I know reading a bio CAN get kind of dry…so here (and on the "VIDEOS" page), you can check out some of my various activities from the 20th and 21st Centuries…some of these sound clips are from concerts and some are from CDs, so the sound quality varies; but I hope you'll enjoy what you hear! (By the way, none of these versions are repeated on either the VIDEO page or on any of my CDs)
Harvey (tenor sax), John Witala (bass), Bryan Bowman (drums). "Minor Sense," composed by Larry Porter, who contributed greatly as a pianist and composer on my first CD ("At Home/On The Road"). His song here is based on "Pennies From Heaven," in a minor key…I LOVE playing sax/bass/drums trio! Recorded live in Oakland, California.
In the 1990s I recorded a CD with this amazing group, "Ambrosia: The Music of Kenny Barron." Back then they had about 60 musicicans. I had Jeff Beal brought in as the arranger, and he did a fantastic job! A few years later, the Orchestra invited myself and Jeff (on trumpet) to play a live concert in their enormous studio. The tune is Kenny Barron's "Anywhere," recorded live in Hilversum, Holland.
Playing with this master was an unforgettable thrill, as you could imagine! This is McCoy's tune "Walk Spirit, Talk Spirit," recorded live at Yoshi's, Oakland CA.
It's been a great honor to be a member of this group for many years. Jovino was an integral part of Hermeto Pascoal's group from 1977 to 1992. The JSN Quinteto is a great combination of personalities, lots of laughs but always trying to play at the top of our abilities. This is the title track from Jovino's CD "Current," with Jovino on Fender Rhodes here, Chuck Deardorf on bass, Mark Ivester on drums and Jeff Busch on percussion.
Another great Brazilian pianist and friend who has honored me with numerous invitations to play; we've toured in Brazil, and I've recorded on two of his CDs (and Nelson recorded a track on my first "Amigos Brasileiros" CD). This modern choro by Nelson is called "Dona Chica," from his CD "Paixão," recorded in São Paulo, Brazil.
Marcio has been Hermeto Pascoal''s drummer for decades. We have played together in Brazil and Denmark. This composition by Marcio is called "Subindo a Serra," and is from his first CD as a leader, "Quebrando Tudo," recorded in Rio de Janeiro. I play the alto solo here.
This singer/guitarist/composer/arranger swings as hard as anyone you've ever heard; but here he shows off his lyrical side with his composition "Laurence." The first time we played this duo on a gig, I improvised an introduction that I liked enough to transcribe from the tape someone made that night, and used it in the studio! This version is on Filó's CD "Jazz e Senzala," recorded in São Paulo. The strings were arranged by the legendary Théo de Barros.
A vocalist from Russia who sings Portuguese lyrics, modern life in a small world! Masha invited me to record this tune along with the genius comoposer/guitarist Guinga and brilliant percussionist Guello (both of whom participated on my first "Amigos" CD). The song is Guinga's "No Fundo do Rio," on Masha's CD "Like Water, Like Air." I had fun with the bass clarinet in this context. Recorded at Fantasy Studios, Berkeley California.
This was a wonderful change of pace for me. Pianist Mark Levine is deeply versed in jazz as well as Afro-Cuban music, both styles being very well-represented in this group. (He also plays beautifully on the "Home" tracks of my first CD.) I was thrilled to be invited to play a few tunes on his 2003 Grammy-nominated CD "Isla." Along with Mark we hear Peter Barshay on bass, Michael Spiro on percussion, and the sorely missed Paul van Wageningen on drums; a fun afternoon with some great friends! The song "Seis Pa' Chuito" is by José Lugo.
My longest-lasting musical partnership is probably with this Brazilian guitarist/composer, who lived in California for decades before recently returning to his native Recife. (Carlos contributed a beautiful original song to my first "Amigos" CD.) We have performed in every possible environment, from the noisiest, funkiest of bars to 1,000-seat theaters and the Monterey Jazz Festival. Here we play a choro composed by Moacir Santos, "De Bahia ao Ceará," in concert at Stanford University (California).
(1) Another long-term musical partner and friend, Paulo is considered one of Brazil's greatest guitarists, and like many of his colleagues, he is accomplished in both the classical and "popular" worlds. We co-produced a CD in 2003, "New Choros of Brazil." Here, and also on the following two songs, all from the same sold-out concert at Stanford University, this time with Paulo, Carlos Oliveira, and I all together: a modern choro called "Aos Amigos do Trio" by Sérgio Santos from Minas Gerais. (Sérgio also contributed a new compostion for my first "Amigos Brasileiros" CD.)
(2) Here the trio plays "Risco," a beautiful samba-canção by Léa Freire, a major figure on the São Paulo musical scene. (She composed the opening tune of "Amigos Brasileiros Vol. 2")
(3) We have fun with a choro by Paulo called "Escaldado," where we improvise little "annoyed" dialogues between the composed sections. Both this tune and "Aos Amigos do Trio" are recorded on our "New Choros of Brazil" CD.
This wonderful Danish group, now known as the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, kindly accepted my proposal for a tour featuring exclusively Brazilian repertoire. They also allowed me to select the drummer (Marcio Bahia); repertoire (including songs by Toninho Horta, Hermeto Pascoal, Chico Buarque, and Jovino Santos Neto); AND arrangers (some of Brazil's best, including Proveta, Nelson Ayres, Vittor Santos, and Edson Alves). This tune, "Mais Pagode do que Jazz," by Gabriel Improta, was recorded on our last night of the tour, at the Jazzhouse in Copenhagen. Sorry about the "board mix," but I think this performance best captures the spirit of the tour.