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January 23 blizzard pictures & video January 25, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Technology, Video, Weather.
3 comments

Last Monday, I hinted at the end of my Lisa Hilton post that there could be significant snowfall by the end of the week. And there was.

Whereas the first major storm of last winter was initially supposed to bring up to three feet of snow, then brought half that, this year’s appeared to be destined for six inches at most. But by Thursday night, the forecast began trending toward the worst case scenario. Strong winds were also in play, which brought the flooding fear to waterfront residents and the downed trees and power outages fear to me, an inland resident.

Luckily, the wind wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. There were a few big gusts in the morning, but that was it.

Below is a photographic timeline of Saturday’s blizzard from eight hours after snow began through a few hours before it ended.

8:11 AM:
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9:50 AM:
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Every few hours, I shoveled the front porch to keep the snow from piling up. I chose to wait until after snow had ended to shovel the rest of the driveway.

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1:18 PM:
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4:14 PM:
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6:28 PM:
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9:26 PM, on my iPhone:
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9:31 PM:
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I tried to go to sleep around 11:30, but I was too eager to shovel. So, with snow still coming down, albeit lightly, I began to shovel the driveway. I made it to the center, the widest part, before giving up.

According to the National Weather Service, 25.1 inches of snow fell in Wantagh, but I measured a few inches less in my driveway.

When I woke up yesterday morning, at around 10:30 AM, I took some pictures:
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Then, it was time to shovel. It took three long hours, with a few short breaks mixed in. But with help from my mom, the task was nearly complete. All that remained, following a shower, was to shovel snow that had been under my dad’s car at the edge of the driveway. That took ten minutes.

These pictures were taken at around 3PM, after that last bit of shoveling:
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I usually shovel the sidewalk up to the property line, but there was so much snow that I didn’t bother.

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Over the next few days, daytime high temperatures are forecast to be above freezing, perfect for melting. Good.

There are snow showers in the forecast for Thursday night into Friday with little accumulation expected. I hope that forecast stands.

I’ll leave you with the video timeline shot on my Panasonic HC-V770 and iPhone 6 (with an Otterbox Defender case):

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Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall: 2016 edition January 18, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, Weather.
7 comments

Previous Lisa Hilton recaps: June 2011, January 2014, January 2015
Later recap: January 2018

The second show I’ve attended in 2016 – the first was the Jeff Lorber Fusion, ten nights earlier – continued an annual tradition: Lisa Hilton at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. Yesterday’s performance marked her third year in Weill and I’ve been in the audience every time.

Like last year, I got a ride to the Wantagh LIRR station at around noon. Once there, I bought a round trip off peak ticket and waited for the 12:18 train to Penn Station. The ride wasn’t as quiet as last year in either direction, but I didn’t mind.

When I got to Penn, I took the 1 train to 59th Street-Columbus Circle. I walked two blocks south and one block east to get to Carnegie Hall, taking pictures along the way:
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It was a 2:00 show:
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My seat was front row center again. I had the row all to myself. You’d think people would buy front row seats if they’re available, but not in this case.

I grabbed a few shots of the stage, and ceiling, before showtime:
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Lisa Hilton and the band were fashionably late, starting at 2:03. Lisa played piano with Ben Williams on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. Except where noted by an asterisk*, J.D. Allen and Ingrid Jensen rounded out the band on tenor saxophone and trumpet, respectively.

1/27 UPDATE: Here’s a shot from further back in the audience during the show:
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I’m to Ingrid’s left (screen right).

