Wednesday, December 30, 2015

2015 Year End

Well, well, well.  Another year come and gone.  I just went back and re-read last year's YE post, and one thing I wanted to happen actually happened - I lost 25 lbs.  Cut out (for the most part) bread, potatoes, cheese and booze.  Brought the booze back, but in more limited quantities.  Would like to drop another 15, been stuck where I am for a few months.  Maybe once the weather gets nice.

The other big accomplishment was "Noisome Fardels", my 'classical' record.  A not-bad learning experience.  Exit 12 had a pretty good year, got a new (and awesome) drummer.  Did nice jazz wedding with Marc (guitar duo), and a couple of PE 17 gigs - Project 5 + Exit 12.  Usual Monk's stuff, some trio.

Great vacation in Ithaca, especially Buttermilk Falls.

Donna rescuing 5 kittens and the mom (Bruce, T.O.M., Nook, Poppy and Baby Kitty)

All my stuff is on YouTube now, thanks to CD Baby.  That was a nice surprise.

Watching - added Modern Family to the rotation.  Of course, Star Wars - The Force Awakens.

Reading - Dune (loved it! Thought it would take all summer to read, but got through it in maybe 2 weeks, which isn't a long time considering it's 800-900 pages).  The Left Hand of Darkness (loved it so much I read it twice in a row.  Very high on my all-time list).  A couple of Richard Castle books.  The usual assortment of comic books.  Re-read Neuromancer.   A bunch of music books - "Cambridge Guide to..." books are like taking a seminar.  Went through a couple, got a couple more lined up.

Listening - just started a really serious study of the symphony and it's evolution.  Some early standouts that are newish to me - Schumann #2, Honegger (the lot of 'em).  Lots of soundtrack music - Star Trek, Star Wars, Battlestar Gallactica, Bernard Hermann.  The sci-fi soundtracks led me back to Holst.  Love "The Planets".  His other stuff leaves me a little cold (as does Vaughan Williams, go figure).

Jazz - DeJohnette "Tin Can Alley", Brookmeyer "Desiderata", Shelly Manne "The Three and The Two" with Giuffre.  Went back to Wes and Phil Woods/Gene Quill.  And Max Roach/Clifford Brown.  My listening tastes in jazz are coalescing in a somewhat mainstream vein, and I think I'm ok with that.  

Live - GC, Jr. leading the octet.  Rush R40 at MSG.

Had a fun day-after day-after Christmas going through my mother's photos.  Got to see pictures of my family going back more generations that I would have thought.

For the New Year?  Well, I've been practicing a bit.  Trying to get a new trio repertoire together.  Let my playing reflect my tastes - Getz, Bickert, Desmond - more mainstream and less "mainstream modernist".  Try to be melodic while exploring texture, but always swing.  I'd like next 'record' to be a symphony and those pieces for guitar and orchestra that have been hanging around for years waiting to be orchestrated.  Plus the Scherzo from "Trees Falling..." when I can find time that works for Keith to record it.  I've still got a book of jazz tunes that need to be recorded - some with a live band and some with "electronic" orchestrations/elaborations.  Maybe some octet charts?    

Have a big graduation to look forward to this year.  Work has some interesting projects about to start up.  Not a bad year, if a little quiet on the "big deal" front, wouldn't mind another year like it.  Movin' along, which is about the best you can hope for.