Update/ NYC Sessions upcoming release

Hey Everyone!

It’s been a minute since my last post.  A lot has been going on the past few months.  I’ll try to hit on some of that and clue you in on what is coming up in the next few months.

The bulk of my time and energy has been spent writing grant proposals, and music for a two day recording session in Brooklyn, NY this past December.  I’ll talk about that in a little bit.  We had several memorable gigs the past few months leading up to this recording session.   The first of which was our OSU jazz ensemble concert.  I wrote an arrangement of Lil’ Hardin’s ‘Struttin’ With Some Barbecue’  that featured Jon Lampley on sousaphone during a second line groove.  That was a lot of fun- broke up the monotony of the big band set.

The second was a house show in my basement.  This is always a blast, there were a good 40-50 people packed into our little soundproofed basement that night for our two sets of music.  Nothin wrong with playing to a wall of people except you kind of lose the sense of intimacy when there are that many people in a small space.  Still trying to figure out how to get people to quiet down an just listen…hmm.

The third was a show at Dennison University.  They have a coffee house called the ‘Bandersnatch’ (no joke) and they have a concert series that runs year round.  It was really cool to play for a college crowd and the place had a really cool vibe.  Luckily Adam DeAscentis not only plays bass with me but he also takes some awesome panorama shots during our shows whenever Jon takes over the bass clef on Sousaphone.

Also, this past Thursday I had the pleasure of playing with the OSU Wind Symphony and the High St. Stompers.  The piece was a Frank Ticheli composition called ‘Playing with fire’ and it featured a Dixiland band and entire Wind Ensemble.  I had the blessing/curse of playing the solo clarinet part which has the anchor solo (20+ choruses) that builds into the hugely epic ending with the entire band playing- that was LOUD!

The NYC Sessions were on December 19th and 20th 2011 at Supr Dupr Sound Recording Studios in DUMBO Brooklyn.  The band had two shows at Somethin’ Jazz Club (formerly Miles’ Cafe) the friday and saturday nights before.  The whole thing went extremely well.  We ended up recording 9 full tracks with full videography in the studio.  Seven of these tracks will be released as a youtube video series in late March.  The project has been getting bigger and bigger since the day I started working on it.  Within the seven tracks there are three originals and music by Nick Drake, Stevie Wonder, Radiohead, Dave Matthews, Neil Young, and an arrangement of ‘Man out of You’ from the Disney Movie Mulan.  I’m particularly  proud of how well we pulled off so many different styles and ambitious covers.  The music touches on so manny different emotions, and the band stretches out to reach some great moments throughout.  Last week I recorded some extra percussion track with OSU Professor Joe Krygier (he can be heard on Sandbox and Cheap Juaneta from ‘Between The Lines’).  And in the coming weeks I am preparing to record a my sting quartet arrangement along with my quartet on Nick Drakes ‘Place to be’.  We will be releasing one video each week, so keep an eye out for info about the ‘NYC Session’.  I will be streaming live videos updating you on the mixing and editing process in the coming month. I will be posting those on my twitter account and on my Facebook page.

Check out Simon Yu’s website, he was the videographer for this entire session- his videos look incredible!

I will leave you with the latest from Trombonist, vocal percussionist, and toy wind instrument enthusiast Chris Ott.

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Disney Recap/ Videos

A lot has been going on since the CD release (which is why it has been over a month since my last blog Sorry!).  As I am writing this, I am preparing music for a few gigs and a recording session in New York City in December.  I’ve been composing and arranging a lots lately for OSU’s big band and for my own groups, and getting much more comfortable working in a recording studio (I had two recording sessions just last week).

This tuesday, Allen Wolfe’s movie In My Sleep is released on DVD.  My composition Sandbox is used in the special features of the DVD.  I met Allen while I was living in L.A and working at Disneyland.  You can purchase it on Amazon or iTunes and you can find more info about it here.  Here’s the trailer CHECK IT OUT!  (Steve Brule reference..anyone?)

In other news, the Columbus Dispatch did a feature article about Between The Lines last month. You can read it here.  It also features the first professional photo of me with my soprano sax…pushing boundaries, I know, I know…

The rest of this blog I want to dedicate to videos that capture a very small aspect of how incredible this past summer was for me at Disneyland.  It seems surreal to think that just three months ago I was living in Annaheim and performing five sets of music, five days a week at the happiest place on earth.  I feel blessed to have been able to play for three months in the most talented and diverse band that I have ever experienced.  As I look back on the whole experience, I miss hearing peoples’ different stories and life experiences, and sharing music together constantly, and spending time hanging out.  It truly was a once in a lifetime gig.  It was also great to experience the unbelievable organization that is the Disney Corporation.  Dr. Ron McCurdy does an excellent job directing the band – Keeping THE MUSIC the focus but always being fun to be around and hang with.

Here is a video of one of my favorite pieces that we played in the sit down set.  It is the West Side Story Suite as performed by Buddy Rich.

This next video is of our last set at Disney.  We finished every day with this arrangement and not once did I get tired of it.  Also the majority of the ‘street music’ that we played was pretty awesome- Earth Wind and Fire, Stevie, Aretha Franklin, Tower of Power.  Despite the Uniforms (M.C. Hammer meets Captain America meets a male cheerleader).  I friggen loved dancing.  All in the hips!

Finally, in the spirit of Disney, here is Chris Ott’s arrangement of the old chestnut Kill The Beast.  We played it at our CD Release show this past september.  We will be playing there (Miles’ Cafe NYC) again on December 16th and 17th TELL YO FRIENDS!

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Between The Lines Available Everywhere!

Hello Everyone, I am excited to announce that Between The Lines is available everywhere (Itunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, Napster, CD Baby, Record Archives, and some others online stores that I can’t think of right now).  The CD has been a year in the making and I am very proud of Everything on it.  Below is a video of me describing the recording and writing process and explaining how I am donating the first month’s profits to charity.  Below that is a full track from the album, if you dig it then buy the album ya big dummy!  If not, you can still buy the CD- just skip track 5.  But seriously, If you’re into the music please help spread the word!

Here is an original of mine- Sandbox— Chris Ott-Trombone, Angelo Di Loreto-Piano, Danny Ziemann-Bass, John hubbell-Drums

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I have been busy traveling back from Los Angeles (where I have been all summer) and playing release shows in Akron, Buffalo, Rochester, and New York.  This past summer with the Disneyland All American College Band was incredible.  I really cannot say enough about how amazing the experience was to work with the whole staff at Disney.  The best part of the summer was meeting and becoming very close to the other musicians in the band.  I will definitely have a blog post purely dedicated to the experience, but for now I will leave you with a clip form our first show with Gregg Field on drums.

Recent Recommended listenings: Bending and Breaking- Aaron Staebell, Ben Webster and Oscar Peterson- Ben Webster Meets Oscar Peterson, D’Angelo-Voodoo, Miguel Zenon- Alma Adentro, The Puerto Rican Songbook, Bon Iver- Bon Iver

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Summer in L.A.

The past three weeks I’ve been playing with the 2011 Disneyland All American College Band. The group is 21 college age musicians from all over the country. The first two weeks were pretty much a blur of constant rehearsals for the memorized street sets. We’re playing medleys from disney movies, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and Tower of Power. These sets also have quite a bit of choreography along with them. Here’s a video of the band playing the Tower of Power Medley.

The band is sponsored by Yamaha and we’re all playing new horns. The sax section was able to try out a bunch of different horn and neck combinations (I still like my horn better). Although I didn’t find a horn and neck combination that I loved, it was a great experience to hear how much the neck bore and material effect the sound of an instrument.
In addition to playing the memorized street sets, we also play flag retreat set and a big band set. We do these 5 sets every day, 5 days a week. Even though it’s been busy, it is a lot of fun-I’m playing a lot of new music and I’m working at Disneyland…I can’t complain.

The band is a lot of fun to play with, it’s definitely the most powerful brass section I’ve ever played with. Here is a video of our first set as a big band a few weeks go.

The week before I came out to L.A., my sextet played at Miles’ Cafe in New York. Here is a video of us doing my version of Little by Little (a track off of the new radiohead album). enjoy the clapping at 4:03.

Jon Lampley-Trumpet
Chris Ott-Trombone
Angelo Di Loretto- Piano
Danny Ziemann-Bass
John Hubbell-Drums

I finish up the gig in Disneyland on August 13th. The following week, we will be playing in Ohio, and New York as I release my new CD Between the Lines. Stay posted for exact dates and times!

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Spring/Between the Lines Update

I am currently in the process of mixing last 4 tracks out of the 10 with Mark Rubinstein at Ohio State’s recording studio.  I am very pleased with how the record is turning out.  Unfortunately the mixing and licensing process is very time consuming, but I promise it will be worth the wait.  The release will be in mid August and we are planning to have release shows in Los Angeles, Buffalo, Rochester, New York, Cleveland, and Columbus.  The compositions and the playing on the record have won a few awards this year- 2011 JEN Conference Young Jazz Composers Showcase (small group Fire Blossom), and a 2011 Downbeat Student Music Award for outstanding soloist.

The project is a combination of both the Rochester Jazz Star Recording session (december ’10) and a grant from OSU (which funded the september ’10 recording session).  The upcoming release is starting to gain attention from some people on campus.  The Journal of Undergraduate Research decided to make a feature article about my creative research the cover story.  They asked me where I wanted to take the photo for the front cover and I wanted to make it somewhere that represented OSU: The Horseshoe.  The resulting cover came out pretty epically with the stadium in the background…haha

Photo by Shane Peterson

This summer I will be playing with the 2011 Disneyland All-American College Band in L.A  from June until mid August.

I’ll leave you with a live recording from our 2nd night at Miles Cafe in december.

Jon Lampley-Trumpet, Angelo DiLoretto-Piano, Cameron Kayne-Bass, and Jon Hubbell-Drums

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Recording Session Extravaganza

First off, I would like to thank everyone who came to or watched my recital on the 12th.  It was an awesome experience to play for all my friends and family.  I along with the rest of the band had a great tie feeding off of the energy in the room.  Plus it was cool to try out UStream– at one point there were 20 people watching the recital live and after we finished, I got calls and texts from people who were streaming it.

photo by Mike Cali, design by Ken Ott

Here is a clip from the recital.  Chris and I are performing a Daft Punk Tune.  It was one of the more difficult tunes we played because I had to worry about all the electronics involved with the effects rig I was working with.  Despite the challenges, I knew that it would be something very different from my normal quartet playing, plus Chris is a  breathtaking beatboxer and I had to utilize his skills while we were still at school together.  I simplified the groove a little bit to make it 4 bars long and we extended the improvised section.

And now to the extravaganza from last weekend.  Last friday night I went to Ohio University with five other OSU musicians.  My friend Jon’s cousin was a sound recording major, and had lots of free studio time.  By the time we got all set up and recorded 1 track, it was already midnight.  We were going to be up late recording for a few more hours so we decided it would be a good idea to go out and get some coffee before shops closed up for the night.  We entered the studio at about 6pm and I didn’t notice it then, but when I think back- we passed by quite a few 30’s of nati ice (OU students gearing up for a night of consuming copious amounts of alcohol).  So we walk out of the studio and are met with an apocalyptic scene: A portly man is pushed over a garbage can into the street and is fighting some other incoherently drunk guy, a pickup truck passes by us with at least 8 people drinking in the back who were yelling at us.  The first alley we turn down to get to the coffee shop is blocked by a guy puking and his catty girlfriend yelling “Keep Walkin’!” at us.  As we made our way through the crowds, we passed at least 5 couples fighting where both were obliterated and the girl was balling her eyes out. Luckily, we got our coffee and made it back to the studio in one piece.  The reason I’m sharing this with you is because the track I’m about to show you was recorded just after we experienced the lawlessness of Athens, Ohio on a friday night (we saw 1 cop as we were moving our cars at 4am).  So here it is- A Jon Lampley original.  Lamps calls it Sweatin’…