All but the last two songs in the set were from Lisa’s new album, Nocturnal, which comes out this Friday. Copies were on sale in the lobby and I bought one before entering the hall. Here is the set list:
1. Nocturnal (also on Horizons, 2015)
2. A Spark in the Night
3. Whirlwind
4. Seduction (also on Seduction, 1997; Cocktails at Eight, 2000; My Favorite Things, 2005; and The New York Sessions, 2007)
5. Willow Weep for Me (written by Ann Ronell)
Midnight Sonata:
6. Part I: Symphony of Blues
7. Part II: Desire (also on In the Mood for Jazz, 2003)
8. Part III: Midnight Stars
9. Twilight
10. An August Remembered (rewritten from “August 1999,” which was composed for Cocktails at Eight in 2000)
11. The Sky and the Ocean (from Horizons, 2015)
12. Stepping Into Paradise (from Getaway, 2013)

“A Spark in the Night” and “Midnight Stars” had a Latin feel to them. “Midnight Stars,” in particular, sounded like a bullfighter song at one point. “Nocturnal,” “Seduction,” and “Twilight” sounded as good as they did last year. “Whirlwind” was a whirlwind. I loved it. I remember August 1999: Tony Gwynn and Wade Boggs achieved the 3,000th hits of their eventual Hall of Fame careers, I had two weeks of diagnostic vocational evaluation at Abilities, Inc., in Albertson, and I spent an afternoon at Splish Splash water park in Riverhead. I thought of all that as I listened to “An August Remembered.” Unlike on the Nocturnal album version, which was a solo performance, the band accompanied Lisa.

I caught up with Lisa after the show and we posed for this picture:
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I was caught off guard when I looked out the window and saw snow falling. And it was accumulating. But the end result was merely a coating. As I type, there may be more significant snowfall at the end of the week.

“See you next year,” I said to Lisa after we said our goodbyes. Year 3 at Carnegie Hall was a success. Thanks to Lisa, Ben, Rudy, J.D., and Ingrid.

The Jeff Lorber Fusion at Birdland January 11, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
4 comments

My first show of 2016 was the Jeff Lorber Fusion at Birdland Jazz Club. I had last seen Jeff at the Blue Note in June 2014. This was my first time back at Birdland since I saw Yellowjackets on November 17, 2006, my 25th birthday. Coincidentally, Yellowjackets were also celebrating 25 years at the time. I plan on seeing them at Birdland this April.

The Jeff Lorber Fusion were in the middle of a five-night engagement at Birdland when my girlfriend and I went to see them on Thursday night.

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Jeff Lorber was on keyboard:
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…piano…:
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…and both simultaneously:
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Jimmy Haslip played bass:
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Andy Snitzer was on tenor saxophone:
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…but played soprano saxophone on “Chinese Medicinal Herbs” and “Up On This”:
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Lionel Cordew rounded out the band on drums:
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Each night had shows at 8:30 and 11:00. Here is the set list for Thursday’s 8:30 show:

1. Chinese Medicinal Herbs
Originally heard on: “The Jeff Lorber Fusion,” 1977; “Now is the Time,” 2010

2. He Had a Hat
Originally heard on: “He Had a Hat,” 2007

3. Get Up
Originally heard on: “Step It Up,” 2015

4. Hacienda
Originally heard on: “Hacienda,” 2013

5. Rain Dance
Originally heard on: “Water Sign,” 1979; “Now is the Time,” 2010

6. Montserrat
Originally heard on: “Galaxy,” 2012

7. Up On This
Originally heard on: “Step It Up,” 2015

8. Anthem for a New America/Tune 88
Originally heard on: “He Had a Hat,” 2007/”Water Sign,” 1979; “Flipside,” 2005

Photographically, I figured out how to shoot great pictures in low light without raising the ISO too high. The trick was to shoot in shutter-priority mode rather than aperture-priority mode. Once I found a good shutter speed, 1/30 second, I was ready to go.

With that in mind, here are various shots of each band member, starting with Jeff Lorber:
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Jimmy Haslip:
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Andy Snitzer on tenor sax:
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…and soprano sax:
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Lionel Cordew’s “Get Up” drum solo:
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A few wide shots:
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The end of “Tune 88”:
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After my girlfriend chatted with Andy and Jeff. Then, we headed for home. It was another great night of music for us. Thank you, Jeff, Jimmy, Andy, and Lionel.