Wednesday, October 23, 2013

ACS & Wayne Shorter: kindred spirits

Terri Lyne Carrington, drummer for ACS, chats
with members of the audience after the concert.
Last week at the ACS concert in Springfield, one of the musicians announced between tunes that they had played many dates with Wayne Shorter throughout his 80th birthday year. Maybe Wayne's aesthetic rubbed off, or Wayne chose them because they're kindred spirits. Not only did they play a number of his tunes; they also abstracted almost everything they played, just like Wayne.

Was ACS playing "egghead" jazz?

For several pieces, I heard only a few notes of the melody, somewhere in the middle of the piece. Of course, this approach is one of the major complaints of jazz haters and jazz purists alike, but I love it, and I hardly ever hear it live anymore. I like hearing things that I can't imagine or that seem impossible.

If so, I'm an egghead, too.
Allen: I was surprised to hear her play so little in this standard piano trio format. Of course, that made everything she played very important. I was most looking forward to hearing her because I've followed her music for 20 years, starting with Robert Altman's "Jazz '34," the jam session companion to his film "Kansas City." She portrayed Mary Lou Williams, as shown in the video below. A decade later, Allen made an album with Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland, "The Life of a Song" (right), a standard piano trio work, very intense as you can imagine given the lineup. ACS played one of her pieces from that album, "Unconditional Love," which has a Latin beat.

She also took a minimal approach. I think she could have been happy with just a high hat and a snare drum — and not necessarily the whole drum, just the rim.

Spalding: I expected her to have that facility, but I was shocked at her ability to generate so much vitality without grandstanding.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Guest post: J.D. Pate finds jazz supertrio sublime

Geri Allen, Terri Lyne Carrington and Esperanza Spalding

J.D. Pate
Last Wednesday (10/16/14), the supertrio of Geri Allen (piano), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums) and Esperanza Spalding (bass) visited Springfield for a concert at Hammons Hall. It was a huge night for jazz players and listeners.

Here is a guest blog post about the concert from Springfield saxophonist J.D. Pate, who leads a duo called The Jazz Machine and plays in the Missouri Jazz Orchestra. His remarks first appeared on his Facebook page, and he has accepted my request to reprint them here.

I used to ask the question “Why are there so few women in jazz?” But after the show at Hammons Hall with Esperanza Spalding, Geri Allen, and Terri Lyne Carrington, I won’t ask that question any more. Because if there were many more women like these in jazz, us guys would be out of work. 

These ladies inhabit a sublime realm of rhythm and harmony that the rest of us can only speculate about. Carrington was a punchy yet precise orchestrator of a complex drum set, touching the edge of the cymbal so delicately you could hardly hear it and then smacking you upside the head with a tom bomb when you least expected it. The 32-fingered Geri Allen molded changes from air into tears and glued the trio together with sparse punctuated chord snaps that popped the structure of the tune into focus. And Spalding was coiled like a sparky velociraptor around a bass that dwarfed her--but she dominated it with an ease that belied her bird-like stature. And her voice? Words fail me. Description is futile. 

These three are exceptionally well matched, and performed with a smooth facility that made their complex charts easy to listen to. Their renditions of Wayne Shorter's “Fall” and “Infant Eyes” were especially impressive. 

In conclusion: they don’t suck. So see them if you get a chance.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Springfield Jazz Festival: Featured artists

Brad Leali
Elaine Richardson, aka Dr. E
At the after-festival jam, tenor madness broke out
among (from left) Brandon Mezzelo, Tim Broadbent, Corey Puett and J.D. Pate.
Sadly, I put away my real camera before the jam started. Oh, well.

Springfield Jazz Festival: Richard Bruton Band

Richard Bruton (right) with Austin Wilson
Eric Rosseau
The Park Central East stage near the Gillioz Theatre
From left: Jacob Hiser, Wayne Humbyrd, Richard Bruton, Sid Norris, Eric Rosseau, Austin Wilson

Springfield Jazz Festival: Brandon Mezzelo Triptet

Ryan Hurn (left) and Brandon Mezzelo
Kelly Brown
Austin Wilson

Springfield Jazz Festival: Linda Sala Jazz Project

Linda Sala
Joe Sala with the setting sun brightening the Shrine Mosque and the Hammons tower.
Mark Brueggemann
From left: Joe Sala, Linda Sala, Larry Pittmam, Mark Brueggemann,
Rick Salvador

Springfield Jazz Festival: Randy Hamm

The organizer of the festival directs the Missouri State Jazz Studies Ensemble.


Monday, September 23, 2013

Thinning grape vines, reconsidered

Why thin?

Thinning presumably enhances the long-term health of the vine. However, I heard from a friend that the productive lifespan of St. Vincent vines is 7-10 years. Our vines (early summer, above) have been up since 2006, so what's the point of losing yield at this stage? Why not just go for it? Thinning would be like a couple in their 70's postponing a cruise until a better time later in life.

And then there's this, from Growing Grapes in Missouri, page 17, by Missouri State University-Mountain Grove:

St. Vincent is considered to be a chance hybrid of a French-American hybrid cultivar with an unknown parent. It is a red grape for wine with large berry size and small, loose clusters. It has high vigor and moderate to high degree of winter hardiness. The fruit matures late season. 

It does not require cluster thinning. 

Yield is high. The vine trains well to a cordon system with spur pruning. A good spray program is needed to control diseases. Loose clusters make it not susceptible to bunch rot. Wine quality is good. It is typically made into a dry, red wine, or used in blending.

Urban vineyard: Record harvest

This summer was a weird but prosperous time for the urban vineyard. We had a record harvest of 25 pounds (above), which will make 8-11 bottles, according to a range of estimates culled from the Internet.

First we got a lot of rain, then we got a little black rot:

I have never been a dedicated sprayer, so I blame myself for that. The arrival of the fungus came at the same general time when I thin the vines. I'm a reluctant thinner, and I usually wait much later than the recommended point in the season for doing so. This year, I confined my thinning to the diseased and destroyed clusters and hoped that the rot would not wipe out the whole crop.

Weirdly, black rot subsided, and the vines prospered:

In addition to the mercy of black rot, I see several reasons for the bounty:

1) Three of the five laggard vines began to yield in modest quantity this year, whereas they could not be counted to produce much of anything in past years.

2) During the weeks when we covered the vines with garden cover (known as the Shroud of St. Vincent, below), the weather was free of storms that could blow down the shroud. Because it remained intact, we had essentially no loss to birds. 

3) This year's thinning was less than in the past. Is thinning really necessary? For St. Vincent vines? See my subsequent post if you're interested. If not, click elsewhere. Cheers!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Fussing about Wayne Shorter

Because I don't spend a lot of time on the Internet except for stuff I really need, I have managed to miss the entire F*** Wayne Shorter fuss from earlier this year. A young saxophonist named Alex Hoffman propagated a social media utterance with this title. Typically, the post blew up and made him infamous. 

The online jazz writer Jonah Jonathan gave Hoffman an hourlong soapbox on Jonathan's platform, the Jazz Musician's Voice, In the intervierw, Hoffman rambles in a constipated tone about his aesthetic values and how Shorter falls short of them. The blather is available on YouTube under the title, Alex Hoffman: Why I think Wayne Shorter Sucks. Hoffman objects to the fact that members of Shorter's quartet occasionally yell at high points in their performance, and that Shorter uses harmony that Hoffman finds offensive.

Other people, such as Larry Blumenfeld, quickly came to Shorter's defense, as if he needed any.

This conflict between convention and innovation is not new in jazz or any other realm of art. But, seriously, Shorter's iconic Blue Note sides are half a century old now. And why do we need to hear another version of Giant Steps, just because somebody mastered it? 

