So, we were in the middle of jamming on "Mambo Inn," and Larry Gray's bass suddenly exploded! After looking back to see a mangled mess of bass strings and parts, I wondered how he would react. I also wondered how every bass player I've ever played with would react. Mike Nellas immediately took over the bass lines on his guitar, Larry laid his destroyed bass down on the floor, and ran over to the piano to finish the song, and the rest of the gig! All for the sake of art!
RIP Dave Samuels. Like many, I first heard of him through his work with Spyro Gyra. His most significant impact on me, though, was when I was a student at EIU. He and his trio (with Danny Gottlieb and Rusty Holloway) spent a day on campus making great music and answering questions. I had never heard a trio with that instrumentation before, and they were really outstanding. Years later, I heard him again with another great group - Carribean Jazz Project. Dave will be missed.
It was a pleasure to hear Doug Stone and his superb quartet at ISU this past Thursday evening! Doug is an old friend to many of us in Central Illinois, and we happen to appear together on three albums: David Hoffman's "Groovin'," "The David Hoffman Sextet Live," and Tom Marko's "Inner Light." All are wonderful recordings, are easily found on the web, and feature many fine musicians from this area.
The old days! It's funny, but I never really liked piano lessons back then, but my mom insisted that I take them. I'll have to admit, piano was a bit tedious for a kid who really just wanted to play the drums. But when I finally stopped the lessons, no one could keep me away from the instrument! Thanks, Mom!
Nice gathering of folks at Baxter's in Champaign on Thursday - thanks for coming out! Kristen Johns caught us jamming on Jeff Lorber's Toad's Place, and posted it on Champaign Underground Video. We hope you enjoy it, and that you will become a fan of her wonderful page. The trio will be back there on Nov.1, and at Peoria's Rhythm Kitchen on Nov. 30. See you soon!
A nice memory from the 2011 Iowa City Jazz Festival! Kevin Hart & the Vibe Tribe with David Hoffman, along with Adam Wilhelm, Andy Crawford, and Tom Marko! This performance (which has good quality audio), as well as a separate interview, are featured on the website jazzline.com. The site features many unique performances and interviews from artists such as David Sanborn, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Charlie Hunter, etc., as well as a few of us artists from the region. Check it out!
We had a great time in Springfield last Friday. Robbie's and the Springfield Arts Council rock! Wonderful guys to play with, and what a special treat to also have old friend Jason Brewer sitting in on trumpet! (Photo by Deanna Brewer). See you next on July 12 at the Peoria RiverFront CEFCU Stage. The concert starts at 7pm, and is FREE!
Just a reminder that we will be kicking off a jazz concert series at the Bloomington Public Library on Wednesday March 21, 6:30pm. Joining me is George Turner (guitar), Andy Crawford (bass), and Tom Marko (drums). The event is free! https://www.facebook.com/events/340912426401051/?event_time_id=340912436401050