Get In To Go Out – Paul Giallorenzo

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I have been listening to Paul Giallorenzo’s Get In To Go Out lately. It is aptly titled. It swings really hard in spots, and has a familiar but slightly off-kilter (in a good way) compositional style that flows from a Monk or Andrew Hill kind of vibe. It is a good disc worth checking out.

Full Disclosure: I know all of the musicians on this disc and count them as friends. It is good music whether I know them or not.

I love good customer service

I mentioned earlier that I pre-ordered the new Dave Douglas CD. I ordered one of the packages that comes with downloads of pdfs of the sheet music. There was some minor failure in downloading the sheet music (quite possibly user error on my end). I emailed Greenleaf, and got a response about 20 minutes later that fixed my problem. I love labels that put out great music, and I love businesses that are well run with respect to the customers, and when one place can be both of those things, that’s about as good as it gets.

Tour diary #6 – conclusion

Where did we leave off? Oh yeah, the gig in Connecticut seemed like it had real high end legendary free jazz tour disaster potential. Since we booked the gig, the club went from a jazz format to a more blues and R&B thing. When we got there, the sign downstairs said “Jeff Albert Band – Blues.” It turned out to be one of the better gigs of the tour. We stayed in the grooving part of our repertoire, and faked three jazz blues tunes and “Cissy Strut,” but with the exception of those four tunes, we did stuff that was in our regular repertoire. There was a financial guarantee, and it ended up being the best paying gig on the tour, and the people at the club dug what we did.

Saturday was a long drive from Cromwell, CT to Richmond, VA. It was too long. One of the things I learned on this trip is that what looks like a reasonable drive in google maps weeks before the tour, might not be. We were really too tired and mentally drained when we got to Richmond. One bandmember had something of a musical meltdown, which was the catalyst for me to have something of a social meltdown. It was by far the weakest gig of the tour musically. On the other hand, the Richmond groups that we heard that night were great. Verbatim and R2Dtoo were both really enjoyable. Well played, creative, and fun. We ended up not hearing the No BS! Brass Band. I was melting down socially, and we had a loooong drive ahead of us the next morning, so we left before they started.

Yesterday we left Richmond at 7 am EDT, and I got back to my house at 1 AM CDT today. We all drove quite a bit. I reset the trip miles and elapsed time counters on my van before I left my house at 4 AM on June 13. When I got back last night, we had traveled 3,933 miles, and had spent 76 hours and 35 minutes in the van.

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I learned a lot about what not to do when putting together a tour, but I also learned a lot about our band, and about the stronger and weaker aspects of our music. We made some great music, and had a lot of laughs, and never came to blows, so I’ll call it a success. I was musically happy with 7 of the 8 gigs, and we laughed way more than we grumbled obscenities under our breath.

We might do it again next year, with a booking agent, bus, bus driver, and budget for better hotels…or maybe not.

Tour Diary #5

I am posting this from a McDonald’s in Cromwell CT. My hotel is right across the street and they advertised having internet access. They don’t. We have stayed at two Super 8 motels on this trip, and neither has had a consistently functioning internet connection, even though both have advertised that they did. I had a really bad Super 8 experience years ago when I was on the road with Buddy Morrow. I should have learned my lesson then. Oh well, I have learned my lesson now. No more Super 8′s.

The drive to Philly yesterday was ok. It rained most of the way, which was a drag, but the traffic wasn’t too bad. We had dinner at a cool Laotian restaurant with my publicist Matt Merewitz of Fully Altered Media. It was a nice hang. Matt did us right on the food suggestion, and it was nice to interact with him in person, instead of online.

Last night’s gig at Chris’ Jazz Cafe was a bit odd. Musically it went well, and the people that ran the club were nice and seemed to dig what we did. It wasn’t well attended, even though it got a Critics Pick in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Financially it was a bust. We made some money, but I was expecting that gig to carry more of the load. It ended up being less bread than the Hungry Brain, with no CD sales. I am learning that performing in your natural habitat is best, and I am not sure if “jazz clubs” should be our natural habitat. Open minded places that have music seem to work better. I’m not saying the folks at Chris’ weren’t open minded, they really were quite open minded, but that setting of the dark room with silver and glass ware and crisp white table cloths sets up all sorts of expectations for both the audience and the performers. I am finding that removing expectations is a good thing. It lets both the listener and the performer be relaxed and natural.

We are looking forward to tonight’s show at Boney’s Music Lounge in Middletown, CT. Some old and new friends will be there, and we’ll have a chance to get all New Orleans on them. It will be fun.

BTW, what’s up with all the toll booths up here? It cost $22 in tolls to drive from Philly to Cromwell. We have to run through all that again tomorrow on the way back south. This has turned into the Jersey Turnpike tour.

Tour Diary #4

We had a great evening in NY, despite the traffic. 8 toll booths to 2 lanes of tunnel in a couple of hundred yards makes for some odd merging.

We took the Holland Tunnel through lower Manhattan and across the Brooklyn Bridge to meet my old buddy Andy for pizza at Grimaldi’s in DUMBO. We got to the Douglass Street Music Collective and heard a great set by Josh Sinton, and Ayreh Kobrinsky. Then we played to a room full of friends. It is a great feeling when so many of your friends take the time to come hear you play. I’d like to thank Andy, George, Sam, Linda, and Pete for coming out to hear us. When musician friends support you, it is especially rewarding, so I’d also like to thank Steve Swell and Rob Wagner for their presence.

After the gig we had something of a Loyola College of Music circa 1990 reunion at 4th Ave Pub in Brooklyn, which was just around the corner from the venue. It was great to catch up with Andy, Linda, George and Sam. I hadn’t seen any of them in a couple of years, and some of them I hadn’t seen for more than a dozen years. What a blessing to get to make music for, then visit with old friends.

I am looking forward to a short driving day tomorrow as we head to Philadelphia.

Tour Diary #3.5

Wow. We drove all night, through really crappy weather, and got to our hotel in NJ about 2 PM. We get to sleep a bit before we head to tonight’s show. It reminds me of something Ellis Marsalis said to me, some years ago, as we trudged through an airport with the UNO Jazz Orchestra. “Some people think what we do is glamorous.”

Tour Diary #3

Writing this from Baba Budan’s in Cincinnati. Just played a great gig here. The Cincy crowd was lots of fun. We played a set, then my friend Napoleon Maddox’s band, IsWhat?!, played a set, then we jammed together on some New Orleans tunes. Is was a blast.

We also had a fun gig/hang last night at the Skylark in Chicago. It was great to see some old friends and play some fun music, even if it is really hard to play after eating a Skylark burger.

We are getting ready to drive overnight for our show in Brooklyn tomorrow. East coast here we come.