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The next day, we recorded a few more tracks and then Jon, Chris and I went up to Chicago to audition from the Disneyland Band (Chris was in it last summer).  When we got to our hotel, we were bored so we streamed a ronnie foster tune called Mystic Brew (you can watch it here).  We’ll be posting future streams here and last-minute ones on my Facebook Page

Recent Recommendations: The King of Limbs-Radiohead, Voodoo-D’Angelo, Freaks and Icons-Dzihan & Kamien, Sonny Side Up– Sonny Stitt

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House Party/Recital warm up

This past saturday, Chris and I hosted a house party  so we could rehearse for my recital. It worked great- a lot of people came out and smooshed into our basement to hear us jam out on some new music.  This is a tune of mine called The Root. I started composing it while I was in New Orleans for the first time a month ago.  

Now I just need to figure out how to convince people to pay us for playing this music (still a mystery). It’s funny to me that people will come up to me and say “man that sounded great, you guys are awesome” and yet when we ask for people to give us a little for 2-3 hours of entertainment, no one contributes. I think it is a matter of donation versus door charge. When people are told to pay or leave; they cough it up. But when you offer the option; people don’t feel the responsibility to pay.  People should want to pay for entertainment that they enjoy, I’m just sayin’…

I tried out a new sevice called UStream this past weekend at the house party.  It is a live audio and video streaming sight where users can chat.  I will be using this site for my recital, so if you are not in columbus this weekend, then you can watch and listen to the recital from your computer or phone.  I will start broadcasting at 3:45 on saturday here.  Also on thursday 2/10/11 we’ll be broadcasting the dress rehearsal (10pm).

Recent recordings: Count Basie Swings, Joe Williams Sings-Count Basie, Off The Wall- Michael Jackson, Spirit Moves-Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy

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New Orleans and the JEN Conference

I spent the past weekend attending the JEN (Jazz Educators Conference) conference at the Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana. As I’m sitting here stranded in the Atlanta airport thinking about it- it was one of those trips that seems to be ten times longer than it was because of how busy you were. It was only about 48 hours that I was in town, but I feel like I’ve sufficiently experienced New Orleans and met some great musicians in the process.

I performed Saturday morning as part of the Student Composer’s Showcase. The rhythm section consisted of top players from the North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band. We played my piece Fire Blossom and the band did really well (we only rehearsed it as we were warming up 15 minutes beforehand). I think the lack of rehearsal helped make the performance very spontaneous. I am very pleased with how it came across, and humbled by the musicianship displayed by the NT players.

This tune Fire Blossom I wrote this summer while in New York city. I began composing it while I was eating Grimaldi’s pizza on a bench in Hillside Park, Brooklyn. It started with a lyric that I wrote while at the park. During my drive back to Buffalo, I started putting music to the phrasing of the words. This gave the melody a deeper logic rather than just writing a lyricless piece.

I am very grateful to JEN for hosting me for the Composer’s Showcase. It was a great experience to meet and receive feedback from people like Steve Weist, John Clayton, Ruben Alverez, Paris Rutherford and many other great musicians. The thing that stood out for me was that the word competition was not being used and that each piece, accepted or rejected received feedback from four noted musicians and educators. I can’t really say enough about Saturday morning, It felt great to share my music with people who I’ve never met.

I absolutely love the city of New Orleans, the whole place just breathes culture. Another small reason why I might love New Orleans might be that there is all types of music but primarily jazz playing everywhere around the city. The food there was absolutely incredible. The first night I was there I had Seafood Jambalaya and greens (thank God I had a lot of it-it make my night on Burbon St. stomachable). After the Composer’s Showcase, I had a Beignet and coffee at Cafe Du Monde. It was tremendously tasty, and the long line made you exceedingly anxious and starved by the time you were served. I made the mistake in not changing from the performance, and I was wearing black dress pants. The beignets are caked in powdered sugar, and there is no way of eating them without getting it all over yourself. Needless to say, I had to walk home with white streaks of sugar all over my pants-looking like a pastry chef. Later that Evening, I had a fried oyster po-boy at Mother’s. It was fantastic, but as I was eating it I was witnessing the Seahawks eliminate the Saints from the playoffs.

Anyway, as I finish writing this I am in the process of writing and arranging new music for a few gigs coming up and for my recital on 2/12/11. I am currently planning to perform Stevie Wonder’s-Girl Blue, Nick Drake’s-Place To Be, Daft Punk’s-Something about us, Wayne Shorter’s-Speak No Evil, Duke Pearson’s- Is That So, and a few new originals.

Recent Recommendations: Joe Lovano Us Five-Bird Songs, Wayne Shorter Quartet-Beyond the Sound Barrier, Roy Hargrove Big Band- Emergence, Woody Herman-Giant Steps, Stanley Turrentine-More Than a Mood, Stan Getz-Serenity.


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Holiday time

I am writing this post as I put off studying for finals as I go into Exam week at OSU.  I wanted to share a video that I just posted on YouTube.  It is of the OSU Art Blakey Combo performing an arrangement I did of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town.  The two things I think you should take from this video are the 4 horn players (including myself) two stepping in the beginning, and the use of sleigh bells. (as played by Wes Perry).  You can’t really tell but this was at a concert for over 1,500 people.  The concert was a showcase of about twenty different musical groups from OSU, it changed styles pretty drastically; we were after a Bach Suite and a before a Wind Ensemble piece.  The advertisements for the show said: Featuring over 300 Musicians and Vocalists…we were in the former category.

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Holland Theatre…

Last week, I played with the OSU Jazz Ensemble at the Holland Theatre in Bellefontaine, Ohio.  The place was incredible; instead of regular walls or sound panels, the place had friggen windmills and a cityscape making the pretty huge theater much more intimate.  It was interesting to be in a small town playing: everyone was very welcoming, and they made the entire band a home cooked dinner before we played!

The main reason that this gig was unique for me was the good energy that was going on for the two hours that we were playing.  There are two things that are necessary to have a good performance…the band, and the audience.  The band needs to on it musically, but also the band needs to be collectively content with one another .  I know that I play better when I’m with positive people that put off good vibes and have the same goal in mind: to enjoy the gig, to entertain, and to make the best music possible. Jim Masters started directing the OSU big band this past year.  He has been one of my favorite directors because of his attitude towards the band.  He puts his heart and soul into everything he is involved in, and his positive loving attitude brings out the best in everyone in the band.  This one season on concerts with Jim has been the most enjoyable for me in large part due to him.

The audience is obviously a very important component in improvisatory music too.  I feed off of an audience that is into the music being played.  There is nothing better than an audience that is connected to the music.  When the band and audience are happening, the other things (venue, sound equipment etc.) really don’t matter!  It just becomes the most basic of things: A band playing their own music that fills a void for their listeners, that no other entertainment can fill.

In today’s modern age of immediate information, I think people are insecure about simply going to see a musical performance (I mean, many people I know can’t even listen to an entire song on their i-pod before they switch to the next one).  If they can’t listen to one song on their own time, how can you expect them to sit through an hour long performance?  Going to the movies can be a moving experience (depending on how good the film is), but going to see good live music can be a more transcendent experience.  I think that music that is improvised can achieve a even higher level of entertainment than other music because it dares to create ideas thats don’t exist until the moment they pop into the performers brain.  The fact that the audience can positively effect that is why I think improvisatory music has a future.

Alright, this has turned into me claiming that everyone has ipod ADD and desperately trying to convince you to go out and see more shows (which you should).  In conclusion, I had a great show, I love positive people (especially musicians with no ego on the bandstand) and hereby knibb high football rules.

Recent Movies/Music: Signed, Sealed Delivered– Stevie Wonder, Sonny Side Up-Dizzy Gillespi, Bag’s Groove– Mile’s Davis, SF Jazz Collective Live 2010- SF Jazz Collective, Medicine Music-Bobby McFerrin, Nancy Wilson With Cannonball Addreley– Nancy Wilson and Cannonball Adderley, Black Dynamite-Scott Sanders, Annie Hall- Woody Allen.

Here is one of my favorite tracks from signed sealed delivered.

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