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2015 in review December 30, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Weather.
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The following is an excerpt of an end-of-year post WordPress created for MikeChimeri.com. Scroll down for my editorial.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 9,400 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

2015 was an on-and-off year for MikeChimeri.com. But when we were on, there was plenty to write about: eight jazz shows, five WCWP events, five winter storms (plus more that I didn’t post pictures from), this website’s 10th anniversary, and a bit more. Check the archives (screen left) to see what I posted by month.

There will be more to write about in 2016. Until then, have a happy, healthy, and gainful new year.

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Smooth Jazz for Scholars 2016 dates/lineup December 21, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
1 comment so far

The time has come to reveal the who and when of keyboardist Jay Rowe‘s annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars benefit concert. This is the 14th year, the fourth since expanding to two nights.

Jay has the details in two separate Facebook posts. Here’s the first:

Reserved seating for the 14th annual Smooth Jazz For Scholars benefit concert are on sale now!! The shows will be held on 4/29/16 and 4/30/16. The line-up for 4/29 is Peter White, Marion Meadows, Brian Simpson and Matt Marshak. The line-up for 4/30 is Nick Colionne, Chieli Minucci, Nelson Rangell and Eric Darius. Tickets are $40 for each night and $70 for both nights. Purchase tickets by sending a check or money order payable to Smooth Jazz For Scholars Inc. to P.O. Box 3723 Milford, CT 06460.

And the second:

General admission Smooth Jazz For Scholars tickets are on sale now at smoothjazzforscholars2016.eventbrite.com. Friday 4/29/16 line-up; Peter White, Meadows, Brian Simpson, Matt Marshak. Saturday 4/30/16 line-up: Nick Colionne, Eric Darius, Chieli Minucci, Nelson Rangell. The show will be held at the Parsons Complex 70 West River Street Milford, CT 06460. showtime at 8p.m. both nights. Tickets are $40 each 1 night $70 both nights.

I opted to go to both nights this year, meaning I’ll miss out on the 2016 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony at LIU Post. For the second year in a row, the ceremony conflicts with the second night. It was a tough decision to make as I’ve contributed quite a bit to WCWP alumni events with my pictures, video, and audio. It’s times like this when I wish I had a helicopter. I could take it from Milford to Brookville, and then go back after the ceremony. I hope 2017 is conflict-free.

As for Smooth Jazz for Scholars, this is the first appearance for Brian Simpson, Matt Marshak, and Eric Darius. I wonder if Brian will play his keytar and walk through the audience with it. And will Marion do the same for “Suede,” if he that’s on the set list? Can we expect Nick to play “Rainy Night in Georgia” and end the show with the always-wild James Brown tribute? What will Nelson’s whistle song be? Those questions and more will be answered this April.

Friday, April 29
Peter White
Marion Meadows
Brian Simpson
Matt Marshak

Saturday, April 30
Nick Colionne
Chieli Minucci
Nelson Rangell
Eric Darius

Location:
Parsons Complex
70 W. River St.
Milford, CT 06460

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

Reserved seating tickets can be purchased by check (like I did) or money order payable to:
Smooth Jazz for Scholars, Inc.
P.O. Box 3723
Milford, CT 06460

General admission tickets can be purchased at smoothjazzforscholars2016.eventbrite.com.

Here’s my recap of the first night of the 13th annual SJFS.

5/4 UPDATE: Recaps of both nights can be seen here and here.

Expanding my Christmas album collection again December 17, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Christmas, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, Personal.
1 comment so far

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2014 Christmas presents prior to unwrapping

Two years ago, I wrote about my love of Christmas music, which I incorporated into an extensive iTunes playlist. I listed all the albums I had compiled prior to 2013 and the albums I added that year. Last year, I updated the original post:

12/21/14 UPDATE: This year’s additions to my collection were A Smooth Jazz Holiday compiled by Nu Groove; Grover Washington, Jr.’s Breath of Heaven: A Holiday Collection, and A Soulful Christmas from Brian Culbertson. Tracks from those three albums, plus additional tracks from albums I already had, increase the duration of my iTunes playlist to 13 hours and 34 minutes!

