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One year with iPhone April 11, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Health, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, TV.
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A year ago yesterday, I boarded the iPhone bandwagon by switching from an LG enV3, which I had for 3 1/2 years, to an iPhone 5.  When I’m not texting or making a phone call, it’s a great alternative for internet access.  My workouts with the Nike Running app have gone further than I was going in my first iPhone post last July.  I’ve gone as far as 5.35 miles in one workout and broke 100 miles for the month of March.

When I need to comparison shop, I use shopping apps.  When I want to listen to the radio, I have the TuneIn app.  I’ve downloaded apps for several networks, network affiliates, and cable channels.

But I still wish the internal hard drive was bigger; maybe with the next iPhone.

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50,000 views! January 5, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Internet.
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Earlier today, MikeChimeri.com reached its biggest viewership milestone yet: 50,000 views!  Thank you to all that have visited the site, since its early days as The Mike Chimeri Blog, for making this milestone possible.

The next milestone post will come at 75,000.  Until then, keep reading for new posts from the world of Mike Chimeri.

2013 in review December 31, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Art, Audio, Commentary, Film, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Technology, Travel, Weather.
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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 2013 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 9,600 times in 2013. 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.

2013 was the first full year for the WordPress version of MikeChimeri.com.  April was a transformative month that saw my upgrade from a Nikon D3100 camera to a D5100, and finally join iPhone nation.  I upgraded from an LG enV3 to an Apple iPhone 5.  (I ended up giving my Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ8 to someone very special.)  A week after those two upgrades, I documented the 2013 WCWP Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony.  A week after that, I was in Milford, Connecticut, for the first two-night Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert seriesApril also marked five years since The Mike Chimeri Blog was launched; MikeChimeri.com launched in May 2005, seven years before merging with the blog.

In addition to some new contemporary jazz releases, I broadened my musical horizons by adding Return to Forever, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, and various Christmas compilations to my collection.  I posted more expressway and parkway pictures.  I spent most of the summer scanning old 35mm pictures and recording cassettes and microcassettes to one of my hard drives.  I returned to LIU Post and WCWP in October for my annual Homecoming Weekend Show and Homecoming itself.  I attended Charlie Fillizola’s art exhibit at Wantagh Public Library.  And besides SJFS, I attended concerts in August, October, and November.

I didn’t mention this in any post, but there was one dark spot in 2013: the loss of my paternal grandmother, Marilyn “Mazz” Chimeri (née Garing), in early July.  She was the last of my grandparents remaining after I lost my maternal grandparents, Lennie and Arthur Rose, in June and November 2010, and my paternal grandfather, Carmen Chimeri, in December 2011.  I miss them dearly, but feel lucky to have known them for as long as I did.  I love you all.

I hope for the best in 2014, not only for myself, but for each and every one of you visiting this site.  Have a happy and healthy new year.

WCWP Homecoming Weekend show to air October 20 October 7, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Phone, Radio.
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I was at WCWP (at LIU Post) on Friday to record my annual Homecoming Weekend radio show.  CJazzPlus with Mike Chimeri will air very early on Sunday, October 20, at 3AM Eastern (midnight Pacific) on 88.1 FM WCWP.

If you are outside of the signal range, you can listen here or browse for it on the TuneIn mobile app.

In the two hours of CJazzPlus, I’ll be playing Chuck Loeb, The Jeff Lorber Fusion, Spyro Gyra, Steve Cole, and much more.  The show took 2 1/2 hours to record and an hour and 15 minutes to edit.  There was also an additional 15 minutes of editing (and one minute of re-recording) for hour 1 at home on Saturday and another 10 minutes of editing for hour 2 yesterday.

I’ll be on campus hours earlier – on Saturday, October 19 – for Post and WCWP’s Homecoming festivities, the latter of which includes the announcement of 2014 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame.

