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Spyro Gyra at the Blue Note May 28, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Basketball, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel.
2 comments

I was back at Blue Note on Thursday night to see Spyro Gyra‘s 8:00 show. This is a recurring expression in these recaps, but it was Spyro Gyra’s third night of a six-night engagement at the famous jazz club in Greenwich Village. It was also the first time I’d seen the band in nearly three years. This was the first time seeing them on land since June 2007 at the YMCA Boulton Center in Bay Shore.

My original plan on Thursday afternoon was to take the 4:27 westbound train from LIRR’s Wantagh Station (currently in the first phase of renovations) to Penn Station. But I was bored at home, so I left the house an hour and a half early. I walked 20 minutes to the train station and boarded the 3:09 train. I use a backpack, so I must have looked like a high school student to some fellow adults I passed. (Wantagh High School lets out at 2:19.) Wantagh Elementary School had a fire drill as I walked past it on Beech Street. I was glad to hear it was a whooping siren and buzzer instead of a ding-ding-ding bell. That’s why I dreaded fire drills as a kid. I don’t like surprises and I like those big bells even less.

The train ride was longer than scheduled due to a delay at Jamaica, but I still got to Penn Station within an hour of boarding. My girlfriend took Metro-North and the S and 1 trains, and we met at Penn 15 minutes after I arrived. We then took the A train to West Fourth Street. We walked up the stairs at West Third and killed time by watching basketball games at the West Fourth Street Courts. At 5:20, we decided walk up the block to Blue Note and wait for the doors to open. There was no line at first, but about 15 minutes, a line began to form.

Shortly after 6:00, the doors opened and my girlfriend and I chose our usual table at center stage. Our seats were the last before the stage.

Through dinner and dessert, 8:00 came, Spyro Gyra walked on stage, and the show began.

As he has been for all 40 years, Jay Beckenstein was on saxophone. He mostly played alto:
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…but was briefly on soprano:
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Tom Schuman, also with the band for all 40 years, played keyboards:
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Julio Fernandez, with the band for 29 of the last 31 years, was on guitar:
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Scott Ambush, in his 25th year, was on bass:
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…and newcomer Lionel Cordew on drums:
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Each night’s shows were at 8:00 and 10:30. Here is the set list from Thursday’s 8:00 show:
1. Catching the Sun
Originally heard on: Catching the Sun, 1980

2. Stolen Moments (Oliver Nelson cover)

3. Havana Moonlight
Originally heard on: Got the Magic, 1999

4. Morning Dance
Originally heard on: Morning Dance, 1979; Access All Areas, 1984; Road Scholars, 1998

5. Cape Town Love
Originally heard on: Original Cinema, 2003

6. Harbor Nights
Originally heard on: Incognito, 1982; Access All Areas, 1984

7. Good to Go-Go
Originally heard on: Good to Go-Go, 2007

8. Funkyard Dog
Originally heard on: Good to Go-Go, 2007

We’ve reached the part of the recap with various shots of each musician. We start with Jay Beckenstein:
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Playing alto and soprano simultaneously on “Funkyard Dog”:
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Tom Schuman:
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Julio Fernandez:
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Julio’s vocal intro to “Havana Moonlight”:
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Julio was born in Havana.

Scott Ambush:
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Lionel Cordew’s drum solo before “Funkyard Dog”:
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Scott and Tom:
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Julio and Lionel:
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Scott, Jay, and Tom:
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My girlfriend and I had a wonderful time. We couldn’t have asked for a better show. I can only imagine what the 10:30 crowd saw.

Spyro Gyra are still at Blue Note tonight and tomorrow night. So, if you haven’t seen them yet and you’re free either night, come on down to the Village and see them live.

