What Christmas means to me: rest.  Yesterday I cooked a chicken with stuffing and Extra Lumpy Gravy and Brussels sprouts.  Pure therapy.  Now we couldn’t go anywhere if we wanted to as it is a blizzard outside.  I’ll take it.  After so many shows, rehearsals, recordings, and traveling it is so nice to just be quiet at home.

Since the last entry I traveled to DC, Chicago, San Francisco, and Boston.  And since the last post was text only, this time I’ll skip the chitchat and get right to some pictures:

Soundcheck for the Night Sky Essays shows featuring Liz Story, Barbara Higbie, Samite [pictured], and myself.  The big screen played a steady stream of gorgeous photographs of galaxies and planets and nebulae…

Liz Story explaining what we’re looking at.  I think.

Liz, Barb, Samite, and John Schimpf.  John is our Tour Manager Deluxe.  Does the job of five people with zero stress.  [Learned from The Master himself, John Edman.]

Now to fly from Chicago to San Francisco.  Good thing I’m not going east.  If you look closely, almost all of the flights on the list have a yellow CANCELED mark next to them.  Incidentally, I ran into amazing pianist Jon Weber in the airport after just reading an article about him that morning.  Crazy.

As soon as I check into the fabulous Hotel Nikko, I run downstairs to the Rrazz Room to see Pete Escovedo – father of Sheila E.  He’s got his two sons in the band on drum set and percussion.  Words fail me to describe how inspiring they were.  This guy has a heart the size of the moon.

The next night Terese Genecco and I performed on the same stage to a packed house.  Just the duo, doing our own arrangements of Elvis Presley’s first record plus a few mandatory hits and Christmas songs.  What a night.

During the day I walked for hours and hours and just inhaled San Francisco.  Beautiful city.  They even have a Japan Town.

Then it was back to New York for a couple days and a couple shows.  The subway is always interesting:

Then it was off to Boston for a few shows with Craig Taubman, Josh Nelson, Jeff Stern, and Noah Aronson.

Noah, Josh, Jeff, Craig

After a show we hit Kelly’s in Revere for some fried clams…

Back home to NYC.  Monday the 20th: rehearsal for Tamela D’Amico’s show with horns and everything, rehearse with Mark Miller for our duo show, Don’t Tell Mama’s for a show with Deb Berman, then Marya Grandy‘s show at the Beechman.  Tuesday: duo with Mark Miller:

Wednesday I went to Stein Senior Center for a 1:30 show with Jimmy Norman.  He was in the hospital, so we just hit it with the Trio: Steve Loecher, Freddie Simpson and I.  Jimmy’s back home now.  Thursday the 23rd was another backing vocal session for Monique Varsammes new CD.  This is going to be a good one [and its own blog entry coming soon].

After all this traveling and all the shows, rehearsals, recordings, soundchecks, etc., it was so nice to come home…

That’s my wife.  This is my girlfriend:

This Tuesday is my birthday and I’ll be playing at Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway at 51st with Terese Genecco and her Little Big Band:

It has been such an amazing year, and I feel profound gratitude for the people I get to be involved with and the things we get to do.  If you are one of them, or one of the people who make it possible by coming to shows and listening to our music – THANK YOU.  Blessings to you and yours in 2011 and beyond.

SH

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