experiences. What an opportunity for me. He has played with everyone, and everyone wants him to play with them. He asked to see a couple of my charts, MY CHARTS, and he performed both of them with us. Needless to say he blew the roof off. I was beside myself. Think about it....he was shredding on my tunes. It doesn't get any better than that man. What a treat it was for me, and clearly for all of you who attended. Thanks Richie! Hope we can do it again.