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Will Donato at Houndstooth Pub May 11, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
2 comments

Houndstooth Pub was the place to be Saturday night as saxophonist Will Donato took the stage.

This was the first time I had seen Will since he performed with fellow saxophonist Elan Trotman a few years ago. Both times, a significant personal event occurred the same day. Then, it was the removal of a curbside tree at my neighbor’s house, one that had been there since I moved to Wantagh in July 1993. Saturday, it was the tenth anniversary of MikeChimeri.com.

I was thrilled to see Will. He’s a ball of energy, winding his way through the crowd, connecting with every audience member, including me. He even has a humorous side, which he displayed when speaking to the audience between songs.

Will was mostly on alto saxophone:
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Bill Heller on keyboard:
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Kenny Harris on bass:
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…and Chris Marshak on drums:
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SET LIST
1.
Kenny’s Groove (Kenny Harris)

2. New Life
Originally heard on:Will Power,” 2004

3. I’ll Be Around (The Spinners cover)
Originally heard on:Will Call,” 2007

4. Italia
Originally heard on: “Will Power,” 2004; “What It Takes,” 2010

5. Funkability
Originally heard on: “What It Takes,” 2010

6. Show and Tell (Al Wilson cover)
Originally heard on:Universal Groove,” 2014

7. Working Day and Night (Michael Jackson cover)

BREAK

8. Always You
Originally heard on: “What It Takes,” 2010

9. Jaywalkin’
Originally heard on: “Universal Groove,” 2014

10. You’ve Just Been Had (Kenny Harris)

11. Down & Loaded (Bill Heller)
Originally heard on:Find the Way,” 2014 (Bill Heller)

12. What Is Hip? (Tower of Power cover)

13 (Encore). Play That Funky Music (Wild Cherry cover)
Originally heard on: “Universal Groove,” 2014

Now that you know the set list, let’s move on to various pictures of Will in the audience and on stage:
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He switched to tenor sax for “Down & Loaded”…:
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…before returning to alto for the last two songs:
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Now for pictures of the rest of the band, starting with Bill Heller:
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Vocals on “Show and Tell”:
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Vocoder on “Working Day and Night”:
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…and “Play That Funky Music”:
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Kenny Harris:
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Vocals on “Kenny’s Groove”:
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…and “You’ve Just Been Had”:
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Chris Marshak:
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Wide shots:
“New Life”:
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“Down & Loaded”:
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“What Is Hip?”:
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“Play That Funky Music”:
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What a wild show this turned out to be. I had a blast. I spoke to Will and the band during the break and after the show, and before I left, Will and I posed for a picture:
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Thank you to Will, Bill, Kenny, and Chris for making this a night to remember.

Ten years of MikeChimeri.com! May 9, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal, Radio, Technology.
1 comment so far

Today marks ten years since I launched MikeChimeri.com. For its first seven years, it was a WYSIWYG site created with Yahoo SiteBuilder. Then, I merged it with the four-year-old Mike Chimeri Blog.

I originally created this site to replace InstrumentalInvasion.net, following my last Instrumental Invasion show at WGBB-AM a few days earlier.

I can’t believe it’s been ten years. Thank you to everyone that’s visited. Here’s to ten more years.

SJFS 2015 Night 1 recap April 27, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel, Video.
12 comments

Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 Night 1, 2013 Night 2, 2014 Night 1, 2014 Night 2

To borrow guitarist Jay Dobbins’ song title, it was “That Time Again” on Friday – time for me to head up to Milford, Connecticut, for Jay Rowe‘s Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert. This was the 13th year of SJFS and the third with two nights of shows. Unfortunately, I could only make the first night this year because of the WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony on Saturday.

The headliners on Friday night were Peter White, Marion Meadows, and Vincent Ingala.

