Saturday, November 17, 2012

Cool Shot

What a day on July 30, 1972
(click to enlarge)

Photo by K'Abe. I'm really taken by this image on the inside gatefold of the album "CTI Summer Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl". I think it pretty much tells it's own story - but what an assemblage of musicians on a July day in LA. The size here doesn't do it justice - but there are a few interesting things to notice. To the left of Ron Carter is a little boy sitting in a chair. Not sure whose it is, but one would think he's sitting somewhere near his Dad so either Ron, Jack or Grover. Imagine the energy, sounds and feelings he must have been experiencing! Also, on the right - Deodato is leaning over the shoulder of Johnny Hammond, whatever he's doing/saying has caught the attention of Airto, Jack, Ron, Grover and the boy. About to listen to this one now :) - Kenny

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Missing in Action...

in the booth at WFCF Saint Augustine
For the few of you who stop by here - I do apologize for not keeping things lively. And for those of you wondering what's going on with the band - I'm taking a little break. We had a nice run at Jazzland in Jacksonville, but John wasn't up for the drive anymore (he turned 80 in June) and I wasn't up for working in a new bass player just now. We capped off the summer with a packed house at the New Smyrna Library, and then one more Jazzland show.

In the meantime - I'm fully engaged in promoting the music of other Florida musicians with Palm Coast Jazz - which continues to do well; and I'm now a jazz jock at WFCF in Saint Augustine - a truly hip college station with 20 hours of jazz a week and no automation. It's a lifelong dream come true - and basically taking my love for sharing good music to another level. You can listen online Tuesdays 3-5pm (Eastern) via Iheart, and I'm actively blogging & tweeting in that context.

I haven't abandoned the piano playing thing lol, just taking it easy (very easy!). A new album has been in my mind for a while now - it will come to fruition I believe, but it may be a little while before it happens. A few collabs are on the back burner as well!

I encourage anyone who truly likes the music I put out to have a listen to the Palm Coast Jazz podcast. There is some fine, tasteful & even progressive music being made down here by some serious cats and kittens. Thanks for stopping by! - Kenny

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sounds Coming Out of Florida II

As many of you know - I've been producing and co-hosting a podcast for the last year that focuses on original music being created by musicians living in Florida. Although jazz does well in South Florida; it's a big state where the genre is languishing in some pretty big cities including Jacksonville (!), St. Augustine, Daytona Beach and Gainesville.

The podcast is designed to be that "one more" outlet for the composers & performers here in the state to gain a little exposure; and has done well, with a faithful audience all over the world and consistently high ranking in the jazz category.

For August I decided to buck tradition a bit and program music that requires more listener involvement. If you haven't heard artists like Ron Miller, LaRue Nickelson and Zach Bartholomew, I encourage you to have a listen and see what's really going down here in the South.

If you want to help us in this endeavor - simple things like clicking the Facebook "like" button, or sharing an episode on your wall or twitter go a very long way! Thanks in advance and God bless! - Kenny

Saturday, June 30, 2012

more classical eye candy

Two more classical album covers that are unusual in a cool way; from my recent 'great acquisition'. The first is circa 1967 on RCA with the pink label - on 'dynaflex' (aka seriously floppy vinyl). The second is from 1976 on London, but no info on the painting is given.

Album cover painting by Barron Storey
painter not listed on jacket...

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Admiral's Jazz

I've recently come to experience that the adage "when it rains it pours" can sometimes go in a positive direction. I recently relayed how I acquired roughly 600 vinyl albums for $20; a collection I shall henceforth refer to as the 'great acquisition'. It has it's flaws, with a previous owner heavy on the magic marker, and a good portion of the music being classical - the least tolerable music for snaps and crackles. I've hardly put a dent in it as far as (cleaning and) listening goes, but I've certainly enjoyed myself.

I've also recently been performing in a 5 piece band that plays a weekly dance attended by senior citizens. The leader of that band, and a real good guy, is a former Rear Admiral of the Navy who, as it turns out, has in common with me an ear for good composition (imnsho) and likes jazz.

Long story short - one day he brought me to his car, opened the trunk and there was a banker's box full of pristine jazz vinyl. Turns out his wife wants him to clean house a bit, so I am now the proud owner of an immaculately kept (of course!) and pleasantly varied collection of piano and saxophone jazz (my friend is a trumpet player). Oscar, Zoot, Stan, Dave McKenna, Art Tatum & lots more, a handful are of significant value. Again - I've hardly scratched the surface listening thus far.

I've had some poor health the last few months - I'm feeling better now, but I'm thankful to God for these unusual blessings that have been like a warm tonic to my soul, and for the ones that are yet to come! - KM

Below is "Moonlight in Vermont" originally from the album "Reflections" pictured above.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Sounds Coming Out of Florida

Above is the latest episode of the podcast I produce and co-host - "Palm Coast Jazz"; which features original compositions from musicians residing here in the Sunshine State. It has turned out to be one of the most rewarding undertakings of my life - to be exposed to so much creativity & talent, along with many of the musicians themselves who are friendly and down to earth. Hearing the music is inspiring, and it's encouraging to see the response of listeners from all over the world who agree - there's some amazing and highly listenable music being made here! Hope you enjoy the show :)
- KM

Monday, April 16, 2012

Good Manners Live with Shenole Latimer

We had a reunion of sorts with Shenole Latimer this past Saturday at the New Smyrna Beach Library - part of his Southeast tour. Great to see him and play again, especially on his new compositions. It's been 2+ years since we played last, but it felt like there was no gap at all! Thanks to Gloria Mariash for the video! - KM

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Fantastical Dream Come True...

