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Jeff Kashiwa at Houndstooth Pub February 19, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Travel, Weather.
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I had a social doubleheader last Saturday.  By afternoon, I was at my friends’ twin daughters’ first birthday party in Hempstead:
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By night, I was at Houndstooth Pub in Manhattan to see saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa perform.  I almost didn’t go because of the snow that had developed late in the afternoon.  I was afraid to venture out because I thought we were in for up six inches of snow.  Instead, we only got two.  So, after much deliberation, including a declaration that I wouldn’t go, I decided I would go.

There was nearly an inch snow on the ground when my mother drove me down to Wantagh LIRR station at 5:15.  The station platform looked like a pretzel as it was covered in rock salt.  The result was a slushy coating that I trudged through as I walked in the light snow to the far end of the platform where only one person was standing.  Everyone else huddled by the stairs and escalator.  It was a quiet ride inside my railcar, but sparks flashed outside as the train rode the snow-covered rails.  I had 40 minutes to kill before Houndstooth’s lower bar was open, so I stopped at Famous Famiglia two blocks south for a slice of pizza.  With five minutes to go, I resumed the walk up to Houndstooth and made my way inside.  I ordered chicken fingers and steak fries, then waited for the show to start.

Shows usually begin at 8:00, but Jeff Kashiwa’s began ten minutes early.  Jeff played tenor saxophone…
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…alto saxophone…
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…and EWI (“E-wee”) (electronic wind instrument):
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Jay Rowe was on keyboards:
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Dave Anderson on bass:
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…and Trever Somerville on drums:
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The set list featured six songs, a break, and six more songs:
1. Givin’ In
Originally heard on: “Walk A Mile,” 1997

2. Blue Jeans
Originally heard on: “Play,” 2007

3. Could It Be I’m Falling In Love (The Spinners cover)
Originally heard on: “Remember Catalina,” 1995

4. When It Feels Good
Originally heard on: “Back in the Day,” 2009

5. A Quiet Goodbye (preceded by Jay Rowe’s intro)
Originally heard on: “Simple Truth,” 2002

6. Hot Tin Roof
Originally heard on: “Let It Ride,” 2012

BREAK

7. Let It Ride
Originally heard on: “Let It Ride,” 2012
Played with multiple loops on Jeff’s iPhone app

8. Well, You Needn’t (Thelonious Monk cover)

9. Once Again
Originally heard on: “Play,” 2007

10. Canon in D (Johann Pachelbel)
Jeff’s iPhone app was used again for an echo effect

11. Movin’ Up
Originally heard on: “Play,” 2007

12. Hyde Park (The “Ah, Oooh” Song)
Originally heard on: “Another Door Opens,” 2000

Jeff played tenor sax on #1, 2, 6, 7, 9, 11, and 12; alto sax on #3, 4, 5, and 8; and EWI on #10 and part of #11.

Now for pictures grouped by artist, starting with Jeff:
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Jay Rowe during “Blue Jeans”:
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Jay’s “Could It Be I’m Falling In Love” solo:
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“A Quiet Goodbye” intro:
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“Well, You Needn’t” solo:
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Dave Anderson’s “Well, You Needn’t” solo:
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Dave’s “Movin’ Up” solo:
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Trever Somerville:
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Flash pictures of drummers fail to capture the fluid movement involved.  So, I took one pic without the flash:
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Back to flash:
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“Hyde Park (The ‘Ah, Oooh’ Song)”:
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The “ah, oooh” part came from the audience, as Jeff’s direction indicates.

The view from my table:
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The last note:
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Jeff introduced the band one more time…
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…and that was it.

Jeff and I caught up with each other during the break and I had Steve Butler take our picture:
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Later in the break, I took this shot of Jeff, Trever, and Jay:
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I wasn’t able to catch up with Dave until after the show.  I told him that I almost didn’t come to the show, but once I knew that he, Trever, and Jay would be back Jeff up, I had to go.  He really appreciated that.

I made the right decision to brave the snow and come to the show.  Thank you to Jeff, Jay, Dave, Trever, manager Steve Butler, and father-and-son engineers Neal and Dale Newman for a wonderful night of music.