Whose Line picked up for another season! August 2, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Theatre, TV.
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After only three weeks on the CW, the reboot of Whose Line is it Anyway? has been renewed for another season!  This one will be 24 episodes long.  Jonathan Mangum tweeted the great news on Monday (one day before the airing of an episode he performed in):

Whose Line is it Anyway picked up for 2nd season! Congrats @waynebrady@colinmochrie@aishatyler@1DanPatterson and Ryan [Stiles]!!

When news broke of Whose Line‘s return back in March, I said this:

It’s a 10-episode run, but could be more if renewed or less if canceled.  Based on the failures of the Green Screen Show, Improv-A-Ganza, and Trust Us With Your Life, I’d say the latter is more likely.  But as usual, I’m prepared to be pleasantly surprised.

Consider me pleasantly surprised.  Best wishes to Whose Line, which is thus far thriving in its second life.

Boarding the iPhone bandwagon July 6, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Media, News, Personal, Phone, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, TV, Weather.
2 comments

On an unseasonably hot day in mid-April, I switched from an LG enV3 (VX9200) to an iPhone 5.  Soon after, I bought an Otterbox Defender case for it (which includes a belt clip holster) and a Logitech wireless headset for extended phone calls.

I’ve downloaded 30 apps so far.  Among them are two for radio, nine for sports, three for news, three for weather, and three social media.  I bought two apps: a tip calculator (which was standard on my old phone) and the Merriam-Webster dictionary.

On the first day I had the iPhone, it took a few hours to load all my contacts to iCloud.  But they’re in and some are categorized by ringtone, something I hadn’t done with my previous phones.

The Nike Running app has been instrumental in getting me to run three miles (or more) every day.  Most of the runs have been outdoors, but I ran on my treadmill on a rainy day last month.  And with temperatures now hovering near 90 degrees each day, I may have to do more indoor runs on my treadmill or step machine.

The iPhone’s camera has come in handy when I don’t have my Nikon D5100 on me.  Most of the pictures taken with the phone are of recently replaced Town of Hempstead street signs and new traffic lights.  Some examples:

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The one downside is the internal drive is only 13.5 GB (gigabytes) (billed as 16 GB).  It makes me wish there was a microSD slot for an additional 16 GB, or even 32.

Regardless of that, I’m glad I finally boarded the iPhone bandwagon.  I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.

The end of Manor East June 16, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Media, News, Personal, Travel, TV, Video.
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A piece of my early teens – and my sister’s, as well – is no more.  Thursday, without warning, Manor East in Massapequa closed down (WABC-TV, WNYW-TV, CBSNewYork.com, Bellmore Patch).  The catering hall at the corner of Jerusalem Avenue and North Broadway was home to my Bar Mitzvah reception in November 1994 and my sister’s Bat Mitzvah reception in September 1996 (two months after her birthday).  (Our services were at the now-defunct Union Reform Temple in northwest Freeport.)

I pass by it whenever I take the n55 NICE Bus to Sunrise Mall or on the way to Lumara Salon for my monthly haircut.  I can’t imagine what will take its place.

I feel terrible for those that paid for parties and receptions at Manor East and are left scrambling to find alternate locations.

Here is home video that I shot outside Manor East in February 1995 before going in for my friend Rob’s Bar Mitzvah, three months after mine:

(Sorry about the poor camerawork.)

Expanding my collection May 16, 2013

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Travel.
1 comment so far

The mental seed for expanding my music collection was planted at the first night of this year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert.  One of the guest musicians that night was wind instrumentalist Nelson Rangell.  He played one song from one of his albums and two covers not on any of his albums.  The first of the two covers was a Return to Forever song called “Spain.”  Nelson’s cover featured guitarist Marc Antoine, who was the first guest introduced that night.  “Spain” was Marc’s fourth song in a row and followed Nelson’s contribution to his cover of “Mas Que Nada” by Sergio Mendes and Brasil ’66.

Return to Forever (or RTF) is one of a few bands Chick Corea has led in his long career.  I don’t have any of his solo albums, but I did have all but one by the Elektric Band (plus one Elektric Band II album).

That Friday night at the Parsons Complex, I was unaware “Spain” was an RTF cover.  But the refrain sounded familiar and typical of Chick.  The following morning in my hotel room, I did a Google search for spain jazz song.  The top result was this Wikipedia entry.  So, I listened to a little bit of the song in Spotify.  The mental seed that was planted the night before was starting to grow.

At home a few days later, I looked into the rest of Return to Forever’s works.  Bypassing their eponymous debut album, I liked what I heard on half of Light as a Feather (where “Spain” originated), but I haven’t listened to Flora Purim’s vocal contributions to the other half.  I liked all of Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy, Where Have I Known You Before, No Mystery, and Romantic Warrior.  But I didn’t like Musicmagic because it was all vocals.  So, after a week of deliberation, and purchasing saxophonist Andy Snitzer’s The Rhythm, I bought Light as a Feather as an MP3 download and the four albums that followed it (Hymn, Where Have I, etc.) on CD.  Some songs on those albums were good, but the rest were great, especially if they featured various synthesizers.

I will eventually buy Return to Forever’s recent live album, The Mothership Returns.  The latest incarnation of RTF, after several hiatuses, features 75% of the band during most of its 1970s run (Chick, bass player Stanley Clarke, and drummer Lenny White) plus violinist Jean-Luc Ponty and guitarist Frank Gambale.

While I was waiting for the four RTF CDs to arrive, I remembered that I had a Chick Corea Akoustic Band album – the CD, at least – for six years and never ripped it to my computer.  The CD arrived by accident in a jewel case that had artwork for the Elektric Band’s Beneath the Mask album.  I eventually got that album’s CD, but never listened to the eponymous Chick Corea Akoustic Band CD.  That changed last Thursday.  I liked the jazz standard covers in the first three-fifths of the CD, but loved Chick’s originals that rounded it out.  The Akoustic Band was the Elektric Band without saxophonist Eric Marienthal and the aforementioned Frank Gambale.  That left Chick on piano, John Patitucci on bass, and Dave Weckl on drums.  The four Chick originals were “Morning Sprite,” “T.B.C. (Terminal Baggage Claim),” “Circles” (a nod to Chick’s Circle band?), and a new arrangement of “Spain.”  The one I got hooked on was “T.B.C.” because it reminded me of walking through airport terminals, particularly at Tampa International Airport.  And since the album came out in 1989, I harkened back to plane rides I took to Tampa that year, and the joy of seeing my grandparents, who lived 45 minutes away in Crystal Beach, greet me in the terminal and walk with me and my immediate family to baggage claim.  “Many bags look alike,” the baggage claim announcement included.  (The rest of it was something about claim checks.)

As the RTF CDs came in, I also found the GRP All-Star Big Band album that I had been sitting on for just as long as the Akoustic Band album.  That, too, featured a cover of “Spain.”  And when my girlfriend shipped me Brian Simpson’s new album, Just What You Need, and Tom Borton’s 1992 album, The Lost World, I finally listened to the other album of Tom’s that I’ve had for eight years, Dancing with Tigers.  I bought that one after learning excerpts from a few songs were used as Local Forecast music on The Weather Channel in the early ’90s.

As if all of this music wasn’t enough, I decided to give the later albums of Miles Davis a try.  I’ve had downloads of “Tutu” (from the album Tutu) and his cover of “Human Nature” (from You’re Under Arrest) for years, but finally decided to buy Tutu and Amandla.  The latter was Miles’ last album completed in his lifetime.  (He died during the production of Doo-Bop.)  Eventually, I’ll get Aura, You’re Under Arrest, Decoy, Star People, and maybe The Man with the Horn.

In three short weeks, that seed for expanding my music collection has blossomed into an enormous music tree.  One song at one concert led to the purchase of five albums, then discovering two albums I never put on my computer, then buying two more albums, then receiving two more albums from my girlfriend which led me to give an album I hadn’t listened to eons another shot.  Thank you, Nelson Rangell, for planting the seed in my head by covering “Spain.”

