Saturday, August 21, 2010

Dave Holland in LA & Roy Haynes in Japan

So I've been late with updates... It's been hard for me to keep up, but I'm giving it a try... So what's new?? In the end of July I did another gig with Dave Holland at the Hollywood bowl. It was my first time playing at the Bowl and the night was a big band show that also featured the Dave Douglas and Count Basie Big bands. Since I'd never been at the Hollywood bowl before, I had no idea it was such a huge venue. We got out on the stage to find the audience was packed, which was a shock for me. So there ARE people that like jazz??? LOL! Anyway, as always, I had a great time performing with Mr. Holland and the big band. The music is always killing and there's just a great vibe in that band. One of the highlights for me was the fact that the Hollywood bowl has a revolving stage AND a timer.. So when the time is up on your performance, the stage starts to turn. Dave must've timed the show perfectly because we literally ended RIGHT when the clock ran out... It was hilarious!

So, what else.....? Well, last month I went to Japan (one of my favorite places to go in the world!!) with Roy Haynes and I have to say it was short, but as always I had a good time. Only thing is, it was in the 90's out there EVERYDAY, and the humidity was about 80% ( I never realized it's usually not higher than 40% in NY), so it was hard to hang out. The other thing that made it hard to hang out during the day was the fact that it was a Japanese holiday (Obon) and the club pushed the shows up to 4pm and 7pm. I did get to have some of my favorite sushi in Tsukiji, Curry around the corner from the hotel, and Okonamiyaki in Shinjuku! I also had a fun hang in Roppongi and Shibuya during the nights I could stay awake!

I must say, Roy was in rare form in Japan! I've seen him dance on the stage before, but this week was different. This time he danced in a tap dance fashion for a little while, scatted on a blues, and we even got into some funk. The audience loved it and we had a good time. It was also great to see so many of my good friends out there. I realize that I have so many friends in Japan from my Berklee days. Good times...

So what else... The Charlie Parker Festival.. I played with the Revive the Live group this year, performing a tribute to Bird. That show went over well and we all had a great time. The band included Igmar Thomas, Marcus Strickland, Corey King, and myself on the front line and Marc Cary, Ben Williams, and Justin Brown in the rhythm section. Raydar Ellis was the DJ and MC for the performance.

Also, I went to the Michael Jackson Party in Harlem this year.. It's an annual party hosted by Spike Lee that basically went from 12 - 5pm. Unfortunately, I got there at 3pm, but in enough time to hear some great music and hear Snoop Dawg do a special guest performance. It was a lot of fun. And I'm really digging the MJ Tshirt I purchased as well...

Well, I have more I'll try to catch you up on... I'll try to do that a little later.. - LEEEEEEEEL