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Smooth Jazz for Scholars 2014 dates/lineup February 18, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
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We are exactly two months away from keyboardist Jay Rowe‘s 12th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars, in its second year as a two-night event.  SJFS will be held both nights at the Parsons Complex Auditorium in Milford, Connecticut.  The concerts benefit the Milford Public School Music Department.

Jay writes:

This year’s Smooth Jazz For Scholars shows will be held Friday 4/18/14 and Saturday 4/19/14 . Friday 4/18’s show will feature Jeff Lorber, Kim Waters, Chuck Loeb and Steve Cole. Saturday 4/19 will feature Marion Meadows, Nick Colionne, Chieli Minucci and Nelson Rangell. Doors open at 7p.m. and showtime is 8p.m. on both nights. Tickets are $40 each for 1 night and $70 for both nights. Tickets can be purchased by sending a check or money order payable to Smooth Jazz For Scholars Inc. to P.O. Box 3723 Milford, CT. 06460 or at this website on the “Buy” page at eventbrite.com. Tickets will be mailed immediately upon receipt of payment. Call 203-415-8878 for additional information.  Thanks for your support and see you all soon.

I plan on being there for both nights, which would mark my eighth year in attendance.

Friday, April 18
Jeff Lorber
Kim Waters
Chuck Loeb
Steve Cole

Saturday, April 19
Marion Meadows
Nick Colionne
Chieli Minucci
Nelson Rangell

Tickets: $40 for one night, $70 for two nights

Tickets can be purchased by check or money order payable to:
Smooth Jazz for Scholars Inc.
P.O. Box 3723
Milford, CT  06460

Tickets can also be purchased at the Smooth Jazz for Scholars EventBrite page.

For more information, call: 203-415-8878

Here are recaps of last year’s first night and second night.

4/24 UPDATE: Here are recaps of this year’s first night and second night.

My trip up Super Bowl Boulevard February 14, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Broadway, Football, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Last Sunday at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the Seattle Seahawks resoundingly defeated the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII by the score of 43-8.  It was the Seahawks’ first Super Bowl championship in franchise history.

Two days before the Big Game, I headed to nearby Manhattan to walk the NFL’s Super Bowl Boulevard Engineered by GMC.  The “Boulevard” spanned Broadway between West 34th and West 47th Streets.  It was open to the public between Wednesday, January 29, and Saturday, February 1, the day after I was there.  I had my Nikon D5100 (and two lenses) along for the walk to take pictures with.

The pictures in this post were taken outside the remote studios of ESPN, NFL Network, and FOX Sports; inside the Xbox One tent; by the Super Bowl Toboggan Run; by Extra Points, where fans could kick footballs through a goalpost; and a few other landmarks along the way.

We begin at ESPN’s studio:
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The Xbox One tent:
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The CNN/Bleacher Report studio:
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The autograph stage:
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Super Bowl Toboggan Run:
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NFL Network’s studio at West 41st Street:
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The Vince Lombardi Trophy:
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One block north of Super Bowl Boulevard was M&Ms World:
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On the second floor, there was a massive array of tubes that contained milk chocolate, peanut, peanut butter, and pretzel M&Ms in a variety of colors.  Two of the tubes had milk chocolate M&Ms in the team colors of the Seahawks and Broncos.  I filled a bag of all kinds of M&Ms in all colors; 2.87 pounds worth.  It took me three days to eat it all.

The FOX Sports studio at West 46th Street:
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Megyn Kelly hosted her Fox News Channel show, The Kelly File, from this south-facing desk hours after I took this picture:
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The north side of the studio:
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A later shot of the south side:
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Extra Points:
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This kick was good:
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When I passed by NFL Network’s studio again, Joe Montana was on set with hosts Andrew Siciliano, Willie McGinest, and Heath Evans:
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Here’s how that looked on NFL Network:
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And when I passed by ESPN’s studio, NFL Insiders was on:
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From left to right: Bill Polian, Chris Mortensen, Adam Schefter, and Suzy Kolber:
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Macy’s Broadway entrance:
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Macy’s West 34th Street entrance near 7th Avenue:
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Once inside, I bought a Super Bowl XLVIII polo shirt, cap (second from the left above), full size football with the Seahawks and Broncos logos on it, and program.

Despite the massive crowds and back stiffness that set in after an hour and a half, I had a great time walking Super Bowl Boulevard.

Congratulations to the Seattle Seahawks on winning Super Bowl XLVIII two nights later.