Posts tagged: jazz

Cafe Amore

By , November 24, 2009 10:15 am

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The jam at Cafe Amore has been going on for a bit now, but until last night I had only been able to stop by quickly.  The band was D’vonne Lewis on drums, Mark Bullis on bass, a piano player who goes by Gus, John Terpin on trombone, and the always entertaining Ronnie Pierce on alto saxophone.

Ronnie is a pretty amazing guy.  He’s 81 years old, still plays and hangs out as much as I do, likes dirty jokes, and hams it up on the microphone like nobody else.  He’s also become somewhat of a mentor for John, who played with Ronnie at the Whiskey Bar when they had jazz on Wednesdays, and who will often drive Ronnie to hang since he can’t drive anymore.  Keep your eyes on the blog for a recorded interview with Ronnie by John, hopefully he’ll get some crazy stories on tape!

Cafe Amore is a great little italian spot, albeit a little expensive, with a nice bar, fair amount of tables, and a stage at the front of the room under a screen where they play old black and white movies.  The jam is early, from 7:30-10:30, which works well because Ev Stern, bass player and teacher, runs a jazz workshop that finishes around 7, and Amore is all ages, so a lot of the students from the workshop and kids in general get a chance to jam with local musicians.  It was a blast to see this 15-year old kid (who sounded ridiculous, by the way) just grinning ear to ear as he’s playing with D’vonne Lewis, one of the first-call drummers in town.

The other great thing about this session is that John keeps things moving.  There’s never really any lines of soloists because he keeps the groups small from tune to tune, and he’s really good at maneuvering people to getting the song called without a whole lot of discussion, which makes a huge difference at a session.

It’s also really fun to play standards with a trombone on the front line, just a different sound than the typical sax madness you get sometimes.  Thanks John!

Congratulations to Bad Luck

By , November 16, 2009 11:03 am

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Bad Luck is a drums and saxophone duo with Chris Icasiano and Neil Welch, two classmates of mine from the University of Washington days, who have taken off on an amazing path of music-making since then.  Chris has gone on to work in a diverse range of settings, from free jazz to rock to West African music, and Neil has been leading a 7-piece group that fuses Indian music and jazz, releasing an album, as well as playing with Chris and squeezing in a road trip that spanned almost all 50 states! 

That being said, I was very excited to to see the Bad Luck CD release concert on Saturday night and hear what Chris and Neil were up to.  I had not heard the group since Hardcoretet played a show with them months ago at Lucid, which I still look back on regretfully and with some guilt, as the owner of the club asked us to cut Bad Luck short that night, and we did that rather than stand up for them and refuse to do so.

That unfortunate experience has done nothing to slow the duo’s momentum, however, and it was evident at the show on Saturday.  The Good Sheperd Center was packed, and it was definitely the place to be if you were a Seattle musician.  The compositions moved from wildly energetic and raw to achingly delicate and introspective, sometimes in a very short span of time, and Chris and Neil were on the same wavelength the entire night.  It was inspiring, interesting, and new, something any music scene needs as much of as possible.  Congratulations guys!

Hardcoretet CD Release

By , November 1, 2009 7:56 pm

What a ride it’s been for the last month or so…

After sweating and working hard for our tour, we had a couple of days to great ready to present our hard work to Seattle at the official CD release at Tula’s as part of the Earshot Jazz Festival. 

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The vibe there was definitely different than what I’m used to, in that there is more of an expectation that the audience sits and listens to the music somewhat intently.  To be honest, I feel more comfortable in a looser atmosphere, where I can talk to friends and family casually during the show, even step away to give a hug or high five or two.  I’m also usually more comfortable inviting people to those shows, because it feels like a more social thing to do than sitting down and keeping the conversations to a minimum. 

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I was a little nervous as to what it was going to be like, but I was blown away by the support and how much everyone present enjoyed the show.  Unless you all were being nice, it sounded like people liked the music, the show, and the energy behind what we were doing, which is honestly the music that I feel is closest to what I really want to play. 

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The sound of Hardcoretet is really personal to me because it incorporates elements of everything I’m into:  the jazz I listened to growing up, the funk, hip hop, and electronic music I got into later, and elements of pop and rock that I’m just starting to appreciate now.  Knowing that, combined with the reception we received at the sold-out Tula’s, made me feel incredibly humbled and happy to have a great group of people around me to hear me put something out there basically saying “this music is me” and to have them dig it.  I talk about the importance of supportive listeners all the time, but I do that because it’s really important to remember.

