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Castle Magic, Special EFX at Long Beach Jazz Festival 2012 September 23, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
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This year, the Long Beach Jazz Festival celebrated its tenth year in existence.  Of the ten festivals, I’ve been to half of them, all but once at the Long Beach Public Library.  The first three times were to see the Dharma All Stars, drummer John Favicchia‘s band.  You can see post-set pictures from those first two shows here and a recap of the third here (featuring a set by Alan Bates before them).

My fourth trip came last year, after a three-year absence, to see Chieli Minucci & Special EFX at the Library.  (Chieli had also played guitar for Dharma All Stars.)  I was unable to get a good seat because I arrived a short time before their set.  I refused to make the same mistake this year.

Before I get to pictures from the two sets I saw on Friday, here’s how I got to Long Beach:
In 2008, I took the LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) to Rockville Centre and hoped to meet a friend there for a ride down to Long Beach.  Traffic delays held her back and I ended up walking through RVC, Oceanside, Island Park, and across the Long Beach Bridge before meeting her at the bridge-side McDonald’s.  It was a five-mile trek, but one that gave me a nice tan and plenty of exercise.

The plan on Friday was to take two trains to Long Beach.  The first leg took me from west on the Babylon Branch from Wantagh to Lynbrook.  At Lynbrook, I walked down the stairs from one platform to another and waited for the Long Beach-bound train.  This was my first ride on the Long Beach Branch.  One day in February, I researched the railcar models the MTA uses for LIRR trains, specifically the M7.  After finding out about that, I looked for YouTube videos of the M7 in action.  One of those videos was this one on the Long Beach Branch (but only as far as Island Park):

Until Island Park, I sat on the opposite side of the YouTube user that posted the above video.  I brought along my Nikon D3100 again for the Festival, but took some test pictures on the train ride:

The Long Beach Bridge:

I was in Long Beach with time to spare and got to the Long Beach Public Library shortly before the doors were opened to the performance room.

Before Special EFX, the audience was treated to Castle Magic, an upright bass trio, something I hadn’t seen before.

The trio was led by Santi Debriano:

with Harvie S.:

and Essiet Essiet:

Call and response between Santi and Harvie:

Guitarist Steve Adelson, the founder and organizer of the Long Beach Jazz Festival, joined in on the last song:

Steve played the Chapman Stick:

Now, I know what an upright bass trio sounds like.  Santi, Harvie, and Essiet were fantastic; as was Steve at the end.

Next up was Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, introduced by Steve Adelson, before he left for a set with his Stick-tet across the street at Lola’s Kitchen:

Chieli played electric guitar:

Jay Rowe on the keyboards:

Jerry Brooks on electric bass:

and Lionel Cordew on drums:

1. Courageous Cats
Originally heard on: “Jewels,” 1995 (Chieli solo album)

2. Bodybeat
Originally heard on: “Body Language,” 1995

3. Greenway North
Originally heard on: “Modern Manners,” 1985

4. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
Originally heard on: “Renaissance,” 1996 (Chieli solo album)

5. Mirage
From an album that will be released in 2013

6. Rush Hour (Chieli/Jerry duet)
Originally heard on: “Sweet Surrender,” 2007

7. The Night is Ours
Originally heard on: “Without You,” 2010

Here are sets of pictures from the set, starting with Chieli:

Jay’s solo pics from “Courageous Cats” and “Bodybeat”:

Jerry’s solo pics from “Bodybeat” and “Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers”:

Lionel’s “Bodybeat” drum solo:

Chieli asked for some water music from Jay to lead off “Greenway North”:

The “Rush Hour” duet:

The last note of the set:

It was an exhilarating set, as always; the perfect capper to an adventurous Friday that began in the late afternoon and concluded in the middle in the evening.

Here’s to ten more years of the Long Beach Jazz Festival!


Brian Simpson concert recap 2 September 9, 2012

Posted by Mike C. in Golf, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel.
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Previous Brian Simpson recap: April 2011
Later Brian Simpson recap: February 2015

Last night, I returned to Houndstooth Pub to see keyboardist Brian Simpson.  His show marked the anniversary of Midtown Groove.

Brian played the keyboard…

and the keytar:

Matt Marshak was on guitar, as he was last time:

John Dillard on bass:

Courtney Williams on drums:

And Brian Lanier on soprano (seen below) and alto sax:

I was on hand for the first set.  Here’s what Brian and the band played:
1. It Could Happen
2. Here With You
3. South Beach
4. Funkology (by Matt Marshak)
5. Can’t Tell You Why
6. Blues for the Houndstooth Pub (written for the show)
7. Let’s Get Close
8. Saturday Cool

Fasten your seat belts because it’s time to ride through the set via my cameras’ viewfinders.  That’s right, I used two (but not simultaneously).

Brian addressing Matt before “Funkology”:

Brian made his way toward one of the premium seat tables during “Saturday Cool”:

The last note of the set:

Before I left, I had a brief chat with Brian and we posed for a pic:

It was another wildly enjoyable set!  Thanks to Brian, Matt, John, C-Will, and Brian for a great show.

(By the way, I was wearing a souvenir shirt I bought last Sunday at the final round of The Barclays, a PGA Tour event held this year at Bethpage Black Golf Course.)