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The Swingsations: Blog

No. 4 Up to date

Posted on June 27, 2012
Well, it's been too long since I wrote again, but let's continue.

We now come to 2005, and I felt that it was time to put the current group on record, so in June of that year we met at Bryan Shaw's studio in Costa Mesa and put down the tracks which would become "Swingers and Novelties". It went well, though it was nerve wracking for me, as I was conducting, singing, and trying to play good trumpet solos with Bryan ( a great trumpeter himself ) listening. After all the work that goes into a recording ( mixing, artwork, etc. ) it was finally released in mid 2006. I'm proud of the result and still feel that it's a good representation of the current group. It also allowed us to feature some of Don Redman's tunes - he is a good composer of the era who deserves more recognition.

We were able to keep fairly busy during this time, doing a few park concerts here and there (Chino Hills in 06 and Temecula in 03 come to mind), as well as club dates at the Derby in LA and the Argyle Hotel gigs [...]
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No. 3 More History

Posted on June 9, 2012
Yep, I've been away from the blog too long again...but let's continue.

As I related earlier, Ed Slauson joined in 1998, making us a five piece group. Ed was a wonderful drummer and a great person - unfortunately he only did two gigs with the band during his time with me, though he was on hand for our first professional recording ( Swing That Music ) which was done at Dick Hamilton's LA studio in March of 1999. I was able to get it released on cassette in time for the summer and our appearance at the Big Bear Lake Festival Of Jazz ( we played there for three straight years, 1998 - 2000, before it unfortunately folded as many classic jazz festivals do ). Sadly, Ed lost his long battle with cancer and died in August of 1999. When I released the recording on CD later, I dedicated it to Ed.
At this time, we were still keeping fairly busy with park concert appearances, and I asked Larry Wright ( a local legend out here - multi instrumentalist extraordinare ) to replace Ed on drums, and he [...]
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No. 2 - About The Swingsations

Posted on May 21, 2012
Well, as I feared, these blog entries may turn out to be bi-weekly...wrapping up my school teaching year, etc. is keeping me busy. Hopefully I'll have more time soon.

Anyway, I wanted to write about the origin and history of my band. The beginnings go back to 1993 when I started rehearsing a four piece group - I had just started writing a few arrangements. I still have a cassette tape somewhere of that group. Nothing much happened until the next year when the personnel stabilized and I started rehearsing more often. That first group was myself, Jay Mason on clarinet, alto, and tenor; Charlie Warren on string bass, and Tom Liston on guitar and banjo ( back then I was interested in switching back and forth from a dixie to a swing feel ). Charlie Warren and Jay soon left, and were replaced by Mark Visher on saxes/clarinet and Benjamin May on bass. This was the group that started to do gigs in 1995 - we appeared at local Jazz Society meetings and also did a few park concerts. Things [...]
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Hello friends,

I suppose that it's about time for me to join the world of blogging, so here goes. This will be the first in a series of weekly ( or perhaps bi-weekly ) postings about myself and my band, The Swingsations, as well as other observations on life and music that you may find interesting. I welcome your comments, would love to hear from any of you who enjoy my group or if something I say appeals to you.

First of all, a little about myself. I am originally from Missouri, was born and raised in the St. Louis area. I left there in 1989 to go on the road playing with the Russ Morgan Orchestra ( an old style "society" type big band ). I travelled throughout the country for about a year and a half - it was a good learning experience for me and I worked with many fine musicians. There is a virtue to being able to play the same tunes night after night and make them sound fresh and exciting. In the course of my travels I met my wife while the band was performing on a cruise ship [...]
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