Sunday, April 17, 2016


This should be fun for you West Coasters. A pair of powerful artists, with Chuck Prophet's Mission Express Band doing double duty, backing Garland Jeffreys as well. Check 'em out:

SUN APR 17 HOPMONK TAVERN SEBASTOPOL CA Tickets $20. Doors at 6:00 PM. Show at 7:00
THU APR 21 HARLOW’S SACRAMENTO CA Tickets: $18 advance / $20 Doors at 8:00 PM.

I never miss an opportunity to upload this image of Marti and me with the Devil and Chuck Prophet. Chicago, 2007.

While you're on the Left Coast, drive up to Healdsburg and visit our pal Noah Dorrance (at right) and his partners Steve Graf and Baron Ziegler, co-founders of Banshee Wines. Noah was a running buddy of ours in Paris during the early 2000s.

We'll be bringing home a few bottles of Banshee Pinot Noir from our trip to New York and New England this summer. We've already ordered them from Astor Wines & Spirits in Greenwich Village.

This is why we can't have nice things.

Yesterday afternoon Marti hung out with me for a few hours here at the Clinic Of The Rich & Famous, then called a car to take her to the Café Laurent to hear drummer Olivier Robin lead a quartet featuring Vincent Bourgeyx (piano), Damien Varaillon (bass) & Hugo Lippi (guitar). Olivier, whom we've heard play numerous times over the years with our dear friend pianist Christian Brenner, has a great new album called Jungle Box. Cue the drum solo:

Marti arrived at the venue early in order to greet our UK friends Sarah and James.

They took in the first part of Christian Brenner's solo piano prelude set (Saturdays 6:30pm - 8pm). Christian had postponed a trip to Brazil, so was able to play these April Saturday night opening gigs. He'll be back on his full Café Laurent schedule in May.

Here's a clip of Christian solo:

Marti with James and Sarah at Chez Fernand, across rue Christine from the Café Laurent.

I don't know if I would have given up the rest of Christian's prelude spot to go to full-on dinner. I've been a sucker for solo piano ever since I heard the great South African pianist Abdullah Ibrahim (known then as Dollar Brand) play improvisatory solo piano at Woodstock Town Hall in the mid-Seventies. In that era I was also wearing out the grooves of the 1972 ECM album Open, To Love, by the captivating Paul Bley. That vinyl included the solo piano tribute to Ida Lupino, written by his then-wife Carla Bley. R.I.P. Paul Bley.

I hope all you vinyl freaks had a profitable Record Store Day yesterday. Marti stopped by our local wax outlet La Voie du Silence, where the guys promised to e-mail a list of Record Store Day remainders to me. Good dudes running that shop.

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