Sooo….JoE-LeSs ShOe just finished our first Southern California “mini-tour”. Over the course of five days, we played three gigs and gave a master class. All the gigs were great fun and well attended. We kicked off the tour Tuesday evening, 4/24/12 at “Break the Mold” concert series in Long Beach. This was the second time the ShOe has played “BTM” and it’s always nice to see our South Bay friends. A couple days later, on Thursday, we did our first master class (as a band) down at UC Irvine. I can say, with some confidence, that this was one of the best master classes I’ve ever had the pleasure of being involved in. Jamie and Matt are not only world class musicians, but expert educators of the highest order. All the UCI jazz students got up and played with us and we then gave them suggestions on how to improve their performance, sound, approach, etc. My good friend and collegue, burning piano player, Kei Akagi got up and played a blues with us at the end of the clinic to close it out. On Friday, we had a blast at JoE-LeSs ShOe’s “home away from home”, The Blue Whale. The Blue Whale has quickly become the epicenter of live, creative music on the west coast and it’s always an exciting experience playing there. We wrapped up the tour up on Saturday night with a special concert down at UC Irvine in Winifred Smith Hall. WS Hall is a beautiful performing arts center on the UCI campus with amazing acoustics. The concert was stellar…some of our best playing ever. Matt and Jamie sounded fantastic, as did Kei Akagi who joined us on a couple tunes during the concert. A great big thank you to Alex Sadnik, Joon Lee and Kei Akagi for making this tour possible and to everyone who came out to support JoE-LeSs ShOe on our very first tour!! Hope to see you on the next one!
That’s right folks, the ShOe will be giving a special masterclass/clinic down at UC Irvine on Thursday, April 26th from 4:00-6:00PM. Come join the fun!
We’re very happy to announce a Southern California mini tour in late April. First up is a show for the fantastic Break the Mold series in Long Beach on Tues April 24. Next, on Friday April 27, we’re back at our old stomping ground in LA, Blue Whale. Finally, we’ve had this show in the books for over a year and can’t believe it’s actually here; we’re doing a concert at UCI on Sat April 28. We’d love to see you at any of them or all of them!
And while we’re at it, please enjoy this arrangement of Jason Harnell’s tune (hear the original on our first CD), “Sea”.
Here’s a very insightful interview with Jason on the great, new podcast, “Break the Mold”. Check it out!
This clip is from our “OuTsOLe” CD release party back in January of this year. The tune is one of Jamie Rosenn’s originals entitled, “Mortville”. Here’s what Jamie has to say about his composition’s origin: “Yeah, that’s one of my oldest still functioning tunes. It was dug out of retirement for the new shOe CD. I played it at my senior recital in ’92 at NEC with a young, but burning Bill McHenry on sax. Sometime I’ll dig out the video of that and see if it’s worthy of posting. It’s named for the fictional land where people who do not fit in normal society are banished in John Waters’ film Desperate Living. My favorite John Waters film! I need to watch that one again.” Enjoy!
My writing process always starts with singing what I hear first. I wanted to write a greasy AABA tune and was listening to a lot of John Scofield music at the time. I came up with the melody for my tune ”Fat and Sassy” in the shower, of all places. The melody came rather quickly and when I got out of the shower (and dried off) I quickly sang it into my iPhone vox recorder. I then came up with the bass-line and sang that into a different recording device (my trusty Sony cassette Walkman) so that I could hear both parts at once. It worked! Lastly, I turned to my fellow “ShOe-mate”, and good pal Jamie Rosenn for some help with the harmony. Thanks Jamie….you’re a mench.
“Equal Knocks” is a minor blues in 11/4 (6/4 + 5/4) that’s based on John Coltrane’s, “Equinox”. I wrote it (sung it) on a drive and didn’t have a recording device (or iPhone) at the time. I called my home answering machine from my cell and sang the bass line into it. When I got home, I recorded myself singing the melody over the answering machine bass line and presto!, “Equal Knocks” was born. Matt Otto was kind enough to help with the harmony on this one. Thanks Matt!
Both “Fat and Sassy” and “Equal Knocks” appear on the brand new JoE-LeSs ShOe album, “OuTsOLE”. Check it out!