Gig Chronicles Volume Two

Blowing Off The Rehearsal
Hello Friends, thanks to all of you who made it out to the shows this last weekend. We had more fun than legally allowed and we’re thinking of letting a little time spin by and then we’ll Metheny Out again. There are tons of excellent tunes just waiting to be explored.

I’m resting up this week but next week my inspired fellow guitarist Fred Benedetti and I will play a show at Ki’s in Cardiff. Fred is an impeccable muso and if that wasn’t enough, the nicest cat around, and if that too wasn’t enough, just picked up surfing and is totally taken with it. So, don’t be surprised if you come to the gig and our hair is wet and we totally sound awful. This just means that we blew off the rehearsal and caught some waves instead. Dude, gotta get the priorities straight!
hang ten, Peter

The Inebriated Sage
Hi Friends, I’m just back from a short Hawaiian adventure. Ten days of rain and sun, big waves and small, computer tweaking and bicycles, exhausting travel and relaxing zone out time. We had fun and I even played a gig at Sushi Blues that culminated with an after gig hang that found the semi drunk drummer spinning an apocalyptic tale that at it’s pivotal point, actual rain began to fall. Like this, the guy’s juiced and he’s going on and on and then water begins to fall from the sky. Weird science. The gods of alki rained down on this inebriated sage.

I’m back and ready for the summer mode. We’re meeting up at Ki’s this Friday to play some trio music. The food at Ki’s is really good and I know I’ll be there early to partake.
All good, Peter

Creative Chaos
Hi Friends, this weeks note is on the short side. Maybe that’s good? I’m on a medium sprint to get it all in and I’ve got studio work, rehearsals, guitar lessons, daughters softball games, phone calls, a little time for headstands, and really not much else. But I’m thinking you might really want to make the Dizzy’s hit with Pass The Drum on Friday night. We haven’t played around in a while and it seems that when we do pull it together some cool creative chaos goes down. Percussionist Tom Aros is back with us after a long road trip with Luis Miguel. He smokes! The show this Friday is on a night that there is NO baseball game at Petco Park so parking should be in the deal-able zone. Hope to see you there….

Healing The Woes of a Cranked Life
Hi Friends, it’s been a good week since we last spoke. Some wicked samba went down at Dizzy’s with the Pass The Drummers. It’s great to have Tom Aros back on the home turf. He had this 3 dimensional moment during the tail end of a Caetano Veloso tune in which he made the innocent little cuica drum speak the story of its sad life. It was transparent and it was magic. Nothing heals the woes of a cranked week like a major six nine chord and some big wide bass notes. We will continue on…

Summer is coming and the music is heading out doors. For this week, starting on Thursday, Tripp and I will sit on the Del Mar sidewalk in front of the Earth Song Bookstore and play music for the Strolling Art and Dessert Festival. Sounds good to me as long as we get a chance to explore the offerings. We’ll be driving east and heading indoors for a hit on Friday night at the Packing House in Fallbrook. I’m playing rock music with some of my fellow Aztec Indian Princess dads, (that’s a mouthful!) and we’re continuing on with the long held tradition of sitting around the campfire and strumming guitars. We’ve done numerous campouts with our daughters and while they were falling asleep in the tents we we’re resurrecting some classic Beatles tunes. This should be fun. And finally for this week on Saturday Tripp and I are again heading outdoors to play music for the Encinitas Wine Festival. This will be held at Quail Gardens, which is one of my favorite nature zones.    

All good from this vantage point, Peter

The Ethnic Groove Scientist
Fairly roasting right at this moment. It’s kicking in full on and I’m loving every micro rise in the thermometer. I’ve got some errands to run and then I’m sidestepping it into the Pacific for a bit of cold water clarity. Care to join in?

This week Leonard, Monette, and I will play a show at Ki’s Restaurant in Cardiff. Monette’s been traveling so were stoked she’s back in our loop. She’s one happy ethnic groove scientist playing for the beauty of music. It’ll be good.
All good, Peter

Aural Cleansing
Friends, we are filling the cars with expensive gas and are planning our gentle drive inland to planet Fallbrook. On Saturday eve we’ll deliver the SAMBA to those who choose to live with more open space around them. We like these relaxed humans and I’m thinking they’ll like our band too ‘cuz, we too like more air around us—around our notes. Don’t get me wrong, we also love digging into passages with plenty of girth and complications. But on any day of the week, also let me hear Coral sing “Luiza” or Ken play a bass solo on Metheny’s “Travels.” Now what we’re talking about are choice notes with a wide, blimpy cushion around them. This kind of stuff soothes the frayed brain wires resulting from a week of traffic jams and grown-up responsibilities. This kind of aural cleansing keeps one young and positive.

Come and take years off of your outlook, lighten it up, breath in some country air, and dig on the samba in Fallbrook…all good, Peter

The Transcendental Midnight Drive
Friends, I hope these words are finding you well. Things are cooking over here at SpragueLand and thanks to all of you that made it out to last weekend’s Fallbrook show. It was a wonderful concert with the good old-fashioned inland heat in place and an enthusiastic crowd. The band ignited, we caught up with some old friends, and then made the transcendental midnight drive back to the coast, nourished from the magic of music.

For this week we’re gearing up for a special show at Dizzy’s performing the music of jazz pianist Chick Corea. Here is my story and connection to Chick, which reaches way back to when I was in high school at Michigan’s Interlochen School of the Arts.

For most of my musical life I've had a special connection to Chick Corea and his music. I'd buy his recordings, study his tunes, transcribe his solos, and read interviews with him to learn more about how he viewed life and music. Back when I was at Interlochen I wrote him a note requesting the music to his tune "What Game Shall We Play Today?" I also let him know (jokingly) that if he was ever looking for a guitarist, I at age 17, was most likely capable and available for the gig. He sent the music and wrote back, "we will see, won't we". Ever since then I've wanted to play music with him. It was my MEGA DREAM.

Many years lapsed and on my third Xanadu recording called "Bird Raga" I played a twenty-minute, solo guitar medley of Chick Corea tunes. Chick agreed to write the liner notes for the album and it turned out he liked the way I played. First, he asked me to perform at his then famous annual Valentines Day party. The parties were a combination of incredible desserts, socializing, and then an unforgettable talent show featuring the cast of the amazing artists present. We're talking Al Jarreau, Herbie Hancock, Roger Williams ("Autumn Leaves"), Wayne Shorter, Steve Kujala, Hubert Laws, Victor Feldman, a young John Pattituci, various poets and actors, Chick's daughter Lelee, Chick with a mini orchestra, and this long haired surfer from Del Mar, yours truly. The event took place at Chick's L.A. Griffith Park castle complete with two grand pianos in a cathedral like living room. Either Chick liked what I played that night or at least dug my energy. Either way, he then hired me to play some gigs with his band. We rehearsed for a couple of days and then played a series of concerts at Disneyland over the Memorial Day weekend. In a review the following day in the Los Angeles Times, jazz reviewer Leonard Feather wrote ," of the emergent great guitarists." A pretty stellar moment for the kid who got to play with his hero! I loved the music and Chick was a great person too.

Another memorable moment found me with Chick’s band joined by Al Jarreau playing for thousands of folks at the outdoor mall in Washington D.C.. When I came out on the stage and looked out to the sea of people, trading licks on "Spain" with Chick Corea and Al Jarreau, I knew this was some golden territory and I took it all in. There were many other great times with Chick including the time I played on his film score to the movie "The Cat Chasers", starring Kelly McGillis. The band was Vinnie Callouta on drums, Chick, Pattittuci, Kujala, and myself and we recorded some classic Chick Spanish-flamenco tunes.

Around this time I began organizing Chick's music into book form for publishing. He liked the fact that I knew his music so well and so he'd turn me loose to make sense of piles of scores that he wanted transformed into music books. I'd take his sheet music, listen to the record, and then update the notes that had changed in the process of making it to the record. I would then put it on the computer, instill as much clarity and intuition as I could, and then bounce the new scores back and forth a few times until everyone was satisfied. The books I did for him are Light Years, The Eye Of The Beholder, Inside Out, Chick Corea Collections, Beneath The Mask, Paint the World, (all available from Hal Leonard Publishing) and my own transcription book of Chick's piano solos called Jazz Solos of Chick Corea published by Sher Music. In 1992 Chick wrote, "Peter Sprague's excellence as a musician is well demonstrated in his live and recorded performances. He has had the patience and musicality to take my original scores and, together with the recorded renditions of these compositions, make final drafts that have become the last few Elektric Band music books. They are the most accurate music books that I've published. I don't know anyone I would trust more to correctly transcribe my improvisations." That's a big deal. Thanks Chick!

One more Chick Corea related story and then I'll zap us to the present time. GRP Records was doing their first GRP All-Star Big Band recording and they wanted Chick to play on it and arrange his classic tune "Spain" for the band. Chick had a conflict in his schedule and asked if I'd arrange the tune. “Yes I will!” and so I leaned into it, spent two weeks figuring out who should play what and then made my way to the rehearsal to see what the piece sounded like. I’m not a conductor but there I was, flailing and directing traffic in front of the likes of Lee Ritenour, Dave Weckl, Tom Scott, Ernie Watts, Kenny Kirkland, and the list stretches on. I actually didn't have to do too much with musos like these at my disposal. Basically kick start the whole gang and then right out of the gate the band was slaying. They recorded the tune the next day and it's on the GRP All-Star Big Band CD and video.

And now, into the present, Johnny “O”, Duncan, Ken, and I are working out the notes and rhythms to a wonderful collection of Chick’s songs that we’ll perform this Friday night at Dizzy’s. We’re including tunes from his long career and his explorations into many different facets of jazz. From bop with Blue Mitchell, to classical influenced Children Songs, to the Latin-ish Night Streets and El Bozo, to the high watt space oriented Return to Forever “Theme To The Mothership”, and landing back on planet earth in hopefully one piece. It’s gonna be a great ride!

Also this week I’ll be playing with the wonderful San Franciscan vocalist Jennifer Lee on Thursday eve and on Sunday we’ll gather the North County devotees and celebrate the beginning of the summer sessions at Carlsbad’s Coyote Bar and Grill. It’s looking good folks and I hope you can be part of it…happy trails, Peter

Buy It or Steal It
Once again I’m plunking out the words on my computer with some updated news. In todays (5/20/04) Night and Day section of the San Diego Union Tribune (on page 23 to be exact) we received a pretty glowing review for our new CD called “On The Road Again”. Dig this media bliz folks! The CD just got released and already we’ve garnered some sweet words of praise. Writer Marsha Manna ‘sez “this is a trip worth taking” and bestowed upon us 3.5 stars out of a possible 4. Coolio!

The band is Road Work Ahead featuring Bill Mays on piano, Jim Plank on the drums, Bob Magnusson on bass, and me on guitar. Eleven tunes, some reworked standards and some original tunes—all acoustic jazz with some pretty creative twists and turns.

Click here and you can get the full background on the band including some classic photos of us in the earlier times.

Buy it, steal it, whatever it takes. I’m thinking your life will go better if you have this music circulating inside your body…that’s the rap, adios, Peter

Mumbling Hallucinogenic Soundbites
Hi All, just waking up from the roaring scene at the Coyote last night. Summer strikes and creating havoc outdoors next to the fire rings speaks this truth loud and clear. We had the fully inebriated coast rats hovering behind the band mumbling some hallucinogenic soundbites about John Fogerty and Creedence. We had the third dimensional dancers trying to keep up with Duncan’s full on polyrhythmic attack and at end of the adventure we had the sweet surprise of Sean and Sarah from Nickel Creek falling into place on the stage, stirring up some smoking bop along with the Cherokee Shuffle. It was happening!

This week we’re heading to Ki’s in Cardiff and the Inn L’Auberge in Del Mar—both small and cozy setups with great sound, good locale, and superior food. The capper on these two gigs is our happy band of merry pranksters.
all good, Peter 

Pointing the car towards Del Mar
Hooking it up with vocals and bass
Sending it out to fancy people
All dressed up in a fancy place.
And then you have me, buried into the guitar.
Dreaming in sound, gazing beyond the bar.
Glad it can all happen, glad it continues on,
Playing jazz in real-time in the gorgeous Babylon.

Three Quarters of the Rules Don’t Apply
Fred Benedetti is heading over to North County this week and together we’re planing on conjuring up some wicked acoustic guitar music. The destination is Ki’s in Cardiff and the food is happening and the view is stellar. Fred digs the Beatles so I know we’ll explore a little Liverpoolian ‘tude.

On Sunday late afternoon the gang and I will play the Coyote in Carlsbad. Last month the Watkins kids joined us on the last set and sent the vibe to level 42. They’re hanging for a spell in North County taking in some ocean and air in between a pretty much non-stop fly to a new town and throw down some terroristic acoustic sound, kind o’ thing. We’ll play jazz and then maybe they’ll slip into the last set again. And you know, whatever happens at the Coyote is pretty cool anyway you slice it ‘cuz it’s summertime in SoCal and three quarters of the RULES don’t apply.

Coming up next week we’re excited about a Pass the Drum show at Dizzy’s. It’s a non-baseball eve and that’s a good start. The stellar vocalist Amber Whitlock will join the band and we’re doing some new tunes as well as Joni’s “Woodstock” and Stevie’s “As”. And yep, Leonard will sing “Alagoas” for all of those who we’re wondering. That song is a hit and we’re riding it all the way to Brazil!
all good until then, Peter

See If My Math is Correct
The latest from LeucadiaLand is that there has been a ton of gigs. We jazz rocked it at the Coyote last eve complete with long improvised tunes floating into the ears of an enthusiastic crew hanging around the fire rings. It was the entrance of summer and it was loose. I dig playing there.

First off for this week we’re celebrating the new CD called “Friends For Life”, which benefits the Escondido Humane Society. Andy Villas-Boas is back from Brasil, Tripp is on board down the Freeway 15, and I’ll drive my new Element out to Borders in Carmel Mountain for some sweet bossa nova. This should be a good one.

Friday eve will find me and the Pass The Drum crew convening at Dizzy’s for an exciting evening of some new music. You gotta know that there is NO BALLGAME that night so parking and the crowd factor should be within a sane Gaslamp threshold. Supreme vocalist Amber Whitlock will join the group for this show and we’ve worked up 2 new tunes of mine plus the rebellious “Believe In Me” from Nikki’s Rose and Joni Mitchell’s 60’s anthem “Woodstock”. According to my calculations, around the 9:30 hour the entire stage should start to levitate. Come and see if my math is correct.

On the books for Saturday evening is a trio hit in Del Mar with Leonard Patton on vocals and Gunnar Biggs on bass. I’ve been playing the Inn for the last couple of months and this turns out to be a really nice spot where folks listen to our music while sitting on ultra comfy furniture, soaking up the whole elegance factor. It’s good to be on the home turf and I always drive home, slow, along the coast highway thinking that the whole equation is working out just fine.

That’s the story so far. Hope to see you out there in realtime.
streaming, Peter 

Dissipating Trade Secrets
I’ve been having some good adventures. Drove in style out to Borders in Carmel Mountain and played some samba with the three dimensional Andy Villas Boas and bro’ Tripp. The “Friends” cd had a good little dance out there! Then I hung with the folks at the UCSD Jazz Camp and dissipated a few trade secrets to the young ones learning to bop the be. Great spirits all of them! And a personal high point was a two-song exploration of sound with the other guitar teacher Larry Koonse. Ladies and gents, this fellow is IT! He plays with a gentleness and an unbelievable vocabulary of jazz and it was like drifting along with a transparent entity capable of aural levitation. I’m thinking we’ve got to pull him down south from L.A. for a music night here. I’ll let you know on this one downwind.

For this week I’m really looking forward to a Saturday hit with vocalist Lisa Hightower and bassist Gunnar Biggs. We’re playing at Del Mar’s Inn L’ Auberge which is a sweet spot for music. A couple of weeks ago Lisa did the gig and blew me away. What a jazz singer folks! Great sound, great time, and scats up a storm. It’ll be fun…

That’s the story so far. I’ve got to end the words here ‘cuz my daughter is down at the beach doing surf camp and I need to catch a few barrels with her.

hang ten, Peter

Work, Work, Work
Friends, I hope the tilt of the summer sun’s arc is bringing a good light to your days. I’m into the way it refracts off the 5PM glass-off, illuminating another priceless Water Tai Chi sesh. And at the least, keeping enough natural light to keep me from bumping into the rocks walking back to the house from another marathon studio assignment. Work, work, work—it wasn’t supposed to be like this…

For this week Duncan, Ken, and I will convene at Ki’s Restaurant on Friday evening. We haven’t spun the trio hit in a while and I’m thinking there’s some good magic potential. If all else fails we’ll have some three dimensional food. Hope you can join us…

That’s the rap for this week. I’ve got to bury back into SpragueLand and work out these Enya tracks. We’ve got a gig at the end of the month and we’re playing a few of her tunes.
streaming, Peter

Tracking all week with a good singer from Vail
Then onwards to a gig with Leonard channeling Braille
Next we’re Passing the Drummers to Mars
And then ending the week with some solo guitar

It’s good, and it’s getting better all the time. Hope to see you at this weeks music shows.
Hanging ten, Peter

It’s Delovely
Fred’s back from Europe
My schedule is in a stirrup
Tripp’s into maple syrup
Hall’s gardening turnips.

What’s a band to do?
I figure you bring it on together at a world class music spot and turn up the volume…

We’re Blurring it at Dizzy’s
There ain’t no ball game
It’s not like we’re getting too picky
But there’s a parking spot to claim.

Walk through the brick door
Pay your entrance fee
Listen to us searching for
The perfect notes and the perfect key.

We’ll search and you absorb.
It’s sweet simpatico.
It’s de lemon
It’s delovely…

Hope to see you there,
Cole Porter

Aqua Blue Circus
Here’s a glimpse into August
Leaning into the sweetest month of summer
We’ve got some Pass The Drum outdoor spins
beating to a different drummer.

Might as well stop the work right now
Might as well give up the fight
It’s time to open the windows wide
and get your inside mind outside.

This is how they do it in France.
They pack up shop and head to the beach.
The cities are empty, and they’re much too hot
and the tubes of Hossegor are within reach.

And that’s where you’ll find me.
Smack dab in the middle of August.
Not France but the Leucadian expanse
of the undulating aqua blue circus.

Yours in magic, Barnum and Bailey

Daydreaming for a Living
Dear Friends,
Getting ready for a big week of music
including an array of a grouping of musos
From a small group to an unruly big
painting the colors of the sunset pig 

Lisa H. singing jazz
Leonard P sings Trinidad
Pass the Drum plays havoc with tradition
Stirring up chaos within a limited edition

Hope you can join us during the peak ‘o summer
Get outdoors and let your mind wander
Daydreaming is a refined art they say
I do it for a living and wouldn’t have it any other way.

adios, Pedro

The Slowmo of the Summer Heat
It’s been busy and now it’s time to ease the throttle.
We’ve got one gig at the Coyote and then we’re heading astral.
We’re slipping into the slowmo of the summertime heat
hoping our hiatus won’t render our music obsolete.

Don’t worry about me, I’m not gonna worry
been plucking the metal since the start of the story.
And loving every musical inch of it
letting the creative sounds infringe on it.

So hoping to see you all out on Sunday
Check out the Coyote jazz interplay.
Johnny O’s shredding keys
The traffic cop is collecting fees.

Bro’ Tripp will canvas the sound
Duncan will play lost and found
I’ll hit the strings with a stick
We’ll break the rules, I’ll break a pick.

The two folks will dance in front,
The drunken sailor will be on the hunt.
The fire rings will light the night
And at the end of it all,
An aural overhaul.

