No. 4 Up to date

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 run by Maxwell Demille from 2002 to 2004. We continued making appearances at the Art A Fair Festival in Laguna Beach ( where we'd been performing since 1995 ). A new event started in 2005 which proved to be a great showcase for us - the Art Deco Festival on the Queen Mary in Long Beach. It started as just a 2 hour reception gig and has grown into a nice Labor Day Weekend gig for us. We certainly appreciate the support that John Thomas and his organization have given us over the years. Another personnel change happened in the fall of 2006 when Larry Wright left town. At Tom Hyne's suggestion I replaced him with Bryan Taylor, our current drummer. He is a versatile player and very easy to work with. Of course, our last addition is Wendy Rea, who began singing with us last year. Wendy had left town for awhile, and I had always enjoyed working with her. I like to use her as both a featured vocalist and in trio/background situations in the group - this gives us a good variety of textures to use during a gig and makes us a little different than the rest of the girl singer fronted bands. Time goes on, and we're fortunate to keep performing. Though the Derby and the Art A Fair gigs are gone now, we continue to appear at the Cicada Club and various other venues. I hope to record the group again in the not too distant future with Wendy - perhaps a smaller project to keep costs manageable ( if that can ever be said about recordings ). Here's hoping that we keep going for as long as people wish to hear swinging music. Thanks for reading, and for your support! Until next time...

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