As always, Kevin McCabe had a few opening remarks:
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Then, Jay Rowe took the stage. Jay was on keyboards:
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Dave Anderson played bass:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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Steve Scales on percussion:
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…and for nine songs, Rohn Lawrence on electric guitar:
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SET LIST
1. That Time Again (Jay Dobbins)
Originally heard on: “Anything for You,” 2013
Featured musicians: Jay Dobbins (electric guitar), Jay Rowe (keyboards)

2. Pleasure Island (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: “Laugh Out Loud,” 2001
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

3. Can’t Stop Now (Vincent Ingala)
Originally heard on: “Can’t Stop Now,” 2012
Featured musicians: Vincent Ingala (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

4. Kimi Trick (Vincent Ingala)
Originally heard on: “Can’t Stop Now,” 2012
Featured musicians: Vincent Ingala (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

5. Real Time (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Soul Traveler,” 2015
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

6. Humanity (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Soul Traveler,” 2015
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

7. Caravan of Dreams (Peter White)
Originally heard on: “Caravan of Dreams,” 1996
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax)

8. Bright (Peter White)
Originally heard on: “Good Day,” 2009
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar)

9. How Deep is Your Love (Peter White; The Bee Gees cover)
Originally heard on: “Reflections,” 1994
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar)

10. In Rainbows (Peter White)
Originally heard on: “Smile,” 2014
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Vincent Ingala (soprano sax)

11. Here We Go (Peter White)
Originally heard on: “Here We Go,” 2012
Featured musicians: Peter White (acoustic guitar), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax)

12. Wish I Was There (Vincent Ingala)
Originally heard on: “Can’t Stop Now,” 2012
Featured musicians: Vincent Ingala (electric guitar)

13. Coast to Coast (Vincent Ingala)
Originally heard on: “Coast to Coast,” 2015 (released five days later [tomorrow])
Featured musicians: Vincent Ingala (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

14. Suede (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Player’s Club,” 2004
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)
Unlike previous performances, Marion did not start in the audience and work his way to the stage.

15. Treasures (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “In Deep,” 2002
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

16 (Finale). I’ll Be Around (The Spinners cover)
Featured musicians: Everyone

Now for various pictures of each musician.

First, Jay Rowe:
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Dave Anderson:
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Trever Somerville:
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Steve Scales:
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Rohn Lawrence:
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Making his SJFS debut, Jay Dobbins:
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Vincent Ingala:
Tenor sax:
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Soprano sax:
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Electric guitar:
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Marion Meadows:
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Peter White:
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On to wide shots, starting with “Pleasure Island”:
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“Kimi Trick”:
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“Real Time”:
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“Humanity”:
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“Caravan of Dreams”:
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“Bright”:
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“In Rainbows”:
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“Here We Go”:
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“Coast to Coast”:
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The finale – “I’ll Be Around”:
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The last note:
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With the night complete, Jay gave thanks:
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Afterward, I packed up my equipment and headed for the meet and greet in the lobby.

The musician I met and greeted was Peter White:
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It had been five years since I last saw him in person, aboard the Guitars and Saxes Smooth Cruise in 2010.

After speaking with Peter, I moved on to Marion Meadows, Rohn Lawrence, and Vincent Ingala.

Here I am with Vincent:
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Rohn and Jay Dobbins:
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While waiting in line, Jay Rowe asked if anyone had a Sharpie he could use for autographing. I gave him the one in my backpack and let him keep it. I can always get more.

I said my goodbyes and headed to the nearby Hampton Inn for the night. I left for LIU Post in the morning.

Five days of scanning January 30, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Bowling, Education, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology.
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As snow fell outside Monday afternoon, I was going through a drawer in my room where I keep some personal mementos. Then, I was struck with inspiration. I had been using my Epson WF-3520 All-in-One Printer in the guest room to copy a few documents this month, via the printer’s sheet feeder. Why not use that sheet feeder to scan any personal mementos that were on letter-size paper? That’s what I did all this week.

I started with bowling scorecards between 1998 and 2006, plus a handful more between September 2007 and September 2014. Then, I moved on to my final college transcript, a paper I wrote for Introduction to Journalism, an e-mail reply from Tom Snyder, two e-mail replies from voice over talent Dan Chandler, a flyer promoting my Mike Chimeri Show interview with Colin Mochrie, and radio show and Live365 radio station playlists. I scanned anything that wasn’t letter-size on the traditional scanner platen. This included dot matrix score sheets from AMF Wantagh Lanes and two desk calendar pages that were dated September 11, 2001. Playlists that were handwritten on letter-size legal paper had to be scanned on my Canon CanoScan LiDE210 in my room. Since what I wrote on the other side could be seen, I had to scan in black and white – not grayscale – giving the scans an old photocopy or fax look.