Then we’ll be ready to deal with plight, of real life.
Semi end of fun mode switched on.
Heading to the ocean to even out…

Until the next one, adios, Pedro

Wide Time
Hi Friends, I’m back from talking a hefty rest. I’ve accumulated an excess of ocean time if there’s such a thing. I logged many miles of beach walks. I’ve done headstands with only the ocean wind playing into the balance. I think I’m ready to make some noise again. Leonard and Ken are lined up and the Inn in Del Mar is our point of connection. We’ll valet park, we’ll connect the cables, we’ll adjust the A string, we’ll EQ the mic, Ken will set up the Space Odyssey bass tower, and then we’ll be off again into that world of wide time and creative mischief. I hope you can join us…

adios, Peter

Getting Mileage
In this installment we look at the aspect of “getting’ mileage”. Getting mileage in a very particular way. Dig this scenario.

Very often, promoters will ask me to prepare some bio info for their spoken introduction of our band at a concert. There are a lot of things that could be said but the most streamlined of them all is this one, “winner of the 2002 Best Jazz Artist of the Year, Peter Sprague.” Dang, I don’t even need to play good after that point ‘cuz folks in the audience are convinced that I know what I’m doing. Well, the truth really sits with the fact that actually MAKING MUSIC is the big deal in my life and they can lop on or take away titles and still the quest for that gorgeous melody is what I’m after. The gorgeous melody, the featherweight groove, and the moments of transcendence—this is why I continue to practice and play. And how cool, to add on to this mix, would it be to capture the prestigious and streamlined moniker of “winner of 2004 Best Jazz?” It’d be cool and I’d get some mileage.

I’m kick starting the GettingMileage campaign and right now I’m nominated for 2004 Best Jazz Artist. I’m also up for Best Jazz Album for both the Road Work Ahead recording as well as the Friends For Life CD. It turns out that you, the enlightened regular folks, can only vote for the Best Jazz Artist category and the others are voted on by the pro critics and members of the SD Music Academy, bless them all.

So, go here to pass on some mileage to me: and may the best muso win….

Yin and Yang
I’ve been doing some marathon computer wars this whole week. Dig this yin versus yang hang.

The music computer is being a monster to me. Some problem is lurking and I’ve spent the last full 2 days prying and rebooting, reinstalling and card removing, re-INIT-ing and having fits, spirit sinking and then re-thinking. I believe I’ve corrected it but I’ve thought this before.

This has been the yang.

And to balance all of this out I’ve taken the last part of the days and devoted them to drifting in warm hurricane waters.

The yin.

The hurricane off Baja has brought the most insane south-directed swells to our coast. This means that you enter the water and within seconds you’re drifting north as if you’re in a fast moving river. For a while I tried to stay even with the shoreline—I fought the current. And then I thought of the computer war, “screw it, I’m drifting”. And thus, I launched from Beacons and within an hour of floating and wave riding I was at Grandview, a mile north.

Sometimes it’s good to go WITH IT.

GOING WITH IT folks. I’m yin and yanging it and I’m thinking that a sweet addition to this mix would be to get together with some great musos, eat some insane healthy food, and watch the warm hurricane waters drift north.

Hope to see you there, Peter

Level 42
Friends, all goes well here this week. I swapped out some computer cards and the music machine is happy again and is documenting an assortment of brilliant recorded works. This is the way it’s supposed to be.

I’m thrilled to play some live stuff this week and the low end specialist Bob Magnusson is on line for 2 of the gigs. You ever hear Bob play an arco solo? He’s got the great sound, he chooses the best notes, and he sprinkles in some humor tones too. He’s the best!

On Sunday we’re bringing together Pass The Drum. I sure miss those guys. For most of the summer everyone’s been scattered around, tied up with steady gigs, and we’ve been a little distant in the live arena. Enough of that, and with the outdoor Coyote setting, the still lingering summer warmth, and the looseness of the Carlsbadian crowd, we should be able to make it fly to LEVEL 42. Come and join in if you can…

Next week we’re leaving for a mini West Coast tour with Road Work Ahead. We’ve got the cool nominated 2004 SD Music Awards CD “On The Road Again” in hand and we’ll load up the van and drive it to SF, Santa Cruz, Oakland, Cambria, L.A., and finally our beloved San Diego and Dizzy’s. Check the schedule and see if it works. Also, can you let anyone you know, in the areas that  we’re venturing, that we’ll be there and it’ll probably be some great stuff? That’d help our little independent world of live creative jazz. Thanks. If you don’t know about Road Work Ahead, click here to find out what’s up:

Laughing More Than We’re Supposed To
Friends, as we skimmed along Interstate 5 for endless miles, the props were all in place. The diamond shaped “Road Work Ahead” signs cosmically guided us through cities and forever stretching sun-parched landscapes. We’d finally touch down at a jazz venue and tell the story of RWA. The sound of Mays laughing and pranking through the keys, Sir James stirring polyrhythmic stew, Magnusson sustaining the lowness, and myself, one happy surfer living the endless summer. It was a good tour—we dug deep into the music, bumped into some old friends and met some new ones, and we got caught up with each other. I figure we laughed more than we were supposed to.

We’ll let the notes drift away for awhile but we’ve already got plans to kick-start the sound again months down the way. We thank all of you that made it out to the shows and we thank all of you for just reading this far. It’s worth it…

Some good news surfaced yesterday. While we exploded the last show of the RWA tour in L.A., back home in San Diego the Music Awards went down and they awarded me with the Best Jazz of 2004. I’m thrilled and I must thank you all for taking the time out and spinning the online vote my way. It’s probably illegal in some manner but it’s a good thing for the almighty CAREER. At least I think it is. I’m envisioning some announcer downwind using the “Best Jazz of 2004” as his opening line and then I’ll walk out and trip over a cable and it’ll all get REAL real fast. We’re just little folks circling around, trying to make sense of a C minor chord, trying to have some good meaningful times on planet earth. And with the award win I’m forever happy. At least until next year….weird human condition lesson # 6584…

I’m really looking forward to playing music this weekend. On Friday we’ll be at Ki’s in Cardiff with Bob Magnusson on bass and Leonard singing. Lisa Hightower will join Bob and myself for a Saturday evening hit at the Inn L’Auberge in Del Mar. Both spots offer the classic North County hang. Hope to see you out there….adios, Peter

Natural Launch
Friends, there exists a strange under the radar reality that the further you get from L.A., the better chance you have of having a good night of music. A variation of this is that sometimes when you take music to places that usually don’t have music, sometimes this is when the magic happens. Nobody expects it and it has a chance to launch naturally. We’re hoping for a “natural launch” on Friday as Tripp and I make our way to the San Diego Airport Terminal 2 Baggage Claim area for a concert in one of the most unlikely spots known for music. We did this show last year and it was a real hoot. We had a good turnout of our regular friends and then the added bonus were the folks that were suffering through a long layover and then spontaneously stumbled into our show. All this plus this place actually has a good sonic quality to it. Hope to see you inside good ‘ol Terminal 2…

Leonard, myself, and a new bass player for us—Justin Grinnell, will play music in Del Mar at the Inn L’Auberge on Saturday evening. Our show last weekend with Lisa and Mag had a good natural launch. The Inn sounds good and the environment couldn’t be better. It’s like we’re all hanging out in a fancy living room, making music with friends. Hope to see you there.

That’s the rap for this week…all good, Peter

Shoeing it In Solid
Friends, we’re doing a little retooling of Pass The Drum and we’re planning a few new tunes for this week’s show at Dizzy’s.

Ever been to Kauai? How about to the end of the road on the north part of the island? This is the setting for the story about Sarah, her bike rides beneath the canopy of green, and her reflective moments at the waters edge. “Sarah’s Island” is one of our new songs and Coral’s gonna soar. Next up is a new tune for us from Bebel Gilberto called “The River”. Bebel is Austrid’s daughter and she’s stirring up a cool blend of samba and techno. Leonard’s gonna sing the story of looking to the sky for solitude in “To Live In The Heavens.” Recently we’ve run into this long haired bass player named Justin Grinnell and he’ll play the Dizzy’s show with us. He’s into it and dedicated and we welcome him into the hurricane. This will be a great time and I’m always excited about getting the band together.

Bob Magnusson, bro’ Tripp, and I will play Ki’s in Cardiff on Friday eve. The absolute dream food for me and the chance to play with two great musos shoe this one in solid. Hope to see you there.

Sri Shrednoy and his merry gang of speedsters are showing up this week at the East County Performing Arts Center. Al Dimeola, Stanley Clark, and Jean Luc Ponty have a new group called the “Rite of Strings” and they’re bringing the circus to town. I’m going to hear it and I’m thinking acoustic instruments played quickly could be an enjoyable eve. Here are the details on this one in case you can pull this into your sphere.

The Rite Of Strings
With Al Di Meola, Stanley Clarke and Jean Luc Ponty
Tuesday, October 19th 2004
7:30 p.m.
East County Performing Arts Center
210 East Main Street
El Cajon, CA. 92020

That’s waz’ up…adios, Pedro

Air Built Into The Code
Friends, if the weather holds we’ll be playing the last notes of the season at the Coyote on Sunday. They keep the music going all winter but it gets too cold for me to play fast. And you know, all that matters is to play fast! Jeeezzz! Check this, we went to hear the Dimeola/ Stanley Clarke/ Jean Luc concert and to my ears and intellect, all that Dimeola cares about is fast. This disease spreads over to Stanley too but he at least tells a soulful story and holds down a wonderful groove. Jean Luc is a hero. Beautiful lines, solid time and his spirit is a delight. Too bad his axe is going through so much circuitry—his tone has a weird chubby initial attack that bothers me. I went back and checked out one of his recordings and half the CD was electric violin and half acoustic. On the electric violin there was that stinky tone. The acoustic tracks we’re gorgeous. Here’s another one chalked up for the anti-electrodes camp. I love the digital gear but it’s gotta have some air built into the code. Dimeola exercised aimlessly never starting or completing a musical sentence. Ten thousand dollars invested into chops and not a darn thing to say. He’s got so many cool maneuvers—strums and muted lines—but they all lead to a darkened alley with a little bat faced girl. (You Can Call Me Al)…Oh well, great to be there in any case and the solos Jean Luc took were worth the whole deal…

Hope to see you howling on Sunday, adios, Peter 

Martini Anyone?
Dear Friends, I just completed a few mondo projects in the studio. Yesterday I celebrated with a yoga sesh and a freezing swim at the beach. It ain’t August but I’ll take it in whatever form it comes.

