What a Long Strange Trip It’s Been

We’re about halfway thru the summer now, and finally have a chance to pause and catch our breath. Michelle is done with her summer school and Lizzy has only a couple day’s left of driving school. Work for me is busier than ever and the weather has been really hot the last few weeks. We’ve been on some good adventures.

A couple weekends ago we went down to Jones Beach on Long Island. We went early on a Sunday morning, the best time to go, before it gets too hot and two crowded. The waves were just perfect, the ocean was calm and beautiful, and the sky was warm and sunny. Mary and her kids came out too; they live only a few minutes from the beach. We decided to go back to her house for lunch, which was a lucky thing cuz on the way I got a flat tire and it wouldn’t been bad news if I’d stayed on the highway much longer. As it was, AAA came out and changed the tire, and we were able to find a place nearby that was open on a Sunday and could fix it. Not too bad.

This last weekend we went camping with Nick’s. It was another really excellent time. The weather was great, and Martin’s came out to spend Saturday. I went on a long, hilly, rocky hike, which is something I haven’t done in a few years cuz of my ankle, but this year it felt good, strong and healthy. So I went and had no problems. Great views down both sides of the mountain, out over the escarpment into the Hudson Valley and back onto the lakes. Afterwards we went to the beach on the lake, jammed on guitars and had an excellent barbeque. All in all a mellow and peaceful time. This could be the end of an era. We’ve been camping together since before Michelle and Marco were born. Next year both families will have a kid graduating high school and entering college. We’re thinking of maybe shifting gears and renting a house on Lake George next year.

To top it all off last night I played a fantastic jazz gig. More on that soon.

Jazz on the Waterfront

Announcing a Jazz Concert:

Mon July 25 6:30 PM
Henry Gourdine park at the Ossining waterfront

Featuring yours truly on tenor sax, Lucas Saur on bass,
Gabe Faden piano, Ed Bettinelli drums, and Ava Bradlow vocals

We got together last night to rehearse and sounded great. Doing some Miles, Wayne Shorter and a bunch of other stuff. Ed is a great drummer and young Lucas has a ton of ideas.

Should be a great time, hope you can come out and see it.

Haven July Jam

Meanwhile back in jazzland it’s summertime so being able to rehearse on Saturdays is becoming less reliable. Might have to move back to Wednesdays, which would mean clobbering the Wednesday band or somehow merging the two groups.

We recorded last week’s rehearsal, including takes of my compositions Dark Skies and Your Dancing Shoes. The came out quite good, and I think I can edit them up into a decent demo. Meanwhile you can listen to them here:


Oh and one more thing. It looks like I have a gig come up, some bandshell in the park kind of thing on Monday July 25, courtesy of Young Skywalker. I’ll let you know more details when I find out.

Every Day’s the Fourth of July

After five weekends in a row of nonstop running around we finally have a day of rest. Most recently we were upstate visiting family and friends for a few days around the 4th. My friend Larry had a graduation party for his daughter. Meanwhile his oldest son is now twenty and looks just like he did at that age. Amazing. Larry also got a dart board and a pool table and some very nice bourbon and made a game room, so that was alot of fun. I went rollerblading for the first time this season. I’ve come to realize the streets around here are hilly and bumpy, while in my parents’ neighborhood they’re flat and smooth. Much nicer. Went up to the falls, with my kids and my mom. Martin came to town with all his kids too. We had a barbeque, saw the fireworks, had a great time. Lizzy drove home partway, for a good hour thru the hilliest part of the trip. She did a cool 55 while I usually like to go 80 when I can, but it was totally fine.

Before we left and again since we’ve been back the weather has been super hot, but the last few days we’ve had some rain, which is a welcome relief. I’ve been super busy with work – went into the city all but one day last week – but even so I’ve really been enjoying the summer. I just really like this time of year.

We had jazz today with the full group for the first time in what feels like ages. Made some recording of a few songs including a couple of my originals. Hopefully they’ll come out. Last time we tried something was wrong with the balance and you couldn’t hear the bass. I also introduced a new tune but we didn’t have much chance to work on it.

This summer is a bit mellower than the last few for travelling. For one thing I’ve started a new job recently, and also the kids are busy. Michelle is taking a high school prep summer school program, and meanwhile Lizzy is taking driver’s ed and has a job at a local pool. I’d like to the beach sometime, and we have a camping weekend coming up, but that’s mostly it for a while. Hopefully we can continue to get things done and at the same time enjoy ourselves.