SJFS 2016 Night 2 recap May 4, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Football, Internet, Interviews, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
13 comments

Other SJFS recaps: 2008, 2008 meet-and-greet, 2009, 2010, 2011, 20122013 Night 1, 2013 Night 2, 2014 Night 1, 2014 Night 2, 2015 Night 1, 2016 Night 1

Day 2 of my weekend in Milford, Connecticut, began at sunrise. I went right to sleep when I returned to the hotel the night before. So, the first thing I did when I woke up was move the pictures I shot from my camera to my laptop. After that, I took the elevator down to the lobby and helped myself to breakfast. The day progressed from there. To pass the time, I watched episodes of Kevin Pollak’s Chat Show while editing Friday’s Smooth Jazz for Scholars pictures. When the latter rounds of the NFL Draft were televised, I had that on with the TV muted as I continued to listen to (when editing) and watch (when not) the Chat Show.

If such a thing existed, I would have teleported from my room to the Tilles Center Atrium for this year’s WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony. Instead, this recap by 2014 inductee Frank D’Elia will have to do. Jeff Kroll, inducted last year, informed me that next year’s ceremony will probably be earlier in the year, eliminating a conflict with Smooth Jazz for Scholars.

Eventually, 5:15 came and it was time for dinner. My girlfriend and I ate at the Olive Garden in nearby Orange. It was the first time I had been to any location other than the one in East Massapequa. Since I ate waffles and muffins at breakfast, I avoided those delicious breadsticks, limiting myself to minestrone, lasagna, and a creme de menthe candy when the check came.

My girlfriend improvised on her alto saxophone again while we waited in the parking lot adjacent to the Parsons Complex Veterans Memorial Auditorium. This time, she even played in front of audience members waiting on the auditorium steps. They loved it.

In the auditorium lobby, I met Jay Rowe‘s mother, Mia DiStasi, as I preordered Jay’s upcoming album, Smooth Ride.

At 8:00, Kevin McCabe welcomed the audience:
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There were plenty of people like me that also attended Friday’s show.

Once again, John Patterson, president and CEO of the Monroe County (Michigan) Convention and Tourism Bureau, promoted the River Raisin Jazz Festival:
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After two songs from West Shore Middle School students Friday night, Saturday night saw two songs by the East Shore Middle School Jazz Band:
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They played “Blues at Frog Bottom” and “Peter Gunn.”

After chairs were removed from the stage, Jay Rowe and his band came out.

Jay played keyboards:
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Steve Scales on percussion:
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Trever Somerville on drums:
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…and Dave Anderson on bass:
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The stars of night 2 were Eric Darius on alto saxophone:
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Chieli Minucci (“key-ELLIE min-OO-chee”) on electric guitar:
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…and acoustic guitar:
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Nelson Rangell on alto sax…:
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…flute…:
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…and piccolo:
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He also whistled a couple of bars:
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Nick Colionne on electric guitar:
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…and with Jay’s band on seven songs, including the finale, just like the night before, Rohn (“Ron”) Lawrence on electric guitar:
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SET LIST
1. East Coast West Coast (Jay Rowe)
Originally heard on: Red Hot and Smooth (2006)
Featured musicians: Jay Rowe (keyboards), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

2. Goin’ All Out (Eric Darius)
Originally heard on: Goin’ All Out (2008)
Featured musicians: Eric Darius (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

3. If I Ain’t Got You (Alicia Keys cover) (Eric Darius)
Originally heard on: Just Getting Started (2006)
Featured musicians: Eric Darius (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)
Eric worked his way through the audience in the middle of the song.

4. Uptown East (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: Slice of Life (Special EFX) (1986)
Featured musician: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

5. Dance on the Delta (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: Upcoming Special EFX album
Featured musicians: Chieli Minucci (acoustic guitar), Nelson Rangell (flute, alto sax)

6. From Here (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Red (2015)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (alto sax, whistling), Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

7. Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me) (The Brothers Johnson cover) (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Nelson Rangell (1990)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (piccolo), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

8. Buckle Up (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: The Journey (2016)
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (electric guitar), Nelson Rangell (alto sax)

9. Rainy Night in Georgia (Brook Benton cover) (Nick Colionne)
Originally heard on: It’s My Turn (1994), Keepin’ It Cool (2006)
Featured musicians: Nick Colionne (vocals, electric guitar), Eric Darius (alto sax)

10. Night on the Town (Eric Darius)
Originally heard on: Night on the Town (2004)
Featured musicians: Eric Darius (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

11. Ballerina (Chieli Minucci)
Originally heard on: Just Like Magic (Special EFX) (1990)
Featured musician: Chieli Minucci (electric guitar)

12. The Road Ahead (Nelson Rangell)
Originally heard on: Destiny (1995)
Featured musicians: Nelson Rangell (alto sax), Rohn Lawrence (electric guitar)

13 (Finale). James Brown tribute
Featured musicians: Everyone, led by Nick Colionne (vocals)
Nick went into the audience twice for his “Whatta ‘Bout You?” routine.