This weekend we’re at the Inn in Del Mar. It’s a good spot to let the dues of the week ease on through and let the sound of silence begin. Something cosmic like that or maybe just order a martini instead….all good, Peter

Dear Friends, got a multiplexed moment going here. Dylan is on the speakers, just got back from the mountains, been working out Bob Mover licks on the guitar, and most sweetly, I’ve got a free day away from the details of the studio.

Sorry to get this note out late but me and my precious ones ditched the coast and explored some mountain time in the rain. Julian and the apple pie, Volcan Mountain and Hubbel’s incredible entry sculpture, Angel’s Landing and the steep road curving through burnt trees, kicking rocks on the empty main road. Slo-mo and good for the soul.

Back home and I’ve been transferring some classic old live cassette tape recordings to the digital realm and discovering hidden magic. One find was alto saxophonist Bob Mover blowing serious changes in Boston, 1982. I slowed the stuff down and put it over to the guitar. Thank goodness to never be too old to learn some new pathways through “Just One of Those Things”. Mover is a savant and once again I thank him for his art…

Tonight Trippster, Mag, and myself will do our thing at Ki’s in Cardiff. It’s always a great time and I think the food is stellar.

Sunday finds me connected with some of world’s best musos circulating. Holly Hofman, Mike Wofford, Jim Plank, and Bob Magnusson! We’re putting it together at the La Jolla Presbyterian Church and I’m thinking a Sunday early evening jazz sesh might just make the reality of Monday go away. Come and find out.

Looking towards next week, we’re celebrating my father Hall’s new CD release “Hurry Home” with a concert at Dizzy’s. I’m gonna tell the full story in next week’s gig email but here is a heads up if you want to mark your calendar. Dad is a cool one and we all would love to see you supporting his beatnik ways at this event…

That’s the story so far. I like the way it’s unfolding…adios, Peter

Hurry Home
My brother Tripp and I grew up in a house with jazz as the main event on the family turntable. Miles, Bennie Carter, and Stan Getz filled the air while our father Hall played the bongos along with these classic jazz sides. Tripp and I first pounded out rock and roll but in high school we morphed our direction into jazz and it came to us naturally. It was in our blood, thanks to our Pop.

Over the years our father has been part of our various bands including Blurring The Edges in which he is an integral component of the group. He’s recorded on the groups 2 CD’s and has played on all of the gigs. Tripp and I got to thinking how he’s never had the opportunity to be the main cat on any of these projects so we set out to create a CD where he is the band leader, the composer, the whistler, and the visionary of the group.

Hurry Home is Hall Sprague’s first recording under his own name and he explores the classic tunes from the Great American Songbook. I suggested he compose some tunes for the project and he came up with 3 cool pieces that make remarkable sense, especially coming from someone with no formal composing training. He’s a natural! His tunes have sweet melodies and are fun to improvise on too.

The band consists of Tripp on sax, Hall on drums, myself on guitar, and bassist Bob Magnusson. Bob has been our favorite for years and is like a family member to us. Dad was thrilled to play with Bob and his trademark swing. We had a couple of good days recording and we captured Hall’s classic groove on the drums and his unique whistling improvisation on “Just You, Just Me”. This cat has good ears!

So we’re leaning into 2005 and feeling good about the state of jazz in the Sprague Family sphere. We’re hoping you like this new recording and we hope to see you at the Dizzy’s concert.

The Process
Friends, it’s manic, it’s fast, it’s the holiday blitz. I’m thinking this is all good and in addition to the full on food fest we’ve got a plan to make a movie with the kids. If it turns out well I’ll post it on the web but as we all know by now—it’s all about the process baby. One step leads to the next.

Lisa, Bob, and I will gather for some music at Ki’s on the day after Thanksgiving. Think of it this way, there’s been a lot of hanging and talking and wouldn’t it be nice to sit back and take in a lyric by Billy Strayhorn, sung from a beautiful soprano, lilting in classic Cardiff style, all the while the rest of San Diego scurry’s to and fro? I’m in and hoping you are too.

The CD concert for dad Hall was really cool. Thanks to all of you who came out and dug the swing. I’ve added a little zone on my site with some cool photos of the recording session and some more info about the CD. Click here for that:
happy trails, Peter

The Full Circle—Dance of the Universe Reunites
Hello Friends, this week we’re celebrating the roots from which we came. The early 1970’s found us shuffling through San Dieguito High School with musical instruments in hand, hunting for true meaning all the while being berated with pounds of biology and U.S. history homework. Our highpoints were the musical courses taught by Ralph Dudgeon including the totally out of control big band. Baritone saxes squelching out obscene melodies and the never-ending quest to find some decent notes to blow over a Sammy Nestico chart. It was raw territory but hey, at least we had music at school. I’m not sure if this thing even exists at the streamlined academic-only schools of today. Me and our gang of talented merry pranksters took these ragged classes and developed a life from them. This week we’re paying back our debt for the next generation of creative musos that will wander through the halls of the San Dieguito Academy.

The band that we formed back in that era was called the Dance of the Universe Orchestra. We were reading Ram Dass’ yoga philosophy and used one of his key phrases to name our band after. Our first gigs were playing on the Del Mar street corner with the required open guitar case collecting revenue for the evenings group dinner to be held at our Carmel Valley hippie commune. We worked hard on our music and recorded a couple of albums and made a good name for ourselves within the San Diego music scene. The original band members all continued with music in various forms. On this Friday evening we’re reconnecting to play music and catch up on the details of our evolving lives. The money raised from the concert will go towards bolstering the music department at today’s San Dieguito Academy, of which my nephew Riley Fleck is a cool drummer student. It’s for a great cause and it’s also gonna be a ton of fun for us to play some of the Dance of the Universe tunes again.

The folks in the band back then we’re Kevyn Lettau, John Leftwich, Kelly Jocoy, Tripp Sprague, and myself. Saxophonist Mark Lessman wasn’t in the Universe band but was a fellow Del Martian/ San Dieguito high school-ian and a true musician hooligan and for these supreme reasons we’re stoked that he’s on board for this show.

Vocalist Kevyn Lettau grew up in Del Mar and joined our band when she was 16 years old. Even at that age she had a real gift for jazz and she’s continued on with music—recording and touring with Sergio Mendes for 7 years and recording 10 of her own critically acclaimed CD’s. Today she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and drummer Mike Shapiro and teaches music as the head of the vocal department at the Los Angeles Music Academy. She continues to tour with her band and has a new CD of jazz standards played in a Brazilian style slated for release in the next two months. Checkout

Bassist John Leftwich grew up in Cardiff a few blocks away from the school. We met him in the first period journalism class and found out that he played bass and was open to learning jazz. He too had loads of natural talent and developed his playing and eventually went to UCSD for a music degree. He eventually moved to L.A. and played with many great bands including Carmen McCrae, Freddie Hubbard, Ricki Lee Jones, and most recently Lyle Lovett. He’s produced many recordings and written music for T.V. commercials and today lives in L.A. and is very active in the music scene there.

Drummer Kelly Jocoy grew up in Del Mar right on the beach and we knew him from the early surf days. He started in with the drums and quickly got it together and joined our band. He played professionally around San Diego for years with some of San Diego’s best including Hollis Gentry, Rob Schneiderman, and Butch Lacy. He eventually moved to Los Angeles with his family and took up work with Smith Barney as a stock market trader. He continues with this today and plays drums the minute he gets off his early workday. We’ve played a few gigs over the years and he still has his wonderful swinging groove and sound.

Saxophonist Mark Lessman grew up on Lunetta Drive in Del Mar a few blocks down from our house. He was playing his horn constantly and used to practice under the railroad tracks at Torrey Pines beach. He played all around San Diego with his own band and recorded a couple of CD’s and then moved to Chicago for several years pursuing his music there. A couple of years ago he moved back to Encinitas with his family and continues to play music and design websites. His son Andrew is a smoking drummer and now attends Interlochen School of Music in Michigan—which ironically is where I schooled it for my last year of high school. Check out

If you’ve been on my e list for a while then probably you know plenty about Tripp and our current affairs. We did our time at San Dieguito and then parlayed that into our full time music careers here in San Diego playing, teaching, and recording. It’s a happy time and we wouldn’t want it any other way. We’re thankful for the time way back then, getting to fill up the massive high school class schedule with some soulful music programs. It made a difference.

The surprise treats for this night of music will be having young Riley and his pal Jordan sitting in with us on a couple of tunes. They are current students at the school and are playing beautiful jazz and are really into it. A full circle indeed, the next generation launches their music from San Dieguito. Also sitting in (we’re hoping) is John Minchin who plays a great blues harp and was part of the whole San Dieguito 1970’s school experience.

So there you have it folks—the big view of this weeks upcoming show. It’ll be great and I’m hoping you can make it.
Over ‘n out, all good, Peter

This Is Your Life On Acid
Dear Friends, I hope this email is finding you in a good way. Last week we had the amazing Dance of the Universe show and it was three-dimensional-psychedelic in many ways. First, the getting together with the old band mates was hilarious. We’re all older and I’m thinking maybe, but maybe not a little wiser. Second, the music was big fun and at the show the untold friends and fans and fellow classmates who all showed up, dude, it was “this is your life” on acid. Tre’ bien! So as the evening came to an end and we carted off the last speaker to the car we discovered it’s OK to be at the tail end of 40 and to be a musician still playing jazz. Playing jazz until the money runs out, at least that’s what some wise sage on the streets of NYC once told me…

My wonderful marketing genius wife Stephanie has organized a buy 3 CD’s and the 4th one is free from my website. She’s put together some cool reasons why this is a good thing and especially venturing into the holidays, which is similar to jumping out of a 747 with a parachute but the pull cord has been back-ordered. We’ve all been there right? Check out the details and the list of the reasons why:
Happy shopping, Peter

Additional Bandwidth to the Whitenoise of Christmas
Friends, the madness is here! Can I add to some additional bandwidth to the whitenoise of Christmas? Here goes…

I’ve got a CD special deal going on right now for online orders at my website. If you order 3 CD’s we’ll throw in a 4th CD for free, as to your specification.