The radio show playlists spanned my career to date: The Mike Chimeri Show, The Instrumental Invasion, MCJN (Live365 station), a few demos, the night I filled in for Martin Phillips on the defunct Thursday Night Jazz show, Evening Jazz, CJazzPlus (Live365 station), and all my homecoming weekend shows.

In addition to the copy of my Intro to Journalism paper, I also saved papers by two of my classmates. The paper had us write a profile of a few of our classmates, based on press conference-style interviews our professor, Bernard Bard, previously a reporter for the New York Post, had arranged one week in mid-semester. I remember little about my presser, but there was one quote each of the classmates that wrote about me used:

Broadcasting is my thing, my calling. I belong in that field.

This was in March 2001. Seven months later, I began at WCWP. While I may have had volunteer success, I’m still waiting and hoping for professional success. If “my thing, my calling” doesn’t pan out, at least I have photo and document scanning to make a career of.

New header January 17, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal.
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2014 in review December 31, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Audio, Commentary, Film, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio.
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The following is an excerpt of an end-of-year post WordPress created for MikeChimeri.com. Scroll down for my editorial.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,500 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 4 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Despite seven more posts than last year, 2014 was more for reflecting than recapping. Only six posts recapped jazz concerts, two recapped WCWP events, and one was a recap of my day at New York Comic Con. A lot of work went into those posts, however. You can find them in the archives (screen left) for January, February, April, June, and October.

As for reflection, I reflected one year with an iPhone, one year of running with the help of the Nike Running app, ten years since my college commencement, and twenty since the infamous O.J. Simpson car chase. You can find those posts in the archives for May and June.

I always hope the best when a new year approaches and this time is no different. I hope you, the reader, I, the writer, and everyone we know have a happy, healthy, and gainful 2015.

My experience at Day 1 of 2014 New York Comic Con October 10, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Art, Books, Comedy, Internet, Interviews, Media, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Previous New York Comic Con recap: 2012 Day 2

Yesterday marked my second trip to New York Comic Con, held annually at the Javits Center in the Midtown West portion of Manhattan. This time, I went with my girlfriend Kelly. We met each other at Penn Station, going our own ways to get there. I came from Wantagh, she came from Wallingford, Connecticut.

My way to her began at around 12:15 when I walked two blocks to a bus stop for the southbound NICE (Nassau Inter-County Express) n73. The bus arrived at 12:28, two minutes ahead of schedule. That ensured I would arrive at the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station in time to board a 12:32 train, an earlier train than I had planned for. If I hadn’t bought my round trip ticket the day before, I’d have to wait for the 12:57. 50 minutes later, I was at Penn Station. I met up with Kelly and we began the half-hour walk to the Javits Center.

We entered at West 38th Street, tapping our badges before going inside. Conventioneers were greeted by giant inflated Teen Titans – and, by extension, Teen Titans Go! – characters.

Beast Boy and Starfire:
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Cyborg and Robin:
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And, of course, Raven:
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Time to head inside…

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My first plan was to meet voice actor Billy West, whom I interviewed back in 2005 at WCWP. Since autographing was involved, and not knowing offhand where Booth 1280 was, despite going to NYCC two years ago, I headed downstairs.

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A fellow conventioneer informed me that Booth 1280 was on the show floor. So, Kelly and I headed there.

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On the floor…
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We searched the aisle numbers and headed for the 1200s. It was there that we found Billy West.

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Billy and I had a brief conversation, he signed my copy of Futurama, Volume 7 – which has Zoidberg on the cover – and Kelly took our picture:
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He signed the cover this way:

To Mike!

…Zoidberg could eat…

Billy West

It was the highlight of my afternoon. But there was more to do. Kelly and I walked the floor back to a downward escalator.

Along the way, this is what we saw:
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We finally reached a downward escalator:
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There were a few panels I was interested in attending, but the one we settled on was here in Room 1A21:
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It was for the latest (and upcoming) Transformers TV series, Transformers: Robots in Disguise. The panel began at 4:00, but we got in line at 3:00.

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The line was small when we arrived and we ended up near the front. It pays to show up early. After 50 minutes in line, the door was opened. We ended up sitting front row center. It was fantastic.

