Chick Corea Elektric Band at Blue Note October 21, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel.
After a month away from the Blue Note Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, I returned last night to see the Chick Corea Elektric Band. It was the first of two shows in two nights. Tonight, I’m going to see ventriloquist and comedian Jeff Dunham in the Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall. Pictures aren’t allowed, so that recap will be all words.
After the seating issue when I went to see Lee Ritenour in August, I opted for a seat further from the stage last night. It was still cramped, but my table seat was against the wall, which meant I was free to get up to take pictures without getting in anyone’s way. It was quite a workout, in addition to the 7.6 miles I ran in the afternoon. I was seated across from Phil, an avid Chick Corea fan from Vancouver, and his wife Kim. They made the time before the show worthwhile.
Now, the backstory: Pianist, keyboardist, and composer Chick Corea turned 75 back in June. In honor of this milestone, Blue Note arranged a two-month celebration/residency, which began Wednesday night with the first of five nights of the Chick Corea Elektric Band. The residency ends with Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu (Orchestra, I assume) from December 8 through 12. That show will combine half of Return to Forever, Chick and drummer Lenny White, along with Mahavishnu John McLaughlin on guitar. Victor Wooten will round out that band on bass.
The Elektric Band featured its definitive lineup, first heard on Light Years, the band’s second album, in 1987.
Eric Marienthal was on alto sax:
Frank Gambale on guitar:
John Patitucci on bass:
…and Dave Weckl on drums:
The 8:00 set consisted of six songs with extended solos. The songs were:
1. Trance Dance
Originally heard on: Eye of the Beholder, 1988
2. C.T.A. (Miles Davis cover)
Originally heard on: Paint the World, 1993
3. Jocelyn – The Commander
Originally heard on: To the Stars, 2004
4. Beneath the Mask
Originally heard on: Beneath the Mask, 1991
5. Silver Temple
Originally heard on: The Chick Corea Elektric Band, 1986
6 (Encore). Got a Match?
Originally heard on: The Chick Corea Elektric Band, 1986
I had a longer conversation with saxophonist Eric Marienthal, whom I’ve seen perform many times: with the Rippingtons in 2005, David Benoit in 2006, at Smooth Jazz for Scholars in 2008, solo in 2011, and with the Jeff Lorber Fusion in 2014, my first time at the Blue Note.
I interviewed both Eric and John on The Mike Chimeri Show over a decade ago. All interviews can be heard here. (Out of self-consciousness, I haven’t listened since editing them for air.)
The Chick Corea Elektric Band put on a thrilling show last night. If you’d like to see them and get the same thrill I did, they play at 8:00 and 10:30 tonight, tomorrow night, and Sunday night.
I’ll be seeing Chick again on December 9 for Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu. Here is Chick’s residency schedule before then:
- October 26-30: For Miles
- November 2-6: Three Quartets, the Leprechaun Band
- November 9-10: Experiments in Electronica
- November 11-13: Flamenco Heart
- November 16-17: Chick Corea Big Band
- November 18-20: The Piano Duets
- November 22-23: Chick Corea & Gary Burton
- November 25-27: Origin II
- November 30-December 4: The Music of Return to Forever – Acoustic
- December 7: Chick Corea with John McLaughlin
As I noted at the top of this post, Return to Forever meets Mahavishnu runs from December 8 to 12 and marks the end of Chick’s 75th Birthday Celebration.
2016 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2017 Hall of Fame Announcement October 10, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Comedy, Football, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, Video, Weather.
Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my pre-recorded Homecoming Weekend show that aired early yesterday morning. To see and hear my live show on Friday, click here.
After kicking off Homecoming Weekend on Friday, I returned to the campus of LIU Post for Homecoming itself.
On my way to campus, I put on WCWP, whose signal wasn’t entirely clear at first, and listened to the Post Pioneers‘ Homecoming game against the Saint Anselm Hawks. The game had begun moments earlier and it was already 14-0! As my mother turned toward the Abrams Communications Building, where WCWP is located, the Pioneers scored their third touchdown to go ahead 21-0.
When I made my way from WCWP to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium, all part of my Homecoming Day routine, it was 35-14 with a minute to go in the first half.
Skies were cloudy and the air was mild and humid. There was spotty drizzle, but not enough to scare me away. (My camera isn’t weatherproof.)
The Pioneers would go on to rout the Hawks 63-20 (thanks to a missed extra point) and improved their record to 6-0.
The spotty drizzle intensified to a light rain shower, so I had to put my camera under my jacket for the rest of the walk back. Except for walks to and from Hillwood Commons for snacks from the vending machine, I didn’t leave WCWP until my dad picked me up an hour into Mike Riccio and Bobby G.’s radio show. More on that later.
Jay is my biggest champion, always propping me up on Facebook, complimenting me and my talents.
The 2017 inductees are Neil Marks, John LiBretto, and John March.
Jay resurrected “The Hootenanny” in a show that aired at 4AM yesterday following my show.
Bill Mozer, who had his camcorder and 4-channel portable recorder set up in Studio 2, also spoke briefly. I was diagonal from Bill’s setup and shot the pictures you’re seeing here from the same spot.
He invited his daughter Alexa, a student at LIU Post, to join him at the mic.
Wolf is enthusiastic and affable, and it was a pleasure to meet him. Jett agreed.
As you see, Jay Elzweig stopped by the studio before he left for the night.
When I got home, I edited pictures, selected which to post here and Facebook, and began mixing camcorder video with my recording from the FM tuner and studio board. All the while, I listened to the rest of Mike and Bobby’s show, and Bruce Leonard and John Commins after them. Here’s the final cut of the video, which I rendered and posted to YouTube yesterday afternoon:
Thus ended a busy day at LIU Post. It’s always great to catch up with alumni I know and meet alumni for the first time. It’s also great to hear the various shows throughout Homecoming Weekend. “I’m listening to the very end,” I wrote in the WCWP Alumni Association Facebook group during Jeff Kroll’s 10PM show last night. “You sound great, Jeff.”
Here’s how Jeff signed off just before midnight:
Until next year, I’ll leave you with airchecks from the prerecorded Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri that aired at 2AM yesterday:
…and the playlist.
As I noted last week, I recorded the show from home. It sounded great on the web stream, which I was awake to listen to.
2016 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first few hours October 7, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Video.
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For the second year in a row, I was the leadoff hitter, so to speak, for the WCWP Homecoming Weekend. Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri kicked things off at noon today.
I left the house just before 9:00 and took the Hicksville-Wantagh Community Shuttle to Hicksville LIRR Station. Once I got there, I had to wait a half hour for the n20H to arrive. I was at LIU Post by 10:15.
Jeff and his wife Pat were in the building during my show, as were Bruce Leonard and Magick Mike Hendryx, whose show followed mine.
Overall, I had a great show. There were a few mistakes and flubs, but that always happens in a live broadcast. Here’s how I looked and sounded during airchecks:
And here’s how the transitions between songs sounded:
Now that you’ve heard the airchecks, and seen their video equivalent, here’s the playlist.
I’ll be back at LIU Post and WCWP tomorrow for Homecoming and the announcement of the 2017 class of the WCWP Hall of Fame.
Shelly Peiken book discussion and signing October 5, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Books, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel.
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10/5 UPDATE: A revision I made today in the WordPress app changed the link to this post. I originally posted this on SEPTEMBER 25, not today.
Back in March, I wrote about my experience reading songwriter and Freeport native Shelly Peiken‘s (“PIE-kin”) book, Confessions of a Serial Songwriter. I was hoping for an opportunity to meet her in person the next time there was a book signing in New York City or here on Long Island. Over the summer, that opportunity came to be as Shelly invited me and her fellow Facebook friends to an event on Friday night at Turn of the Corkscrew Books & Wine in Rockville Centre, not too far from the LIRR station. I proudly committed to going, as did many other friends from her youth in Freeport. That includes my mother Lisa, who grew up within walking distance of Shelly.
My original itinerary to get to Turn of the Corkscrew was similar to the previous Friday’s journey to Long Beach for the Long Beach Jazz Festival. The only difference is I would eat an early dinner at home before leaving for the Wantagh LIRR station where I would take the 5:59 train. Mom would meet up with me in RVC, as it’s colloquially known, coming from work in Freeport. That never happened because Mom decided to come home first so we could go together. We did, leaving the house at about 5:50. We arrived a half hour later. Shelly wasn’t due to speak until 7:00, but I always like to be early so I can get a prime seat.
The songs were:
“Bitch” – #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 for Meredith Brooks in 1997
“Almost Doesn’t Count” – #16 on the Billboard Hot 100 for Brandy in 1999; #19 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for Mark Wills in 2000
“Human on the Inside” – #59 in Australia for the Divinyls in 1996; #30 on the Billboard Adult Pop Songs chart for the Pretenders (as “Human”) in 1999
“Who You Are” – #8 on the UK Singles chart for Jessie J in 2011
Mom loved “Almost Doesn’t Count.” “That’s very pretty,” she complimented after the last chord. “Thank you, Lisa,” Shelly cheerfully replied. Mom added, “It’s my kind of song.”
Shelly also admitted she’s working on an audiobook version of Confessions. I can’t wait to hear it.
After Shelly’s friend Suzan Koç took a group picture of her with all of us in the first few rows, it was time for the signing portion of the night. I had my copy ready and Mom bought a copy, too.
She wrote the following in my copy:
I love that you came
Nice to meet you in person
I couldn’t agree more.
I cried when I saw your face
As the crowd thinned out, all that remained were Shelly and her friends. They sat, reminisced, and looked at childhood pictures, for a half hour. I sat with them and took it all in.
From left to right, there’s Linda, Lisa, Celeste, Shelly, Lisa, and Peggy.
Thank you again, Shelly. I had a wonderful time, and I know (friends) did, too. Tell Suzan it was nice to meet her, too. And thank you, also, to Carol Hoenig and Peggy Zieran, the co-owners of Turn of the Corkscrew.
15 years in radio; two shows on WCWP next weekend October 3, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Education, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Sports.
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Wednesday marks 15 years since my first radio show on Webradio WCWP, now known as MyWCWP. The maiden voyage of The Mike Chimeri Show, a contemporary jazz instrumentals show (naturally), embarked at 7PM on Friday, October 5, 2001. The first song I played was “Mountain Dance” by Dave Grusin.
Unfortunately, I didn’t think of recording the show for posterity, which I’ve done for all but one show since, but I did save the playlist:
88 shows followed, plus another 95 after 10 months at WGBB.
I miss the days of having a weekly show, which I haven’t had since Evening Jazz on 88.1 WCWP in 2010, but I’m proud to have a show each Homecoming Weekend. Like last year, however, I will have two shows on Homecoming Weekend, and at the same times. The shows will bear the name Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri.
The first show kicks off the weekend, live on Friday, October 7, at noon Eastern. I pre-recorded the second show two weeks ago from home and it will air early Sunday, October 9, at 2AM Eastern.
The live show will consist of all but three songs from albums released this year. The other three songs are from last year. Among the artists you’ll hear are Chuck Loeb, Yellowjackets, Richard Elliot, and Gerald Albright.
The pre-recorded show is a 50-year music journey, running from 1966 through 2016. Expect to hear Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, Chet Atkins, David Benoit, Acoustic Alchemy, and plenty more.
Both shows can be heard locally on 88.1 FM, and worldwide at WCWP.org and on the TuneIn app.
In between, I can be found at LIU Post on Homecoming Day itself – Saturday, October 8. I’ll mostly be at the Abrams Communications Building, home of WCWP, but I plan on dropping by the Pioneers’ football game against Saint Anselm College, their 2014 Homecoming opponent.
Later in the afternoon, the 2017 class of the WCWP Hall of Fame will be announced. I always look forward to the announcement, and then the ceremony itself each spring.
I hope you’ll be listening to WCWP all Homecoming Weekend long. I’m honored to get the ball rolling again this year. Jeff Kroll wraps the weekend up at 10PM on October 9.
Kerry Kearney Band, Special EFX at Long Beach Jazz Festival 2016 September 19, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
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Despite running 7.6 miles earlier in the afternoon, I walked a mile and a half to the Wantagh LIRR station just before 4:00. I waited for the 4:27 westbound train, which I took to Lynbrook. Then, I switched platforms to board the Long Beach train. I took the same two trains four years ago.
After I arrived in Long Beach, I walked to Brixx & Barley for a pasta dinner. I had eaten there with my parents and sister on Mother’s Day after we walked the Long Beach Boardwalk.
Unfortunately, there was still a lot of time before the Long Beach Public Library was opened to patrons. So, I walked to the nearby Starbucks and treated myself to dessert. There were only a few people outside the library when I left, but a crowd had gathered when I returned. I was still able to get a front row seat when the doors opened at 6:45.
The Kerry Kearney Band went on just after 7:00.
I saw Nydia perform with Alan Bates at the 2008 festival, and she played the steel drums during cocktail hour at my friends Jenni and Clemente’s wedding reception a few weeks after the 2011 festival.
The set lasted about an hour. A half hour later, it was time for Chieli Minucci and Special EFX.
As with the Kerry Kearney Band, Special EFX was introduced by Steve Adelson, Long Beach Jazz Festival founder and Chapman Stick player:
Chieli played electric guitar:
Jay Rowe was on keyboards:
Joel Rosenblatt on drums:
…and Antoine Silverman on violin:
As always the set list was a mix of Special EFX tunes and Chieli’s solo work. Here’s the list:
1. Courageous Cats
Originally heard on: Jewels (Chieli), 1995
2. Dance on the Delta
Originally heard on: Yet to be released album
3. Crazy Eights
Originally heard on: Genesis, 2013
Originally heard on: Global Village, 1992
5. Speak to Me
Originally heard on: Masterpiece, 1999
6. In Memory of Elizabeth Reed (Allman Brothers Band cover)
7. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers (Stevie Wonder cover; based on Jeff Beck version)
Originally heard on: Renaissance (Chieli), 1996
8. Kickin’ It Hard
Originally heard on: Night Grooves (Chieli), 2003
Antoine Silverman did not perform on #1 and #7.
With that, my night was complete. It was great to be back at the Long Beach Jazz Festival. I hope to be there again next year.
Lee Ritenour at the Blue Note August 20, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Travel.
Tags: Smooth Jazz Magazine
My recap of the Spyro Gyra show I saw at Blue Note in May caught the attention of Art Jackson of Smooth Jazz Magazine. Art asked to put most of it in the July/August issue and I eagerly agreed. He also asked if there were any shows I’d like to attend as a photographer on behalf of the magazine. I told him I was interested in seeing Lee Ritenour the week he was at Blue Note. Like Earl Klugh last month, I had never seen him – or Dave Grusin, for that matter – live. However, I interviewed him twice for The Mike Chimeri Show on Webradio WCWP (now MyWCWP) a decade ago.
I had in mind Friday night at 8:00. Art came through.
I arrived outside at 5:00. I was second in line this time, behind a jazz concert regular named Celeste. We had a great conversation and time flew by. Before we knew it, it was 6:00 and we went in.
I sat in my usual spot right by the stage, but I wasn’t there for long. I felt cramped and closed in. So, I asked for a different table and the staff was very accommodating. Not many shots below were taken at the table. I mostly walked adjacent to the stage in brief spurts to avoid getting in the audience’s way.
Lee Ritenour was on guitar:
Dave Grusin was on piano, except on the first song:
Otherwise, Giorgi Mikadze played the keyboards:
Giorgi was a 2014 grand prize winner of Lee’s annual Six String Theory competition.
Tom Kennedy on acoustic and electric bass:
Wes is two weeks older than my cousin Steve.
Here was the 8:00 set on Friday night:
1. The Village
Originally heard on: Rhythm Sessions, 2012
2. Waltz for Carmen
Originally heard on: Stolen Moments, 1990; A Twist of Rit, 2015
3. Punta del Soul
Originally heard on: Migration (Dave Grusin), 1989; Rhythm Sessions, 2012
4. Stone Flower (Antonio Carlos Jobim cover)
Originally heard on: A Twist of Jobim, 1997
5. Wes Bound
Originally heard on: Wes Bound, 1993; Alive in L.A., 1997
Originally heard on: A Twist of Rit, 2015
7. (Dave Grusin song I didn’t recognize; unidentified by Lee)
8. A Little Bit of This and a Little Bit of That
Originally heard on: First Course, 1976; Rio, 1979; A Twist of Rit, 2015
9 (Finale). Wild Rice
Originally heard on: First Course, 1976; A Twist of Rit, 2015
This was the first Blue Note show I’ve been to with a meet-and-greet. I brought a copy of Lee’s 1998 album, This is Love, the first album of his I ever bought. Rit’s House, The Very Best of Lee Ritenour, and Overtime would follow. Then, I gradually filled my collection with every other album in his discography. After A Twist of Rit came out last summer, I completed the collection to date with First Course, Gentle Thoughts, and The Captain’s Journey. The title track from that last album came up in my iPod’s shuffle during my run earlier in the day.
Before gathering my belongings and taking the subway and LIRR back home, I ran into Wes downstairs. I complimented his performance and showed him the CD. Then, we posed with it. The picture took several tries, as the patron I lent the camera to initially shot above the CD, but Wes was patient.
I wished him luck with the second set, packed up, and headed for home.
Thank you to Lee, Wes, Dave, Giorgi, Tom, and the Blue Note staff for another great night at the legendary venue.
If you’d like to see Lee and the band perform, you have two more nights to do so.
An afternoon at the Fire Island Lighthouse July 16, 2016Posted by Mike C. in History, Jazz, Military, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel, Weather.
Two weeks ago, Lori Downing, a co-worker of my mother and sister, invited me to visit the Fire Island Lighthouse. Her father, Bill Laghezza, is among its volunteers. I agreed, not knowing what to expect.
Lori’s original plan for yesterday – a hot and humid day, even by the ocean – was to pick me up at 10:30. That became 11:30. We took the Wantagh Parkway to Ocean Parkway, planning on getting on the Robert Moses Causeway, proceeding to Robert Moses State Park, and walking to the lighthouse. We knew there would be a Wounded Warrior Project Soldier Ride until 1:00, but we thought it stopped at the State Boat Channel Bridge. It actually ended on the Ocean Parkway, which meant eastbound traffic was diverted back west at the finish line. So, we had to reverse course, taking the Ocean Parkway west, Wantagh Parkway north to Exit W4E, the Southern State Parkway east to Exit 40, then take the Robert Moses Causeway south to the park. By this time, the Soldier Ride was over.
Lori and I parked in Field 5 and walked the path to the Fire Island Lighthouse. I brought my Nikon D5500 and snapped away. Below is our photographic journey. Enjoy.
It was tougher than using a stairmaster.
It was jarring at first being up so high, but I adjusted.
Here are a couple of videos I shot while on the top deck while Bill was with us.
“C.I.” is Central Islip.
It was easier going down than it was going up.
Angela and I had a brief conversation about Earl Klugh and I told her about the show I went to a few nights earlier.
As a privacy precaution, I blurred out last names, locations, e-mail addresses, and the file location of the log.
I’m so glad I decided to join Lori on her trip to the lighthouse. As I wrote in the guest log, it was worth waiting in traffic to get there. I will never forget the sights, the sounds, or the volunteers I met.
Earl Klugh at the Blue Note July 13, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Travel.
It took many years, but last night, I finally saw guitarist Earl Klugh (“clue”) perform live. It’s been 40 years since he made his solo debut with a pair of albums, Earl Klugh and Living Inside Your Love. Most of his early albums were released on Blue Note Records, and the show I saw was at the infamous Blue Note jazz club in Greenwich Village. It was my fourth time at the Blue Note, and won’t be the last.
The show I saw was the first of 12 over six nights. As usual, I opted for the 8:00 show over the 10:30 show.
My sister drove to the Wantagh LIRR station at 3:45 for the 4:02 train to Penn Station. As fate would have it, the 3:27 train was running a half hour late. So, I boarded that train a few minutes earlier than the train I planned on taking.
Just before 5:00, I arrived at Penn and proceeded to the 34th Street subway station for the downtown A train to West Fourth Street. Just like my previous trip to Blue Note for Spyro Gyra, I was so early that I was the first in line outside the club. After 5:30, a line began to form behind me. At exactly 6:00, the door opened and I was let in. I chose my center stage table seat and ordered dinner. A father and daughter from Japan sat to my left, which made me wish I spoke enough Japanese to carry a conversation. I was rewarded a half hour later when a man from Ottawa, in town for his daughter’s dance competition, took the seat across from mine. We had a nice, prolonged conversation. It was great.
The show I was about to see was even greater.
Earl Klugh, as he has throughout his 40-year career, played acoustic guitar:
Tom Braxton played alto sax (seen below), soprano sax, and flute:
Al Turner, the Bass Burner, on electric bass:
…and Ron Otis on drums:
There were also two special guests, as you’ll see in the set list below:
1. Brazilian Stomp
Originally heard on: Collaboration (with George Benson), 1987
2. Midnight in San Juan
Originally heard on: Midnight in San Juan, 1991
3. Last Song
Originally heard on: The Journey, 1997
4. Across the Sand
Originally heard on: Move, 1994
5. Cabo Frio
Originally heard on: Finger Paintings, 1977
6. Wishful Thinking
Originally heard on: Wishful Thinking, 1984
Special guest: Barry Eastmond, keyboard
Originally heard on: Earl Klugh, 1976
8. Living Inside Your Love
Originally heard on: Living Inside Your Love, 1976
9. Dr. Macumba
Originally heard on: Finger Paintings, 1977
10 (Encore). Twinkle
Originally heard on: Crazy for You, 1981
Special guest: Michael Lington, alto sax
Hearing him on the Kurzweil synthesizer reminded me of Bill Heller, who also uses that model:
David was quite the character. I loved his antics.
With that, the 8:00 set was complete.
I complimented Al Turner and Michael Lington as they left the stage, and let Earl know that this was my first time seeing him live. “Really?” Yes, and I hope it isn’t the last time. I spoke to Tom Braxton before the show, but didn’t have a chance to talk to him again afterward.
If you’d like to see Earl and the band at Blue Note, you have five more nights to do so. Come on down to the Village and see them play. You won’t be disappointed. I was enthralled. Thank you to Earl, David, Tom, Al, Ron, Barry, and Michael.
Dharma 2.0 recap June 25, 2016Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Media, Music, Personal.
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The set now features mainstream covers while retaining Dharma classics, as you’ll notice in the set list.
I was last at the Suite last January for Dharma 1.0. I had planned on returning two months later, but came down with bronchitis and had to stay home. I felt redeemed last night.
I sat in a chair in front of the stage. Behind me, a packed house gathered. We were all in for a wild set.
1. Apocalypso (Dave Weckl cover)
2. Spies (Coldplay cover)
4. Sing a Song of Song (Kenny Garrett cover)
5. In My Place (Coldplay cover)