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Dharma All Stars recap 6 August 20, 2010

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
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Last night, it was time for another trip to Mirelle’s restaurant in Westbury, New York, for John Favicchia’s Dharma All Stars.  Last month marked five years since I began attending Dharma gigs.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen them, but I know I’ve written six recaps for this blog; this recap being the sixth.

Chieli Minucci was on guitar:

Bill Harris on tenor sax…

and alto sax:

Nick Lazarev on bass:

Misha Tsiganov on the keyboard:

And John Fav on drums:

1. Horizons
2. Coincidence
3. Sing a Song of Song
4. Snakes
5. Sister Cheryl
6. April Fools
7. Kukuc

Bill just happened to have his alto sax with him from a lesson he gave before the gig.  It was fitting that he had it to use on “Snakes,” a David Sanborn cover:

Dave’s primary instrument has been the alto sax.

The band posed for a pic after the set…

…and I had to get a pic with promoter Lori Baldasano:

Incidentally, that pic was taken by author, and fellow fan, Katherine Gilraine.


Guitars & Saxes 2010 Smooth Cruise recap August 12, 2010

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Photography, Travel, Weather.
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8/18 UPDATE: I’ve added more pictures of Arlington Jones, Braylon Lacy, and Eric Valentine.

Yesterday, I went to my second Smooth Cruise in a row; this time, for Guitars & Saxes 2010.  As usual, I took the sunset cruise aboard the Spirit of New York.  As with RnR, the last time I saw G&S before yesterday was in 2008 at IMAC.

The ship left Chelsea Piers’ Pier 61 at 6:37.  The set began at 6:50.

A sold out crowd saw Peter White on guitar #1:

Jeff Golub on guitar #2:

Gerald Albright on the alto sax:

And Kirk Whalum on the tenor sax:

They were backed up by Arlington Jones on the keyboards:

Braylon Lacy on bass:

And Eric Valentine on drums:

1. Intro Medley: Promenade (PW)/Roundtrip (KW)/Dangerous Curves (JG)/To the Max (GA)
2. Bright (PW)
3. All I Do (KW)
4. Shuffleboard (JG)
5. My, My, My (GA)
6. Influences: Oh Happy Day/The Thrill Is Gone/Mercy, Mercy, Mercy/Day Tripper/In The Mood
7. Medley: No Two Ways About It/Cold Duck Time/Goin’ On (JG)
8. Georgia On My Mind (GA)
9. You Are Everything (KW)
10. Bueno Funk (PW)
11. When the Saints Go Marching In

Now for a photographic journey through the Guitars & Saxes sunset Smooth Cruise:

The next three pics were taken from a closed-circuit TV on the deck below the stage:

I hung out on the dance floor for the rest of the set, beginning in the middle of “Georgia On My Mind”:

Echoing notes at the end of “Georgia…”:

Kirk making his way through the audience:

The James Bond sunglasses bit during “Bueno Funk”:

A wild drum solo from Eric:

We leave you with pictures taken outside before the set began.  First, a look at Chelsea Piers shortly after embarking:


Lackawanna Park:

Jersey City:

And finally, Lower Manhattan:

Thank you for reading and viewing.

UPDATE: Hello to author Katherine Gilraine, who was among the sold out crowd last night.  Check out her recap here.

Leaving Evening Jazz August 11, 2010

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Radio.
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Effective immediately, I am stepping aside from “Evening Jazz” on 88.1 WCWP.  I wish the best of luck to those involved with the format.  It was a privilege to be on board for the first seven months.  It was equally an honor to be considered as a host when the format was proposed a year ago.

RnR Smooth Cruise recap August 7, 2010

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Photography, Travel, Weather.
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On Wednesday, I embarked on my third Smooth Cruise aboard the Spirit of New York.  The cruise was their 6:30 PM sunset cruise.  In 2008, I saw Spyro Gyra.  In 2009, I caught the Rippingtons.   This time, the group was RnR: Rick Braun and Richard Elliot.  It was the first time I had seen them since June 2008 at IMAC.

RnR was made up of Rick Braun on trumpet…

…and flugelhorn:

Richard Elliot on tenor sax…

…and EWI (electronic wind instrument):

Dwight Sills on guitar:

Nathaniel “Nate” Phillips on bass:

Ricky Lawson on drums:

And Ron Reinhardt on the keyboards:

The ship left Chelsea Piers’ Pier 61 at around 6:45.  The set began shortly thereafter.  So, let’s take you through that set:

1. Q It Up

2. Down and Dirty

3. Tijuana Dance?

Rick switched to flugelhorn for this one:

I went outside for a few minutes to snap some pictures.

The Statue of Liberty:

Lower Manhattan:


Back inside…

4. Inner City Blues (Richard only)

Richard began on the EWI…

…before switching back to tenor sax:

Ron had a wild keyboard solo:

Rick dedicated the next song to his late mother and all the moms in the audience:

And that song was…

5. My Funny Valentine (Rick only)

Rick was on vocals…

…and muted trumpet:

6. When A Man Loves A Woman (Richard only)

While Richard played inside, I went back outside just as we rode under the Brooklyn Bridge…

…and came close to the Manhattan Bridge:

FDR Drive:

The ship then turned around, heading back for Chelsea Piers.

Back inside, I shot another pic of the FDR Drive from my table:

Back at the stage, Richard was playing his heart out:

For this, he got a standing ovation:

Rick returned to the stage for…

7. Green Tomatoes

He and Richard invited the audience to get on their feet and dance:

Those on the floor didn’t leave until the set was over.

8. Keep On Truckin’

Richard sang through his EWI:

Rick appeared mesmerized:

Richard switched back to the sax at the end:

9. Grazin’ In The Grass

“Everybody scream!”

The band left the stage for what felt like ten seconds and came back for an encore.

10 (Encore). Rock Steady/Move On Up


The “Move On Up” half of the encore:

The final note:

Afterward, I went downstairs to re-meet and re-greet Rick and Richard:

The set was exhilarating.  And after all that, Rick and Richard had a moonlight cruise set at 9:30.  I have no doubt that it was just as exhilarating then as it was for the set I saw.  Thanks to Rick, Richard, Dwight, Nate, Ricky, and Ron.

Two Smooth Cruises ahead August 4, 2010

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Travel, Weather.
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For the next two Wednesdays, I will be aboard the Spirit of New York for the sunset (6:30 PM) Smooth Cruise.  This will be my third year aboard.  In 2008, I saw Spyro Gyra.  In 2009, I caught the Rippingtons.

This week, I’ll be seeing RnR: Rick Braun and Richard Elliot.  Next week, it’s Guitars and Saxes with Peter White, Jeff Golub, Gerald Albright, and Kirk Whalum.

Photo recaps will be posted within a week (at the latest) after each cruise.