I know there are a bunch of reasons why this may be a good thing for some and for others it’s additional whitenoise clogging up your flow. Well at least one thing for sure on this note, it’s short and it’s almost over.

If you’re into it, here is where you go for the Holiday Deal:

Otherwise, good times to you and keep the sky in your head…
Blessings, Peter

Space is the Place
Friends, here is the story on the last two gigs for 2004.
On Christmas eve afternoon we’re continuing the tradition of the Del Mar Street Concert—a gathering of wonderful musos and friends, bringing the music free of charge to the streets. Yes we’ll dip into a few Christmas carols. We generally infuse them with a jazz twist complete with doctored chord changes and ridiculous intros but alas, they are there for the adventurous ears to enjoy. We have the complete Pass The Drum group in attendance so we’ll play some samba and Marley. Looks like Sean and Sarah Watkins will be back from their globe trotting exploits with Nickel Creek to bring their morphed bluegrass/folk beauty into the street corner experience. And there will be an expansive group of talented musos who will join into the happening, a la freestyle—we’ll invite them up and their artistry will add to the magic of the day and the season. It’s a highlight event and we’re celebrating the great spirit of friendship and sound. We want you to be here too if you can detour your party towards Del Mar and zero in on how some wacked Cali folks celebrate Christmas.

For a full historical account on why we play music on Christmas Eve in Del Mar on the street corner including a couple of old photos, click here:

The final hours of 2004 will find myself, Bob Magnusson, bro’ Tripp, and the always loose Leonard Patton making music at one of our favorite spots, Ki’s Restaurant in Cardiff. New Year’s Eve is generally a big deal for most folks and we’re thrilled to be employed by some wonderful and creative restaurateurs who will serve up some exceptional food and make a spot for us to improvise sound. It’d be fun if you could all be here the celebration. Look below for the details and see if it can work for you…

That’s all she wrote for 2004. It’s been a good ride and I have every intention to keep the music and the words spinning into 2005 and beyond. I thank all of you for your participation into my creative life and it inspires me to keep on telling the stories, both through sound and words. I hope your holiday time soars and that as you ease into the new year, you keep the sky in your head. Sun Ra said it best,  “space is the place”….adios, Peter

Digging In For The Winter
Hello Friends, I had some great time off. After the big Del Mar Street Concert I literally cruised for a couple of weeks and caught up with friends and family. The way the weather worked was perfect as well—some sunny surf times and then this cozy slo mo stay inside stuff that works well with rental videos and pots of soup. We’re digging in for the winter ladies and gentleman…

This week Bob Magnusson, Leonard Patton, and myself play the ever-friendly Ki’s Resaurant on Friday eve. We did this gig on New Years Night and that proved to be a magic moment with good folks, spectacular food, and the relief of playing jazz on a night that usually heads downhill with requests for “Amore’”, and “Tie a Yellow Ribbon”. More great music this week promised…

On Saturday our Pass the Drum crew assembles at Dizzy’s for some samba mixed with improvisation. On hand is guest drummer David Anderson from LA sitting in with us. If you remember back in 2002, Dave made the infamous PTD goes to Hawaii tour. He shreds the drums and also is a mean snorkeler too. This should be a great show with the always creative musos of Pass the Drum…
otherwise, keep the sky in your head…adios, Peter

Is It Random?
Friends of chaos, friends of mayhem, hello from me, back in the saddle, full blast, zero to six hundred in three seconds flat.

I’m here to report that in the “e” I sent out earlier this week I reported that we would be playing at Ki’s on Friday night. It turns out that we have been double booked for that gig and we’re relinquishing the beloved moment to our good pal Patrick Berrogain. He’s a first class gypsy jazzer and he’ll make the night real and we’ll have a cruise evening with our families. It’s all good.

And I’m looking forward to our hit on Saturday night at Dizzy’s with Pass The Drum. Please come out and help us feel that it isn’t all falling apart, it isn’t all chaos, it isn’t all random.

Is it?

Best, Peter

Tsunami Jazz
Friends, thanks to all of you that made it to the Dizzy’s / Pass The Drum show. It’s always good fun and we loved having Dave Anderson stirring it up on the drums.

For this week we’re gathering on Friday to lend our hand in helping raise money for the tsunami victims. We surfers like big waves but nothing like this. Wow! There’s a limit to what’s cool and the threshold was breached.

We’ve got three bands lined up and a wonderful venue to play in. It should be a spectacular evening. You all probably know Rob and Amber Whitlock who are stellar musos. They both have new CD’s out and will play music from their new recordings. Karl Anthony and his wife Jeanne are excellent folk rockers and will bring some tremendous heart to the evening. And our gang of merry pranksters will be the final act—playing samba for the beauty of the cause.

I hope you can make it and please know that your monetary donation at the door will go directly to the tsunami aid.

Hope to see you out there…all the best, Peter

World of Metheny
Hi Friends, thanks to all of you who made the Tsunami Benefit show last weekend. Enormous fun with the added bonus of $19,584 raised to send over to those who are in need. I’m thrilled that it went so well…

This week we’re immersing ourselves in the World of Metheny. He’s coming out with a new CD in a week or so and he’s coming to town in March. Hopefully you can’t wait for any of that and need a hit of “Bright Size Life” immediately. Make your way to Dizzy’s this Friday and we’re playing a show of all Metheny music. We’ve got the big tunes “Yolanda, You Learn” , “Straight on Red”, and we’ve got the classic slow mournful gems “Change of Heart”, “Letter From Home”, and we’ve got samba in “Better Days Ahead”. It’s gonna be a great show and it’s poised for full on launch at downtown Dizzy’s, where the music matters most. Hope you can make it…

All good, Peter

The Soundtrack to a Homecoming
Hello Friends, I’m hoping this note is finding you well. I’ve been having some great times. The Metheny show was huge fun and our friend Hiro recorded it and I think it might sound really good. I’ll let you know how it turns out. I’ve been mostly into studio stuff lately but I’m looking into February and some cool things are coming up.

Tomorrow eve Leonard and I will play music at the absolute attractive Prado restaurant in Balboa Park. This gig just came in and it should be fun one. Free admission!

Tripp and I will continue our legacy of new turf with another installment of Terminal Jazz at the SD Airport. Believe it or not, this is a sweet gig complete with a stage, an audience, and the warmth of arriving passengers into the arms of their loved ones. It’s as if we’re playing a soundtrack to the homecoming. Hope to see you there…

All the best, Peter

The Guitar Becomes An Orchestra
Friends, hope all faires well for you out there. For this week I’m gearing up for a solo concert at Dizzy’s on Saturday evening. I’m leaning towards making a solo guitar record in the future and these shows help lead me to that strange world where the guitar becomes the orchestra. I’ve got my nylon and my Taylor steel string in place and I’m going to include some digital mayhem  to expand the sonic palette a bit. I’ve written a new gospel like tune for the event and I’ll also immerse into Metheny, Monk, and a fair amount of on the spot “go where it goes” kind ‘o thing. Hope to see you there…

On Friday evening we’re playing the wonderful local north county spot Ki’s with Tripp and Leonard. It’ll be good music and we’re also thinking about the carrot cake for the finale…

That’s it, Peter

Stormy Weather
Hi Friends, I sure had a great time at Dizzy’s for my solo concert. There was a good turnout and the moments exploring the precious melodies alone really made me feel good. Thanks to all that made it out in the full on storming weather.

Vocalist Lisa Hightower is teaming up with Bob Magnusson on bass and myself on the guitar at the always elegant Inn L’ Auberge in Del Mar on Saturday night. Lisa is getting ready to record a new jazz CD at my place and she’s one of my favorite jazzers. You should hear her sing “Lush Life”, now we’re talking…

Hope to see you there, adios, Peter

Navigating Through The Haze
Hi Folks, I just got out from surfing some big waves. It’s been a couple of weeks since I got in and it’s always the best micro world out there with the ominous sky and large grey lines of Aleutian energy winding their way to the shore. I’ve been busy with land locked activities and the most incredible time on land was the Pat Metheny show at the Spreckles Theater last weekend.

I’m thinking it was one of the most memorable moments of music ever for me. They played a 69 minute near impossible piece that went from full on inflammable bop to total space pastel colored Lyle Mays elegance. And then everywhere imaginable in between. Ten zillion guitar switcharoos, gorgeous chromatic harmonica solos, thunderous but delicate drumming from Antonio Sanchez and precise support from the rest of the gang. It was so good it was ridiculous and I’ve been dazed by it ever since.

It makes me wonder what to do with my life now. What makes sense now that I’ve heard that? I’m still searching, but I do know that music is worth all of the spins we go through to get better at it and to interface it with other humans. Even if it’s a small hurricane that you create it still has the potential for beautiful moments where the grind disappears and a dose of buried beauty surfaces. I at least remember this and this is what guides me through the haze…

Onwards and upwards and this week we’re landing at our favorite Ki’s on Friday evening and the Inn L’Auberge on Saturday. I’m inspired to play with these creative folks and once again ladies and gents, I sure appreciate your continued interest in what we do. It’d be fun just to play but it’s all that much better when we’ve got you out there pulling it in and giving it back. Gracias!

That’s the story for now. Hope to see you out there….best, Peter

The Lyricised Metheny
Friends, I’ve got some vintage Freddie Hubbard on iTunes playing the perfect blend of jazz and blues. It’s a sweet backdrop to spinning off some words, spelling out the possibilities for this weekend.

