Saturday, February 28, 2009

What's beautiful about NYC

Hi, welcome to my first "blog" post on an official blog site. I needed a venue for my thoughts, rants, and random free associations related to jazz music, humanity, and anything else I think might be valuable and maybe thought-provoking or motivational/inspirational, or possibly just merely antagonistic or irritating to people of similar interests... or maybe just a self-indulgent exercise... but anyway here's my blog. Enjoy. Feel free to "like" it or complain or whatever, or just read it and say "hmmm" or ignore it completely.

I'm in NYC tonight (Saturday), and have a night off in Manhattan for the first time in many years. That doesn't include the nights when I get in at 12AM from long day of flying from San Diego, CA, where I live with my wife Susan and toddler son Cameron, and just run to the nearest deli to grab a bottle of that suspicious "Deer Park" water and go to bed. I mean a REAL night off. So I went to my favorite secret restaurant Yakitori Totto on West 55th St., where my friends and I were the only non-Japanese people in there, and we threw down with some organic free-range chicken skewers and awesome vegetable kabobs, and good sake and draft beer. They're very busy so they kicked us out of our table as soon as someone mentioned the word "Facebook" in conversation... like they had a red alert sign... "Conversation has turned mundane.... talking about pop culture social networking sites.... boring. Get them out of here."

Then we went around the corner to a Cuban restaurant formerly known as Azucar, on 8th Ave. and 56th St., now called "Guantanamera" (glad they didn't name it "Guantanamo")... the great percussionist Pedro Martinez was playing there with his band, including a wonderful bassist named Panagiotis Andreou, originally from Greece but since he moved to NYC he's become an acknowledged expert on many musics of the world, including Afro-Cuban and Israeli traditional music. He's a badass... I hope to be able to get him on a gig with my band someday. Totally happening bass player - an excellent soloist but really a team player, creating inventive and supportive, melodic bass lines all the time.

Tomorrow Ron Blake (sax) and I rent a car and drive up to Saratoga, NY for some educational activities at Skidmore College and a concert Monday night with the Christian McBride Band, still my favorite band overall to play in. Literally the only band I've ever been in where I can do whatever I want, where every style of music I like to play, every whacky urge or whim, is not only tolerated but encouraged. I can go from Keezer to Chick Corea to Joe Zawinul to Black Sabbath, back to Keezer, within one tune and it's cool. Much fun.

See you soon here on the "blog"....!


  1. Let me be the first to say thanks for throwing your thoughts out for us Keezer Konsumers to enjoy. Wish I was closer to Saratoga...

  2. I'm moving to NYC pretty soon, actually. I was up there a few weeks ago looking for apts and I hooked up with a friend of mine and went to Yakitori Totto. Never been to a restaurant like that, but yeah, DEFINITELY want to go back...