Now for various shots of each musician, starting with Jay Rowe:
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Eric Darius:
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Chieli Minucci on electric guitar:
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Acoustic guitar:
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Nelson Rangell on alto sax:
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Flute:
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Piccolo:
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Whistling:
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Tambourine break on “Buckle Up”:
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I always love when Nelson joins Steve Scales on percussion.

Nick Colionne:
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Singing “Rainy Night in Georgia”:
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Rohn Lawrence:
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Steve Scales:
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Trever Somerville:
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Dave Anderson:
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Next, two shots, starting with Rohn and Eric:
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Nelson and Chieli:
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Rohn and Nelson:
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Nick and Nelson:
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Nick and Eric:
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Steve and Trever’s duet on “Night on the Town”:
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The James Brown tribute finale begins with Nick channeling the Godfather of Soul:
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The rest of the band was in on the seance:
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“Fellas!”:
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The response was inadequate:
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Take 2: “Fellas!”:
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After a “yeah!” response, Nick imitated James’s incoherence in a questioning tone, eliciting more “yeah!” responses.

Then, he laughed: “Ha-ha-ha!”:
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“Can I count it off?”:
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“1, 2, 3, 4!”:
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And away we went.

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The “Whatta ‘Bout You?” routine:
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Back on stage:
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The cape routine:
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Jay can dance:
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Time to bring it home:
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That was it for night 2.

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What a wild night and a fantastic weekend.

My girlfriend drove me to Bridgeport Station at around noon on Sunday and my journey home began. Until next year, Milford.

My 2016 MLB Predictions April 3, 2016

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Personal, Sports.
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Previous MLB season predictions: 2015

The 2016 Major League Baseball season begins today. That means it’s time for my annual preseason predictions.

NL (National League) East

  1. Nationals (3)
  2. Mets
  3. Phillies
  4. Braves
  5. Marlins

NL Central

  1. Cardinals (1)
  2. Cubs (Wild Card 1)
  3. Pirates
  4. Reds
  5. Brewers

NL West

  1. Giants (2)
  2. Dodgers (Wild Card 2)
  3. Diamondbacks
  4. Padres
  5. Rockies

AL (American League) East

  1. Red Sox (2)
  2. Yankees (Wild Card 1)
  3. Blue Jays (Wild Card 2)
  4. Orioles
  5. Rays

AL Central

  1. Royals (1)
  2. Tigers
  3. Indians
  4. White Sox
  5. Twins

AL West

  1. Astros (3)
  2. Angels
  3. Rangers
  4. Mariners
  5. Athletics

Playoff predictions:
NL Wild Card Playoff

Cubs defeat Dodgers

AL Wild Card Playoff
Blue Jays defeat Yankees

NL Division Series
Cardinals vs. Cubs: Cardinals win 3-0
Giants vs. Nationals: Giants win 3-2

AL Division Series
Royals vs. Blue Jays: Royals win 3-0
Red Sox vs. Astros: Red Sox win 3-1

NL Championship Series
Cardinals vs. Giants: Cards win 4-2

AL Championship Series
Royals vs. Red Sox: Royals win 4-1

World Series (AL home field advantage via All-Star Game win)
Cardinals vs. Royals: Cardinals win 4-2

As you can see, I predict the two teams I don’t like will square off in the World Series for the first time since 1985. But unlike the last time, the team I’ve disliked longer, the Cardinals (since 2006) will prevail.

I’m a pessimistic Mets fan, so it’s only fitting that I have them missing the playoffs. I was generous enough to predict second place, but not a Wild Card spot.

