Well, here it is. My first blog entry. I don't really know what to say in a blog. I guess I'll just be long winded and talk about myself and what I like.
I'm very excited to say that I've been playing for the past year with saxophone legend Bill Evans. The past year has been a blast and I've gotten to see many parts of the world that I would not have normally seen. I owe my good friend john McLaughlin a great deal for lending his ears to my banjo playing; after all, he got me the gig. Bill Evans, Joel Rosenblatt, Christian Howes, and Ric Fierabracci have become some of my closest friends and confodants. I look forward to making a lot more music with them in the coming years. Being on the road with these extraordinary musicians is much different from my early US roadtrips with Spacestation Integration and the RC Trio. I definately look forward to sleeping at night:)
I have to say that it is very inspiring to be a banjo player and part of the Miles Davis legacy. Having played with Miles for a number of years, Bill Evan's stories are priceless. I wonder if miles would have hired a banjoist. For years, my bluegrass and jazz personalities conflicted. The jazz players I knew looked at me funny for playing a banjo, and the bluegrass player were sick of my unrelentless experimentation with their traditional repitoire. The only way i could make a living in the wake of Bela Fleck, it seemed, was just to stick to bluegrass and forget the jazz. I tried the jazz thing mith my former lineups to no great avail (probably because I didnt know how the hell to play jazz yet!). Right when I was about to abandon my jazz chops for a life on the chitlin' circuit, I got the big call from NY. Bill Evans wanted to experiment with bluegrass instrumentation in a hard rocking environment!
I am also excited to announce that I have just wrapped up the majority of tracking for my first bluegrass release. With such busy and in demand musicians, it took a year to scheduale the second session. The compositions were as inspiring to write as they were to play. My good friends Rex McGee, Bill Cardine, Danny Knicely, John Garris, and Darrel Muller did some fantastic and virtuostic playing. Their guidance was priceless and i learned a hell of a lot. The release date will be some time this summer.
Now that the bluegrass project is almost out of the way, I can get to work on my electric album. Musicians will include: Bill Evans on tenor sax, Joel Rosenblatt on drums, Ric Fierabracci on bass, John Heitzenrater on tabla and sarod, including yours truly on electric banjo. I have been very inspired by some of the atmospheric sounding electronic music coming out of western Europe and Asia.
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