Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays from Jazzlands

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to you and yours from May this season be filled with meaningful reflection, pleasant times with family and friends, and lots of great music.

THANK YOU for reading this blog. Comments always appreciated. And so are new readers.

I stay busy with my day job, as well as gigs with Acme Jazz Garage, Swan City Jazz Project, and other groups, and writing for several national publications, including JazzTimes, Jazziz, and Relix magazines.

I write in this space as time permits. In 2018, I also contributed to the Washington Post, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, and SawPalm.

In the spirit of the season, here’s a holiday-ish tune, “Last Call,” from the debut CD by Acme Jazz Garage.

It’s a swinger, with a ’40s-set story about a couple taking a romantic walk across Manhattan on a snowy night during Christmas season; they pass through Times Square and stop at a jazz club, encountering some legendary musicians along the way.

For this track, our core group — pianist Bryan Lewis, guitarist Matt Swenson, me on upright bass, and former drummer Tim Diehl — was joined by singer Whitney James, trumpeter Ron Wilder, and vibraphonist Sam Koppelman. The tune’s chorus, with its tightly clustered vocal harmonies (all by Whitney), might remind some of Manhattan Transfer.

“Last Call” is the only vocal cut on our CD, which had a nice run in 2016. The CD was heard on more than 30 stations across the country, including Tampa’s WUSF, 89.7 FM and WMNF, 88.5 FM, staying on the Jazzweek radio-airplay chart for several months. It received good reviews from national and regional press, including Relix magazine, LA Jazz Scene, Tampa Bay Times, Creative Loafing  (Tampa), The Toledo Blade, Ken Franckling’s Jazz Notes, and Tie Your Shoes Reviews.

The CD is available for purchase via iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby, and at our gigs.

Acme Jazz Garage has been together since 2011. If you find yourself in the Tampa Bay area on a Thursday or Friday night, please come hear us play at Timpano Chophouse in Hyde Park Village, Tampa, starting at 7. We mix jazz standards with blues, bossa novas, funky stuff, pop/rock instrumentals and originals.

We’ve recently returned to the Springs Theatre in Seminole Heights, where we recorded our debut CD, and have nearly completed work on four new tracks of original material. We hope to release something in 2019.

(BTW, Acme Jazz Garage is more than open to partnering with a label for our next release. If interested, contact me directly —

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