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Scullers!

 
Thanks to everyone who came to Scullers on Tuesday for Syncopation. It was the first time we tried out our new toys: wireless mics. Oh yeah. I love music technology, especially when it makes it easy for everyone to walk around the stage (and even through the audience) without getting tangled or tripped. Of course, our sound man Bruce was the one who had to sweat all the technical aspects, but he did a fantastic job. As he says, if you don't notice the sound reinforcement, then he's done his job. We've been trying to move towards a better flow in our sets, and thanks to everyone's hard work I think we achieved it.

The Cats, part II

 
Gig at Ryles on Friday was a revelation. I played with several guys I've never worked with before. Greg Hopkins, who I have heard described as "world-class" and "the best trumpet player in New England", Dino Govoni, who plays positively Brecker-ish tenor saxophone. Then the phenomenal electric bassist Fernando Huergo and rhythmic wizard Bertram Lehmann on drums. And of course Shark Milansky on piano. I called the band "The Hard Bop Sextet", which was a bit of a misnomer. We performed some aggressive modern jazz, some original songs, burning latin tunes.... Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, Tom Harrell... stuff you don't often hear singers do. Here is a video of Joe Henderson's "The Kicker". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZDEVmXkzA34

The Cats

 
Hey everybody, it was a grand pleasure to sing at Ryles last week with Ray Santisi on piano, Barry Smith on bass, Casey Scheuerell on drums, Jeff Stout on trumpet, and Larry Baione on guitar. We had a great turnout, especially considering that it rained cats and dogs. I especially got a kick when Jeff Stout would quote back little pieces of my scat solos -- three tunes later! These guys have experience, attitude, and a point of view. The last, especially, is often a rarity among younger players. A couple of videos from that night. Enjoy! Blame It On My Youth http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boVRrqxnrxk Desafinado http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dyEIAI4miyA

Experiments

 
Last night at the Lily Pad in Cambridge I did a show like I've never done before. I had no fellow-musicians to share the stage with, just a few assorted instruments, a couple of microphones, a sonic effects device, and a looper. And you know what? It worked. Check my MySpace page for a song clip.

Bach

 
Sang the tenor solos in the Bach Magnificat with the Masterworks Chorale tonight. Those people have a good time! It really reminded me that music is all about F U N .

Singing with the Boston Pops

 
My goodness! What a whirlwind. My vocal group Syncopation performed on the Esplanade as part of a grand 4th of July tradition here in Boston, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular. You can see one of the songs we did on line at WBZ TV.  Here is the link: http://wbztv.com/video/?id=78572@wbz.dayport.com And a news article about the performance: http://wbztv.com/video/?id=78370@wbz.dayport.com

New Syncopation Video

 
Here is a new YouTube video of the band singing "But Not For Me." This is one of our newest a cappella charts and we have been having a great time. When you don't have a band backing you up, you really have to concentrate on SWING! From a show at David Friend Recital Hall at Berklee on March 30 (the date on the video is wrong). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WrfM0tzVFZY

Finals are history!

 
Finals at Berklee are finally over, and it's time to take a little vacation and work on some things I've been mulling about in my head. Going to be doing some experimentation with live electronic vocal processing, maybe try it out at an upcoming show. Hope to do some writing, and learning a few new Syncopation charts. And find the time to exercise, play basketball, and meditate.

Acton Jazz Café with Syncopation

 
Awesome show at Acton Jazz Café! The seating was sold-out before the show even started -- standing room only. The AJC patrons are a little different than at other places. They are so eager and attentive and just plain nice that it makes it a pleasure to sing for them. Thanks everybody who came out! I'll be there again on May 22 with Mark Shilansky and band, singing some new original songs.

West Valley College

 
Cool kids at West Valley College. Today went in and sang a few songs, played piano, and had a little Q&A session. Some really thoughtful questions and comments. That school is in such a beautiful natural setting I thought it was a resort at first. Thanks to Gus and everyone for making it happen!

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