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

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

Previous Lisa Hilton recaps: June 2011, January 2014, January 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Audiobooking 2: Listen Up! November 12, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Basketball, Blu-ray, Christmas, Comedy, Commentary, DVD, Film, News, Personal, Politics, Sports, TV, Video.
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Early last December, I listed all the audiobooks I had listened to while working out between June and the day I wrote the post. I said “there [would] be more audiobooks to come in the weeks ahead.” This follow-up post will list those books, all of which I listened to on Audible.

Since my misadventure with Dick Cavett’s left-leaning book collection of New York Times blog posts, I’ve only listened to apolitical or right-leaning audiobooks.

From last December to now, here is what has guided me through workouts, bedtime, and boredom:

I have many more audiobooks I plan on listening to between now and the next post, whenever that will come. Just today, I started Mort Kondracke and Fred Barnes’ book on Jack Kemp. It’s called Jack Kemp: The Bleeding-Heart Conservative Who Changed America. After that, I’ll move on to the another Rush Revere book: Rush Revere and the Star-Spangled Banner. Then, a series of autobiographies should keep me occupied through the summer. Until next time…

2015 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2016 Hall of Fame Announcement October 11, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Video, Weather.
7 comments

Earlier recaps: 2008, 2009, WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011), 2012, 2013, 2014

Earlier 2015 Homecoming Weekend posts: FM 50th Anniversary Celebration, First few hours of shows on Friday

Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my pre-recorded Homecoming Weekend show that aired early this morning. To see and hear my live show on Friday, click here.

Yesterday was my third day in row on the campus of LIU Post: Homecoming Day.

I arrived about an hour earlier than previous years. When I made my way to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium, the LIU Post Pioneers and Merrimack College Warriors were in the second quarter of their game.

On the way to Bronko Piersall Field, I shot pictures from the carnival and signs in the parking lot:
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The annual press box shots…
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Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks were back in the lower booth calling the game. Jeff’s wife Pat is to his left (screen right) and Joel Feltman is to Neil’s right (screen left).

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Pat photographed Jeff and Neil before kickoff:
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Unfortunately, the Pioneers did not score while I was by the field:
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They did, however, miss a field goal:
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Disappointed, I walked to WCWP, where I spent the rest of the day.

The Pioneers would trail the Warriors 3-0 at halftime, but score 20 unanswered points in the second half. The Warriors got back within 3 twice and had two chances to regain the lead. They couldn’t, and the Pioneers hung on to win 27-24.

Now for the WCWP portion of the day…
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The Studio 1 clock:
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Maura “Bernie” Bernard’s show followed the football game:
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Pete Bellotti announced the two 2016 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame: the late Ann Gaffney…:
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…and Joe Honerkamp:
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Bruce Leonard called in – speaking with Neil Marks, initially – and spoke with Bernie on the air following the announcement:
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Jeff Kroll chimed in on Joe’s induction:
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Jay Mirabile and me:
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Pete Bellotti, me, Jay Mirabile:
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Pete Bellotti, Bernie Bernard, Joe Honerkamp, Dan Cox, Bobby Guthenberg:
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The inductees:
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John Zoni in Studio 2:
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Bernie made way for Mike Riccio and Bobby G.:
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Back in Studio 2, Bill and Debbie Mozer:
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Bernie Bernard and me:
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It was a fun few days of Homecoming festivites for me. It’s always great to catch up with my fellow alumni. The compliments I received for my multimedia work – pictures, video, and audio – have made this year extra special.

Now, here’s video from some of Bernie’s show followed by the start of Mike and Bobby’s show:

There was one part of Bernie’s show that I missed: Ted David called in. Here’s how that sounded:

That’s what I meant by the compliments I received. Thank you very much, Ted.

At 2:00 this morning, the second of my Homecoming Weekend shows aired: a bonus edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri. I recorded the show two weeks ago. Naturally, I have pictures to show for it:
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Here are airchecks from the show:


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And the playlist:
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I’ve been listening to the rest of the WCWP Homecoming Weekend throughout Sunday.

2015 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first few hours October 10, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, TV, Video.
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I was honored to kick off this year’s WCWP Homecoming Weekend with a live edition of Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri yesterday at noon.