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The panel was moderated by Mike Vogel, the Vice President of Development for Hasbro Studios:
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From right to left on the dais, there was Jeff Kline, executive producer:
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Jose Lopez, director:
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Adam Beecher, producer and writer:
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And the voice talent:
Will Friedle (Bumblebee):
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Khary Payton (Grimlock):
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Constance Zimmer (Strongarm):
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…and Mitchell Whitfield (Fixit):
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Now that you know the stars, here are random panel wide shots:
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Khary set up the clip about to be shown:
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Q&A:
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After 45 minutes, the panel came to an end:
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Constance and Khary stuck around to sign autographs:
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Transformers: Robots in Disguise premieres in early 2015 on Cartoon Network. I can’t wait. I’m so glad I chose this panel.

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After a few fun hours at New York Comic Con, Kelly and I called it a day:
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We didn’t go right home, though. We walked down 11th Avenue to West 35th Street, taking that to 8th. We stopped in Trattoria Bianca for an early dinner. An hour later, we boarded an express LIRR train back to Wantagh, which also took an hour.

As I did for my 2012 Day 2 recap, I’ll leave you with a picture of the lanyard I wore and the badge it carried:
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10/11 UPDATE: There is an in-depth recap of the Transformers: Robots in Disguise panel at Newsarama.

And unbeknownst to me, because I didn’t look at the NYCC schedule beyond Thursday, there was a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles panel yesterday. Bam! Smack! Pow! has a recap of that, while IGN’s Scott Collura interviewed Rob Paulsen (Donatello), Greg Cipes (Michelangelo), and executive producers Ciro Nieli and Brandon Auman.

If tickets for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday hadn’t sold out so fast, I would have gone either of those days. But I’m glad I went when I did. As I noted in the original recap, I got to meet Billy West in person and to whet my appetite for Transformers: Robots in Disguise, sitting front row center for their panel in the process.

WCWP Homecoming Weekend show to air October 19 October 6, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Phone, Radio.
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I was on the campus of LIU Post on Friday to record my annual Homecoming Weekend radio show for WCWP, the campus radio station which I was originally part of from October 2001 to May 2004. CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri will air very early on Sunday, October 19, at 2AM Eastern (Saturday, October 18, at 11PM Pacific) on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org. If you are outside of the signal range, choose the latter (WCWP.org) or browse for WCWP on the TuneIn mobile app.

In the two hours of CJazzPlus, I’ll be playing The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Mindi Abair, Gerald Albright, Brian Culbertson, and many more, including one of my favorites by the recently departed Joe Sample. The show took just over two hours to record and an extra hour to edit, plus additional time editing at home on Saturday.

The name CJazzPlus comes from a short-lived Live365 station of mine from late 2010. It’s short for “contemporary jazz plus.” The “plus” refers to various sub-genres of jazz and instrumentals from other genres. I try to go beyond what you’d hear on a typical smooth jazz station, such as SiriusXM’s Watercolors.

Hours before the show airs, on Saturday, October 18, I’ll be at for Post for their Homecoming festivities, as well as for WCWP’s. The latter of those includes the announcement of 2015 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame. I look forward to that announcement as much as I look forward to the annual announcements of National Baseball Hall of Fame inductees and Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinees. My guess is as good as yours. You’ll have to listen that afternoon to find out who got in this time.

Tunnel to Towers 5K Run & Walk September 29, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Fire, Health, Internet, Military, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Police, Travel, TV.
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I was in New York City yesterday for the annual Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk. I signed up back in May after my dad recommended it to me. He was impressed by all the running I had done, and at such a fast pace. The fast pace back then occurred on the treadmill, but that has extended to the outdoors since I signed up. September alone was a landmark month for me, as I routinely ran 3.6 miles in about 38 minutes. Conditioning like that prepared me for yesterday.

The day began dark and early at 4:30 AM when my alarm clock woke me up. I tried to go to sleep early and get a decent amount of hours in, but I was only able to get about three hours of sleep. I spent about an hour getting ready and was out the door with my dad at 5:30.

We traveled to Point Lookout with eleven others from Dad’s firehouse, Freeport Excelsior Hook and Ladder Co. 1. There, we joined a bigger team from Point Lookout Lido Fire Department’s 2nd Battalion.

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I didn’t bring my Nikon D5100, settling on my iPhone 5 for all pictures seen in this recap.

Three buses took us to Red Hook, Brooklyn. Our Freeport team boarded first of those three.

We arrived in Red Hook shortly before 9:00.

20 minutes later, we began the long stop-and-go walk to the starting line.

Along the way, we passed Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church:
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Their bell rang as we passed by.