SJFS 2013 Night 2 recap April 29, 2013

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

Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Night 1

Updated on 8/20/13 with four videos.

If at first you succeed, try to duplicate the success the following night.  That was the task for the second night of Jay Rowe‘s eleventh annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert.

Kevin McCabe was the first to speak to the audience just before 8PM:
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As you can see behind Kevin, before Jay and the house band came out, the show began with a performance by the Foran High School Jazz Band, under the direction of Jessica Shearer.  Their song featured a solo by Jay.  Pictures of what was visible can be seen later in this post.

The house band was made up of Jay on keyboards:
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Jerry Brooks on bass:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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Steve Scales on percussion:
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The show took place on Steve’s birthday.

…and for eight of the songs, Rohn Lawrence on guitar:
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SET LIST
1.
Martinis and Bikinis (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: “Live at Daniel Street,” 2011
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

2. Side Tracked (Jeff Golub)
Originally heard on: “The Three Kings,” 2011
Featured musicians: Jeff Golub (electric guitar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)
Unfortunately, Jeff went blind a few years ago.  But he hasn’t let that stop him from performing.  He still sounds great.  His courage and perseverance are admirable.

3. Freddie’s Midnight Dream (Jeff Golub)
Originally heard on: “The Three Kings,” 2011
Featured musicians: Jeff Golub (electric guitar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

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

5. Wild Thing (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Whisper,” 2013
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax), Chieli Minucci (electric guitar), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

6. Black Pearl (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Whisper,” 2013
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Chieli Minucci (acoustic guitar)

7. Dreams (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: “It’s Gonna Be Good,” 1998
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar), Vincent Ingala (soprano sax)

8. Crazy Eights (Chieli Minucci & Special EFX)
Originally heard on: “Genesis,” 2013 (to be released on May 21)
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax)

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

10. It Is What It Is (Vincent Ingala)
Originally heard on: “North End Soul,” 2010
Featured musicians: Vincent Ingala (tenor sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

11. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (The Allman Brothers Band cover)
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar), Jeff Golub (electric guitar)

12. Suede (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: “Player’s Club,” 2004
Featured musician: Marion Meadows (soprano sax)

13. Katy’s Groove (Jay Rowe)
Featured musicians: Foran High School Advanced Vocal Ensemble, under the direction of Theresa Voss

14 (Finale). Cold Duck Time (Jeff Golub; Eddie Harris cover)
Originally heard on: “Do It Again,” 2002
Featured musicians: Everyone

Various shots of Jay Rowe:
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Jerry Brooks:
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Trever Somerville:
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Steve Scales:
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Rohn Lawrence:
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Vincent Ingala:
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Jeff Golub:
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Chieli Minucci:
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Marion Meadows:
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Just like in 2011, Marion began “Suede” by playing his way through the audience:
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Vincent and Rohn:
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Chieli and Vincent:
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Marion and Chieli:
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Marion, Vincent, and Chieli:
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Chieli and Jeff:
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Foran High School Jazz Band:
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Foran High School Advanced Vocal Ensemble:
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The Finale – “Cold Duck Time”:
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The second night of Smooth Jazz for Scholars was now complete.

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Jay: “We’ll see you all next year!”
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I hope you enjoyed this pictorial journey through both nights of Smooth Jazz for Scholars.  Until next year, so long.

SJFS 2013 Night 1 recap April 29, 2013

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

Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 Night 2

Updated on 8/20/13 with three videos.

This weekend, I made my annual pilgrimage to Milford, Connecticut, for Jay Rowe‘s eleventh annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars concert.  For the first time in SJFS history, there were two nights of music to enjoy.  This is a recap of Night 1.

