September was a tremendous month of music, with two trips to the Oregon coast, a jazz and blues festival back in Atlanta, and a performance with the Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra. Here are a few highlights from each:
Siletz Bay Music Festival in Lincoln City, OR -- making music again with friends from Portland, OR, and meeting new artists there; getting to know more of the great people who support this annual festival, including my wonderful hosts; singing three songs with the Siletz Bay orchestra, including two originals from the Certain Elements CD -- the title track and Set Sophia Free -- and a gorgeous arrangement of Bridge Over Troubled Water.
Roswell Beaucoup Jazz and Blues Festival -- supporting this new festival held close to where I live with a great band of Atlanta musicians for an enthusiastic crowd of music lovers. Relaxing after to hear the wonderful lineup that followed, including the HunterTones.
Atlanta Latin Jazz Orchestra -- debuting an original song from an upcoming album, arranged for this orchestra, was a thrill.
Oregon Coast Jazz Party -- meeting and working with the great John Clayton, Lewis Nash, Mike Wofford, Roxy Coss. Working again with stellar pianist Randy Porter and the fine fellows of Central Coast Jazz Alliance. And getting to sit in the wings and listen to Terrell Stafford, and the Monty Alexander Trio, that close .... What a treat of a weekend.
About that wisdom mentioned in the title ... I got to spend some time in the green room talking with John Clayton, who toured with people such as Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn and studied with Ray Brown. I asked him, what wisdom did Ray Brown share with you that has stuck with you all these years. He said, "'The doors of opportunity open for you based on the level of your art.'" John's philosophy is to keep getting better at what you do, and opportunity will find you. A positive outlook that has served him well. That's a keeper.
New release news: During our Jazz Road tour last summer, Joe Alterman and I got several requests from people to release a joint album. We thought, let's do it! Joe's trio and I have performed together several times, and it's always a good time. And now I'm proud to announce the release of Moon to Gold -- an album of standards for the straight-ahead jazz lovers out there. Joe's trio swings hard, and that's what it's all about on this record. Check out the track listing on my Music page.
For those curious about the CD's title, it's drawn from one of the songs on the album -- an arrangement by Joe of the classic Blue Moon: "... and when I looked the moon had turned to gold ..." I first heard the trio perform Joe's arrangement while listening to the trio at the 2022 Atlanta Jazz Festival. Afterward, I told him, I want to sing that. It's become one of our favorites to do. Hope you enjoy it, and the whole CD. Before long, there will be another album to announce ... Stay tuned. ;)