Sad to see that innovation in jazz must come from a guy who's celebrating his 80th birthday this year. There are others, of course: Darcy James Argue, for one.

Friday, June 21, 2013

So many grapes on the vines

I have never seen so many grapes on these vines. Is it the rain, or maybe the maturity of the vines?

Rain, obviously, but we've had early rain in recent years, but never so many grapes. So, I'm thinking of the vines maturing. In any case, I'll have to thin excess grapes to avoid stressing the vines. I hate doing that ...

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Post-Wayne Shorter concert stroll in Chicago

After the Wayne Shorter concert
earlier this month, we walked along
Michigan Avenue and found giant
boxes of radiant color, along with
a separate tower showing a
close-cropped face that changes
expression. Apparently this installation
has been in existence for nearly a
decade in Millennium Park.
Well, it was new to us. We also
noticed other glowing structures
farther up the street.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Japanese beetles? Not yet

Japanese beetle. University of Wisconsin Cooperative Extension.
On this day last year, I announced my first sighting of Japanese beetles. Today, no beetles are munching on my vines. Last year, I declared that I would pinch off the bugs rather than wrap the vines in garden netting to keep the bugs away. However, last year, I relented due to the numbers. If they do arrive this year, I will stand firm with the pinch-off approach. I have discovered, after several years of infestation, that the beetles munch the leaves but don't seem to harm the grapes. And when the bugs go away, the vines generate a modicum of new leaves.

If anyone sees them, please report here.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Wayne Shorter at Chicago Symphony Center

As declared earlier, I made my pilgrimage to Chicago Symphony Center to hear Wayne Shorter and his quartet. It was not one of those concerts that stirs up a lot of frenzy and leaves you exhausted, and I was not expecting that. 

This music that he embarked on a decade ago with the quartet has  always confounded me, but not in a way that made me stop listening. So, the concert was something I just had to hear, hoping that somehow I would get it. However, the Mysterious Traveler sounded as inscrutable as ever. I didn't get it, but I got a questioning, pondering experience, strangely satisfying at the end.

On most of the half-dozen tunes, he sounded so terse, cryptic, that I wondered why he wouldn't have preferred silence. The first note he played was very brief and tentative, almost as if he were testing his instrument or warming up. He played that note again in the same fashion, signaling that it was actual music.

Thankfully, there were spots of thrilling swirls and cascades. It seemed like the point was to wait for these moments, not expect, as in most jazz, that one thing will build on the next into a profluent narrative. I'm probably making too much of his Buddhist faith, but the music often sounded more like meditation, with moments of insight. The best way to listen seemed to be to wait, just to wait — not to wait with anticipation.

But all of these abstract remarks only describe Wayne. There was an entire band playing expansive compositions.

Throughout the decade of the quartet and across its three albums, Danilo Perez displayed a strongly percussive and unpredictable style on piano. In this concert, he played more fluently, with complex streams of notes that sounded more like classical. However, he had a few flashpoints. On one piece halfway through the concert, he plucked the piano strings, creating a vibrating buildup of tension. Later, he erupted with spiky block chords, causing drummer Brian Blade to respond so powerfully that he almost fell off his stool.

Blade dropped percussion in bunches, sometimes seemingly trying to stoke Shorter, at others ratcheting down to a lower dynamic to enable Shorter's meandering. Bassist John Patitucci spent much of the time hunched over his bass, providing not just bass notes but a rumbling counterpoint to what Shorter was doing.

From time to time, Shorter turned to one or another musician and made little hand gestures like fidgeting or like third-base-coach signals. The recipient would respond with a nod, but the music did not necessarily change as if on cue. Shorter played in a slightly stooped posture, which, along with the cryptic passages, reminded me in sight and sound of the aging Miles Davis. Of course, Shorter has aged much more than Davis did, and the connection was there, but it stopped there. Can you name a jazz musician, or an artist of any kind, pushing so far into nether creative realms at nearly 80 years of age?

