Back to 1979, with the great music, without the bad hair

It’s Classic Albums time again, this time going back to the incredibly influential musical year of 1979. Please join us at Iota in Arlington, VA on March 21 for a re-creation of some of the musical highlights of my late high school years, featuring:

That Pink Floyd act is pretty ambitious; we’re starting to shed heavily now in preparation for the big night. Hope to see you there!

p.s. Don’t forget about the upcoming benefit for FAIR Girls featuring my regular jazz group, Aaron Myers and the Black Fox Ensemble. Tickets are still available for this February 20 soiree at the Swiss Embassy in NW Washington, DC.

 

Getting ready to throw down the jam…

On Thursday May 24, I’m joining an extended edition of Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors in the Classic Albums 1977 showcase at the Iota Club & Cafe in Arlington, VA. We’re performing selected songs from the classic Steely Dan album Aja, complete with horns and backup singers.

We’re appearing alongside an impressive roster of local musicians who will recreate other legendary sounds of those bygone days. I don’t think Billy Joel and the Ramones appeared on the same stage in ’77, but they will do so (at least in spirit) on the 24th.

Speaking of which, I may be one of the only people on the Iota stage who was actually around to listen to those albums in 1977, but I digress…

In addition to this foray into classic rock, the jazz continues at the Black Fox Lounge on Friday May 4, when I take my place at the piano alongside Aaron Myers and the rest of the Black Fox Jazz Ensemble.

Thanks, 1986. Looking forward to 1977!

We had a full house at the Electric Maid on Saturday for the Classic Albums 1986 showcase. I was thrilled to join Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors for a re-creation of Elvis Costello’s Blood and Chocolate album. Great work all around by the other musicians on the bill as well.

Jason’s next project is to go back to 1977, a great year for rock and pop albums (and yes, I was there at time to hear some of them). We’re still figuring out which album to take on.

One of the perhaps less-notable albums of that year was Chicago XI. That album did have one big hit, “Baby, What a Big Surprise,” and another number, “Vote for Me,” that strangely echoes what we’re hearing this election year:

I’ll give detroit one year
New cars that run on beer
Or anything except gasoline

I’m looking to the sun
More power for everyone
And the cleanest sky that you’ve ever seen

More music in more places

This is shaping up to be a busy musical week, with three upcoming gigs in three different places

On Wednesday Jan. 25, I’ll be sitting in with the Greater U Street Jazz Collective for their regular Wednesday night gig at the El Golfo restaurant in Silver Spring, MD. I played with the bassist & drummer on New Year’s Eve, and loved what they were doing. Should be a fun evening of straight ahead jazz

On Saturday Jan. 28, I’m indulging the rock ‘n’ roll side I never knew I had, playing keyboards with Jason Mendelson and the Open Doors as we pay tribute to Elvis Costello in a showcase of Classic Albums of 1986, at the Electric Maid in Takoma Park. We’ll be playing highlights from Elvis’ “Blood & Chocolate” release of that year. The suggested donation is $10.

Finally, I’ll be in the house band of the DC Jazz Jam at Dahlak (18th St & Florida Ave. NW) for the fifth Sunday jam on Jan. 29. Will says that we may have some special guests on hand for that session.

Hope to see you at one or more of these events!

And now for something completely different…

I’m excited about an upcoming non-jazz gig, at the Artisphere in Rosslyn on Tuesday December 20. I’ll be part of the MetroSongs band, backing singer-songwriter Jason Mendelson. Jason will be featured in this installment of the “Words and Music” series, where he will talk about his process and perform (alone and with the band) several of the songs from the MetroSongs project.

According to the Artisphere web site, the show starts at 7:30 PM and costs $8 ($6 for seniors). Should be a fun show!