I’m now in the middle of a long month of travel in some of my favorite places; almost all “home” to me (Twin Cities’ Dakota Bar & Grill, Chicago’s Green Mill, KC’s Blues & Jazz Festival, and the Concord Jazz Festival – with a few stops in Omaha too). The Dakota was great – wonderful crowd (as usual) and Lowell Pickett has done an amazing job running this great club. Played with Rod Fleeman, Laura Caviani, Bob Bowman and local drummer Phil Hey. Phil and I used to play together when I lived there – wonderful drummer.
Then everyone except Phil went north to The Green Mill – probably my 8th time there. Another great club owner (usually an oxy-moron! 🙂 ) Dave Jemilo. Very spirited room with lots of young ‘folks’ too which is good to see. Added local drummer Bob Rummage to the band. My sister and I hung out in Chi Town for a few days after which was nice. Now a little more family in Minneapolis (my Mom).
Then, onto KC where we’ll add two fine horn players to members of my favorite KC rhythm section (Danny Embrey, Paul Smith, Gerald Spaits, Todd Strait): Steve Wilson and the now (again) local Bobby Watson. Should be great. I have always wanted to play with Bobby and I love Steve’s playing. Then after we do our thing, we’ll get to listen to Arturo Sandoval. No lack of energy in either of these shows!
On to Concord after that where we add Mulgrew Miller to our band. Can’t wait for that – been a fan of his for a long time. Then we’ll listen to the Poncho Sanchez Band (after us). Love those guys. Then to the Chic Corea Trio, love them too. So… the summer moves on and before we know it, it will have passed. I’m enjoying it while it’s here. Ballads continues to do well – I’m digging the music very much, my players and playing for YOU.”