I hope you all had a Merry, Merry Christmas. I had the good fortune to spend it with friends and family in my old home town, weird-as-it-gets, Portland. I do hope they manage to keep it that way. Our first weirdly wonderful adventure was to attend an Aaron Meyer concert where we were treated to holiday favorites from the likes of Led Leppelin and The Who, artfully blended with We Three Kings and Away in a Manger – complete with flashing colored lights and snowflakes. Seriously, the band was hot!
Aaron was joined by some old friends and fellow gig-mates, trumpeter Steve Cannon and sax player, Renato Caranto. Steve now lives and plays in Bangkok and Renato makes the rounds with Portland native and Grammy winner, Esperanza Spaulding. Great to see them and have the chance to share a beer afterwards. Great guys, great players.
No trip would be complete without a visit with my buddies from Wally’s, past and present. A guest appearance by Christine Jigau, a former Wally-ette, livened up the festivities. This was followed by a Christmas Eve buffet at Wally’s where a second gathering of luminaries, including Rich Cooper, dined on smoked salmon and killer humus, while listening to the “golden throat” of Ronnie Mann. I walked away with a sweet 60s vintage Benge cornet, kept warm all these years by my musical comrade. Thank you, Rich! We also acquired an original Chad Hensel mixed-media artwork to admire at home.
On top of it all I had a chance encounter with an old friend and client, Steve Conrow, of Oregon Symphony fame (trumpet), at the Cup and Saucer on Killingsworth. I was having lunch with my son, Adam, and there he was, looking in the window at me. It was great to see Adam and his wife Britt over a French Christmas Eve dinner and to embrace the IKEA experience with Yolanda’s daughter, Ava. The time went too fast and I wish I could have seen a few more of my old friends and colleagues. Next Time!
Play more music and have a Happy New Year!