Tommy Aros is back in town after the longest time touring with singer Luis Miguel. I haven’t had the chance to play with him yet but we all missed him on his 3 month traverse. He alongside Duncan, Justin, Leonard, and myself will do a hit at Dizzy’s this Saturday.  Our focus is first to try to play the right notes with the right space in between but we’re also thinking of the Metheny tunes that Leonard sings and getting a good recording of them. Our friend Hiro Ikezi will have his portable Pro Tools rig on hand and we’re going to send the lyricised Metheny into the digital realm. Have you heard Leonard sail through “Better Days Ahead” with the clever story and a bunch of notes with rather large intervals? Pretty stellar indeed.

That’s the story for this week. Hope to see you out there….Adios, Peter

Picks Flying and Silence is Honored
Hola, happy traverses in the Land of the Sun. Is springtime veering in on us? I’m up for that!

We brewed some transcendence at Dizzy’s on Saturday and even though we made a few mistakes, we charted some new sonic territory. The band played beautifully and also thanks to those that made it out and offered your support. There’s nothing like live music when it goes right!

Here is what’s drumming up for this week.

Our long time bassist and compadre Kevin Hennessy is in town and is playing a show at Dizzy’s on Wednesday night. He’s been living in Columbia Missouri for the last couple of years and makes occasional trips to San Diego.  I think he’s here this week to do some work with Giovanni, the Home Shopping Network Music Guru, but he’ll also do a show at Dizzy’s. Kevin will team up with Chris Graham on vibes and Duncan Moore on drums and it should be a great night of music. 

On Friday evening guitarist Fred Benedetti and I will play a show at Ki’s in Cardiff. We’ve been doing this duet off and on over the years and it’s always an inspired and fun time hanging with Fred. He’s one of my all time favorite guitarists. Fred lives the world of flamenco and the Beatles and we’ll be sure to venture that way for some of the concert. Hope to see you there as picks fly, fingernails shred, and silence is honored…

Vocalist Kevyn Lettau is coming to town on Saturday and I’ll be playing with her along with percussionist Mike Shapiro and bassist Dean Taba. Kevyn and I have made music for many years and have done a handful of recordings including the wonderful “BrazilJazz” cd. Kevyn is stellar on many fronts and when she sings samba in Portuguese you know you’re living. How about a jazz tune with some scat? Covered and fully dynamic! This will be a wonderful night of music…

That’s the story for now. Keep it rollin’…best, Peter

The Passing of Time
Hi Friends, making it a little short this week.
Among other things thinking about viewing the desert wild flowers and thinking about writing a new strumming guitar tune for an upcoming recording project. Note to self, enjoy the passing of time. That’s right, and o-bla-de-bla-da while you’re at it…

Hope to see you at the Inn this weekend with Magnusson and Leonard…

The happiest of trails, Peter

A Full Plate
Hi Folks, here’s the news from your very own “Running Man”. It turns out that in last Thursday’s SD Union Tribune  Night and Day section they ran a story about me and my latest adventures. The title of the piece was called “The Running Man” and the angle was about how I poke my hands and ears into a bunch of different projects and theoretically coming out the other end with a little extra time to catch a few waves. I like the sound of this plan and a good chunk of the time it works out this way. But I’m always running and just squeaking in a few minutes before the downbeat. Nothing like having a full plate.

I just returned from a photo shoot with my fellow Road Work Ahead-ers. We gathered at Balboa Park and spent an hour catching up on the latest news and at the same time struck those thoughtful poses that jazz musos are known for. I’m guessing that in the next media blitz for the band you’ll get to see the results. It was an ultimate setup and if we looked happy in the photos, well, that was truthful—it’s always great to connect with these guys.

And the connections continue.

Road Work Ahead is playing a concert this week in Balboa Park and I know it’ll be great. Bill Mays is here from N.Y.C. and he’ll be joining Jim Plank, Bob Magnusson, and myself for some of that magical sound that we to search out. We’ll play music from our recording “On The Road Again” and also slip into some of our morphed arrangements of standards. Take for example Bill’s excursion into Cole Porter’s “Night and Day”—it’s a visit to a strange dark planet in some other galaxy—twisted music from a warped jazzman. This concert will be our only show for a good length of time as Bill blasts back east after the dust settles. I hope you can make it out…
slater (see ya later), Peter

Springin’ It
Friends, it’s a good day over here in Encinitas and I’m hoping that the same clear sunrays hitting me right now are also hitting you. I’ve got the sounds of Brazilian guitarist Guinga accompanying me as I write these words and together we’re telling the tale of this week in SD.

But first a little taste of last week.

The Road Work Ahead show at the Museum was a hoot. Mays tore it up on the blues and then skitted cleverly around on the cosmic floaters— “Night and Day” to be exact. Mag is forever the glue in the band with some great solo moments too. Jim Plank drives the group and sends shade of light around the soft tunes. I get to ride along and reap the benefits of having such a creative and supportive sonic palette beneath me. It’s a great band and I can’t wait until the next time we can play. It might be awhile but I’m ready and have the songbook primed…

The Ki’s hit with Tom Aros and Tripp was a Fellini movie set in three dimensions in a Rome-like theatre in downtown North County, as if this could ever be. So many people, (there must have been some kind of party going on), a huge wind storm blowing through, Aros punching out modern poly-rhythms, an amazing dinner and an even more amazing desert, Tripp spinning it on sax, one long non-stop set with a rainbow of colors, and finally me experimenting with my sitar guitar raga-style. Hope you were there ‘cuz it was different…

This week we assemble the one and only Blur-ers for a show at Grossmont College’s Fine Art Hall. If you haven’t heard this band you might make the effort to experience the sound first hand. We have 2 CD’s out but a full plate of Blurring the Edges is never complete without taking in the spontaneous morphing of our live shows. We embrace composition and improvisation. Hope to see you there…

On Saturday we’re returning to our hometown Del Mar for a concert at the Fairgrounds, part of the Festival of Del Mar. This is a two day event with an incredible line-up including Jason Mraz, Macy Gray, Taj Mahal, Third World, The English Beat, and the list literally runs off the page. Fully stellar for sure! And included in all of this is our quartet playing jazz on the big stage. I’m looking forward to this one…

springin’, Peter

Alternate Uses For Wheelchairs
Friends, we had a fine dose of outrageousness at the Friday Blur Show at Grossmont College. What a creative group that is. Dad Hall was snare drumming up a storm and did some fine shadow moves coloring up the Ornette blues tune. Tripp spun some tenor tales and pulled out the chromatic harp on “Keltic Kure”. Fred had the baritone guitar wailing the low-end with big thick unruly strings. It was cracking me up how good that thing sounded. I was slinging my bag ‘o sounds with my new magic black box that sits on the floor and along with guitar frequencies, spins out Take Six like vocal clusters along with a mean sitar sound. Ya gotta love this digital age meshed with some creative musos…

Next up was our brief little hit at the Festival Del Mar. We we’re the first band on and the crowd wasn’t huge yet at that time of the morning. But it still it went well and it’s always great to play.

Myself along with my daughter Kylie and her two friends made it back to the Festival Del Mar on Sunday evening to catch guitarist / vocalist Jason Mraz’s set. What a cool time complete with a classic SoKal sunset, good sounds and a collection of shall we say, very spirited audience members. Picture this, my 11 year old and her two friends witnessing the strange antics of lubed up young adults carrying on in the classic outdoor rock concert regalia. Here was the strangest moment of the eve—we had a fellow in front of us in a wheel chair doing wheelies to the beat of the music, impressing some girls standing next to him. That alone was pretty burning. He then eventually looses his balance and falls back onto the ground. She pulls him back up, puts his hat back on and brushes off the grass from his back. Ah, she’s caring for him and taking an interest. He then continues his chair-dancing, sort of making eye contact with her. And then, five minutes later he stands up and walks away on his own two feet without a limp or anything. We were stunned and so was everyone that was watching this, assuming he didn’t have use of his legs. Shows you that wheel chairs have possible alternate uses from meeting girls to resting your weary legs. Strange brew for sure…

This week we’re doing a Ki’s hit on Friday with the wonderful vocalist Lisa Hightower. On Saturday Leonard Patton is on board for an ace night at the cozy Inn L’Auberge in Del Mar.  For Sunday night, I’ll be teaming up with the Mesa College Big Band under the direction of Jim Romeo for a concert at Dizzy’s. We’re doing some of their music plus 2 big tunes of mine. Lots of notes in these ones—pages of Chick Corea influenced minor moves with complex rhythms all floating over a samba beat. Also on board for the evening will be the phenomenal flutist Steve Kujala, bassist Bob Magnusson, and drummer Jim Plank. We’ll all take part in some of the big band music and then we’ll do a second set with just the quartet. Steve just returned from Florida doing some gigs with Chick and he suggested that we play Chick’s “Japanese Waltz.” I’m into it! Chick rules!

It’ll be a cool evening and I hope to see you there. That’s the word from here. Stay well, Peter

Thinking Inside the Guitar
Hello Friends, for this week I’m exploring a new venue called Lestats. I know a bunch of folks are playing at this spot and liking it so on Thursday Fred Benedetti and I will play a duo and see where the magic lives. I’m thinking inside the guitars and I’m looking forward to it.

For Friday night we’re gathering at Ki’s in Cardiff for our cool blendo of superb food, a high-octane ocean view, and paid transcendence also known as jazz music. Hope to see you there!

Adios, Peter

Messing With the Laws of Gravity
Friends, I’m hoping this week finds you well. Last week Fred and I played Lestats in North Park and loved the venue. The hang is a complete classic one including a coffee house that’s open 24 hours with supreme treats. Then, next to this is the performance space with good sound and a nice visual feel. Look for us again there downwind.

This week we have a concert at Dizzy’s planned with Portland pianist wizard Randy Porter. Here’s the whole story.

