You don’t get much of a winter here in Southern CA, but I can say I’ve become a real wimp in terms of any type of cold below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
NAMM has come and gone, and although I always enjoy going there in Anaheim, and seeing some very dear friends and associates and all that goes with it, my ears grow very tired all the chops-a-holics. So many of these musicians have astonishing technique, but if don’t hear another slappity tappity funk thing in E for a while, I’ll be ok.
In any event, 2019 is turning into a year I am looking forward to musically. I just finished some really excellent sessions with a DJ named Jamie Jones. He’s internationally known, and is working on some new songs that will be heard by millions. A few weeks ago, we had a nearly sold out show playing with Jonathan Mceuen at the Alcazar Theater in Carpinteria. I’m four jobs deep with my remote session business, playing for some very good artists abroad and in America. I have some cool dates coming up with a few artists. On March 14th, come on down to The Mixx in Pasadena and check out Le Musique in Pasadena. We’ll be playing some smooth jazz with some dear old friends. On April 6, I’ll be playing with Barabas Lorinc, a great trumpet player from Hungary who mixes EDM elements with jazz at the Hungarian Cultural Alliance in Los Angeles, (https://www.facebook.com/events/304954476874615/), then on May 4th I’ll be playing at Alva’s Showroom in San Pedro CA with a group we call Smarticus. Bad ass ! https://alvasshowroom.com/event/smarticus/
Other than that, I’m keeping real busy, reviewing some new projects, and writing and recording music. Check out the section on my website called FLAIR. As always, I wish you nothing but the best…..Mark
This week has been very inspiring for me. There have been some bummers too. Roy Hargrove passed unexpectedly. I didn’t know Roy, but I loved the way he played and was a big fan of his music. On the other hand, I’ve been unusually busy and have been blessed with an abundance of work. Over in London, I was hired to play on two projects, one with one of the singers from the Drifters, (Under the Boardwalk), and another for a composer of children’s music. I feel like I’m learning too and feel like I’m nine again when I do those kind of projects. I also got a smooth jazz song to play on, so I’m definitely going from one thing to another. I also got to take part in another hard rock piece from a gentleman in Syracuse NY, and this morning, something came in from a producer in Italy that reminds me of U2. It has to be done today. If that wasn’t enough, I got an offer to play a show in St Croix in December. I’ll reveal names and tracks on my website as they come to completion. I feel very fortunate about all of this and just wanted to share. Keep on your path. Dreams do come true.
I just returned home from an epic trip to Budapest, Hungary. I was there for one week. I had never been there before, so I was excited to see new things. I was there to work with Barabas Lorinc, to play some of his music. We played at a place called ELLATOhaz. on September 12
So on September 7, I boarded the plane from LA, and made a brief stop in Philadelphia, and then on to a non stop flight all the way to Budapest. After an uneventful, (long…..ass) flight, I was picked up by Lorinc himself and brought to my Airbnb quarters, in a very old building in the heart of Budapest’s downtown district. My room was very small, like real small. Like just enough room to sleep and stow my bags, etc. This was part of the “charm”. Being pretty jet lagged didn’t stop me from bounding out a little bit to check out my immediate surroundings. This was my view right out of my front door with a little courtyard to look into. Always quiet and with lots of plants. Very nice. It had a certain vibe to it, that relaxed me.Old school elevator which is very common in some of these old buildings that safely take you up to your floor. I prefer to use the stairs !The streets are very narrow here, and it was delightful to see what I could see.
The following pictures are from my walks on the streets at various times
Parliament really stood out for me. Check it out !
Down, closer to the very middle of town, I saw some amazing things !
Then came gig day, and it was spectacular !
The following evening, I went to a recording session at a great studio for a film score.
Wonderful city square, with lots of really cool things.
I know most of us have heard about all the tragic occurrences In my area. There’s been an enormous wildfire, (the largest ever in California). Fortunately it didn’t get around to my neighborhood, but boy it sure caused some damage to many people’s homes and lives. Rough stuff. On top of that, there’s been these crazy mudslides of epic proportions, killing people and wrecking lives, just a few miles north of where I live. Yet, we move on. Please keep these folks in your thoughts and do whatever you can to help.
NAMM 2018 is right around the corner and I’m looking forward to it. I always enjoy seeing my friends and supporting those that support me. This year, I will be representing GHS strings, and Bartolini pickups. I’ll be playing a program with my good friend, bassist Tony Puleo in a bass duet playing along with tracks that we came up with. It should be very nice. Tsunami cables will be hosting us, (times TBD), and I’m sure there will be other places we’ll get to play. Contact me if you’d like to know where and when. As I know, I’ll post. I always look forward to seeing all the new gear and basses too.
As for me otherwise, I am maintaining a fairly busy recording schedule in my home studio where I am doing quite a few remote bass sessions for artists around the world. I am scheduling a tour of Budapest, Vienna, and Bratislava in September with artist Barabas Lorinc . Other than that, I am spending some time composing and recording original music with some special musicians from LA and New York, ( a group yet unnamed ). I am also bouncing around with different artists in my area and doing what I can. As things develop I will make it known. I’m looking forward to developing a higher web presence this year as well. Anyway…..thanks for reading my thoughts.
Here’s a picture of a gig a played in San Francisco a few months ago with Barabas Lorinc from Hungary when he came to the states. Anyway… it’s not really a heatwave where I live on the coast, but inland a bit it’s an oven out there. I am at the moment tending to some music that I have to learn for a performance in Nashville next week, so that has been a daily fixture in my schedule for the last week or so . Just finished a remote session for a client on the service that I do my online work through, check that out here. I have been very pleased with the work I have been asked do there through the folks at Soundbetter.com. I’ll be in Nashville through NAMM weekend and look forward to hearing and seeing musicians and friends, respectively. I’ve also been working on some original new music with some friends and great musicians, so when things are done I will be sharing it with you ! Have a nice day my friends !
Another beautiful day ! Nice things going on. Today I am playing with the Ojai Pops in an outdoor concert in Ojai CA. Very good musicians in this group. A real hybrid of classical and jazz players. There’s got to be about 40 people in this group. We’ll be playing movie scores at the Libbey Bowl in Ojai CA. Other than that, on the complete other side of the musical spectrum this week I recorded some bass for an upcoming Dtease album, produced at Rose Lane studios. Check them out, their music is very aggressive ! Please try to support them if you are feeling it.
I’ve also had a real calling for composing and collaborating on some original music, so this week I’ve been in touch with an old Berklee friend, whom I haven’t seen since the 80’s, but instrinsically trust him and really like his vibe. I have two other gentleman here in LA working with me on this as well. As it unfolds, it will be made public.
I was turned on to The Oblique Strategies, by Brian Eno this week from my “intrinsic” friend. If you’ve ever had any creative block, I’m sure you’ll be interested. Read about them here. Check out the cool picture below just for fun too…..Later
Its beautiful outside today. The weather is just perfect, not a cloud in the sky. I am getting ready to head over to Squashed Grapes in Ventura to see my friendGergo Borlai play some drums with Scott Kinsey and Jimmy Earl. Can’t wait to hear this. He is also putting on a little drum clinic, so it’ll be nice to learn some new things ! Getting ready for a big show up in Fresno on May 20th. I’ll be substituting on bass with The Dtease, playing an opening spot for a band called Puddles of Mudd. Its very loud and very rocking, so I have been turning it up a bit ! I look forward to it !