DECEMBER 2020

December 2020

Another month, another month of COVID
Another month, another month of COVID, if we’re going to talk a little about the music scene as it pertains, this month we choose not to play any indoor gigs, and there aren’t too many anyway, and hey that’s a good thing right this minute, ain’t it? Well, I got hired to play a wedding next weekend, but the bride and groom postponed it a couple of weeks ago, probably not a bad idea. It’s almost too cold to go out and play any outdoors. Well not too cold, ha-ha.

I’ve got these two things you see above in the Upcoming Performances box right above this note. Just a quick word here about playing out…if you’ve followed anything I’ve done over the years, if you know me at all, you see that I do a variety of gigs; it’s all good. Contemporary Jazz, Swing, Standards, New Orleans, Big Band, Christmas music, my own tunes, German…Well I don’t do a lot of “Rock” these days.

If there is a common denominator it’s the Jazz thing. Well I guess not the German, but I dig that stuff! And I get to play authentic German music (just the standards) with some great musicians like Todd Fulginitti, Gary Peters, Tom Montgomery, Trixi Greiner. Still if you want to excel at a certain kind of music better do a lot of it, otherwise you spread yourself a little thin. Which all reminds me of a funny story, which I’ll share at the bottom of this word-fest.


All things considered and look I don’t want to be a bummer here, we all have much to be grateful for. I am starting to write this on Friday, Nov. 27th (Hope you all had an excellent Thanksgiving!), and new Cases alone in Lancaster topped 871 on Thursday and Friday, alone, over 15,000 in the state. Stop the spread, wear a mask, and don’t expose yourself to risk.

Saying goodby to a friend
We are sad to report the passing away this past week of a good friend of Lisa and I, and of so many in the jazz community in Lancaster and South-Central Pennsylvania, due to complications from COVID-Herb Young. He will be sorely missed by so many of us.

Hey, how about the election? How about it. I hope everyone got out and voted; this is what Democracy is all about; this is what makes the United States such a great nation.

New Video Collection at my YouTube Channel!
Exciting news! We have a new Live Video collection: The Dave Wilson Quartet Performing Live at and for the Willow Valley Communities, Willow Street, PA on 10-5-2020. A collection of 6 videos culled from a single sixty-five-minute continuous recording session at the Ballroom in the Willow Valley Cultural Center, expertly made by the WV staff recording and sound crew, and then streamed later for residents of the entire community. Joined here are the great Kirk Reese on Piano, and special guests Mid Atlantic All-Stars Blake Meister on Bass and Frank Russo on Drums. And as a subscriber to the Newsletter, we are at least letting you know about this.

Click here to view the entire concert:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qIIzW3DRvE0&list=PL8SdtORuoL8ikSQBF7sOIdFbY0dKAwHB2

Tell you the truth, we performed a total of 8 tunes that day, back to back, but chose the 6 you see, because the other two, well the guys played well on them, but I didn’t like the way I sounded on them, I sort of sucked, so there you go, on the cutting room floor. Like what’s the point of publishing stuff where I don’t think I sound good (I mean well) for any reason? Am I my toughest critic? Ah, maybe I did sound okay on it. Whateva.

Willow Valley was truly kind in emailing me the entire footage, and I handed this off to the excellent webmaster, Jack Frisch, (hell of an artist himself, Jack has done so much for the website www.davewilsonmusic.org, a two pronged entity comprised of my music career as a performer along with Dave Wilson’s Musical Instruments, the buying and selling of quality woodwinds and brass; along with invaluable artistic and career advice along the way), who did an excellent job in assembling the individual tunes.

Now, in some ways we were playing for the Community (Great people, great staff; we’ve been playing various events all over the several different venues/communities within the larger framework for the last 20 years or so); so nothing got too far out there, should we say ha-ha, but hey we made some pretty hip music where we were true to ourselves and the music.

Perhaps, you could say it represents some of the lighter of what we like to do. The Blackhawk, The Fool On The Hill, God Only Knows, It Could Happen To You, Walk On By, On A Clear Day. And as we like to say, if you have a good night, or an afternoon, or an hour+, when the music and the players can rise to an occasion; then that’s a good, even a spiritual thing.

And again, hats off to the guys-Kirk, Blake, and Frank; I like to say, with a section like that, well…You all probably know Kirk, the Central PA legend as a performer and educator; a few words first about Blake Meister: a first call Bassist in the Baltimore/D.C. area, I caught him recently in Warren Wolf’s band streaming live at the Keystone Korner in Baltimore, smokin’! And he was on the late Larry Willis’ last recording, I Fall In Love Too Easily, which hit No. 1 on the Jazz Weekly Charts. Frank Russo, similarly, is well in demand in the Mid Atlantic area, and has played with a who’s who of regional and national artists, as well heading the Jazz drum chair at Towson University. Among others, Frank has performed with Mundell Lowe, Dr Lonnie Smith, Hal Crook, Craig Handy, Keter Betts, Denis DiBlasio, The Coasters, Frankie Lane. And of course, again, what more can you say about Lancaster County’s Kirk Reese; virtuosic, creative, original, thoroughly modest.

We are all lucky he is right in our midst. Check out some of his recordings that he has put out as a leader (his trio featuring greats Steve Meashey and Jeff Stabley), and with the Reese project in these past several years; they are amazing! So, if you got a few minutes feel free to check it out; it’s got some pretty good stuff!

Join my Mailing List
I want to thank you all for being a part of this mailing list; thank you for subscribing to the Blog. Subscribe at any time at www.davewilsonmusic.org/mailinglist.html tell your friends (or your enemies). Feel free to unsubscribe at any time. There will be gigs to report in the future, we would like to do a live stream of the Quartet in January. We are thinking of some special offers to make to those of you subscribing. And some further news, I’ve got a set of 5 Coltrane tunes done a few years ago, again Live at Chris’ Jazz Café, with a stellar group including Kirk, Tony Marino on Bass, Alex Ritz on Drums, (both from the Dave Liebman Group), that I’m contemplating releasing in the spring. Stay tuned, news of this in the January Newsletter!

In closing…
Oh, yeah, the funny story I wanted to share…I was playing with the superlative Trumpet artist Dave Stahl and his Big Band in the early part of this century, (whom I owe so much for the experience of playing in his Big Band and Sacred Orchestra from 1999-2004), at the Carlisle VFW, and the incredible Baritone Saxophonist Gary Smulyan was the guest artist for that evening. Dave often brought in some great artists from NYC and beyond to guest; they were his friends or people he knew, often fellow Trumpet giants. Of course Gary Smulyan is perhaps the foremost Jazz Bari player of his generation, in the world, winner of numerous Downbeat Polls as the best on his horn; charter member of the Village Vanguard Big Band, holding down the chair every Monday evening as they perform; tours the world. So, Dave asks Gary “What would you like to play tonight?” As in, like a standard tune, to be featured on. Gary replies with a smile, “Oh anything; it’s all cool with me”. And then deadly serious and almost a frown: “But no rock.” Now that was funny! And very, very cool!”

Like I said, Stay Tuned; we’ll have more stories coming up in the months ahead!

Dave

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