Sir Stan Tracey??

There’s a current petition doing the rounds to nominate Stan Tracey, the great British Jazz Pianist, for a Knighthood or similar honour, in recognition of his long and distinguished career.

If you’re interested you can sign up online, just visit the following link for more information.

I think it’s great to have an opportunity to not only honour a fine musician, but to have another means of bringing the existence of a Jazz audience to the attention of the powers that be.

Yet More Rat Pack Dates!!

The Rat Pack dates just keep on coming!! I discovered today that we have a veritable plethora of UK dates which fit very handily into the gaps in the US Tour! I’ve just updated the Schedule with those dates up to the end of April 2007. More to follow shortly…

Late Gig News

I’ve just been called to go and play with my friends in the Harald Rüschenbaum Jazz Orchestra at the Unterfahrt Jazz Club in Munich tomorrow night. It’ll be great to see Harald and the guys again; I’ve not seen most of them since I was last there almost 2 years ago on Tour. Thanks to Florian Jechlinger for inviting me.

My good friend Nemanja Jovanovic plays Lead Trumpet with the band and I had the great pleasure of recommending him to play the Rat Pack dates in Munich while I’ve been away in the USA. He’s an awesome player and apparently the guys have been having a good time with him.

Anyway, more from Munich when I’m there….

Good To Be Back In The UK!!

I’m just back in from playing a Rat Pack show in Darlington this evening. It’s really been a pleasure to get back and play with one of the British bands. The last two weeks have been an eye-opener in terms of the cultural differences between UK and US musicians; it seems, in short, that as I suspected over here we’re very good at playing things straight off and making them convincing, while in the US they tend to warm up to the music over a longer period. Therefore, despite having some great guys around me, we never really got the show up to the musical level I’m accustomed to in either San Antonio or Des Moines, before we had to move on. Conversely I went back in with a band comprising many friends, but who don’t necessarily play the show that often, and we roared!! Many thanks to Andy Flaxman, Keith Hutton and Bruce Douglas (aka The Trombones) in particular, who have frankly restored my faith in that instrument. Unusually, I’ve found the Trombones to be the weaker section over in The States thus far.

None of this should be taken as any kind of negative by anyone looking in. I’m intrigued to see how the musical experience rounds out across the country as we visit different cities in the coming months. I certainly hope that the musicians we’ve met so far prove to be indicative of the general standard nationwide. If so, the coming US tour dates will continue to go as well as it’s started!

Happy Birthday to Me!!

Happy Birthday to me!!! Thirty-two years old today and celebrating with a longish wait for a flight at Amsterdam Airport!

I’m on a 3 and a half hour layover on the way back from Des Moines. Should get back home at around 5pm after which I’m having dinner with my parents and then trying to recover from my jet-lag in time to get back to the show in Darlington tomorrow.

Maybe it’s beer o’clock….