As a young boy I'd occasionally have a dream that I either suddenly came into or already was the owner of some astounding, heretofore undiscovered cache of enviable booty - which for me was either records or musical instruments, although toys and sweets also made their appearances. Massive, king's castle size collections of albums, 45s, 78s, pianos, drums - whatever. Usually it was the last dream before waking up - to the hard truth, and some logical, consoling thoughts: "that was magnificent, but such things only happen in dreams."

Cut to the year 2012. I've done my fair share of crate digging over the years; recently, more than I can keep up with. So when a student's mom called me 2 weeks ago to tell me she'd found a thrift store in Flagler Beach with 2 shelves of records - I was highly pleased, but decided some restraint might be needed. On the way there a few days later, I asked myself "Why am I going?". I concluded that I needed to get out of the house, and that maybe there'd be one or two gems that would truly give me some pleasurable moments. The call from the friend and the trip there had a distant sense of 'destiny' to it.

As I shuffled into the shop I heard the owner making generous bargains with another customer for some knick-knacks - "half-off today only". I thought nothing of it. Finding the records within microseconds, I was hunched over going through the bottom shelf. The sign said "Records $1 each; or take them all for $30. Bring Your Own Totes".

one of the jump blues 78's I was eying...

In minutes I had chosen 2 or 3 jump blues 78's from the 1950's, and was really just browsing from that point on. The selection was unusually refined. With the unearthly speed of an angelic messenger, a pair of man's shoes and khaki shorts were suddenly in my eye-line, and a calm, confident voice heralded the offer to cart off all the vinyl for $30.

I had considered it; but not that seriously. I wheeled around and told him "I would if I had the room for it". I thought I had declared that with a solid sense of finality. But Charlie (co-owner of Charson's Treasures) also knew it was destiny, destiny for him to gain some serious shelf room for an upcoming purchase of his own! He then gave me one of his obscene discounts that, frankly, the Scot in me was in no condition to refuse - all of the records for $15. The deal was sealed; I gave him $20 because I thought it was just too low (the Frenchman in me?) and began hauling armfuls of albums into my poor little Taurus for one of two trips home.

the first trunkful - those piles are about 70 deep.
front seat...

back seat... wait - is this a song?

From the rest of the evening I was in a foggy, blissful state: somewhere between "I can't believe this is happening", "this is not happening" and "you are one lucky dog!". An hour or two later I realized - this is the sort of thing that happened in those dreams I had as a boy. "It's a dream come true!" Needless to say I got around to thanking God for the crazy-sized blessing, and for remembering.
2nd trunk full - before  the trip home

I'd conservatively put the addition to my collection at about 500-600 lps and 25 78's. There is a healthy percentage of easy-listening in there, so my dad is set for life. The rest is mostly classical, well kept with one annoying exception, the owner was very free with a magic marker. There's a good chunk of classic gospel (including Shirley Caesar - probably my favorite) smattering of rock (Yes, Strawbs, Rick Wakeman) and the wonderful dash here and there of absurdities- my favorite!

one of two Jonas Mazurkas 10" albums -
you can never have enough mazurkas...

looking forward to getting with this one...
 I didn't even look through the collection for a day or two, and then only a little at a time over the next week. It was kind of like having a thrift store in my piano room. "Let's see what we have today". When I decided to have my first listen - I went for the Nonesuch release (of course! see this) of some Couperin harpsichord music. Next were some of the ones pictured below. "Hog Heaven" would be a good description of how I feel each time I look at the new acquisition. No rude awakening this time! - KM
oh yeah - that painting in his shirt is embossed on the
cardboard - Freddie Hubbard & Milt Jackson on this 'un.

my choice for 1st listen from the massive stash...
nice relaxin' baroque harpsichord with some humor...

Friday, February 10, 2012

New Gigs - Old Gigs

We had the time of our lives on Jan 28th at Jazzland in Jacksonville. The place draws a special audience who are respectful & attentive, and who contribute to the music simply with love and enjoyment. Still waiting on some photos from that gig, no audio was recorded. Too bad - it was an A-game night; with new arrangements and some songs we hadn't played before live - "Surely" and "Sky Blue". The third set we played the "Kind of Blue" album in it's entirety!

Tomorrow night we're at a new venue here in my home town of Palm Coast, FL - the Three Dogs Grille - another new joint dedicated to jazz; looking forward! We'll be playing lots of Monk, like we did back in September at Le Crepe en Haut in Ormond Beach (now closed). Below is a new video from that evening.

Over on the Listen Page there is a set of music in the player from a gig at Arthur's Tavern in November 2003 with Lieven Venken and Mike Bates. A real groovin' night - the "Blue 'n Boogie" is one of my all-time favorites for the way it ends; I also love how Michael brings his own brand of improv to the table. Lots of fine empathy going on and Lieven is highly imaginative and brilliant as always. A little anecdote - at one point during the 1st set I had the boys start "Blue and Green" without me, so I could run out and put quarters in the parking meters. Those NYC meter cops were relentless! I think I paid more in tickets than I ever made at the club. Worth every penny for the memories & the musical moments. - KM