Photos courtesy of Daniel Sheehan, www.eyeshotjazz.com

Hardcoretet Tourblog, day 5 and Conclusion

By , October 24, 2009 5:02 pm

So after Skinny’s Lounge in NoHo we headed home to Jon’s house.  Jon had already left for the East coast, because Slumglum was playing over there to participate in a program where they may become music ambassadors to another part of the world!  Very cool.  Anyway, we had already said our goodbyes, but Erin left us one more note on the fridge:  “Help yourself to treats.”  She had made us Rice Krispy Treats!  WITH CINNAMON!  With full stomachs we went to bed and headed out the next day for San Martin, home to the Persing family, relatives of resident bad mofo and superfan Dave Persing.  We entered to find Ellie and Margaret working on Trader Joe’s pizza dough to make FOUR pizzas for us.  Oh yeah, and they had already made a salad and two cookie sheets of cookies!

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They needed a bit of help with the pizza dough, but luckily we had a pizza parlor veteran in the band, Tim Carey!  Look for video clips of the impromptu show “Cooking with Carey” on the Hardcoretet website.  After dinner, it was time for a movie and then bedtime.  The band got the trundle beds (I got the Transformers sheets):

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Thank you so much to the Persing family and especially Ellie and Margaret for being such incredible hosts!

 

It was time for our final stop, Eugene.  Through a slight miscalculation, we found ourselves in a time crunch:  If everything went perfectly and we maintained our speed, we’d get there right before we were supposed to start!  And if that wasn’t enough, it started pouring down rain!

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And if THAT wasn’t enough, our driver’s side windshield wiper broke!  It was chaos!  After all this though, Tarik was able to navigate by leaning over to the passenger side and driving that way for about 3 hours before the rain stopped and things had calmed down a bit.  Ask him for a dramatic retelling on Wednesday at the CD release.  Finally we made it the Jazz Station in Eugene.  It started slow, but by the end of the night we had made some more fans and friends and felt great about the performance!

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From there, we packed up, fixed the wiper, and drove through the night to get home sweet home.

I hope these entries convey the sheer enjoyment of the last week.  More than anything, I feel thankful for all of the kindness we encountered as a band, both from strangers and friends.  I began this tour with a completely musical goal:  I wanted to do what made me happy (playing our music) in front of new people in the hopes that it would make them happy, and I think this was accomplished.  What I didn’t expect was the realization that we, as a band, are the luckiest people in the world to have such genuinely good human beings in our lives, and I hope I never forget it.  Sappy and corny, I know, but whatever…

See you Wednesday at Tulas for the Homecoming/CD Release Party!

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Hardcoretet Tourblog, Day 4

By , October 22, 2009 9:09 pm

With one more full day in L.A., and a set time of 11:30 pm, the band had some time to bum around the city a bit.  First things first:  TACO TRUCK!

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Jon showed us to his personal favorite, which was, of course, amazing, and even more so because of where we went to eat them:

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This was a ridge about 5 minutes away from Jon’s house, and the view was breathtaking.  From there, we were led by tour guide and old friend Sarah Nelson!

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We headed to Santa Monica beach, experiencing L.A. traffic both ways, but it was worth it:

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Thanks for everything, Sarah!  That night we hit Skinny’s Lounge in NoHo (North Hollywood, duh):

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The venue was kind of classy, with hip booths and seats and a stylish kind of vibe.  Which was why we were somewhat surprised by the opening duo, Naked and Shameless:

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Both guys were very cool and supportive, though, not to mention hilarious.  After them was a singer-songwriter, Asia Whiteacre, who sounded great, with well-written pop songs and a clear voice that still had a lot of character.  This, however, made us a bit of a wierd fit.  We decided to just do our thing and let the chips fall where they may, which was a lot easier to do with the support of friends and family that were in town!

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Thank you so much to my brother and sister, Charlie Patnoe, and my old friend Matt Hovland!

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We said our goodbyes to L.A. this morning, and I was somewhat sad to leave, but I know we’ll be back soon!

Hardcoretet Tourblog, days 2 and 3

By , October 21, 2009 2:02 pm

Bocci’s Cellar Monday night began as possible tragedy but ended in triumph. We arrived to the gig to find another band set up inside…the gig had been double booked!

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Fearless leader Abouzied was on the case:

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Eventually it was determined that the other band would play a set, and we would follow, so we settled in at the bar:

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During the first set though, Tim thought up the idea of just opening up our set so that in addition to some of our music, the Santa Cruz guys could sit in and we could all play together. The result was fun had by all. Thanks to Barry, Ben, Jake, Stuart, and Melanie for making our night!