Almost at the starting line:
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And away we went!

I didn’t think I’d be able to run because of the amount of people participating. But once we crossed the starting line, I did run, though not for the entire 5K.

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The Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel (aka Hugh L. Carey Tunnel):
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As I ran and walked through the tunnel, music was pumped in through speakers and various runners yelled patriotic chants. It was surreal, but I enjoyed it.

The tunnel seemed to go on forever. While 1.73 miles is a mere two minutes by car, in light traffic, I was in there for 25 minutes on foot.

The light at the end of the tunnel:
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When I was out, I was greeted by the sight of One World Trade Center in Lower Manhattan:
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Freeport native Richie Muldowney was one of the 343 FDNY firefighters lost on 9/11:
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A view of Jersey City across the Hudson River:
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50 minutes after I started…
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…I crossed the finish line:
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My official time, listed here (search chimeri), was 0:50:36.

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On my way back, there were two early buses and one late bus. The early buses were full, so I and most of the Freeport team had to wait for the late bus. While we waited, we had lunch at Greenwich Street Tavern in TriBeCa.
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We were finished eating just in time to board the late bus back. It took nearly two hours to return to Point Lookout due to heavy traffic, and a half hour to return home to Wantagh.

The Tunnel to Towers 5K Run and Walk was an amazing and awesome (in the literal sense) experience. If you haven’t signed up for it before, I recommend you try it at least once.

9/30 UPDATE: The full text results can be seen here.

Bill Heller, “Find the Way” July 21, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal.
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Keyboardist Bill Heller makes his solo debut with Find the Way, available now at CD Baby and iTunes.

Bill’s Rippingtons and Jazzaphonic bandmates are peppered throughout the album, in addition to Carl Fischer, Luis Bonilla, and Ronnie Gutierrez.  Except where noted, Joel Rosenblatt played drums and Dave Anderson was on bass.

Tracks:
1. Guaraldi (5:19)
This is a tribute to the late jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi.  Jeff Kashiwa, Bill’s Rippingtons bandmate, plays soprano saxophone and flute.

2. Down & Loaded (5:32)
This has a Les McCann “Compared to What” feel to it.  I first heard Bill perform this at Eric Marienthal’s Boulton Center show (and masterclass) in March 2011.  Eric, who was also with the Rippingtons, is featured on three other Find the Way tracks, but Jeff Kashiwa handled tenor sax on “Down & Loaded.”  Jeff can also be heard on tenor on “Blackbird on a Fence” and soprano on the title track.  This is one of three songs to feature Frank Bellucci on drums and Jim Cammack on bass, Bill’s Jazzaphonic bandmates.

3. Bill’s Bop (4:34)
This is the second song with Bellucci and Cammack, but the only one of the three where Jim plays electric bass.  Eric Marienthal plays lead alto sax along with backing saxes and flutes.  This bop made me swing from side to side in my chair as I listened to it.

4. Blackbird on a Fence (4:22)

5. Find the Way (5:06)

6. Hanna (4:51)
Eric Marienthal returns on soprano sax and flute in this song that takes me back to when I regularly saw Bill perform with drummer John Favicchia‘s Dharma All Stars.

7. Alone (5:28)

8. Latinesque (5:53)
This wild Latin tune features Carl Fischer on trumpet, Luis Bonilla on trombone, and percussion from Ronnie Gutierrez.  It’s the first of three tracks with Dave Karasony on drums and Rico Belled on bass.  This also reminds me of the Dharma All Stars.

9. 5 for 1 (5:34)
This is the last song to feature Eric Marienthal, who plays alto sax here, as well as for Frank Bellucci and Jim Cammack.

10. Afrikaan (4:40)
This South African homage is the second to feature Dave Karasony and Rico Belled.

11. My Thing (4:56)
Karasony and Belled’s last track.  Each part of the song is played in a different keyboard setting.

12. Trottoir du Musette (1:05)
Bill shows off his accordion on the final track.  The translated title is “Sidewalk Musette,” and it makes you feel like you’re walking the streets of Paris, albeit with drum programming.

In the two weeks since Find the Way arrived, I’ve listened to it at least five times.  “Down & Loaded” is my favorite, with “Bill’s Bop” and “5 for 1″ close behind.  I love Find the Way, and I hope you do, too.  Pick up a copy today at CD Baby or iTunes.

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