I went right to bed after getting home from the 50th anniversary celebration on Thursday night because I had to get up at sunrise yesterday morning. That allowed me time to edit pictures and video that you saw in the above post before getting a ride from my father up to WCWP at around 8:45.

As a result, I arrived 2 1/2 hours early, which gave me plenty of time to set up. I took a few pictures when I entered Studio 1:
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The next six pictures were taken while my show was on the air:
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Joel Feltman took this shot:
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LIU Post/WCWP alumnus Tom Murphy caught some of my show on 88.1 FM. When he heard it was Homecoming Weekend, he decided to drop by the station. He was complimentary of the music I played.

His fellow alum Dan Cox requested a picture, and I was more than happy to oblige:
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Tom wasn’t the only one complimentary of my show. Jeff and Pat Kroll, and the aforementioned Joel Feltman, were equally laudatory.

After my show, it was Jeff Kroll’s turn:
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He’ll be on plenty this weekend.

Jeff’s setup:
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Next on the schedule was Joel Feltman:
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On my way to the bus stop, heading for home, I noticed a familiar name on the LIU Post Alumni Walk: Fred Gaudelli. This sign was posted by Pell Hall:
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There’s also a Ted David sign by the Great Lawn, which I took a picture of two weeks ago:
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I’ll be back later today for Homecoming itself and the announcement of the 2016 WCWP Hall of Fame class. (10/11 UPDATE: Click here for the recap.) I’ll conclude this post, no pun intended, with my show’s playlist:
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…along with video and audio of my airchecks, which includes the beginning of Jeff’s show:


10/9/15 Aircheck

My 2015 NFL predictions September 10, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Football, Personal, Sports.
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Previous NFL season predictions: 2014

(3/27/16 UPDATE: Results italicized in parentheses.)

The 2015 NFL season starts tonight, which means it’s time for my annual predictions.

In the NFC: The Packers will win the North (1) (wrong; Vikings won with 3 seed; Packers were 5)  Seahawks win the West (2) (wrong; Cardinals won with 2 seed; Seahawks were 6), Cowboys win the East (3), and Panthers win the South (right) (4) (wrong; 1). The Cardinals (5) (wrong; Packers were 5) and Eagles (6) (wrong; didn’t make the playoffs; Seahwaks were 6) will be the wild cards.

In the AFC: The Patriots win the East (right) (1) (wrong; 2), Broncos win the West (right) (2) (wrong; 1), Steelers win the North (3) (wrong about winner, but right about seeding; Bengals won North; Steelers were 6), and Colts win the South (4) (wrong about winner, but right about seeding; Texas won South; Colts didn’t make the playoffs. The Ravens (5) (wrong; didn’t make the playoffs; Chiefs were 5) and Chargers (6) (wrong; didn’t make the playoffs; Steelers were 6) will be the wild cards.

In the postseason:
Wild Card: Eagles, Ravens, Cardinals, and Steelers win (Chiefs, Steelers, Seahawks, and Packers won)
Divisional: Packers, Steelers, Seahawks, and Patriots win (Patriots, Cardinals, Panthers, and Broncos win)
Conference Champions: Packers (NFC) and Patriots (AFC) (Panthers [NFC] and Broncos [AFC]), setting up the Super Bowl XXXI rematch I incorrectly predicted last year. Only this time… (wrong)
Super Bowl 50 Champions: Patriots (Broncos)

Last year, my pessimistic Super Bowl prediction turned out to be right. (Thanks, Pete Carroll.) I’d like to go back to being wrong this year. If I’m right, it will be Bill Belichick’s fifth Super Bowl win as a head coach, surpassing Chuck Noll’s four with the Steelers. (I’m glad to have been wrong again.)

Locally, I expect the Giants to finish third again in the NFC East (right, and with the same record: 6-10) and the Jets to finish remain in last in the AFC East (wrong; they needed to beat the Bills in their last game or for the Steelers to lose to the Browns; neither happened). Rex Ryan’s Bills will finish third in the East (right, and that last win must have been sweet for him), leaving the Dolphins to finish second (wrong; last).

