I got to see my nephews today for a little bit after church, as my sister and brother-in-law were in town for the weekend. Noah will be 4 in February, and Caleb turned 1 last month, and they're a lot of fun to be around. Caleb is walking now, in that knobby-kneed, off-balance way that must have inspired the term "toddler," while Noah is quite the conversationalist. He's really gotten into the fact that I play the saxophone; it's evidently the first thing he says upon hearing my name.
There's a music store near the Fuddruckers in Austin where they go almost every week, and evidently there's some sort of saxophone on their sign. Whenever they pass by it, Noah says something like this:
"Look, there's a saxophone! Uncle Kevin plays the saxophone! He has lots of them. He has...five saxophones!"
...which actually is pretty close. I can't wait till they're old enough to catch at least the first set of one of my gigs; TD/D has actually been playing during both of the weekends they've been in town this semester, but obviously that's way past their bedtimes at the moment.
At any rate, it was great to spend time with them today. During the course of my usual 300-miles-an-hour weeks, hanging with a three-year-old, shooting miniature hoops and playing with a Sesame Street playhouse aren't usually on my agenda, but it was awesome. I can't wait until I have some kids of my own someday.
Playing this weekend in the Kevmobile: Halfling and I visited Recycled Records, Tapes and CD's on the Denton square last week; that's always a dangerous place for the wallet. I used restraint and only ended up with three CD's...
Shelley Carrol-Shelley Carrol with Members of the Duke Ellington Orchestra (Leaning House Records): I'd owned this CD before--in fact, I was there for its release party at the late Jazz Connection club in Dallas--but someone borrowed it and subsequently got all his CD's stolen. Leaning House is no more (though I found in researching the Joey posting [below] that you can get some of the titles on Amazon), so I really wanted to get a copy of this again. Highlights include some great trumpet work by Ellington mainstay Barrie Lee Hall and a guest appearance by Shelley's fellow local tenor hero Marchel Ivery.
Yellowjackets-Like a River (GRP): I've been on a 'Jackets kick since we saw them in Ft. Worth a few weeks ago. In their pre-Bob Mintzer days, they had always been a step above the generic fusion that's so pervasive on "lite" jazz stations (they really need to find something to call that music that doesn't contain the word "jazz"), but Mintzer has pulled them more towards straight-ahead jazz. I should have guessed that and kept up with the band over the years, but I'm making up for lost time now. While there are a few radio-friendly tunes, there's also a lot of great musicianship, especially from Mintzer and bass titan Jimmy Haslip.
Rufus Reid Quintet-The Gait Keeper (Sunnyside Communications): I got to hear this fine bassist/educator in Greeley last April, and this was the CD he was promoting at the time. I'm glad I finally have my hands on it; it's a mix of mostly originals and a few covers, with a fine supporting cast both old (longtime Jones/Lewis/Vanguard member Rich Perry on tenor) and new (Reid's former student Freddie Hendrix on trumpet and flugel). Oh, and I was fooled by the opener, "The Meddler," which I thought was a twisted cover of Sonny and Cher's "The Beat Goes On" (as always, I was listening in the car and thus didn't have the liner notes at my disposal). I'm pretty sure the "dah-be dah-be dee, dah-be dah-be dai" figure shows up almost note-for-note in this tune.
A team effort: Dingus chimes in about last night's TD/D gig. We were really happy with the outcome, as we added three new tunes ("In Case You Missed It," Dingus's arrangement of "Foosball" and my original "Samba de Zuachiñu") to the rep with only one rehearsal. We're not sure of when the November gig at Ke Davi will be yet, but it'll be on the sidebar here and of course on the team blog.