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Eric Marienthal/Jazzaphonic concert recap March 23, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
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Eric Marienthal came to the Boulton Center in Bay Shore last night for a masterclass (“bring your instrument”) and concert.  This is a photo recap of the concert.

Eric was backed up by the band Jazzaphonic.  Jazzaphonic was made up of Bill Heller on the keyboard:

Steve Salerno on guitar:

Jim Cammack on the electric bass…

…and acoustic bass:

And Frank Bellucci on drums:

1. Hangin’ On The Boardwalk
Originally heard on: “Turn Up The Heat,” 2001

2. Blue Water
Originally heard on: “Just Around The Corner,” 2007

3. Oasis
Originally heard on: “Oasis,” 1991

4. Down and Loaded (Jazzaphonic, written by Bill Heller)

5. New York State Of Mind
Originally heard on: “Got You Covered!,” 2005

6. Safrica (Jazzaphonic, written by Steve Salerno)

7. Moody’s Mood For Love
Originally heard on: “Got You Covered!,” 2005

8. Latinesque (Jazzaphonic, written by Bill Heller)

9. Compared To What
Originally heard on: “Got You Covered!,” 2005

Encore 1. Bill’s Bop (Jazzaphonic, written by Bill Heller)

Eric switched to the soprano sax for “Oasis”:

Wayne Schuster played soprano sax to Eric’s alto on “Safrica”:

Frank’s drum solo:

Call and response:

Steve’s guitar solo on “Latinesque”:

Followed by Jim’s bass solo:

“Compared To What”:

That was followed by an encore: “Bill’s Bop.”

The end:

Before I left, I briefly caught up with Eric and our mutual friend Kat Sarracco, whom I sat with during the concert, took our picture:

This concert was a blast!  Thanks to Eric, Bill, Steve, Jim, Frank, and Wayne.

3/26 UPDATE: Eric’s concert was on a day off from touring with the Jeff Lorber Fusion.  Wednesday and Thursday nights, Fusion played at Iridium.  Katherine Gilraine saw them Thursday night.  In her recap, she lauded Eric:

His own material shows it best; he knows his horns. He knows his soprano sax and does not have to do much to get to the sound as he wants. High notes – effortless. Low growls on the alto or tenor – no problem. There is no effort whatsoever needed for Marienthal to rock out with a solo, or accent with a lick or two, and he can stand out just as easily as he blends into the overall sound.

Read the full recap here.


Winter 2011 in pictures March 21, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Photography, Weather.
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Yesterday at 7:21 PM Eastern, spring began.  That marked an end of a winter that started off with a bang in late December, all of January, and early February, and petered out.

That stage of winter that will stand out the most.  I documented the season’s first storm here.  Here’s the rest:

Friday, January 7
Thick wet snowflakes:

Minor accumulation:

Wednesday, January 12
10.43 inches of snow:

Icicles outside my bedroom window:

They got rather big by the next day.  I used a putter I had in my closet to knock them down.

Friday, January 21
3.5 inches of snow

I didn’t take any pictures, but left this witty status update on Facebook after shoveling:

Another snowstorm, another 2 1/2 hours shoveling. T.G.I.F.; thank goodness I’m finished.

Thursday, January 27
A wintry mix the day before turned to sleet and freezing rain (with a few rumbles of thunder) before turning to wet snow.  The results were an inch or two of ice and about 12 inches of snow.

It was a pain to shovel, but I refused to quit…

…at least with the driveway and sidewalk.

It took five weeks for this gigantic bank to melt away:

This one melted a little quicker:

Saturday, January 29
The sun made it slightly easier to chop and scoop the ice and built-in tire tracks:

I finally got around to the sides and back yard:

Ice buildup and fallen icicles by the front gutter:

February began with an ice storm, but saw little snowfall the rest of the month.  The only snow this month, March, came this morning when it briefly mixed with rain.  There was no accumulation.

Let spring begin!

3/24 UPDATE: Winter has made a small comeback.  Yesterday, snow mixed with rain at times during the day and fell by itself at night (after a thunderstorm mix):

About an inch accumulated.  The snow stuck to everything, but it only partially melted on hard surfaces as of this morning.  So, I shoveled the rest:

By this afternoon, most of the snow had melted.

That should be the last of the snow until the end of the year.

Smooth no more March 8, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio.
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A few days before scheduled to occur, the Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards were canceled.  My friend Katherine Gilraine, who was supposed to co-present, is rightfully perturbed:

To say that I’m angry is an understatement, and not just because they have canceled the event so close to the wire. Generally, you don’t cancel shows this close in advance. Bad ticket sales are one thing, but if it’s obvious that the ticket sales are dismal – which, believe me, is not something that a promoter misses over an extended period of time – you let people know in advance. Because that way, they can plan on alternatives.

What really raised my hackles is the way that the advertising was – or in this case, wasn’t – done for this event, and the producers are pulling out the “smooth jazz radio is dead” card as the reason why ticket sales were bottomed. Similarly, it pisses me off that the article above [This article. –MC] suggests that the artists drop the “smooth” moniker and “start making real music.”

What part of this music isn’t real, I ask? Seriously. What part of this music isn’t real if the cruises are booked a year in advance to the gills, the festivals are a hit, new artists are voluntarily entering the genre, and the listeners have gotten involved in more than one grassroots petition to bring the stations back?

You can read the rest at the link on the words “rightfully perturbed.”  She goes on to say that smooth or contemporary jazz is real music.  And I agree.  But her post hit close to home because I relied heavily on contemporary jazz in my time at Evening Jazz on WCWP, a format that is supposed to be perhaps a little c-jazz, but mostly other sub-genres of jazz and jazz-inspired music from other genres.  I got by for seven months without incorporating all of that, but chose to step down when I was told I had to.

Outside of c-jazz fan friends and musician friends, few people I know believe the genre Kat and I love is real music.  They think it’s elevator music, it sucks, it gives them a headache, they hate it and the artists, they whine about a lack of vocals (“where are the words?”), it’s lovemaking music, and other complaints.  Some of it could be considered lovemaking music, but I don’t think of that when I listen or talk about it on the air.  If I hadn’t been introduced to c-jazz, new age, and traditional jazz in the Local Forecast on The Weather Channel when I was young, I’d probably think the same way as those that bash it.  I’m glad I discovered it.

While on the subject, I have good news.  I’ll be heading back to the Boulton Center in Bay Shore on Tuesday, March 22, to see Eric Marienthal, and to Houndstooth Pub in Manhattan on Saturday, April 16, for Brian Simpson.  Expect recaps of both.

3/9 UPDATE: It appears Kat’s dark cloud has a silver lining:

Not 24 hours past since I put up my last post regarding the abrupt cancellation of the Oasis Contemporary Jazz Awards, and already the wheels have been set into motion. Before Tuesday elapsed, Ken Levinson, Bruce Nazarian, the artists, the people at Anthology, the people at Spaghettini’s, and everyone else who was left in the lurch by this turn of events had pulled together and engineered what has become known now as the Lemonade Weekend.

This astounds me, in the very best of ways. This is exactly why I call jazz “Our Music” when I’m with fellow fans. We took a failed, poorly-marketed event, and turned it into a makeshift festival. I’m not sure who will be part of this makeshift festival, but there is much to be said for the tenacity, gumption, and love that we have for the artists.

We, the fans, made this happen.