February 2011 came and went…

What a month February was.  So much so that it’s taken me until the 7th of March to write about it.  First the present tense…

I’m sitting in a cab after a show with Deb Berman at the Metropolitan Room, going to P&G to see what’s left of Jimmy Norman’s CD release party.  Marylin Maye came to our show, which is wonderful; but maybe made Deb a little nervous.  Typing in a cab on an iPad is difficult.  Anyway, the show was good…

They’re taking Jimmy out of the hospital for the event tonight and I hope he’s ok.  He is a living legend, no doubt.  I have thoroughly enjoyed being his music director this past four years.

[afterward] Jimmy was well backed by Jonny Rosch, John Putnam, Stanley Jordan, Dave Sokolow, Luciana Padmore, and Dan Cipriano.  They really rolled out the red carpet for him.  I jumped in for a few tunes towards the end and fun was had by all.

Wednesday found me at the Core Club with Dawn Derow.  This is usually a background music type of gig, or ‘audible wallpaper’, but right from the start, we had a listening crowd.

This morning I had a recording session to make a demo of a new song by Sue Matsuki and Saadi Zain with Daryl Glen singing.  Kilgore studio is a really nice facility in the Film Center building on 9th Ave.

Then a meeting with Suzanne Fiore to work out a chart for a song she has to perform with another guitarist in Florida.  Funny, that makes two of those this week.  Gregory Generet just called me to work on a chart he’ll be giving to Bucky Pizzarelli in a recording session.

Now I wait for Essiet Okon Essiet and Alvin Atkinson to show up to rehearse for tonight’s show with Michelle and Mychelle and John DiPinto.

Ok, back to February.

The first week was rehearsals and shows here in town:  Elizabeth Tryon made her debut at Metropolitan Room, and then we did the Joey Reynolds show on NBC NY later in the month.  Jimmy Norman had a show at Whole Foods on the Upper West Side.  Rehearsals for…

…After a harrowing flight debacle Alex Rybeck, Kelly Friesen, and I finally landed in New Orleans just in time to perform Croon that night with Todd Murray.

We then went on to Baton Rouge the next night for a show in their wonderful Little Theatre.

One more show in N’awlins rounded out a great weekend down there.

Good crowds, great show, good hang.

While in New Orleans I visited with my dear friend Chip Wilson.

In addition to performing every night somewhere in town for the past 17 years, he’s also a master guitar builder.  Many moons ago I worked as his assistant in his shop in Burlington, VT.  Well this trip Chip blew my mind by giving me one his masterpieces, the  Nouvelle Oval.  It’s a hand carved archtop jazz guitar with all the finest appointments.  A true Rolls Royce of a guitar.  I’m still in awe every time I look at it.  More on that in another post…

During the week after this, we did a two-day recording session for Grace CosgroveDon Rebic was at the helm with Dan Gross on drums, Jason DiMatteo on bass, and yours truly on guitars.  The vibe could not have been better.  Ron Allaire kept it all flowing and sounding great, as only he knows how.

The following weekend it was off to Chicago with Craig Taubman and the boys.

We had a great visit with Alberto Mizrahi at Anshe Emet,

then a House Concert at rabbi Steve’s, then we flew the next morning to Little Rock, AK. That was simply bizarre.

During the week following this we recorded the music for a new show by Lina Koutrakos and Dan Gross called Southern Rain.  There are so many singers and guests that I’d only screw up trying o list them.  It’s brilliantly written, both the book and the tunes.  I can only pray this one has legs…

Then I packed up my bass, 12 string, and amplifier in the car and fetched Craig Taubman for a midtown Manhattan hotel and shuttled us down to Philadelphia for a couple shows at Beth Am in Abington.

That was a particularly engaging audience, very spirited room full of people.

Upon return from that, it was time to record five more songs for Marcus Simeone over at Spin in Long Island City.  JP Perreaux  ran the session while Kitty Skrobella looked on.  Tracy Stark, Mary Anne McSweeny, Dave Silliman and I churned out the hits while Marcus sang his heart out.

Oh yeah, and H2 got a record deal with Canadian Brass‘ label Opening Day Entertainment Group.

I met so many new people and did so many things in February that it’s kind of a blur.  If anyone can fill in gaps or details, please do…  There is light at the end of the tunnel here, though.  The lovely Ms. Carole Demas is taking Taka and I along with her husband and Ian Herman down to St. Croix for a show on 3/12.  I think I’ll hang around a little and commune with the fishes on the reef.  My soul needs it.

SH

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