~By Grace Kelly on November-24-2009 @ 9:45: PM
I am currently on the train back to Boston. Took a day trip to New york today. I went to film as part of "The Simpsons 20th Anniversary” special which will hopefully be playing on FOX in early Jan if I don’t end up on the cutting room floor. That is always a real possibility with these things. It will be documentary style and I will be playing part of the theme song. They asked a bunch of artist to play the theme and are planning to splice it up and cut to different artists throughout it. They have some big artist doing it too, also a gospel choir, sitar player, a big range. It should be really interesting to check It out..ill keep you posted on the day it airs. I’m playing Lisa Simpsons part (since she has a little solo in the song!) But no, not on Bari…Its still on alto.
We started shooting at 2 and got done like an hour later. They wanted to shoot outside next to a red brick wall. The only problem was that there was traffic in the street right next to us. Everytime we thought we got a great take a horn would beep or an ambulance would go off. It is indeed a tricky thing to film outside in NY city. However, we did get it done and they got what they needed. It was fun..we did lots of different shots and in some of them they wanted me to really milk , turn away from the camera and walk off bouncing while I played.
After I went over to the Vandoren studio to try out some new reeds and mouthpieces. That’s always fun, its like walking into a candy store or getting new toys. So exciting, I know, im such a nerd.
~By Grace Kelly on November-22-2009 @ 9:44: PM
Waiting in the airport to go back home to Boston! We have been on the "JAZZIZ Cruise” for a week now. The whole quintet went, Jason, Doug, Eric Doob on drums and Edward Perez played bass. Eric played with us previously in Croatia and a few gigs at home. This was the first time I played with Edward, I knew him through the other musicians. Nice to play with new cats, there’s always some fresh idea they bring to tunes we’ve been playing. It creates a different dynamic and chemistry in the band...really great. Mom and Dad went too.
We played 4 nights. Phil Woods was our special guest in two of them. I also got to play with Bobby Watson, Eric Alexander, Phil Woods and Donald Harrison in a "tribute to Dave ‘Fathead’ Newman.” Mr. Newman was scheduled to be on this cruise before he passed away. The cruise ship was HUGE. It held about 3000 people. Out of that there were about 300 jazz listeners. We started in Miami and went to several countries and islands including the beautiful Belize. We would dock in the morning and people got out in the afternoon to go to the beach and shop. I went out the last day. (I’m not much of a beach person) However, have to say the water was so warm, clear and beautiful.
~By Grace Kelly on November-20-2009 @ 9:43: PM
(11/19/09 and 11/20/09) Played again both nights for an enthusiastic audience. These people were staying up all night to catch every last note. The clubs on the boat were pretty cool. We played in this one called "Fiz” a couple times. They decorated it to look like outer space…a little out but it was an intimate venue.
I feel like one of my best friends I made on the cruise was the wonderful doctor. Doctor Lonnie Smith. I can’t begin to tell you how sweet this man is. Music, groove everything just flows from his bones. He touches that organ something starts bubbling. I personally had great fun seeing him several times since he is also very much an entertainer. The two of us got to talk a lot and I sat in with him on one of his sets. It was so wild, and so fun. He is a total jokester but such a gentle soul. I also saw Donald Harrison play on a couple of his sets and just rip it up. Quite an inspiration. Besides the saxophone players who were on the cruise, Junior Mance the legendary Pianist was there along with Deborah Brown an amazing singer, Hod O’ Brien, and a some other acts. It was really fun and a nice hang as well.
I currently still feel like I’m rocking on a boat but I hope that goes away in a couple days. It’s nice to be back on land though. There’s something so beautiful about looking outside in the morning to the massive ocean, but its also slightly scary. It made me really think about how small we are and how large the blue around us was. Its pretty intimidating if you think about it.
~By Grace Kelly on November-17-2009 @ 9:36: PM
Found an empty room, got to rehearse some brand new material with the guys. It really sounded great. Phil Woods was sitting watching us rehearse and after he got on the piano and started playing through tunes and telling stories for the next half and hour. It was such a priceless moment. There were quite a few moments this week where I learned some really important information and one of the big lessons came from him. Phil couldn’t stress enough how we have to learn the whole song. He said something like, "people don’t know that be bop isn’t just about melodies. It’s also all about structures.. Interludes, endings..” He was specifically talking about some of Dizzy’s tunes. He used the example of "Grooving High” and was talking about the days when he was in Dizzy’s big band. He played through it with the intro, melody, solo breaks, endings. Did you know its in two keys throughout it? Db and Eb?.. Later in the week all of us really checked out that song out and learned it in its entirety. Check it out again, it’s really quite a piece of work. Phil played with the band the next night too. He kept us all on our toes, he would just start playing songs and held no prisoners. It was so great. If that’s not going to school for an education I don’t know what is.
~By Grace Kelly on November-16-2009 @ 9:35: PM
Played our first performance on the ship in the middle of the afternoon. There was no rehearsal time so the band just hit. Everyone was getting use to the situation, it was cool but I have to say the rocking of the boat really threw me off. I had to take off my shoes to play!
this is a cute little animal towel! I believe it is a rabbit? I’m not sure...when i walked back into my room this little one was waiting. Adorable right?!