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Instrumental Invasion, 11/16/22 November 17, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Travel.
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The November 16 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded from October 4 to 6: one segment on the 4th, two on the 5th, and the last three on the 6th. Pickups were recorded on the 6th, 7th, and 10th.

The playlist was created on September 27, and annotated from the 28th to the 30th. Work on next week’s show and the backup Homecoming Weekend prerecord kept me from drafting the talk break script. By October 4, I was desperate to start recording. An opportunity to record opened up at my secondary location – the home of that heavily noise reduced audio due to the central air conditioning indoor unit running next to my desk (that probably won’t be an issue again until May). So, I attempted to record the first segment unscripted based on the annotations, but before I could record the second talk break, the opportunity disappeared. I scripted the first segment on the way home and recorded once I was home. The rest of the script was drafted on October 5 before recording the next two segments. Of course, the live HCW show (also with “Billy’s Bop” and “Forecast“) was unscripted, and I ultimately went that route for the show two weeks from now.

I needed a song to fill the gap in the fourth segment and I chose “Silver Street” by Chris “Big Dog” Davis. I didn’t know I had already played it last February 10 until cataloging on October 7 before the weekend excursion to Dutchess County. I drafted much of this blog post on my laptop at the AirBNB.

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

An automation error kept underwriting and a legal ID from running at the top of each hour. Thankfully, I only missed the first two seconds of the show open.

Postscript: Today, November 17, is my 41st birthday. My age is the same as the uniform number worn by my idol, New York Mets pitcher Tom Seaver (1944-2020), who was also born on the 17th. The photos below were in a Tumblr post.

Photos from Dutchess County trip, drive back home October 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Aviation, Baseball, Biking, Comedy, Film, Fire, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Politics, Radio, Running, Sci-Fi, Sports, Technology, Travel, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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In two of my Homecoming Weekend posts (live show, main post), I referenced a family trip to Dutchess County the prior weekend. This post is about that trip.

Back in the spring, my mom sprung the trip on me: a few of my relatives were going to run a race – The Fall Foliage Half Marathon and 5K – in Rhinebeck on the Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend and we would all be put up in a nearby AirBNB. I initially panicked, worried that it would conflict with Homecoming Weekend (henceforth, HCW), but one of my alumni friends assured me the LIU Sharks‘ Homecoming football game would likely be the following weekend. And in recent years, it has been held on the third Saturday of October. My conscience was clear and I was prepared for the trip.

I assumed the AirBNB would be in Rhinebeck and my parents, sister, and I would leave for there on the morning of Friday, October 7. Instead, we were to leave in the mid-afternoon and the house was in Staatsburg. I had an extra day to prepare since I decided not to go to New York Comic Con this year, or ever again, due to my disenchantment with the event and a need to save money for paying off my PC build. (And then, a week later, I went and bought a new camera and related equipment, which I’m still trying to get the hang of.)

I have a mixed record when it comes to time management. More often than not, I mismanage my time, and that’s what I did prior to departure on Friday afternoon. In the days leading up to the weekend, I tried to get as many radio shows recorded as possible to allow for a sizable buffer of weeks ahead. I only managed to produce and record the HCW prerecord and one regular show (November 16). I finished creating the playlist for the live HCW show with only an hour to spare before leaving the house.

Annotations for the live show and next regular show (November 23) were done from my laptop during downtime at the AirBNB. It was not an easy task with constant action at breakfast time or with babies occasionally crying indefinitely, all amplified by the hardwood floors on the main floor. Most of the regular show annotations were done on Sunday evening when I had the house to myself and then in my bedroom with white noise blaring in my earbuds.

Don’t chalk this up to disdain for the experience that weekend. Overall, I had a great time seeing the sights and catching up with relatives.

My parents and I left at 3:15 Friday afternoon and drove five minutes east to pick up my sister at her apartment. Four hours of traffic and spotty cell service later, we arrived at the AirBNB on Connelly Drive in Staatsburg.

For privacy’s sake, I won’t include photos of the house’s interior or of my family, but here are two exterior shots I took Saturday afternoon:

The rest of the post is dedicated to scenery photos taken from Saturday, October 8, to the ride home on Monday, October 10.

First, two more negatives:

  • The Mets completed their unraveling by losing their National League Wild Card Series to the Padres. I found out about their game 1 loss Saturday morning, game 2 win Sunday morning, and game 3 loss seconds after it happened Sunday night. It was extremely demoralizing. I spent five months of my life believing this was the year the Mets would win their third World Series, allowing me not to care if they’d win a fourth in my lifetime. Five months of my life were wasted for nothing, including hours spent editing photos from the two games I attended. Obviously, I won’t make a slideshow of photos from that second game, which turned out to be the apex of the Mets’ season; all downhill from there. I hadn’t thrown away so many months expecting an outcome that didn’t happen since the 2012 presidential election. And I was away from home that night, too, at a family friend’s house in Rockville Centre, waiting for power to be restored back at my Wantagh home. (It was the next afternoon.) (11/1 UPDATE: Whoops, forgot to note power was lost during Sandy. I wrote about my experience here.) Incidentally, that family friend now lives an hour north of where we were and she met up with us Sunday in downtown(village) Rhinebeck.
  • In another case of time mismanagement, I hurriedly and anxiously shaved my face and neck on Saturday and Sunday, making everyone wait before we could drive to wherever we were going. I cut myself in multiple places, and contemplated going back to an electric razor after nearly 20 years of a manual razor with five-blade cartridges. My dad generously bought one for me as an early birthday present on Monday morning. As of publication, I’m still mastering it. Most of my face is easy to shave, but I can’t get all the hairs off my neck, above my chin, or below my sideburns.

Now for the photos. Saturday morning, October 8, included a trip to the Kesicke Farm Fall Festival (more alliteration) in Rhinebeck. One day after warm and slightly humid conditions, conditions were sunny and breezy with temperatures in the 50s. I brought a winter hat and light gloves on the trip, but only needed the gloves.

Returning to the AirBNB:

Sunday, October 9, brought us back to Rhinebeck. I packed my camcorder and tripod on Friday because I thought we’d be watching the end of the races Sunday. I thought wrong. I did use the camcorder Saturday afternoon to record soccer practice with my sister and our cousin. We did, however, walk up and down Market Street in Rhinebeck. That made me think of a song bearing that name by Yellowjackets from the Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home soundtrack. Of course, the film was based in San Francisco, not Rhinebeck, but Rhinebeck was the location of Spyro Gyra‘s last album of original music to date, The Rhinebeck Sessions.

Another pair of road signs on the way back to Staatsburg:

While I was walking through Rhinebeck, my dad biked to and from the Ashokan Reservoir via the Ashokan Rail Trail. Those are the first two photos below. He took the third Sunday evening while everyone but me traveled to the Walkway Over the Hudson. (I stayed in Staatsburg.)

Monday morning, October 10, I spotted three wild turkeys walking through the AirBNB’s backyard. I went outside to take photos with my phone, and ended up following them several yards into the woods.

Trembling from excitement and anxiety (I wanted to go home), I shot this shaky video:

We left for Wantagh at around 10:30 AM. These photos were taken on the way to the Taconic State Parkway:

On the parkway:

I-84:

I-684 (briefly in Connecticut):

I-287:

The Hutchinson River Parkway/I-678 (supplementing my photos from May 1):

The Cross Island Parkway:

And finally, the Grand Central Parkway/Northern State Parkway:

It took less than 2 1/2 hours to drive from Staatsburg to Wantagh. After a short treadmill run to compensate for Friday’s shortened run, I tried my best to unwind. I edited Saturday’s and Sunday’s photos at the AirBNB, but took care of Monday’s photos at my remote location on Tuesday and Wednesday (October 11 and 12). After uploading the scenery photos (and selfie) to WordPress and making a rough draft of this post with only the photos, I shifted my focus to HCW (Homecoming Weekend, if you forgot) and finally wrote a recap on the 24th, publishing today, the 28th. Thank you for reading it all and I hope you liked the photos.

Instrumental Invasion, 10/26/22 October 27, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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The October 26 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded in sequence on September 17 (four segments) and 18 (two segments).

The playlist was created on September 9, following a production hiatus while assembling and setting up my new computer and drafting the subsequent blog post.

As noted in the October 5 post, going forward, annotations are made in a separate Microsoft Word document, from which the talk break script is drafted in its usual document. I never share the script, but since annotations are an extension of the playlist, I will share those. This week’s annotations were made on September 13 and 14 with the script drafted on the 15th.

This is also the first week with 18:05 segments in mind, and a desired total duration of 1:48:30. Segment 1 of hour 2 was exactly 18:05, the first exact duration since segment 2 of hour 2 on October 5.

I used the phrase “leadoff hitter” to describe the first song – “There’s No One Else” by Robben Ford – in honor of the World Series, which starts tomorrow night. I wish the Mets were the National League representative, but I’m proud of all their other accomplishments this season. (I wrote that presumptuously on September 20. On October 26, I’m writing that I’m glad the Phillies eliminated the Braves in the NLDS and Padres in the NLCS. The Mets blew the NL East lead to the Braves and lost their NL Wild Card Series to the Padres.)

The inclusion of “Spring High” by Ramsey Lewis preceded his death on September 12, but that was acknowledged in the annotations and script. With “After Chicago” by Ronnie Foster coincidentally included, I called back to Ramsey’s Cabrini-Green upbringing.

In all the years I’ve heard “Schmooze” by Eric Marienthal, I’m reminded of longtime WFAN host Steve Somers, a.k.a. The Schmoozer, a.k.a. Captain Midnight (a la the radio serial). I dialed down my impression of Steve, limiting it to his name and removing his phraseology at the start of the talk-up (i.e. “Eric Marienthal on a Wednesday night on WCWP Brookville”). This was the WCWP-FAN jingle hybrid I made:

I made sure to fade out ASAP, lest listeners think FAN is simulcasting on 88.1, even though it’s from a retired jingle package.

Then, there’s Fourplay‘s “Little Foxes,” evoking Festrunk Brothers lingo (the “foxes” part). It helped that most of the backing vocalists were women, hence my “adult foxes” tangent. Here is one such Festrunk Brothers Saturday Night Live sketch:

Air date: April 22, 1978 (source)

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 9/28/22 September 29, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Internet, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Rap, Video.
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The September 28 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded in sequence (for a change) over three days in August: three segments (hour 1) on the 6th, one on the 7th, and two on the 8th. Pickups were recorded on the 8th and 9th.

The playlist was created on August 1, along with next week’s show, and annotated on the 2nd. The talk break script was drafted on the 3rd and 4th.

I anticipated the last talk break would run long, so I made sure to accumulate extra seconds by making the first five segments shorter than 18 minutes. The second segment ran over eight seconds, but the other four were a combined 56 seconds under. Despite having 48 extra seconds to work with in the last segment, I was short! The first and last songs went from starting as beds to starting cold, and I still had to add a liner going into the last talk break. I made up the remaining two seconds by extending the second segment.

This week’s show marked the long overdue debut of Beegie Adair and began with the Def Jazz arrangement of “Hey Young World” by Slick Rick. I know Jay Mirabile appreciated the latter.

“From Beegie to Bernie,” I couldn’t have imagined last month that playing “Just Because” by Bernie Williams would tie into his former team’s successes on consecutive nights. Tuesday night, the Yankees clinched the American League East division title, and last night, Aaron Judge hit his 61st home run of the season, tying Roger Maris for the AL home run record. (10/5 UPDATE: Judge set the AL record six nights later [last night].) Referencing the now-Miami Marlins tied in with another local event last night: the Mets’ come-from-behind win against the Marlins. (10/3 UPDATE: That last sentence proved to be a jinx.) (10/13 UPDATE: And they were eliminated in the NL Wild Card Series. The loss was so demoralizing that I haven’t seen a single pitch of postseason play since Sunday night [10/9].)

The first song of the last segment was the album version of “Dance Beat” by Jessy J. This means I have now played every song from Blue. Following “Dance Beat” was “One Day” by Yellowjackets and the WDR Big Band, originally heard last January 6 (I know, a bright spot on a dark day). Both songs have music videos. The “Dance Beat” video is set to its radio edit:

I thought about recording myself dancing for this video, but chickened out.

…and the “One Day” video coincided with the Jackets XL recording session:

Click here to download this week’s scoped aircheck or listen below:

Instrumental Invasion, 8/17/22 August 18, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Baseball, Comedy, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
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The August 17 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded entirely on June 27, along with the first segment of next week’s show, the most segments I’ve recorded in one day. Coincidentally, this came five days after the previous show recorded in one day aired. June 22’s show was recorded entirely on April 18, but whereas that was the last show produced before the Smooth Jazz for Scholars hiatus, this was the first show after the WCWP Hall of Fame hiatus.

The playlist was created on June 21 while I was in the early stages of what turned out to be an ear infection. COVID-19 was ruled out by two negative home tests (that day and on the 23rd), and a doctor trip on the 24th showed it was an ear infection rather than my fallback assumption of a cold. Since my voice was compromised, albeit slightly, I chose to start working on next week’s show, annotating and talk break script drafting simultaneously with the intent to record them both once I was better. (I still sounded nasal while recording.) This week’s show was annotated on the 23rd with the first two segments of the next show, and the talk break script was drafted on the 25th.

I continued the new habit of recording segments out of sequence to determine which to shorten, accommodating for ones that run long.

It was the second week in a row with only two songs in the middle segments of each hour. The “Shim Wha” gag came to mind while listening to The Dave Brubeck Quartet‘s Time Changes album on the way back from the Mets’ 3-2 win over the Marlins at Citi Field on June 18. I combined all the photos I took at that game in a slideshow that’s part of this blog post. I hope to have the slideshow of photos from last Wednesday’s game finished before October.

The “Cahla” gag for “Carla” by Peter Horvath had been in mind since watching every episode of Cheers on Netflix over a few weeks in March 2017.

Speaking of 2017, with a lack of music to play from new releases, I replaced the first 2017-present segment with another 1984 and earlier segment.

Click here to download this week’s aircheck MP3 or listen below:

The aircheck includes a new promo I recorded on Tuesday.

9:10 AM UPDATE: It’s been a while since I made a mistake that went unnoticed until after airing, but I made one here. Jay Beckenstein did play soprano sax on “Captain Karma” by Spyro Gyra, but his solo was on alto.

Instrumental Invasion, 8/10/22 August 11, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Aviation, Baseball, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel.
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The August 10 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP took a week to record. While the first hour was done entirely on June 10, WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony post-production left me little time to record the second hour: one segment per day on June 13, 15, and 16.

The playlist was created alongside last week’s show on June 5 and 6. I worked on each show’s first hour and middle of their second hour on the 5th, and the 2017-present segments on the 6th. Annotations for this week’s show were written on the 7th, and each show’s talk break script was drafted on the 8th.

Once again, I recorded under 18 minutes in a given segment to allow for more time in any that run long. The first hour was recorded out of sequence, with the third segment done first so I knew how short to make the first and second. That third segment was initially 18:33, so I allowed myself to go 25 seconds under in the first and 8 in the second. When I finally mixed down the third segment, I took off a second, meaning I was still one total second under. The total increased to 13 seconds as hour 2’s middle segment was 12 short. The last talk break only had to be shortened slightly to accommodate the extra 13 for the last segment.

As I said in Sunday’s post about the Mets game I went to on June 18, I was back at Citi Field yesterday with my dad and sister. On our way home after the game, while on the Belt Parkway, I saw an Iberia plane on its final approach to JFK Airport. Then, I remembered I played “Iberia” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet in this week’s second segment. It was the second of only two songs in that segment; the other was “The Epic,” a very long Pat Metheny Group tune.

In hour 2, I played Anders Enger Jensen‘s “Yamaha Reface DX and Roland CR-1000 Song.” This is the 8-Bit Keys video he wrote it for:

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 or listen below:

June 18 Mets-Marlins game photo slideshow August 7, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, Video.
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Back on June 18, I traveled to Citi Field with my dad, his fellow members of Freeport Fire Department’s Truck 1, and their families. We had Promenade level tickets – left field side – to the New York Mets‘ 4:10 game against the Miami Marlins. The Mets won the game 3-2.

I brought my Nikon D5500 and superzoom lens to take photos from start to finish. I compulsively took over 700 photos, whittled down to 524 after several weeks of stop and go editing. (Having a weekly radio show limits my free time.) On top of that, I took eight photos with my iPhone 13 Pro as I walked along the Promenade to get a ReadyCARD prepaid debit card in the team store and use some of that money on a collectible bowl of Mister Softee. (Dad treated me to chicken fingers and fries before the game.) When I got home around 10PM – everyone else wanted to stop for pizza in Howard Beach – I cleaned the bowl with soap and water, soaking it overnight to get out the ice cream smell. I rinsed in the morning and the smell was gone. The bowl became my new pen and marker holder, as seen the morning of Tuesday, June 21:

I couldn’t possibly post all 532 photos I took at Citi Field, so I painstakingly combined them into a video slideshow on Friday and yesterday, complete with planes on their final approach to LaGuardia Airport. It’s 11 minutes and 11 seconds long.

Dad and I head back to Citi Field on Wednesday with my sister for a 1:10 game against the Cincinnati Reds. This time, we’re at field level on the first base side. I hope to take no more than 150 photos.

Without further ado, the June 18 slideshow, set to the live version of “While the World Slowly Turns” by Brian Hughes:

As a bonus for those who made it to the end, here is the featured image (thumbnail):

SJFS 2022 Night 2 recap May 6, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, Travel, Video, Weather.
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Other SJFS recaps: 20082008 meet-and-greet20092010201120122013 Night 12013 Night 22014 Night 12014 Night 22015 Night 12016 Night 12016 Night 22017 Night 12017 Night 22018 Night 12018 Night 22019 Night 1, 2019 Night 2, 2022 Night 1

Updated with videos on 5/15.

Keyboardist Jay Rowe‘s 18th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars (benefiting the Milford Public Schools music department) continued Saturday night with the second of two shows. Saturday’s headliners were Jeff Kashiwa (who made a surprise appearance late Friday), Alex Bugnon, and in his debut, Marcus Anderson. Alex appeared in place of Brian Simpson, who had to back out at some point after my promotional blog post in February. SJFS attendees last saw Alex on the first night in 2013.

Photos and the set list are on the way, but we start with the preamble.

I found it hard to sleep in my Hampton Inn hotel room on Friday night. Not only did I have photo editing on my mind, but intermittent trucks and motorcycles (or muscle cars) on I-95 made it hard to relax and drift into sleep. I didn’t mention this in the Friday recap, but I brought two pairs of foam ear plugs to wear on both nights. I got in the habit of wearing them or safety earmuffs at home to drown out loud or unsettling noises, like fireworks (sadly, not just on the Fourth of July) or high wind gusts that slam rain into my south and east-facing windows during coastal storms. I figured I should start wearing them at concerts; if only I had thought of that sooner. When I wore ear plugs at bedtime, I would lie on my back with a sleep mask on, attempting to sleep, or at least relax. That’s what I did Friday night into Saturday morning. There comes a point on sleepless nights where I give up and start my day. That point came around 5AM.

I’m a Mets fan, so I checked the MLB app on my phone (via Hilton Honors Wi-Fi) to see how they did while I was pre-occupied with SJFS. What?! A no-hitter against the Phillies?! That’s only the second one in team history! And a combined no-hitter, at that! Click here to read all about it (and watch videos).

I lifted weights in the fitness center, then went back in my room to do push-ups and whittle down the amount of photos from Friday night. I showered, got dressed, and brought my laptop and phone to the lobby for breakfast and potential mingling with fans or musicians. I didn’t see any musicians, but John and Theresa Monteverde were there, followed later by Mark and Phyllis Abrams, and Billy and Sandy Okumu. Diane and Richard Roth were there, but we had forgotten about each other and didn’t reacquaint ourselves until Sunday morning.

For breakfast, I had two plates of French toast sticks with syrup, and two cups of apple juice to wash them down, followed later by two cups of hot chocolate. I mainly edited the road sign photos, but was able to start on photos from the show.

I went back to my room around 11AM and spent the next four hours editing the rest of Friday night’s photos and picking which ones to publicize. All the while, I listened to a few 2021 episodes of Gilbert Gottfried’s Amazing Colossal Podcast. (Sadly, Gilbert died last month.)

I’m also a fan (and Patreon supporter) of the YouTube channel Technology Connections. Alec, the creator, recently posted the third of three (and a half) videos on heat pumps. Part three included a segment on the PTAC (packaged terminal air conditioner) and their use in hotels. This was the PTAC in my room:

My PTAC

It was set to cool when I checked in on Friday, but I switched to heat. I switched back to cool Saturday afternoon as the unfiltered sun warmed up the room. That’s when I realized the thin curtain in front of the light-blocking thick one is supposed to filter the sun rays.

My girlfriend Kelly, dad Bill, and I had dinner at Gusto Trattoria, half a block from the hotel. It was there that self-doubt and performance anxiety set in. I worried that I wouldn’t be able to function at the auditorium because of my lack of sleep and that I’d compulsively end up taking as many photos as Friday night (around 400 before whittling). Somewhere in between, I managed to eat a piece of bread and bowl of Rigatoni Bolognese. Upon returning to my room after dinner, I lied down and took deep breaths. By 7PM (about an hour after dinner), I felt calm enough to get out of bed and go with Kelly to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium at Parsons Complex. Obviously, the sound check was over before we arrived because we saw attendees filing in.

I took an establishing shot of the auditorium with my phone before going in:

The second of my 2020 tickets was honored upon entrance and I went back to the same spot in the orchestra pit as Friday night to set up. I comprised with fellow photographers Katherine Gilraine and Ron Hancox to situate my camcorder (which recorded flawlessly on this night) (5/15 UPDATE: four videos are posted below) in a spot further back so the two of them had more room to maneuver during the show. I only had to move it out during a solo on the penultimate song of the night (one of the videos below). Fun fact (as Alec would say): this month marks ten years since I entered the world of DSLR cameras after Katherine recommended I switch to one.

While waiting, Jay Dobbins introduced me to someone I had met on Facebook through Jay Rowe’s weekly Tito Tuesday livestreams on Facebook (here’s one of the last streams to date). It was Robin Morin Stewart. After a pleasant conversation, Jay D. took our picture:

I also recognized Judy Raphael and spoke to her, but forgot to get a picture.

And of course, I saw the rest of my friends that I had seen Friday night and/or Saturday morning in the hotel dining area.

At some point before showtime, I got my second wind. I didn’t feel the least bit overtired or overwhelmed.

Saturday’s set began at 8PM with another enthusiastic introduction by Kevin McCabe of Jumpstart Jazz Productions:

Music director Jay Rowe led the house band on keyboards:

Andy Abel on guitar:

Dave Livolsi on bass:

Trever Somerville on drums:

…and percussion by Tony Cintron:

The headliners were Jeff Kashiwa on tenor sax and NuRAD (seen on tenor):

Alex Bugnon on keyboards:

…and Marcus Anderson on alto sax and flute (seen on alto):

SET LIST
1. I’ll Love You Later (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Groove Reflections (2021)
Featured musician: Jay Rowe (keyboards)

2. There She Goes (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Groove Reflections (2021)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Andy Abel (guitar)

3. Starlight Kisses (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Groove Reflections (2021)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Jeff Kashiwa (tenor sax)

4. Slow Turn (Jeff Kashiwa)
Originally heard on: Sunrise (2021)
Featured musicians: Jeff Kashiwa (NuRAD/tenor sax), Andy Abel (guitar)
The NuRAD is an EWI (electronic wind instrument) that can be paired with a phone or tablet. Jeff paired his with his phone. 5/9 UPDATE: Jeff said in a Facebook post sharing one of my photos that it was “triggering [his] iPhone with the Korg iMono/Poly Patchman library.”

5. The Night is Young (Jeff Kashiwa)
Originally heard on: Sunrise (2021)
Featured musician: Jeff Kashiwa (tenor sax)

6. The Pecan Tree (Joe Sample cover) (Alex Bugnon)
Featured musician: Alex Bugnon (keyboards)
Jay didn’t play on any of Alex’s songs. Coincidentally, I played the original Joe Sample version of “The Pecan Tree” on last Wednesday’s Instrumental Invasion.

7. Harlem on My Mind (Alex Bugnon)
Originally heard on: Tales from the Bright Side (1995)
Featured musician: Alex Bugnon (keyboards)

8. Will Power (Marcus Anderson)
Originally heard on: Limited Edition (2017)
Featured musician: Marcus Anderson (alto sax/flute at the end)

9. Soul Ties (Marcus Anderson)
Originally heard on: Reverse (2022)
Featured musician: Marcus Anderson (alto sax)

10. Jay Rowe/Alex Bugnon duet: Poinciana/107 Degrees in the Shade
Originally heard on: 107 Degrees in the Shade (1991) (second song only)
Jay and Alex played the same medley in their 2013 duet. “Poinciana” is a jazz standard popularized by Ahmad Jamal on his album of the same name.

11. Night Groove (Alex Bugnon)
Originally heard on: Soul Purpose (2001)
Featured musician: Alex Bugnon (keyboards)

12. Understanding (Marcus Anderson)
Originally heard on: Limited Edition (2017)
Featured musicians: Marcus Anderson (alto sax), Jay Rowe (keyboards), Andy Abel (guitar)

13. Let It Ride (Jeff Kashiwa)
Originally heard on: Let It Ride (2012)
Featured musicians: Jeff Kashiwa (tenor sax), Dave Livolsi (bass), Tony Cintron (percussion), Jay Rowe (keyboards)
Jeff noted that Let It Ride was inspired by 1960s and ’70s music, and the performance of the title track here exemplified the ’70s part. Dave’s solo was based (no pun intended) on “For the Love of Money” by The O’Jays (1973), while Jay based his on “People Make the World Go Round” by The Stylistics (1972) and “Riders on the Storm” by The Doors (1971). The ’70s influence carried into the finale.

14 (Finale). Love and Happiness (Al Green cover)
Featured musicians: Everyone but Alex Bugnon
Trever Somerville and Tony Cintron traded places on drums and percussion midway through, and Trever even sang vocals! He left the percussion kit behind at the end (I neglected to take photos) and just sang next to Tony. These were the only surprises of the show, which went quicker than Friday night.

Here are groups of pictures by artist, starting with Jeff Kashiwa on tenor sax:

Jeff on NuRAD for “Slow Turn”:

Alex Bugnon:

Marcus Anderson on alto sax:

Marcus on flute at the end of “Will Power”:

Jay Rowe:

Andy Abel:

Dave Livolsi:

Trever Somerville:

Tony Cintron:

Marcus and Andy:

Marcus and Dave:

Marcus and Jay:

Jeff and Jay:

The last note of “Let It Ride”:

Jay and Alex’s duet:

The finale: “Love and Happiness”:

All that remained was meeting and greeting, starting with me and Alex Bugnon:

Me and Marcus Anderson:

Jeff Kashiwa with my photography buddies Katherine Gilraine and Ron Hancox:

Just the three of us:

Back in the lobby, Marcus Anderson with Steve Lewis:

Johnnie “Butch” Brooks and Dolly Moye, whose birthday was on Sunday:

…and finally, me and Dolly:

Thanks to Jay Dobbins and Steve Lewis for taking photos of me. Jay also took this selfie with me:

Friday night, Kelly and I left for the hotel at 11:30, but Saturday, the departure time was 10:45. After transferring the photos and video to my laptop via a handy USB 3.0 SD card reader, I took melatonin and went to sleep. After five hours of successful sleep early Sunday morning, I noticed daylight peaking through the edge of the curtains and opted to wake up for the day. (The Mets lost Saturday’s game, but won on Sunday night while I was getting ten hours of sleep.)

I didn’t lift weights until I got home, but I did do push-ups in my room Sunday morning before going to the lobby for breakfast. All my rowdy friends, to paraphrase Hank Williams Jr., were there, including Jay Rowe. French toast sticks weren’t available, so I ate four sausages and two blueberry muffins with two lemon-lime seltzer cans that I brought and stored in my room’s mini fridge. Before returning to the room to pack up and leave, I got a selfie with the Monteverde, Abrams, and Okumu couples:

John Monteverde, me, Phyllis Abrams, Theresa Monteverde, Mark Abrams, Sandy and Billy Okumu

I saved photo editing for Monday and Tuesday, followed by drafting this post and the one before it on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Dad and I checked out around 10:30 and got home by 12:25. I took tons of photos on the road to and from Milford, but those will get their own post next week. Until then, thank you for reading the recaps of both nights of the 18th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars. As Jay Rowe noted, next year will be the 20th anniversary, but 19th annual. I hope to be there. Thank you to Jay and everyone involved in putting SJFS together each year.

SJFS 2022 Night 1 recap May 6, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Health, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel.
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Other SJFS recaps: 20082008 meet-and-greet20092010201120122013 Night 12013 Night 22014 Night 12014 Night 22015 Night 12016 Night 12016 Night 22017 Night 12017 Night 22018 Night 12018 Night 22019 Night 1, 2019 Night 2, 2022 Night 2

Updated with videos on 5/15.

After a two-year absence due to COVID-19, keyboardist Jay Rowe‘s 18th annual Smooth Jazz for Scholars (benefiting the Milford Public Schools music department) finally happened!

It’s a good thing I didn’t throw away my 2020 tickets because they were honored on both nights.

As noted in my promotion back in February, this was the first SJFS without Rohn Lawrence on guitar in the house band and Nick Colionne as a potential headliner. We lost Rohn to COVID on December 30 and Nick on January 1. This year’s SJFS was dedicated to their memory.

The first night’s headliners were Peter White, Nelson Rangell, and Marion Meadows, plus three surprise guests! More on them later in the recap. Now, the preamble:

I had been in the habit of going to sleep early and waking up early, but last week, I tried to train my body to stay up and wake up later so I could not only chronicle both nights of SJFS, but attend the WCWP station dinner on Thursday night.

I awoke Friday morning after only six hours of sleep and carried out my typical morning activities: exercise, cereal for breakfast, and treadmill running (and showering after, of course). Nowadays, I watch streaming content on my phone while I run rather than listen to music or audiobooks. With this run, I totaled 180 miles in a month for only the third time (July 2018, April 2020)!

Next on the agenda, packing up for the trip to Milford, Connecticut (“a small city with a big heart“), with my dad Bill. I had an hour or so left until our 12:30 departure, so I edited the photos from the station dinner and posted them to Facebook. I finished just in time, then checked to make sure I packed everything I wanted to.

It took about two hours to reach Milford’s Hampton Inn, the official hotel of this year’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars, as it has been most of the time. I photographed road signs on the way, but I’m saving those photos and the ones from the return trip for a later post.

Upon arrival, Dad and I went back out to Big Y World Class Market a block southeast of the hotel to replace expired shampoo and mouthwash, and buy snacks to make up for the ones I forgot to pack at home. We were briefly back at Hampton Inn before going to dinner (and dessert for me) at Applebee’s up Boston Post Road in neighboring Orange. Marion Meadows was checking in as I walked through the lobby, so we spoke briefly. I returned one more time before the show to relax and wait for my girlfriend Kelly to pick me up at 6:30. On the way out this time, I saw members of the LIU Sharks baseball team! I’ve been at the hotel with college athletic teams before, but not a team from my alma mater! They were in town for a three-game series against the Sacred Heart Pioneers (ironically, LIU Post’s team name before the One LIU unification). Sacred Heart won the first two games, but LIU avoided the sweep Sunday. I would see players in the lobby again on Saturday and Sunday mornings, letting some know on Saturday that I was an alum and had a weekly radio show.

Okay, we’re almost up to the first night of SJFS.

Kelly and I waited in her SUV until we saw the line of attendees file in to the Veterans Memorial Auditorium at the Parsons Complex. The line began to move at 7:15, so in we went.

After having my ticket checked, I set up my equipment in the orchestra pit and mingled with my fellow photographers Katherine Gilraine and Ron Hancox, Jay Dobbins, Dolly Moye, Estella Greene, Billy and Sandy Okumu, Ron’s wife Nydia, and Jay Rowe’s mother Mia DiStasi. I was elated to see all of them in person after so long. I only wish photographer KT Jones was still with us. (He succumbed to cancer in late February.)

The auditorium interior underwent an upgrade between 2019 and 2022. Monitors were set up throughout the lobby. Most cycled through a slideshow of images from past Smooth Jazz for Scholars, including pictures with Rohn Lawrence, Nick Colionne, or both of them. Two monitors had an overhead view of the stage. The sound system, lighting, and seating were all improved.

Friday night’s set began at 8:15, an hour after the auditorium doors opened. Kevin McCabe of Jumpstart Jazz Productions enthusiastically welcomed us back:

I simultaneously recorded the show (mostly for private use) (5/15 UPDATE: exceptions below) with my recently-acquired professional 4K camcorder (and detachable handle unit). Four minutes into Kevin’s spiel, a system error occurred and I had to turn the camcorder off and back on. After that, no problems. It recorded two hours and 32 minutes continuously; no starting a new file every 20 minutes like my previous camcorder.

As for the photos, I have the same DSLR camera but with a superzoom lens I bought last year. No more switching between 18-140 mm (18-55 before that) and 55-300 mm. I have one lens to rule them all.

Here are the photos! The house band was led by Jay Rowe on keyboards:

Andy Abel on electric and acoustic guitar (seen on electric):

Dave Livolsi on bass:

Trever Somerville on drums:

…and percussion by Tony Cintron:

(If you’re wondering, Steve Scales is alive and well.)

The headliners were Peter White on acoustic guitar and harmonica (seen on guitar):

Marion Meadows on soprano sax:

…and Nelson Rangell on alto sax, flute, piccolo, whistling, and vocal percussion (seen on alto):

SET LIST
1. East Coast West Coast (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Red Hot & Smooth (2006)
Featured musician: Jay Rowe (keyboards)

2. Smooth Ride (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Smooth Ride (2016)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Peter White (guitar)

3. Promenade/Could It Be I’m Falling in Love (The Spinners cover) (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Promenade (1993)/Reflections (1994)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar), surprise guest Vincent Ingala! (tenor sax) (watch him surprise the audience)
Peter introduced “Promenade” with the “-naid” pronunciation, not “-nahd,” as I’ve been saying all these years.

4. Here We Go (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Here We Go (2012)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)
I’d been dreaming about this collaboration ever since I heard David Sanborn on the original.

5. Vonetta (Earl Klugh cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Soul to Souls (2006)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (flute), Andy Abel (guitar)

6. Body Rhythm (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Body Rhythm (1995)
Featured musician: Marion Meadows (soprano sax)
As usual, Marion began this song in the audience, working his way to the stage.

7. Treasures (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: In Deep (2002)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Andy Abel (guitar), Jay Rowe (keyboards)
Andy channeled the spirit of Rohn Lawrence on his solo.

8. Caravan of Dreams (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Caravan of Dreams (1996)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax)

9. Peaceful (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Music for STARLUX Airlines (2019)
Featured musicians: Peter White (guitar/harmonica), Vincent Ingala (tenor sax)

10. Marcosinho (Dave Grusin composition for flautist Dave Valentin) (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Whisper (2013)
Featured musician: Marion Meadows (soprano sax)
A harmonica-like filter was applied to Marion’s sax for his solo intro.

11. Suede (Marion Meadows)
Originally heard on: Player’s Club (2004)
Featured musicians: Marion Meadows (soprano sax), Andy Abel (guitar)

12. Geopolitics (Nelson Rangell)
Featured musician: Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

13. Sonora (Hampton Hawes cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Destiny (1995) (alto sax), My American Songbook, Vol. 1 (2005)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (whistling/piccolo/vocal percussion), Peter White (guitar)

14. Muff (John Tropea cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (alto sax), surprise guest Jeff Kashiwa! (tenor sax)
Jeff headlined Saturday’s set, but he played on “Muff” and the finale.

15 (Finale). I Wish (Stevie Wonder cover)
Featured musicians: Everyone
Arti Dixson sat in for Trever Somerville on drums.

Here are groups of pictures by artist, starting with Peter White:

Marion Meadows:

Nelson Rangell on alto sax (during “Geopolitics”):

Nelson on flute for “Vonetta”:

…and “Sonora”: whistling, piccolo, whistling with the piccolo in his hand, vocal percussion:

Surprise guest Vincent Ingala:

Surprise guest Jeff Kashiwa:

Jay Rowe (during “Treasures”):

Andy Abel:

Dave Livolsi:

Trever Somerville:

Tony Cintron:

Peter and Jay:

Peter and Nelson on “Here We Go”:

Peter and Vincent: