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Brian Simpson concert recap April 17, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Weather.
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Later Brian Simpson recaps: April 2012, February 2015

Yesterday, my parents and I braved the strong easterly winds and heavy rain to see Brian Simpson‘s 8PM set at Houndstooth Pub, located in the Fashion District section of Manhattan.  It was Brian’s first performance ever in New York City.

Brian played the keyboard…

and the keytar:

Matt Marshak was on guitar:

The last show I saw at Houndstooth was Matt’s in December.

Carl Carter on bass:

And Lionel Cordew on the drums:

1. It Could Happen (keytar/keyboard)
2. Here With You
3. The Blues – Elan Trotman, sax
4. Let’s Get Close (keytar)
5. South Beach (keytar/keyboard) – Elan Trotman, sax
6. Can’t Tell You Why
7. Funkology (Matt Marshak tune)
8. Killer Joe (Quincy Jones cover) – Elan Trotman, sax
9. Brazilia
10. Saturday Cool/Mr. Magic (the latter is a Grover Washington, Jr. cover) (keytar/keyboard) – Elan Trotman, sax

Between “The Blues” and “Let’s Get Close,” Brian recounted his pop past, which included co-writing and performing on “The First Time” by Surface.  That song is available on Surface’s 3 Deep and Best Of albums and on iTunes.

Mirror image of Lionel:

Elan Trotman played the saxophone on “The Blues,” “South Beach,” “Killer Joe,” and “Saturday Cool/Mr. Magic”:

One of Matt’s guitar solos…

Carl’s bass solo…

At the end of the set, Brian thanked the band…

…Neal Newman, the audio engineer…

…and Steve Butler, who was right behind me, which is why Brian is pointing in my direction:

I briefly spoke to Brian during the break and we posed for this picture:

The 8:00 set was great!  And I’m sure the same could be said for the one at 10:30.


Mindi Abair on American Idol! April 16, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, TV.
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NOTE: Abair is pronounced “AY-bare.”

I am subscribed to saxophonist Mindi Abair‘s newsletter.  Last weekend, the newsletter noted that Mindi would be on American Idol on Wednesday night performing with an undisclosed contestant on a song produced by Don Was:

Visitors to her website were also informed of her upcoming appearance:

Mindi recorded a track with producer Don Was for one of the American Idol finalists this weekend, and she will be performing it live on American Idol Wednesday, April 13th.  Tune in to your local Fox listings and cheer her on.  It might be the first sax solo ever in American Idol history.

Not a regular viewer of the show, I DVR’d it while watching a different show in the 8:00 hour.  Later, I skimmed through the recording to see where Mindi showed up.  I wasn’t skimming for long.  Five minutes in, there she was with Paul McDonald on “Old Time Rock and Roll.”  Again from her website:

Mindi rocked out with Paul McDonald on American Idol last night to open the show.  Steven Tyler remarked “Who’s that sax player?” and Ryan Seacrest said if you’d like to vote for “Sax with Paul”, call in.

What a performance it was!  Watch:

You can buy the single, produced by Don Was at iTunes!

Katherine Gilraine liked it, too, writing about the exposure Mindi’s appearance gave smooth/contemporary jazz:

If you caught American Idol recently, then you may have seen something different. And if you’re not part of the jazz scene, then you may be asking yourself, “Who is that sax player? She is good!

From what I saw on FB and Youtube, Mindi Abair all but upstaged the contestant, and people are absolutely amazed, asking why they hadn’t seen her before. Why they hadn’t known that someone can play the saxophone like that. And I say to them, “Are you of the people who dismisses smooth jazz as ‘not real music’? Then that’s why. You dismissed the very music that you’re finding yourself noticing as great and enjoyable.”

Oh, the power of perception and exposure that shatters it.

You can read the rest here.

4/28 UPDATE: From Mindi’s website:

Mindi back on American Idol
Tuesday, 26 April 2011 21:49
Mindi will be back with her saxophone on American Idol this Wednesday night 4/27/11, this time playing with the horn section.  Tune in and cheer her on.

I wish I had known of this sooner.  I’m sorry I missed it.

Tampa Bay trip recap; panic attack April 9, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Personal, Travel, Weather.
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NOTE: At the end of this post, I recount my panic attack suffered early in my flight back to Islip.

Two weekends ago, I was in the Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater region for a brief vacation and family visit.  It was my first trip to Florida in two-and-a-half years when I saw family in South Florida, specifically Palm Beach and Broward Counties.  This post contains pictures of scenery and roadways from this trip, all but two of them from Sunday, March 27.  The last two are from the following day.

The view from my room at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa:


Beyond the pool:

Tampa Bay:

Driving through Safety Harbor:

McMullen Booth Rd (CR 611) and Main St. (Sunset Point Rd. after the intersection):

U.S. 19 overpass:

Entering U.S. 19:

Nebraska Ave. in Palm Harbor:

Alderman Rd.:

The main entrance to Innisbrook (after the traffic light-less Belcher Rd. intersection):

Turning left at Klosterman Rd.:

Belcher Rd. and Glen Eagles Pkwy. (pic taken at the aforementioned light-less intersection):

Two random pictures inside Innisbrook:

Two more pictures from Safety Harbor:

The last two pictures were taken Monday, March 28, from my grandparents patio at Innisbrook, overlooking the Copperhead course’s 2nd hole fairway:

After nice weather the previous two days, we were inundated by rain and thunderstorms.  Our flight home in the evening was delayed a half hour, but avoided major turbulence.  Before coming to that conclusion in-flight, I developed a panic attack on fear of major turbulence for the first half-hour.  Here’s the story as I typed it from my laptop (partially revised):

As I boarded at around 8PM, I began to feel anxious.  The heat on the plane didn’t help.  Drinking water didn’t help, either.  As our plane taxied and waited to take off, I began to feel tightness in my chest.  Again, the water didn’t help nor did deep breathing.  When we took off, the tightness turned to numbness and quickly spread to my face, hands, and somewhat to my feet.  I was paralyzed in those areas for about five minutes as I continued to breathe as deeply as I could.  At one point, I uttered through my frozen face: “I feel so helpless.”  A man sitting across the aisle from me was reassuring, though I don’t remember exactly what he said.  Gradually, I regained feeling.  Once that happened, I thanked the man for helping me through my harrowing experience.  I thanked him again when we landed and he patted me on the back.

Thankfully, the turbulence worries were initially for nothing.  There were some bumps here and there later on, but I didn’t have another attack.

It was nonetheless a good trip.

3/29/12 UPDATE: This turned out to be the last time my grandfather, Carmen Chimeri, in person.  He passed away on December 9.  The last time I spoke to him was on the phone on my 30th birthday.  I took this last March 27 at Carrabba’s in Palm Harbor, for his 80th birthday (albeit three days late):

I’ll conclude this update with a picture of Carmen on Christmas morning in 1994: