SJFS 2009 recap May 22, 2009Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Travel.
As I wrote in my previous post, I was in Milford and West Haven, Connecticut, last weekend for the seventh annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert. The concert is hosted by Jay Rowe and benefits the Milford Public Schools Music Department. Unlike last year’s recap, we will go far beyond what happened immediately before, during, and after the concert. I’m also including pictures I took hours before and after.
It was here where I decided to start taking pictures of the different exits I passed on the ride to the West Haven Hampton Inn. Some of the pictures were slanted because it was hard to take all good pictures from the back seat. Any originally slanted pictures have been fixed for this post. You won’t even know they were slanted. Here we go.
Inside the room:
I didn’t know this until I arrived, my dad reserved our two rooms (he and my mom stayed one room away), but there were two beds. So, one was for my luggage and the other was for sleeping, eating candy (an off weekend for me), and watching TV.
The food was excellent. Our waiter told us that a Texas Roadhouse is scheduled to open here on Long Island, in East Meadow, in September. I can’t wait.
After a 45-minute break, we headed for the Joseph A. Foran High School Auditorium for Smooth Jazz for Scholars. First we took I-95 south to Exit 41, Marsh Hill Rd.
We drove with a navigation system. And while we were on Edgefield Ave. waiting to turn at Foran Rd., the computer voice told us to “turn right on Foran Rd.”…just as we passed Foran Rd. So, we made a quick U-Turn and turned onto Foran the opposite way.
After saying hello to Kat and wishing Jay good luck, I walked in to the auditorium and took my seat. We sat on the left end, next to the aisle, three rows from the stage.
Then, Jay welcomed the audience introduced the house band, along with Chieli Minucci and Ken Navarro, and we were underway.
One year after I first heard “Daddy-O” on CD from my first floor room at the Milford Hampton Inn, I got to hear it live at SJFS.
After lighting problems were worked out, we moved on to…
SONG #4: America (Nelson Rangell; written by Leonard Bernstein for “West Side Story”)
Originally heard on: “My American Songbook, Vol. 1,” 2005
Featured musician: Nelson Rangell
As you can see, Nelson was on flute for this.
Rohn had a wild guitar solo during “Treasures.”
Following the solo, Marion said hello to the audience, announced that a song later in the set would be dedicated to bass player and NCAA Men’s Basketball and NBA legend Wayman Tisdale. Then, he equaled Rohn’s solo with an enjoyable solo of his own.
Ms. Voss helped working the concession table. As I bought a bottle of water following the concert, I complimented her on the chorus. She was appreciative.
Next, “the whistling song,” otherwise known as…
SONG #10: Sonora (Nelson Rangell; Hampton Hawes cover)
Originally heard on: “Destiny,” 1995 (alto sax); “My American Songbook, Vol. 1,” 2005 (whistling and piccolo)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell, Ken Navarro
It’s always a treat to hear Nelson whistle. I’ve been fortune enough to hear him whistle live four times: July 2003 opening for David Benoit at Planting Fields Arboretum in Oyster Bay, October 2006 at IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington, the 2007 Smooth Jazz for Scholars, and this performance. The first, second, and fourth times were all “Sonora.” The third was “Always and Forever,” a cover from Pat Metheny’s ”Secret Story” solo album in 1992 (no relation to the R&B hit).
As the song wound down, the audience was so captivated, they were silent. You could hear a pin drop as Nelson whistled without accompaniment before the band kicked back in for the final measures.
He got a standing ovation. After acknowledging Ken Navarro, he modestly said “anyone can whistle.” That may be true, but nobody whistles like Nelson Rangell. He then gave up thumbs up (seen below) and thanked the audience.
Ahead of SJFS, Ken announced on his blog that he would be playing this song. In the May 9 entry, a general promotion of his SJFS appearance and two other concerts, he wrote:
I’m looking forward to my upcoming shows in CT, Canada and FL in the next few weeks. Jay Rowe’s annual Smooth Jazz For Scholars show is up next on May 16. If you are anywhere near Milford, CT you gotta check out me with Chieli Minucci, Nelson Rangell and Marion Meadows and of course the man himself, Jay Rowe. The rhythm section ain’t nothing to sneeze at either – the amazing Dave Livolsi on bass and the fantastic Trever Somerville on drums. Gonna be another great one. I am going to play “Daddy-O” and “Try Again” with the band and Jay and I are going to do an acoustic duo version of “Some Other Time”. Hope to see you there supporting this great cause for the public school music departments of Milford, CT.
And a great one it was.
Like last year, Ken walked through the audience for the first few minutes…
SONG #15: No Rhyme No Reason (Marion Meadows; George Duke cover; dedicated to Wayman Tisdale earlier in the show)
Originally heard on: “Next To You,” 2000
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows, Rohn Lawrence
It was Marion’s turn to go into the audience.
The last time I saw Nelson, two years ago, I was only three months into my weight loss. According to my second weight loss journal, which I just took out, I weighed 177.6. I had lost 55.8 pounds since January 2, 2007, when I weighed 233.4. On this day, I weighed 137. Nelson admitted he didn’t recognize me at first, then he complimented me on my additional loss. I’ve been in maintenance since September 2007.
After Nelson met my parents, they and I drove back to the West Haven Hampton Inn. This was close to midnight. I was asleep within an hour and a half.
After an 11:30 breakfast at Denny’s, we headed for home.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this extensive 24-hour journey to and from Southwestern Connecticut, including a recap of this year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars. I had another great time. And like last year, writing this recap was a labor of love. Thanks for reading.
SJFS 2009 tonight! May 16, 2009Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
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I’m writing this post on my laptop from the desk in my fourth floor hotel room at the West Haven (Connecticut) Hampton Inn.
In a few hours, I’ll be at the Foran High School auditorium in Milford for this year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert. Maybe I can start crafting my recap post from my hotel room. Either way, the full recap will be posted by Wednesday.
5/17, 1:56 PM ET UPDATE: After getting about 4 1/2 hours of sleep, I started crafting, as it were, putting in the set list and personnel. Now, the photo editing begins. And I took a lot of pictures, from I-695/I-95 in the Bronx yesterday to Exit 28S on the Southern State Parkway today. SJFS was somewhere in between.
5/18 UPDATE: The editing was completed by last night. Separately, I may not have a recap up until Friday. Please be patient.
Spring 2009 pre-order update #2 May 6, 2009Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Jazz, Media, Personal.
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In recent weeks, I’ve had so many things to listen to, watch, and read, I feel pressured to review all of them. On top of that, I haven’t posted anything in two weeks. So, here is what I’ve been listening to, watching, and reading between April 23 and today:
- Joyce Cooling, “Global Cooling” (CD)
- Bernie Williams, “Moving Forward” (CD)
- Dennis Miller: The HBO Comedy Specials (DVD)
- Down to the Bone, “Future Boogie” (CD)
- Spyro Gyra, “Down The Wire” (CD)
- Suzy Welch, 10-10-10: 10 Minutes, 10 Months, 10 Years; A Life-Transforming Idea (hardcover book, CD)
I enjoyed all of the above and learned a few things in the process. What more could you ask for?