Bob Magnusson, Tripp, Duncan, and myself are all recording new jazz cd’s. The idea is that we play on each other’s recordings and end up with our own new project with these great musos in tow. It’s cool ‘cuz you have everyone writing new material and directing the traffic on their own project and then humbly morphing into the supportive role for the next guy’s vision. It’s working! We’ve tracked my cd and except for mixing and a few fixes mine is nearly complete. We’ve tracked one day of Duncan’s music and this week we’re doing 2 days of Bob’s compositions. Tripp’s project will happen next week and then back to finish up Duncan’s music. After some recoup time and some mixing we should have these four new projects emerging into the wide world of overpopulated cd sales, artists struggling to be noticed, climbing their way to make a living. Wow, whatever, we’re into the process and we are loving it!

Bob’s project is this week and he’s procured Randy from the northlands to join into the mix. It’ll be great and if you didn’t already know, Randy’s a first rate muso. After the recording we’re taking the band into Dizzy’s for some live stuff. We’ll be rehearsed and ready. Hope you can make this one...

Next we have our musical announcement that summer has arrived by bringing the band to the Coyote in Carlsbad for the first show of our summer season. This is one of our favorite hits— we’re outdoors and you, the audience is pulling it in sitting around the outdoor fire rings, slipping into a Cuban Breeze (if that’s your thing), and relishing the magic of the moment. If you dig jazz, this will be the spot for Coltrane Roll Call on Sunday. Our man on keys Sri Johnny “O” will be with us messing with the laws of gravity. Lift off begins at 5PM and continues until 9PM…
That’s it for now, best, Peter

Richter 8.3
Hi Out There, reporting from magical Leucadia, we’ve got two hits this week and I’m thrilled that after a bunch of years of doing gigs it’s still something that I really look forward to. Last week the amazing pianist Randy Porter pulled into town to play on Bob Magnusson’s recording and to join us  for the Dizzy’s night. It was great new music and Bob’s CD will be out in a month or so to fill you in on the sonic details if you missed it. Then we found ourselves at the Coyote for the wildness of the Carlsbadian summer. Richter 8.3!

Vocalist Lisa Hightower is jamming this week as well as a show at Ki’s with guitarist Fred Benedetti and myself. I hope to see you out there…Adios, Peter 

Dear Friends, coming at you this time from a wet early summer morning. I’ve got a good week of mixing my new jazz CD combined with a 4 day run of gigs.

One of the gigs coming up is at a new place in La Jolla called FRESH. I’m playing solo and it should be a nice setup. They’re doing music on Monday eves which is a little off the beaten track but maybe a good time for some of you. Please make it out if it’s right.

Other than that, I’m sure happy living and breathing this musical life. Adios, Peter 

Tearing Holes in an F Blues
Friends, this week I’m scholar-ing at UCSD for the Jazz Camp. A wonderful collection of interesting young musos mixed with some stellar oldsters hanging in there with the humble stance of learning. We explored some of the magic of Sonny Rollins circa 1959—tearing holes in an F dominant seven blues progression—superimposing multiple chord substitutions bar by bar. It doesn’t get any better than that really. It’ll be a fun week…

Also on brew for the end of the week is a gig at Ki’s with vocalist Lisa Hightower and the low-end artistry of Gunnar Biggs. It’ll be a good music moment mixed with a full on summer view.

I’m connecting with the wonderful folkster Deborah Liv Johnson for a concert on Sunday. It’ll be a sweet time hearing that pristine voice of hers again. She’s singing a new K.D. Lang tune that’s pretty far off the Richter. Fun…

That’s the curve for this week. I’m finishing the mixing on a new CD of my own with 2 songs left to mix, then a little final fretting, and then the deed of the almighty CD cover. It’ll be a month or so before the actual proof manifests but it’ll be some nice new sounds when it does. I’ll let you know.
Adios, Pedro

The Future Lies in Bicycles
Hello Friends, all going well over here. I finished up the Jazz Camp and I’m feeling like it’s good to not be battling the Encinitas to La Jolla car circus anymore. Wow, my sincere condolences to all of those who have to beat down that path on a regular basis. I’m thankful for my typical short commute to my studio and also my streamlined drive to and from the gigs after the traditional commute time slot. I’m thinking the future lies in bicycles and in-house creative endeavors.

This week, in between some surf sessions and bike rides, I’ll be mixing Bob Magnusson’s new jazz recording. Also in the lineup is a hit at Ki’s on Friday night with percussionist Tommy Aros and bassist Gunnar Biggs. We had a good show there last week and I’m again bringing my sound system, which is a hassle, but worth ever last sonic inch of its weight. It’ll sound good and I hope to see you there….
Adios, Pedro

A Belly Full of Chickpeas
Friends, I think summer has arrived. Here on the coast the overcast eddy has lifted and the full-bore sun dance taking over. The 4th of July rocked! Last eve we were down on the beach at Beacons and the fireworks exploded next to inebriated 22 year olds. Semi chaos. The highlight for me was the superpsychedelic ocean waves fully illuminated with the kiss of the red tide. Now we’re talking! Hope yours went well too…

This week I’m starting a month of solo guitar Thursdays at The Roxy Restaurant in Encinitas. I love playing solo music and I also love eating food at the Roxy. It’s a good ethnic mix. If you venture out and take in the two excursions of the senses—the sense of sound and the sense of taste—please sample the Roxy’s falafel sandwich. Folks, let me tell you, this is the real deal. Eat and transcend, meet you at the samadhi crossroads with Eric Clapton and the devil, meet your maker with a belly full of chick peas. Wow!

Also this week I’m hooking up with folkster Deborah Liv Johnson for a show in Encinitas for the Folk Heritage Society. These shows are always magical events and Deborah sings up a beautiful story. It’ll be a good time.

That’s it and hope to see you out, Peter

Sound Smoothie
Friends, this is a cool moment—Keith Jarrett is playing solo on the box, terrorizing the outreaches of tonal possibilities; the sun is threatening to come out here on the coast; and I’ve got a somewhat free day to catch up on biz and make a direct line to the ocean later. I’ve been gigging a lot and this day of non-guitar playing is just what the doc ordered. Rest those hands…

We had a rehearsal yesterday with Pass The Drum for the show coming up next week at the Moonlight Amphitheatre. I’m thinking it’s going to be a great concert. The band sounded tops and it’s been a while since we threw it down. We’re playing a burner from the “Soliloquy” recording called “Simon”, an old Harry Belafonte calypso tune called “The Monkey Song”, a Sergio Mendes samba reggae song called “Indiado”, a Jobim jewel entitled “Someone To Light Up My Life” and our assorted collection of originals, Beatles, Stevie Wonder, and Marley. Full on Brazilian flavored sound smoothie. Hope you can make the show…

That’s it folks. Oh, wait, one last thing. Last night me and the gang saw the best movie at the La Jolla Landmark Theatre. It’s called “Mad Hot Ballroom” and if ever there was a movie that makes you feel good about how art and dance can uplift humanity, this might be it. Take it for a ride and let me know if it too made you smile.
Over ‘n out, Peter 

Warm and Rhythmic
Hiya, today it’s a short one ‘cuz I’ve got a pile of details that life throws into the mix. Being a grownup is pretty cool but watching my kid bliss through another summer day might actually a slightly better ride. What do you think?

This week I’m solo guitaring it at the Roxy and then for the grand finale of July, we’re bringing the whole 7 band member strong Pass The Drum to reign in some samba at the Coyote. This should be fun, warm, and rhythmic.
Hope to see you out there, adios, Pedro

Fortify The Blues
Friends, hope this note finds you well. Last week was a strange blend of events culminating Sunday night at the Coyote. I almost had my car towed mid tune (it was actually on the tow truck and I talked the tow man down with some hard cold cash) and then the power amp blew on the last set. By the end of the night I was thankful that I was still breathing. No one said being a pro muso was an easy ride and they’ve always said it’ll fortify your blues playing. I’m hoping it’s good for something…

This week I’ll be at Ki’s and some solo music at Fresh in downtown La Jolla. I hope to see you out there….
Best, Peter

Musos In Limbo
Here’s a shorty to spin some enthusiasm.

Playing FRESH tonight on solo guitar.
Playing The Coyote on Sunday with the Quintet.
What will happen at the Coyote this week?
Come and see the jazz musicians squirm.
Their cars towed, they guitars mowed.
Hear the chorus while the train plows south.
It’s mildly out of control, but it’s
And still we load the cars full of expensive gear
Lug them to the rebellion of our overworked backs
Plug in endless cables, put the cymbals on the stands one more time.
We do it all ‘cuz in spite of the insanity that it is to be a working musician
It’s transcendental…
And it’s still the most efficient way to diminish your financial fortunes before the government latches on…

We hope to see you there for Adventure #42 in the ongoing series of “MUSOS IN LIMBO.”
Adios, Pedro

Ladies and Gentleman, Peter Spray
Friends, I’m running a bit late on this weeks gig announcement. The sun has finally emerged and has magnetically pulled me from the office chair and forced me into the blue realms of a 4 foot south swell that’s stirring up in the pacific. Really, I had no choice...

On Friday eve brother Tripp and a newcomer on percussion, Dean Payne, will join me for an evening of music at Ki’s in Cardiff. Dean is from South Africa and just pulled into town. He sat in with me at the Roxy and he immediately had it going on. Surdo drum grooves and good musical instincts mixed with an upbeat spirit. We’ll have fun for sure.