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Day 3 found us grabbing a little Continental breakfast courtesy of the Comfort Inn, and hitting the road for L.A. We rolled in around 5:30 and settled in at our friend Jon’s house. We met his lady friend Erin and his roommate Sarah, and at about 6:30 Jon got back from work:

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Jon is my best friend from my time at UW, and it’s a crying shame I haven’t been in touch with him more, but it was incredible to see him again. It was also great to hang out with Erin and all of Jon’s friends, who are all awesome people!

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Unfortunately, guess who forgot their camera at the house after leaving for the gig at Juanita’s last night? FYI, it went really well. The crowd was super supportive and all of the bands killed it.  Jon’s group Slumgum freely moved between slower, more expressive melodies, free jazz, and rhythmic ideas, Chicano Batman was a great rock band that incorporated some Cumbia rhythms with wah guitar and organ, and Hardcoretet closed the night doing our thing.  all in all, a great couple of nights!

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Hardcoretet tour, day 1

By , October 19, 2009 2:39 pm

Hardcoretet took off early yesterday morning for our West coast mini-tour, San Francisco bound! The minivan was a bit of a tight squeeze:

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but we made it work! Most of the guys had gigs the night before, so I had planned on taking driving duties the first leg of the trip, which basically was this:

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and this:

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and this:

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There were some moments in the drive with great scenic views, although my photos don’t really do them justice, so I’ll post those elsewhere.
14 hours later, we were in San Francisco! We had a bit of time to hang out with our awesome and gracious host Ashley and her friends in the Mission District, then headed home to hit some hardwood floor and go to bed:

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The next morning, Aaron hooked us up with an amazing breakfast joint, also in the Mission District, called St. Francis:

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Really loved the public graffiti art in that area as well; Seattle could use more of this:

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From there it was off to Santa Cruz for our first gig, tonight at Bocci’s Cellar:

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I’ll let you know how it went!

Another Great Group Part 2

By , October 5, 2009 11:02 am

Once again, Seattle music blew me away. I’ve talked about playing with Scott Morning in Soul Kata before, mostly describing his ability as a section player, but that’s not how I originally got to know him. Scott’s always been a great improviser and composer, bringing together all of his musical tastes to make one stew, and he finally has put a band together to get his music out there. Doomsday Device is Scott on trumpet and effects, Aaron Jenkins on saxophone and effects, Rich Pellegrin on keyboards, Nate Omdal on bass, and Grant Schroff on drums, playing all sorts of stuff, jazz, rock, drum and bass, you name it. They rocked the Sunset Tavern in Ballard last night and I hope they get some more shows together soon.

Next, I bounced over to the Comet Tavern to see Gackstatter, an awesome rock band that includes Tim Carey, the bass player for Hardcoretet, Evan Gackstatter on vocals and guitar, and Nathan Taylor on drums. It was incredibly fun to see these guys rocking their asses off, especially since I’m used to seeing Tim play jazz, and the only other time I’d heard Evan was with an R&B singer! My face got melted, and the music was just plain good.

Thanks guys.

Another Great Group

By , September 20, 2009 3:20 pm

The Brendan O’Donnell Organ Trio, with Brendan on guitar, Adam Kessler on drums, and Joe Doria on organ.  Holy smokes, these guys killed it at Egan’s Ballard Jam House Friday night, for all the reasons I always talk about.  The tunes were tight, improvisation top notch, and communication within the trio was out of this world.  Brendan doesn’t play out with this group as much as I’d like, so I was excited to see the show already, but the whole set was full of music that just felt great.  I left inspired and happy I got to see it, as well as convinced that every jazz musician in Seattle should be checking this band out.  Thanks guys.

Soul Kata audio tracks up

By , August 20, 2009 10:25 am

I went ahead and put up a couple of tunes from the Soul Kata CD release party I was fortunate enough to play on at the Triple Door earlier this month, enjoy!

This show, as with any Soul Kata show, was an immense amount of fun. It’s always cool to do the backing horn section thing every once in a while, and just try to be as tight and clean as possible with the parts instead of worrying about soloing or thinking about how I’m sounding individually. This is always easier with my boy Scott Morning on trumpet next to me, since we’ve been partners in crime on these kinds of gigs for a while, so we have a pretty good idea of how each other plays.

That’s just icing though, the band plays great original stuff and they all sound awesome, plus they put on a great show, something that gets missed occasionally. Props to Katrina, Josh, Nate, Adam, Ben, Eli, Tai, and Bridget.

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