Despite Jameis Winston at quarterback, the Buccaneers will finish last again in the NFC South (right). Marcus Mariota will deliver a third place finish in the AFC South for the Titans (wrong; last).

Triple Crown, at last! June 6, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Horse Racing, Media, Personal, Sports, TV.
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363 days ago, a day after California Chrome fell short at the Belmont Stakes, I bitterly suggested a Triple Crown retool. This was my plan:

Horses that win the Kentucky Derby should not be allowed to run the Preakness Stakes.  That will avoid future heartbreaking Belmont Stakes.  If they can’t run in the Preakness, they can’t possibly win it to set up Triple Crown talk.

It’s [a] ridiculous suggestion, I’m sure, and one that is born out of sour grapes, but I would love to see it happen.  The days of Triple Crown winners ended in 1978.  I don’t see it ever happening again.

I hereby retract my plan. Under an hour from posting this, American Pharoah did what seemed impossible: he won the Triple Crown! Larry Collmus’ triumphant call, which was heard inside Belmont Park and on NBC, went like this:

And here it is: the 37-year wait is over! American Pharoah is finally the one!!! American Pharoah has won the Triple Crown!!!!!!

American Pharoah is the 12th Triple Crown winner. After years and years of near misses, this win was very, very sweet. It was much sweeter for jockey Victor Espinoza, trainer Bob Baffert, and owner Ahmed Zayat. Congratulations and thank you.

I’ll conclude this post with several video links via nbcsports.com:
American Pharoah ends 37-year Triple Crown drought
Watch Larry Collmus as he calls the Belmont Stakes
Bob Baffert on ’emotional’ Triple Crown win
Justin Zayat ‘can’t believe it happened’
Belmont, Triple Crown trophy given to American Pharoah team
‘Third time’s a charm’ for Victor Espinoza
Bob Costas: No fan can forget American Pharoah’s rare feat
Bob Baffert: ‘I was prepared for a loss’

2015 WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony April 28, 2015

Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Technology, TV, Video.
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Previous Hall of Fame ceremonies: 2012, 2013, 2014

Saturday afternoon, the WCWP Hall of Fame inducted four more alumni in a ceremony inside the Goldsmith Atrium at LIU Post’s Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. In order of induction, this year’s inductees were Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio.

It was the third year in a row where the ceremony coincided with bright sunshine outside, allowing for plenty of natural light to illuminate the atrium.

I arrived about 90 minutes early following a drive of the same length from the Hampton Inn in Milford, Connecticut, after attending the first night of Smooth Jazz for Scholars. Slowly but surely, the inductees, their families, and fellow alumni filled the atirum and the ceremony began.

You can watch the ceremony at the end of this post, but first, the pictures:
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WCWP station manager Dan Cox welcomed everyone and tossed to an introductory video narrated by Jim Cutler:
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2013 inductee Bernie Bernard was this year’s MC:
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The first inductee of the day was Jeff Kroll, introduced by Bruce Leonard:
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The view from my camcorder:
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The same view from a different focal point:
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Bruce and Jeff swapped places as Jeff introduced Bruce:
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Neil Marks came up to say a few words:
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Then came Bruce’s acceptance speech:
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Joel Feltman was next a few words of his own:
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Joe Honerkamp listened as Joel reflected on how they were introduced:
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The third inductee of the day was Bobby Guthenberg, introduced by Bernie Bernard:
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Finally, Bobby introduced Mike Riccio:
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Bobby’s gift to Mike:
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Mike’s acceptance speech:
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2013 inductee Bill Mozer was repeatedly referenced throughout the ceremony. He came to the stage after Mike spoke:
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2014 inductee Frank D’Elia’s turn at the mic:
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Bill returned with a few more words:
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Dan Cox returned to wrap of the ceremony, bringing along a copy of the Hall of Fame sign, as posted in the background, to be autographed by the four inductees:
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Jeff’s wife Pat bought a cake for the ceremony:
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The ceremonial cutting:
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Now that you’ve seen the pictures, enjoy the video:

Congratulations to Jeff Kroll, Bruce Leonard, Bobby Guthenberg, and Mike Riccio, the 2015 WCWP Hall of Fame class!

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