On Monday eve I’ll be into my solo meditation at FRESH in La Jolla. Pretty stellar food I’m told and I guess a pretty good happy hour deal too. I haven’t gotten into the food yet. I’ve been setting up the gear and pretty much pushing the GO button and playing solo guitar until closing time. Come join me and together we’ll watch the world float by…

Here’s some news. I’m once again nominated for BEST JAZZ in the San Diego Music Awards. I won this one last year. Happiness! It turns out that it helps ones career in a mild way to win—we can all use any extra promo boost that’s hovering out there. For a full year, the various MC’s who are constantly searching for the right catch phrase to introduce me have a neat little bundled gem to bark out. “He’s the winner of the 2004 BEST JAZZ San Diego Music Awards and he also likes to eat avocados, ladies and gentleman, Peter Spray”. (A lot of times they get my last name wrong. Maybe they think it’s Spray ‘cuz I like to surf). And folks that’s it, onwards to full blown public recognition, upwards to a life of music and forward Ho to digging into each moment as it unfolds…

If you want to vote me in, go here and cast it. It’s easy and painless and for your contribution I’ll continue to play jazz guitar. Truth is I’ll never stop but whatever, it sounds dramatic. And you know, ART is supposed to be DRAMATIC. the ballot ends on August 31, 2005…

Also my father Hall’s CD “Hurry Home” is nominated for the BEST JAZZ RECORDING in the same poll. How cool is that? Unfortunately the general public can’t vote in this category and it’s up to collection of music critics to decide on the winner. Fingers crossed in any event and what an honor to be even considered among the brilliance of Holly Hofman, Mike Wofford, Fattburger, etc.

That’s it for now.
Happy trails, yours in music politics,
Captain Pete

More Beauty Than Money Can Buy
Friends, sweltering is the word. I just got back from the Idyllwild Jazz Festival and absorbed a high dose of amped out sunshine. What a great scene up there, you couldn’t dial in more beauty if you had all of the money in the world. Picture a stage setup in a natural amphitheatre surrounded by majestic trees and additional shade supplied by hanging parachutes. Beautiful! The heat got me though. I had a roaring headache by the end of the day and it brought back the fact that I’ve got to be near the water to function fully. I zipped back and today I’m veering towards the big blue to do some cool down time. I need it…

This week I’m playing at Ki’s on Friday and the Inn L’Auberge on Saturday. Coming up next week will be a CD release show for my new jazz recording called TAKING IT ALL IN. Unlike many cd release concerts in which the artist fails to have the cd completed and actual cd’s in hand in time for the show, I’m luckily ahead of the game and I’m holding actual proof of the music. I’ll fill you in on more details next week but I just wanted you to save the date in the event that you can pull off the details and make it out to Dizzy’s to hear the band and join in on the revolution. TAKING IT ALL IN is not on the website yet but I’m thinking by the end of the week we’ll be streaming…
perfecto, Peter

Dodging The Bullets
Hi Music Friends, spinning over here with classic Ella on the box and the fog toying with the coastline. It’s some amazing September “summer’s still going” weather and in between practice sessions relearning the music from Taking It All In I’m pulling in some ocean hits with some first class surf. The kids are in school and it ought to thin out a little in the water. It’s the dream blendo of music and surfing. Dial me in!

This week we’re celebrating the release of my latest recording. I know the songs are getting some play on Jazz 88 ‘cuz my sister heard the title cut first hand while driving her red car. Cool! And the CD got an A rating in a review by Jim Tragesar in the North County Times last week. I’ve received a couple of “e’s” from folks that have bought the disc and they seem to like what they are hearing. Solid! All happy stories of a new release amidst the big bad world of the music wars. Play on little one and dodge the bullets!
adios, Peter

Fully Functioning 50 Year Old Ears
Friends, here is some good news. Next month I’m turning 50 years old. That’s not the best and that isn’t the good news. The news I’m referring to is the positive results from a recent  medical test. When you spin it to a half a century, your supposed to have various tests done to make sure that you can properly live another 50 years on our beloved Mother Earth.  Today I had my hearing tested and the doctor said it’s all working perfectly in spite of some pretty serious “surfers ear” in my right ear. Surfers ear is a setup in which the bone inside the ear starts growing to gain protection from the cold. Mine’s been growing my whole life and within the last 15 years I’ve been wearing earplugs with the hope of not making it any worse. Supposedly it’s not bad enough for an operation and the ear is cooking along just fine. This is the good news and I sure like hearing all the things in this world, especially music.

We were all listening last week at Dizzy’s. It was my quartet with Bob, Tripp, and Duncan creatively weaving through the songs from my new recording “Taking It All In.” What a time! A big enthusiastic audience, some new material to improvise on, and a celebration for the new cd to start it’s arc in the oversaturated world of modern music. Hallelujah, spin on silver one, and stay clear of the used bins over there at Lou’s Records! Thanks to all of you that made it out to the concert, we had fun, no?

And for this week me and the merry pranksters will launch at the Coyote on Sunday early evening. John Opferkuch will levitate, Gunnar will speak in Hindi, Tripp will tell the story of Stuart Little, Duncan will transmit morse code, and I’ll be listening intently with some fully functioning 50 year old ears.

Play on!
Adios, Peter

Collectively Losing Our Minds
A bunch of gigs.
Many gigabytes of studio recording.
I’m a hired gun.
It’s great to make a living as a muso.
One problem though, it cuts down on watertime and daydreaming…

I’ll be daydreaming at the Inn L and Dizzy’s this week. I hope you can make it out and collectively we’ll lose our minds. Don’t worry, the planet will still spin without us.
best, Peter

Missouri Uncompromised Revealed
It was insane. The Metheny trio at Humphreys delivering a high octane blend. I loved it! Mixed in were those ballads that make you rethink your life. The pastel landscape of Missouri Uncompromised revealed.

This week the wonderful Fred Benedetti will offer up his homeland turf at Grossmont College for a concert with the two of us. Together we lean into some Spanish stuff, some vintage Blur music, and a few Beatles tunes for good measure. It’ll be a good one…Adios, Peter 

The Most Sane Spot all Week
Friends, this is last week condensed.

Weddings in big houses.
Lugging the gear endlessly.
Wide screen T.V.’s
Miles of Freeway 5
Magic warm evenings in Palm Springs.
You ever taken the back way into the desert?
The Shilo Inn, you have arrived to budget paradise.
Ultra creative guitar jams with Fredrico.
That beautiful empty expanse with no houses built on 56 East.
Open land is a good thing.
Ameci and the tasty plantains.
Shredding Pagannini violin cadenzas with a young maestro at the helm.
Monkeying with the vintage Roland Tape Delay to dial in some classic Sean Watkins music.
Kids soccer, great to be sitting on the grass digging on the spirit of the young ones.
Sunday evening at Tabletops—the ocean is still warm and is probably the most sane spot I’ve been all week.

It’s been a long one.

Here’s where it’ll spin this week. I’m hoping to see you out there…Best, Peter

Fully Dialed
Friends, I’m setting up camp at Dizzy’s this week with a varied fare of sonic delights. Some Wes, some Pablo on the whistle, and some Randy clever life lesson lyrics all set to spin at my favorite music venue. It’ll be like the old days when we loaded the gear and had a steady gig for a month, all in one place. Do you remember the days of Chuck’s Steak House or Elario’s? I’m not saying this current time is bad but one thing I sure dug about the eighties and jazz in SD was this thing of playing a bunch of nights in a row, all in the same spot. You’d basically pick up from where you left off the night before and by the end of the week the music would be fully dialed. Most importantly your overworked back muscles would be thanking you profusely for the lessened wear and tear of the gear load ins and outs.

Oh well, take what is now and make it good.

I hope to see you down there and maybe we can meet in the morning for a breakfast burrito. I’ll bring my sleeping bag….
Adios, Peter

Friends, I hope this note finds you well. Engaging in some sonic absorption over here with Weather Reports vintage “I Sing The Body Electric” acting as the audio medium. Good stuff with Zawinul’s distorted Rhodes stabs and Miroslav’s growly low end.

For this week I have a solo guitar concert planned at the PB Library. I’ve done this one before and it’s a good spot for music plus playing solo is a happy time. The freedom of venturing to wherever the imagination runs is exhilarating. I have signposts to tag into—planned songs to play—but from there lays a fertile sonic landscape beyond the written page.  I hope you can astral travel with me on this one.

Also for this week we’re meeting up at the Inn L’Aburge in Del Mar with jazz vocalist Lisa Hightower and bassist Bill Andrews for a night of Lisa’s new music. She has a new CD planned for recording in December and we’re test-driving the songs to see where they take us. From Hogey Carmichael to Jimi Hendrix to Burt Bacharach to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory—we’re spinning eclectic yet delivering it all from a jazz place.

That’s it and stay creative…Adios, Peter

Hippies In High Places
Friends, have guitar, will travel. This week is an assortment of playing solo guitar and teaming up with some creative musos. On Thursday evening Senor Fred Benedetti and I will share our versions of guitar reality. Saturday night will find SF vocalist Jennifer Lee, Gunnar Biggs, and myself playing into some of her new creative arrangements of jazz standards and Brazilian bossa nova’s. On either side of the week I’ll be astral traveling solo at the fancy Fresh Restaurant in La Jolla. Hippies in high places!

Hope to see you there, Peter

Guitar, Photos, and Some Money
Friends, I’m playing some solo guitar tonight and this will be the last hit for a while. We’ve got the holiday upon us. I’m taking some time off. Next week I slip into L.A. to be part of Napster Exploration and I’m not exactly sure what they’re doing with us but I know it will involve guitar, photos, and some money. Sounds good to me.

I hope all lays well with you over this time to get together with family and friends. Have fun and keep the sky in your head!
Best, Peter 

Breakaway From the Xmas Party
Hi Friends, the first of the series of holidaze just went by. I loved it! Time off, visiting friends, large quantities of food and filming a movie with our kids. Big fun!

Here is a heads up about a show coming up at the end of next week. We’re playing Dizzy’s and we’re playing Pat Metheny music. We do this a couple of times a year and it’s always a joyful challenge and celebration of one serious bad boy of jazz’s music. Metheny writes some gorgeous songs and we’re going to include some of his epics along with his Missouri jazz tunes. Here are the specifics and I hope you can breakaway from the company Christmas party and gaze out with us into the pastel beauty of the midwestern skyline.

streaming, Peter

Beat 70
Hi Friends, slick December weather no? Loving it over here!
Me and the boys got together and fine tuned the music for the Dizzy’s hit this Saturday. We’re playing a collection of Pat Metheny tunes. We’ve got Beat 70 in there along with some epics and a few slo mo’s to help clear the air. I hope you can make it down. It’s sounding good!
Best, Peter