This year, three new Christmas albums came out and I didn’t hesitate to pre-order either of them on Amazon.com. A pair of men named Kim released their albums in October. Kim Pensyl’s Early Snowfall was released on October 2 while Kim Waters’ My Gift to You came out two weeks later. Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band released A Big Phat Christmas WRAP THIS! on November 6. I added to the Christmas Music playlist three tracks from My Gift to You, eight from …WRAP THIS!, and nine tracks from Early Snowfall.

But that wasn’t all. About a year ago, my girlfriend gave me several Dave Koz albums, including A Smooth Jazz Christmas (Dave Koz & Friends) and December Makes Me Feel This Way. I didn’t take the time to listen to those albums until March. There were plenty of gems to be found, including a Hanukkah song (“Eight Candles”). Six songs from those albums were added to the playlist.

And just yesterday, I bought the instrumental tracks from David Benoit’s 2 In Love and Believe albums. I added “Guaraldi Medley” from Believe to the playlist.

Those 27 tracks, along with more material from the albums I already had, added another four hours and two minutes to the playlist; 17 hours and 36 minutes overall.

So far, the only person to hear my playlist this year is me. Since Thanksgiving, whenever I’ve gone for a run, or when I want to drown out music I don’t like in a store or restaurant, I listen to the playlist on either my iPod or iPhone. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, I’ll share my playlist with family and friends, as I do every year.

Merry Christmas to all.

Fourplay at the Blue Note December 3, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Christmas, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
1 comment so far

I was at the Blue Note Jazz Club in Greenwich Village on Thursday night to see contemporary jazz group Fourplay perform. It was the third of six nights at the legendary venue, which they called their Blue & Silver Holiday Celebration. Each night had an 8:00 show and a 10:30 show. I was there for the 8:00 show.

I left my house in Wantagh at 4:00, walking about 20 minutes to the Wantagh LIRR station. From there, I boarded the 4:27 train bound for Penn Station.

Once at Penn, immediately walked to the Subway station and took the A train, as in the Duke Ellington song, downtown to West 4th Street. I ascended the stairs at West 3rd and walked a quarter block to Blue Note.

I arrived at 5:40, waiting outside until the doors opened at 6:00. I took this picture while I waited:
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After I was let in and I checked my coat, I chose a table facing center stage and sat at the closest seat to the stage.

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After dinner and dessert, it was time for Fourplay.

The band is made up of Bob James on piano and keyboard:
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Nathan East on bass and vocals:
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Chuck Loeb on guitars and background vocals:
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It’s Chuck’s birthday today. Happy Birthday, Chuck.

And Harvey Mason on drums:
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Unfortunately, I couldn’t see Harvey from my seat, but I did get this shot of him when he stood up as he and the band introduced each other:
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Fourplay is celebrating 25 years as a band, the silver anniversary. That’s why their latest album is entitled “Silver.” A few songs from the album were incorporated into the set list, as you’ll see below:

1. Angels We Have Heard On High
Originally heard on: “Snowbound,” 1999

2. December Dream
Originally heard on: “Esprit de Four,” 2012

3. Max-O-Man
Originally heard on: “Fourplay,” 1991

4. Chant
Originally heard on: “Between the Sheets,” 1993

5. Quicksilver
Originally heard on: “Silver,” 2015

6. Horace
Originally heard on: “Silver,” 2015

7. Silverado
Originally heard on: “Silver,” 2015

8. Silver Streak
Originally heard on: “Silver,” 2015″

9. Bali Run
Originally heard on: “Fourplay,” 1991

10 (Encore). Between the Sheets (The Isley Brothers cover)
Originally heard on: “Between the Sheets,” 1993

The rest of this recap contains various shots of each band member. We start with Bob James:
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Nathan East:
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Chuck Loeb:
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Harvey Mason:
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Nate and Chuck:
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Shots from the encore: “Between the Sheets”:
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Nate thanked the audience:
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And the last note was played:
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I had a blast at this show. I was into every note of every song. Thank you to Bob James, Nathan East, Chuck Loeb, and Harvey Mason for a fantastic night of music. And thank you to Ken Freeman for his masterful mixing. The audio levels were just right – not too loud, not too soft – and each instrument was in tune.

Happy Silver Anniversary to all!

I’ll leave you with a few pictures I took at West 4th Street Station while waiting for an uptown A train back to Penn Station:
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Downtown A train:
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