The FONT gig was a gas! Everything went very well, especially considering the limited rehearsal time we had (2 hours on the afternoon of the gig) to put together what was basically a whole night of new arrangements. Thanks to all the cats in the band and the guest trumpeters for being game to play all the charts! I really dug playing with old friend Essiet Essiet again for the first in a long time, hitting with bad man Orrin Evans, also for the first time on my gig in much years. With Donald Edwards, who smoked it! – it was the first time we had shared the stage for a small group gig (we’ve played together in the Mingus big band) but definitely not the last, you dig? Now, Little Johnny (Rivero) I play with all the time, but that’s in my favor – love to hear his big sound and great tumbaos, very fresh and supportive in this setting. My trumpet compatriots were inspiring, each with their own individual and complementary voice.
Terell Stafford has been one of my favorite players ever since he came on the scene in the early 1990s. His forthright approach to harmony, beautiful sound, and fabulous technique is just exactly what I’m looking for in a great trumpet player! He really connected with his fellow musicians and the audience like. I had heard Paolo Fresu on recordings, but this was the first time I had shared the stage with him or even heard him live. He’s a fine player with a great story telling quality and a great sound on both flugel and trumpet. A real pleasure to experience his artistry! Above all, it’s been immensely gratifying to steep myself in the genius of Mr. Woody Shaw once again over the last few months, both in the course of putting the “Madera Latino” project together for FONT and in the upswing of my renewed investigations of his playing and composing. I intend to pursue it further as I work towards more performances and a recording of these charts. It’s been gratifying to have the moral support of Woody Shaw III, very much the keeper of his dad’s flame, in this project, as well as getting the opportunity to present this music from FONT Music (Festival Of New Trumpet Music), Dave Douglas, and the Jazz Standard. To be continued!
Never did get around to finishing the post on my tour with Samuel Torres in Colombia. Seems a long time ago now! Here’s a couple of pictures at least, first courtesy of my good friend and brilliant musician/author/public intellectual Ned Sublette:
Barbarito Torres from the Buena Vista Social Club. I had the honor of doing a tour with his band in 1999, in the course of which I met my wife Marissa! Another great musician in the BVSC is the legendary trumpeter Manuel “Guajiro” Mirabal:
I found some really cool shots on Facebook of the concerts in Colombia as well. Here’s one with me and the great bassist John Benitez: