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Instrumental Invasion, 1/18/23 January 19, 2023

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Biking, Film, Food, History, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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The January 18 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded from December 1 to 3, 2022: the first segment on the 1st, the next three on the 2nd, and last two on the 3rd along with remixing and pickups.

The playlist was created on November 27 with annotations on 29th and 30th. The talk break script was drafted November 30 and December 1.

This week, the extra 2017-present segment was swapped for an extra 1985-95 segment. The last four segments only had two talk breaks each. The first two of hour 2 were made up of three songs in a row (a triple shot).

Off the Top” by Kim Scott was originally played last April 6.

Since I brought it up after playing Wes Montgomery’s cover of “Windy,” I would have liked to attend the Dancing with the Stars Live tour stop at the Tilles Center last Tuesday, but the show was sold out when I looked for tickets and they were only available marked up through resellers on Ticketmaster. Oh, well. By the way, my “everyone knows it’s Instrumental Invasion” line going into “Windy” referenced a lyric in the song.

I included “Automat” by Yellowjackets after having seen a documentary on the titular fast food restaurants popularized by Horn & Hardart.

Here is a composite of CBS Sports’ coverage of the 1988 Tour de France, complete with John Tesh‘s music:

While skimming through the video, I thought John himself covered parts of the race, but the voice I heard (and face I saw) was Tim Brant.

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

1:50 PM UPDATE: This is another of those shows where I don’t notice mistakes or oversights until after the show airs. Bob Mintzer played tenor and soprano sax on “Automat.” The phrase trumpeter Igmar Thomas borrowed on “Blues Vagabond” by Lisa Hilton was from “Killer Joe,” which Quincy Jones covered on Walking in Space. The song was originally written and performed by Benny Golson for The Jazztet‘s Meet the Jazztet record. “Chicken Joe” was by pianist Joe McBride.

I also missed a community calendar spot I recorded on Monday that ran during the last break:

The music bed is “Working Girl March #2 (Film Cue)” by Dave Grusin from the Tootsie soundtrack.

4:05 PM UPDATE: Oh, and this is the PAMS jingle I referenced going into “Wherever You Go” by Brian Simpson:

I clipped from part 2 of Jon Wolfert’s The History of the Musicradio WABC Jingles.

Instrumental Invasion, 12/28/22 December 29, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Christmas, Computer, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, New Age, New Year, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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The December 28 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded one hour per day on November 17, my 41st birthday, and 18, followed by pickups and remixing. An additional pickup was recorded on the 19th.

The playlist was the third of three created between November 7 and 9. I created it solely on November 9, started annotating on the 9th and finished on the 12th, with the talk break script drafted on the 15th and 16th.

For the second year in a row, I played Christmas-adjacent songs the week after the Christmas show. “December Dream” by Fourplay was originally in mind for last week, but I replaced it to allow for a longer third song in its intended segment.

For the second show in a row, I played two versions of the same song, ending each hour with “Auld Lang Syne“; first by Kenny G, then by Jessy J. Yes, I know J is technically not her last initial, but for poetic license, it was in this show.

All of the last three shows have had segment gaps filled by songs less than three minutes long. And speaking of last initials, I searched my blazers for a suitable (no pun intended) nickname to go with “Armani B” by Brian Simpson. Jos. A. Bank made the most sense; ergo, “Joseph A. Bank M.” By the way, I bought a CD copy of Closer Still just before publishing this post.

Busta Move” by Julian Vaughn was originally played on August 17.

I’m still not finished listening to my iTunes Christmas music playlist, which I’ve been listening to incrementally since early November. I got through big portions of it during a Christmas Eve party and then on Christmas Day at home, but there were over a hundred songs left. I’ll update this paragraph once I finish. 1/2/23 UPDATE: I finished this morning.

Mid-November Mike (another nickname) could not have foreseen a historic winter storm, an explosive cyclogenesis (“bomb cyclone” in media hype lingo), when he included “Black Frost” by Grover Washington, Jr. to fill out the first segment. Crazy as the storm and aftermath were here on Long Island – southwest winds ushering in cold air?! – it was much worse elsewhere, particularly in Buffalo! Here, temperatures plummeted from the mid 50s (Fahrenheit) to the single digits! That meant there was black frost ice on the roads, and patches of ice on the sidewalks, from floodwaters brought on by rain and coastal flooding. I haven’t talked to Ryan “A Ripping Good Time” Grabow since the storm, but I know from its Wikipedia entry (first link) that Central Florida – where he lives and works for the Orlando Fox affiliate – had a period of sleet and snow flurries in on Christmas morning! (Okay, enough exclamations.) Christmas also marked record cold highs for Fort Lauderdale and Miami: 49° and 50°F, respectively. Reading that took me back to similarly cold Christmastimes in 1989 and ’90 in Crystal Beach, Florida, in the Tampa Bay area; not to mention how cold it was outside LaGuardia Airport before flying to Tampa in ’90. Maybe weather conditions are cyclical.

I’m further reminded of a video I watched on YouTube five years ago that exemplified the cold Christmastime in ’89: the start of NBC Sports coverage of the Miami Dolphins’ Christmas Eve regular season finale against the Kansas City Chiefs at then-Joe Robbie Stadium in not-yet-incorporated Miami Gardens. As you’ll see in the video below, the game time temperature was 39° with gusty northwest winds. No wonder it was dubbed The Miami Ice Bowl.

Yes, that was “Carol of the Bells” by Mannheim Steamroller (from A Fresh Aire Christmas); yes, that was Charles McCord announcing (“NBC Sports presents…”); and yes, John Tesh‘s “Gridiron Dreams” was the NFL on NBC theme song.

Anyway, click here to download the last scoped Instrumental Invasion aircheck of 2022, or listen below:

See you in 2023!

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, 8/31/22 September 1, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel.
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The August 31 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was recorded over three days: two segments on July 2, three on the 3rd, and one on the 4th before intermittent daytime fireworks began. Pickups were recorded on the 4th and 5th.

The playlist was created on the morning of June 27 before the marathon recording session of the August 17 show and last week’s first segment. Annotations began on June 28, but were delayed until July 1. First, on the 28th, an opportunity arose to record the second hour of last week’s show. I was preoccupied with ripping and editing tracks from two Maynard Ferguson CD album bundles on the 29th. (The bundles contained releases between 1974 and ’79.) On the 30th, new Bluetooth reference monitors arrived and initially worked, but interference led to incessant stuttering. Plus, without a wired connection, I couldn’t record computer audio from “stereo mix.” Installing a virtual cable worked temporarily, but didn’t last. I exchanged the Bluetooth monitors for their cheaper wired equivalent, even though the ones I replaced also had wired connections. Then, I got a 6-foot male-to-male Y-splitter to run from the computer to the input jacks on the left monitor. The computer end is 1/8-inch TRS and the monitor end is dual 1/4-inch TS.

The talk break script was drafted on July 1 and 2.

I recorded the segments wildly out of sequence because I knew that the last talk break would be really long, though not three minutes long! Even by removing ancillary sentences and speed compression, the segment still ended up 57 seconds over! With that in mind, the remaining segments were recorded in order of what I presumed to be shortest. Most anecdotes and callbacks were scrapped from the script, but among those left in were the Penn State allusions: about returning from my sister’s graduation in 2005 and about the legendary 1994 season of Nittany Lions football. Their 2022 football season starts tonight (Thursday night) at Purdue!

As the playlist shows, the other segment recorded July 2 was the fifth segment, making up 13 seconds. On July 3, I worked on the third segment (adding back six seconds), fourth segment (making up 15 seconds), and second segment (making up 21). I was left with a net overage of 14 seconds, but I removed one further anecdote from the last talk break, and that allowed me to break even. All that remained was a tight 18 minutes on the 4th, which I accomplished. Hallelujah. Incidental to that first segment, Fred Wesley, the trombonist on “Theme from Good King Bad” by George Benson, was born on the Fourth of July!

For the third week in a row, I swapped out the second 2017-present segment, this time opting for a second 1985-95.

Click here to download the aircheck MP3 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):

Instrumental Invasion, 7/27/22 July 28, 2022

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Boating, Health, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games.
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The July 27 Instrumental Invasion on WCWP was the fourth show in the last five with the 1-3-2 recording configuration: one segment on May 30, three on May 31, and two on June 1. Pickups were recorded on June 3, 5, and 9.

The playlist was created on May 28 and annotated on the 29th. The talk break script was drafted before recording on the 30th. I made a timing error in the last segment of the show, requiring a condensed script for the last talk break and ten extra seconds, the first time I went over 18 minutes since May 11.

Speaking of that last talk break, a week after referencing John McLaughlin‘s The McLaughlin Group sign-off, my sign-off this week referenced Chet Huntley‘s at the end of The Huntley-Brinkley Report. And speaking of the first, this imperfect Google translation is what led me to assume “Dinorah, Dinorah” by Ivan Lins (covered on the show by George Benson) was about a love affair with a teacher. I listened to the original for reference and to confirm the pronunciation:

And here’s a mellower 2017 duet in a lower key:

Despite obsessive listening, I said “gene-orah” instead of “gin-orah” in the initial first segment recording before going on a boat ride with my family. I redid any references to the song when I got home. I didn’t have a boat ride in mind when I added “Boat Ride” by Jay Rowe to the third segment, but it helped that I did (recap here) because it gave me talk break-padding material. I did away with some of that padding on June 9, shaving off four seconds, to make up for going over in the last segment.

A running gag established while recording – that I missed while drafting the script – was “thing/things” and all the songs written for someone. “Our Thing” by Jazz Funk Soul has made me think of the Mafia ever since More Serious Business arrived at my door 6 1/2 years ago. (Yes, the link goes to the MP3 version.) I sincerely believe the title of Jeff Lorber‘s composition is coincidental, and that’s why I always get a kick out of it.

The June 3 pickups were recorded after learning that my friend Pete Bellotti was named WCWP’s new director of broadcasting. I came out of Earl Klugh‘s cover of “If I Fell” with a liner that Pete recorded in 2020 while only working for CBS Sports Radio. Pete is still with CBS Sports Radio, but it didn’t feel right using a liner where he only identifies from there. I replaced the liner with one Game Dave recorded, giving new significance to my Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection reference. I said the low viewership was a humbling experience, but Game Dave reminded us of the big picture last July:

I clipped the relevant portion.

Playing off what Game Dave said, I performed in front of between 43 and 190 people, depending on the Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection video (as of June 3).

The expanded talk break meant I had to move the Bernie Bernard liner up one segment and put John Commins’s liner in her place.

Just this week, Dave posted a video chronicling his month-long weight loss journey with the help of exercise video games:

The June 5 pickup was recorded after learning new information from this interview Brian Pace conducted with Ivan Lins during his 2016 Blue Note engagement:

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

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.