30 Days

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I’m a pretty huge fan of Bob Reynolds’ occasional vlogs. He’s a saxophonist based in Los Angeles who currently is in the futuristic fusion group Snarky Puppy. You might have also seen him with John Mayer or doing choreography while playing on The Voice. Bob is an incredible musician who makes these quite informative little movies on YouTube where he gives you insights into live as a freelance musician, does Q&As, and even hands out some of the most informative lessons around—even if you don’t play sax.

For a while he was cranking them out daily, but family and life happened so they appear a little less frequently now. And that’s probably for the best considering how busy Bob is. I can’t even tell you how much I’ve learned from these vlogs. Here are a few I HIGHLY recommend:

Practicing Deep Listening #114

Transcribing jazz solos: HOW—and WHY—I do it #35

Practicing a 4-chord loop #115

Memorizing music #136

Practicing Patterns for Jazz: How I Maximize an Exercise #28

Now that I’m firing up the blog again there was one BobVlog that really seemed to resonate with me. It was this one:

 

Bonus: I really need to revisit that Coltrane album.

The big takeaway was kinda buried in the middle of the video.

Find something that is manageable and do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s good or not.

There it is. I always felt that since making movies like Bob or Janek Gwizdala (who also does incredible vlogs) that it wouldn’t matter that much. I was dead wrong.

So, I’m taking Bob and Austin’s advice: I’m not going to break the chain. I will post something here for the next 30 days. I’m already sweating a bit as I type that because I’m not only in the very final stages of finishing an album, but I have a few gigs this month, Summer NAMM, the Iowa City Jazz Fest, and a dear friend from NYC coming to visit. But that’s not the point. 30 days it is.

 

 

Alpine

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When I was nine years old, I went to visit my aunt in Colorado. It was August, so naturally the ski slopes weren’t in season, but she took me there to check out the mountains and ride the lift. Over lunch that day a news alert came on the television in the restaurant. Stevie Ray Vaughan had died. I had no idea who he was, but I distinctly remember where I was when I found out. Although I’m sure the news also mention Clapton and the others, only Vaughan’s name stuck with me.

That was the first time I became aware of Alpine Valley. It’s kind of weird to have such a iconic tragedy be your first memory of a venue, but there it is. I really have no idea why that moment is so frozen in my memory. About five years later I dived head first into guitar and became a huge SRV fan. I learned a bunch of his tunes and watched the El Mocambo VHS damn near everyday before—and after—school.

Years later I joined a band that would play in the VIP area at Alpine. It was a weird circle to complete: Going from that hot August afternoon on a mountain in Colorado to playing Jimmy Buffett tunes in a beer garden while literally staring at the hill that the helicopter crashed into.

Last Fall, The Bamboozlers were asked to play the VIP event for Jimmy Buffett’s Labor Day Weekend show—which is a somewhat revered date in Parrothead lore. The show felt great, we played really well, and the crowd was excited thanks to a rather lengthy tailgate party. As soon as the second set was done we had thoughts of releasing the recording. After going through the (digital) tapes, we culled it down to about 70 minutes of prime Bamboozler jams, which is now available on our website.