Play It With Moxie Live CD Release

One of my bands is releasing a CD!  I was executive producer for this CD.

Samples at and — check out “Angel Eyes”.


We recently recorded videos at Comcast for the Atlanta Jazz and Blues show.  Episode #209 has some of our old videos; new ones are posted on our website,

We recorded seven tunes, one of them a second take.  There were three camera operators, a sound engineer, and a director/producer, plus a stage manager and a person who operated the fog machine.  Yeah, that last one was important: when we did this a few years ago, the dry ice completely engulfed our drummer and made things difficult for a few others.

They provided a DVD of the finished product, with titles and camera cuts as they’ll be broadcast.  Also they gave us raw video to edit as we wish for our own use.

It was a good experience.  It made a difference having so many people involved: if one person has to jump between dry ice and sound board, plus preset cameras instead of operating them live, the results just aren’t as good.

Never turn down a gig

Mom and I went to see Joe Gransden‘s Big Band at Cafe 290 last night.  It’s an honest-to-Miller 16-piece with standard vocalists and soloists.

Joe introduced the band, one of whom—-I’m getting ahead of myself.  Years ago, Joe got a call from someone who wanted him to put together a horn section and do a gig at the Fox.  He turned it down but gave them another name.  That guy put together the section, did the gig, went on the road with the artist, and Sunday evening accepted a Grammy.

These days Joe plays Cafe 290 and Spivey Hall, but I like to think he got his start playing Carvel ice cream shops, Korean bakeries and the Time-Travellers’ Ball.  Bet he never did Shakespeare as a trumpet gig, though.

Getting Started in Swing

If someone said they wanted to start playing jazz but weren’t sure where to begin, I would say:

Get the Real Book.

Look at the artist and album listed on songs in the Real Book and listen to those.

Go see live jazz whenever possible.

Learn 12-bar blues in all keys.  The ones I’ve needed most often are (concert keys) Bb, A, G, E, and Eb.

Associate with a group that has at least one old pro, emphasis on “old” and “pro”.

Find out where there are jam sessions in your city.  (Be ready for some late nights on weekdays.)