One of the more satisfying pieces was a dissonant number near the end that sounded like 20th century classical music, dirge and paint splatter. Then the band started churning with mounting bombast, launching Shorter into one of his best flights of the evening — whoosh!

Many of the pieces were very long, with long sections, each with a change in tempo or texture from the previous part. A different musician would come to the fore with each movement, but not in the way of a featured solo, as others also chimed in frequently. In these long pieces, it seemed that anything was possible.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Pirtle Winery: Why go farther?

When we settled into the leafy confines of Pirtle Winery in Weston, we realized that this was the place we wanted to enjoy, and no other stop would likely be better.

So we tossed the rest of our itinerary and chilled.

I learned about the winery long ago as a maker of mead, but it now has an ambitious menu of grape wine and fruit wine as well as mead. 

Like Terre Beau, Pirtle is housed in a former church. It was a Lutheran Evangelical Church, built in 1867. The tasting room has stained glass windows with floral designs.
This was also the only place I know that specializes in St. Vincent. Pirtle has three versions:

  • Alhambra: This one is a magnificent St. Vincent, getting more out of the grape than I've ever tasted. It's a rich, dry wine that tames the tangy aspect of the grape.
  • Weston Bend Red: A light-bodied wine that somehow also had big mouth feel.
  • Weston Bend Rosé: A luscious rosé.

Other notes:

Norton: Big with a little French oak.

Vignoles: Dry with powerful citrus and fruit. 

Apple wine: Semi-sweet with a citrus effect that reminded me of Sauvignon Blanc.

Honey mead: Like honey on toast.

We found a table under a long, cool canopy that used fabric to block the sun and greenery to complete the enclosure. We had a lunch of assorted nibbles and a bottle of Weston Bend Rose´.

And then we set off for home.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Jowler Creek, a green winery

Jowler Creek Winery in Platte City has alternative sources of energy (solar panels, above) and ecologically-aware vineyard maintenance. In the vineyard, owners Jason and Colleen Gerke use chickens to reduce insects and sheep to control weeds. To keep the sheep in line, they employ dogs (one of which is below).

Their Chambourcin and Norton were made in a lean style, with barely noticeable oak.

Vignoles had the classic sweetness than many wineries have muted in recent years. Jowler Creek apparently is going in the other direction. They said they made this vintage sweeter than previous ones.

Muskrato de Missouri was a fun tasting, an asti-style bubbly that was sweet but balanced with citrus.

Nort: A Norton made in a Port style with an emphasis on berry flavors.



Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Belvoir Winery: grand, historic setting

Upon our approach to Belvoir Winery in Liberty, elegant grounds and stately buildings created a sense of anticipation. The estate (above) is the former Odd Fellows Home District. The architecture is Jacobethan Revival, according to the winery's website. The buildings look like residence halls at a venerable small college.

Chardonel: This is the heavily oaked offering mentioned in the opening post in this series. Chardonel is a cross between Chardonnay and Seyval. Belvoir's Chardonel conveyed a little citrus along with the oak, which made it stand apart from an oaked Chardonnay, which is often buttery.

Plumeria: A semi-dry blend of Traminette, Vignoles and Seyval. For me, the Vignoles was up front, with gentle citrus. Plumeria was one of my top whites from this trip.

Norton: Leaner and softer than the typical Norton. This one resembled a Pinot Noir. 

The estate serves as an event center as well as a winery. To a certain extent, it's a museum, with furniture and decor in the first-floor rooms. 

And there's "George" (below), a skeleton of an Odd Fellows member who donated his body to science. Once the scientists received the donations, they returned George's bones to the lodge.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Terre Beau: just wine, no nonsense

John Tulipana
John Tulipana of Terre Beau Winery and Vineyard in Dover makes and sells wine his way. He learned winemaking from his father, of Sicilian heritage.

"Dad made wine because he liked to drink it," Tulipana said. This practical approach popped up in conversation about the craft: "I don't use oak. I don't have time to babysit it."

One thing he learned from his father was manifested in one of the Norton offerings. Part of the 2009 harvest was processed with the stems, the rest without. I did not expect the Norton with stems to be delicate and smooth, but it was. The Norton without stems had a more vibrant fruit emphasis.

The Chardonel was made sweet, but the floral effects in the nose and on the tongue surprised me and made this Chardonel stand out.

Ask about K.C., an intensely fruity blend of dry reds that was not available except for tasting because it had not yet been bottled.

Tulipana chose unexpected decor in the tasting room: posters of the Rat Pack performers and a vintage American flag.

Terre Beau (below) was the first of two wineries we visited that are housed in former churches. This place was built in 1858 by Presbyterians and acquired in 1904 by the Catholic parish. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

K.C.-area wine trip: Baltimore Bend

Recently we took a winery trip to the Kansas City area with our good friends, Steve and Donna Koehler. Over the years, we have become familiar with wines from southwest and central Missouri, as well as the Hermann-Augusta area. This trip led us into new territory, with slightly different tastes.

One difference that stood out was the numerous options for sweet wines and the widespread use of the Concord grape. At a couple of stops, we heard that sweet Concord was the best seller.

However, all of the wineries also offered dry wines, and most had long wine lists that covered a spectrum of tastes.

We found considerable variation in treatment of individual varieties. Among Chardonels, Terre Beau's is sweet with a big floral emphasis, Belvoir's is heavily oaked, and Baltimore Bend makes an off-dry varietal called Mo Gold.

Baltimore Bend was the first stop and one of the more satisfying ones. With astute timing, we finished our visit just as a busload of happy people pulled up. A few notes:

Baltimore Bend proprietor
Sarah Schmidt
Norton: There were two choices from the 2010 vintage. The reserve was aged in French oak for a robust effect. The regular release was aged in American oak for a smoother result. As I recall, I was in the minority in favoring the American oak.

C2: A blend of Norton and Chambourcin aged in stainless steel — a rich and lively combination. I usually stay away from red blends because they often smooth over the distinct aspects of all elements. Instead, C2's boldness grabbed my attention. Wow!

Trey Blanc: Tasteful citrus notes from this blend of Chardonel, Seyval and Vignoles — semi-dry with more body than you might expect from an unoaked white wine.

Cirrus: A semi-sweet wine based on Catawba. This grape benefits from a little sugar to manage its strident flavors, so the impression was not that it was sweet, but that it was Catawba. And it had a slightly tangy finish of pure Catawba for balance.

More later on other K.C.-area wineries.

Friday, May 24, 2013

New tune from Brandon Mezzelo's album in progress

"Bootyquakin" is the only tune on the CD that's not straight-ahead, Brandon Mezzelo says. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bella Donna at Flo Wine Bar: a rare wine-jazz nexus

Bella Donna (from left): Matt Guinn, Liz Carney and Mike Williamson, who usually plays bass.

I experienced a rare wine-jazz nexus at Flo Wine Bar, listening to Bella Donna. It was rare in that I had never set foot in Flo, assuming it was way too upscale for me — but this was happy hour.

The visit demonstrated that not all businesses housed in office centers designed to mimic Downton Abbey are negligible.

I ordered a glass of Vina Zaco Tempranillo (Rioja). The tasting note, smoky oak, got my attention. The wine lived up to that description in the sense that there's probably too much oak, but so what? This smoky oak was similar to the approach to Norton of Tyler Ridge Vineyard Winery, just north of Springfield.

The rest of the tasting notes for the Tempranillo were black fruits and chocolate. I got the fruits but missed the chocolate. In my limited experience with Rioja wines, they're too lean to suggest chocolate. I was thinking of black pepper.

The jazz nexus occurred with Bella Donna's own listening note, gypsy jazz. I heard a little Django on one tune, which turned out to be an original. Most of the songs were jazzy, not gypsy except in the sense that a great deal of rhythmic drive came from the guitar. Then Liz Carney sang two songs in French, including "J'attendrai" (I could be wrong), associated with Rina Ketty, an Italian singer who worked in Paris in the 1930s. Amazing work by Carney, transporting me to some distant, totally lost world.

I worked at trying to hear the gypsy notes in the same way I was working my taste buds for the chocolate notes in the Vina Zaco Tempranillo, but so what? They weren't there, but so much else was.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Next on The Voice: Billie Holiday

Billie Holiday with her dog, Mister.
Photo credit: William P. Gottlieb. Available from Creative Commons
In light of the horrible influence of TV network talent shows, I was thinking about how Billie Holiday would have performed on The Voice.

She had a boxer named Mister (above), but she probably didn't need him, given her famously pugnacious approach to conflict resolution, according to stories and lore.

In a Facebook forum (this link to the forum may not last forever), music folks were reacting to a post by Dave Grohl of the Foo Fighters, who asserted that people shouldn't go through talent shows as a road to success. Instead, they should start with no talent and keep playing until they suck less and less, and presumably hope for the best.

I had another thought:

A separate aspect of damage that these shows do is to codify a certain kind of pop singing based on yelling. Of course, there are technical aspects of yelling, and Blake Shelton does mini-lectures on them in every show. You start out yelling softly, then you move up to yelling loudly, accenting a specific syllable and emoting properly. Imagine how Billie Holiday would handle her moment on The Voice. She'd swivel Shelton's chair around and punch his face in.

I have carried the impression of Holiday as a fighter for more than 35 years, dating back to a conversation with English Professor Mike Liberman at Grinnell College. He said Holiday once got into an argument with a sailor in a club, and she suggested they take it outside — where she beat him to the ground. A similar story is told in Farah Jasmine Griffin's 2001 biography, If You Can't Be Free, Be A Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday.

Of course, people interpret Holiday in terms of their own often extravagant emotional baggage, and my take is just one more. I find it quite satisfying to see her as a fighter.

Monday, April 29, 2013

I found something else that I like

Last night I downloaded "Banned in London" by the Aruan Ortiz & Michael Janisch Quintet featuring Greg Osby. The music is scrabbly and sinewy. It may verge toward egghead jazz, but it has muscle. And I haven't heard Osby sound this good in 15 years. More on this later.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Now I like Wayne Shorter's new stuff

After expressing mixed feelings about Wayne Shorter's new album, Without a Net, I've decided that I not only like it, I also like everything he's done since teaming up with Danilo Perez, John Patitucci and Brian Blade.

In this spirit, I have made plans to hear the quartet this summer in Chicago. No time like the present, and they'll never get any closer to Springfield.

I like the way Shorter integrates bits of lyricism, bombast and actual swing. He's one of the few players I'm hearing today who's trying to do something different that appeals to me. It's weird and unsettling that a dedicated jazz listener has to turn to a near-octogenarian for innovation.

I've always expected something new from jazz, even as I listened mostly to mainstream music. But I need to enjoy the innovations.

Different but dull: At this blog we've explored the disappointing "egghead" style of contemporary innovation. 

Same but exciting: Many great players are thriving in the mainstream. Tom Harrell has produced five albums with the same quintet with only small variations in concept; all are brilliant and more is better. Sonny Rollins, who's 82, seems to want to improve on his own mainstream work every time out. But I also want something different.

Different and exciting: I can't find much of that. I admire Rudresh Mahanthappa, but his continuous blowtorch approach is hard to take. I miss George Adams. He had a vocabulary on tenor that combined screeching Ayler-like leaps with Gospel and warm swing. At the very moment when his caterwauling became unpleasant, he pulled back into a groove.

I think Shorter is doing the same thing in a more expressionist way. Much of his playing is not about chops; it's about extremes of emotion ("Myrrh" on the new album is a succinct example of this). For me, this is a different and exciting approach. I like players with chops (see "same but exciting"), but I'm willing to give up chops in return for something new and appealing.

In contrast to Rollins, Shorter, 79, seems to feel that he has no obligation to verify his chops. If he wants to unleash an ear-splitting dissonant trill, he's going to do it, even though it does not require six-hour daily practice sessions to pull off. And just when your eardrums are about to rupture, he'll pull up and play a line from Mendelssohn.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Jazz Roll Call

Jazz Roll Call was part of my April 26 column at I am archiving it here for easy access. 

The project is a gesture for celebrating the music locally during Jazz Appreciation Month. Invitations to join a list of musicians have been published in the News-Leader and circulated through social media. Anyone who is self-identified as a jazz musician, at any level, could respond to the invitation with name and affiliations such as current and recent bands and gigs, as well as schools, or, if none of these apply, simply “independent.”

The list is not a directory or an events listing. Although the list has more than 80 names, it is definitely incomplete.

• Sam Adkins, FourFront Jazz Quartet, Members Only

• Kyle Aho, MOJO, duo and trio at Haruno, Hvild Trio

• Timothy Bender, Little Hoover’s Big Band

• Harry Beckett, MONTAGE and duo with Carol Reinert

• Bogie Bohinc, independent

• Ryan Boone, Quantum Groove, Lilly Bee and the Pollinators

• Tim Broadbent, MASK, Sequel Dose, independent jazz composer/arranger

• Roger Bown, Jazz Educator’s Big Band, Queen City Dance Band, MOJO

• Kelly Brown, Brandon Mezello Triptet, Kristy Merideth, John Strickler, Greene County Social Club, Rags to Rich’s, Ozark Mountain Daredevils

• Mark Brueggemann, MOJO, Linda Sala Jazz Project, New Creole Jazz Band

• Grady Butler, Quantum Groove

• Liz Carney, Bella Donna

• Michael Casey, MOJO

• Sam Clanton, Jam McClanton, Stellar Weirdos

• Lou Colbe, MONTAGE

• Cathy Coonis, Jazz Educator’s Big Band, Queen City Dance Band, Wings of Swing, assistant band director at Seymour High School

• Jay DaVersa, independent

• Cindy Dittrich, private piano teacher, Wings of Swing Big Band

• Craig Edwards, assistant band director at Republic High School

• Ian Erickson, Friday and Saturday night jazz at Springfield Brewing Co., Richard Bruton Band, Kyle Aho Trio, Missouri State University

• Austin Farnam, SPiNRaD

• Pete Generous, MONTAGE

• Aaron Grose Little Hoover’s Big Band and Kickapoo High School Jazz Band

• Kaylee Grose Little Hoover’s Big Band and Cherokee Middle School 8th Grade Jazz Band

• Mike Grose Little Hoover’s Big Band

• Dennis Groves, MSU, Quantum Groove

• Matt Guinn, Bella Donna

• Cole Gurley, Quantum Groove, Lilly Bee and the Pollinators

• Randy Hamm, director of jazz studies at Missouri State University, Hamm/Aho Duo, Thrascher Saxophone Quartet, Steve Wiest Big Band, EMP Recording Artist

• Matt Harp, The Jazz Machine, Kristi Meredith, MASK, FourFront Jazz Quartet

• Scott Harris, MOJO, freelance

• Bill Hartman, MOJO

• Ralph Hasty, Little Hoover’s Big Band, Caduceus the Doctors Band, Navy Musicians Association

• Carter Havens, Willard High School

• Jacob Hiser, Hiser Brothers, 180, MSU

• Greg James, Little Hoover’s Big Band

• Richard Kittleman, Distant Relative, gigs with Jerry Hoover, Charlie Loeber and Barney Kessel

• Donnie Kraft, Johnny Strickler Trio, session work

• Jacin Lopez, MASK, now touring with a casino and resort band

• B.J. Lowrance, Bella Donna

• C.H. McCoy, MSU Jazz Studies, Big McCoy Trio

• Sheilah McDowell, Jazz Educator’s Big Band

• C. Grant Maledy, Grant Maledy Trio, Smith-Cotton High School

• Kristi Merideth, Tower Club, Springfield Brewing Co.

• Jeremy Miller, Quantum Groove, Harvey Stone

• Shaun Morganfield, Missouri State University Jazz Studies I

• Jeff Nall, MOJO

• Jake Norman, Deep Fried Squirrel, independent

• Sid Norris, Richard Bruton Band, Drury University

• O’neil, independent

• Don Overend, Caduceus, the Doctors Band

• J.D. Pate, The Jazz Machine, FourFront Jazz Quartet

• David Pease, independent

• Tommy Perry, MSU Jazz Studies I and Jazz Band

• Larry Pittman, Linda Sala Jazz Project

• Josh Prince, MSU Jazz Studies I and Jazz Symposium

• Susanna Reichling, Springfield Symphony

• Jim Rea, independent, Springfield Real Book, composer, arranger

• Carol Reinert, MONTAGE, duo with Harry Beckett

• Bryant Robinson, MOJO, M-Dock Band

• Paul Rose, Quantum Groove

• Bridget Ruark, MSU Jazz Studies I and Jazz Band

• Joe Sala, Linda Sala Jazz Project

• Linda Sala, Linda Sala Jazz Project

• Bob Salvador, Little Hoover’s Big Band

• Rick Salvador, Linda Sala Jazz Project

• Steve Samuelson, Sounds Pretty Good Combo, Queen City Dance Band, Brandon Street Stompers

• Lew Scott, Little Hoover’s Big Band

• Rick Seals, retired military musician, manager of the Wings of Swing Big Band and Wings of Praise Christian Big Band

• Steven Sellers, Little Hoover’s Big Band, Republic Community Band, Shriner’s Band, Ridgecrest Baptist Church Orchestra, Jazz Educator’s Big Band

• Bob Smither, Jazz Educator’s Big Band

• Tom Speaker, Lake Jazz Band

• Adam Stokes, MSU Jazz Studies I, Jazz Educator’s Big Band

• John Strickler, John Strickler Trio, solo gigs including Nonna’s

• David Styer, SPiNRaD

• Bob Swanson, Drury University, MOJO, New Creole Jazz Band

• Ryan Talbot, Ryan Talbot Experience, Richard Bruton Band

• Kyth Trantham, 180°, The Jazz Machine

• Dick Turner, New Creole Dixieland Band

• Chris Vanderpool, University of Northern Iowa, Quantum Groove, Lilly Bee and the Pollinators, 20 Acres from Pavement

• Brent Vaughan, MOJO, Ryan Talbot Experience, freelance, Fullerton College, Fullerton, Calif.

• Cyndi Waggoner, Lake Jazz Band

• Lane Waggoner, Carnival Cruise Lines, Lake Jazz Band

• Larry Waggoner, Sr., Lake Jazz Band

• Archie Wheeler, MOJO, Stan Kenton Orchestra (1963)

• Mike Williamson, Bella Donna

• Austin Wilson, Richard Bruton Band, Brandon Mezzelo Triptet, MOJO

• Carl Yendes, Jazz Educator’s Big Band; Caduceus the Doctors Band

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Cold spell coming. Nothing to worry about, right?

I pruned in the first week of April, and within a day or two, buds started to swell. They leafed out the day after the last week's crappy cold spell passed. Now we're looking at another dip toward freezing on Thursday and Friday nights. I always thought 28 degrees was the danger point for St. Vincent, but I can't find that number anywhere.

If anybody is worried, please let me know.

I did find some encouraging words at

Pruned vines have earlier bud burst than unpruned vines, so delayed pruning is an effective strategy for delaying bud burst and reducing risk of frost injury.

As a procrastinator about pruning, I might have done my vines a favor.