Kevin McCabe had some opening remarks:
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…and so did Jay Rowe:
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Jay played his keyboards:
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His house band was rounded by Jerry Brooks on bass:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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…and Steve Scales on percussion:
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The structure of this recap is different from previous SJFS recaps.  Instead of combining the set list with pictures from the corresponding songs, I’ll list the set list first.  Here it is:

SET LIST
1.
Martinis and Bikinis (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: “Live at Daniel Street,” 2011
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Marc Antoine (acoustic guitar)

2. Sunland (Marc Antoine)
Originally heard on: “Madrid,” 1998
Featured musician: Marc Antoine (acoustic guitar)

3. Mas Que Nada (Marc Antoine; Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 cover)
Originally heard on: “Cruisin’,” 2001
Featured musicians: Marc Antoine (acoustic guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

4. Spain (Return to Forever [Chick Corea] cover)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (flute), Marc Antoine (acoustic guitar)

5. Turning Night Into Day (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: “Turning Night Into Day,” 1997
Featured musician: Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

6. Did You Know? (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: “Just Come On In,” 2003
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (electric guitar), Vincent Ingala (electric guitar)
You read right.  Vincent isn’t limited to one instrument.  And if you’ve read the liner notes for some of Nick’s albums, neither is he.

7. Rainy Night in Georgia (Nick Colionne; Brook Benton cover)
Originally heard on: “It’s My Turn,” 1994; “Keepin’ It Cool,” 2006
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (vocals/electric guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

8. Pusherman (Alex Bugnon; Curtis Mayfield cover)
Originally heard on: Upcoming album
Featured musicians: Alex Bugnon (keyboard), Jay Rowe (keyboards), Nick Colionne (electric guitar), Vincent Ingala (electric guitar)

9. A House is Not a Home (Alex Bugnon; notably covered by Luther Vandross)
Originally heard on: Upcoming album
Featured musicians: Alex Bugnon (keyboard), Vincent Ingala (electric guitar)

10. Poinciana (notably covered by Ahmad Jamal)/107 Degrees in the Shade (Alex Bugnon)
“107 Degrees…” originally heard on: “107 Degrees in the Shade,” 1991
Musicians: Alex Bugnon (keyboard), Jay Rowe (keyboards)

11. The Connection (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: “Feel the Heat,” 2011
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (electric guitar), Vincent Ingala (electric guitar)

12. How Insensitive (Insensatez) (Antonio Carlos Jobim cover)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (whistling/piccolo), Marc Antoine (acoustic guitar)

13. Harlem On My Mind (Alex Bugnon)
Originally heard on: “Tales from the Bright Side,” 1995
Featured musicians: Alex Bugnon (keyboard), Nelson Rangell (flute), Vincent Ingala

14. On the Strip (Marc Antoine)
Originally heard on: “Cruisin’,” 2001
Featured musician: Marc Antoine (acoustic guitar)

15 (Finale). Cantaloupe Island (Herbie Hancock cover)/(James Brown-style jam)
Featured musicians: Everyone
In the finale, some musicians switched to different instruments.  Vincent went from electric guitar to tenor sax; Marc Antoine tried out Vincent’s guitar, Steve’s drums, and one of Jay’s synthesizers.

With the set list out of the way, let’s get to the pictures.

We begin with various shots of Jay Rowe:
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Trever Somerville:
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Steve Scales:
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Nelson Rangell helped out during Marc Antoine’s “How Insensitive” solo.  Seconds before I took this, he struck the chimes:
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Marc Antoine:
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Nelson Rangell:
Alto sax:
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Flute:
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Piccolo:
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Whistling:
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Whistling like that deserved a bow:
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Vincent Ingala on electric guitar:
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Nick Colionne:
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Hearing from the audience:
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“Rainy Night in Georgia”:
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Alex Bugnon:
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Nelson and Marc’s “Mas Que Nada” call and response:
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Jay and Alex’s dual medley:
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Nick and Vincent’s “The Connection” duet:
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The finale:
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“Can I count it off?!  (slow staccato): Can I count it off?!”
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Nick in the audience:
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Back on stage:
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With that, the first night of the eleventh annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars was complete.

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The fun resumed the following night.  Click here to see.

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