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January 18, 2015

Postage Due

Well, it's been three years since my last post, and it might have been another three years if it hadn't been for Karl Martino. He was at the last blogger meetup I attended six years ago, which I believe was the last one until this past weekend.

Back in 2008, I wrote about the end of the first blogger meetup. Then Karl stepped in to take over from Scott McNulty. We met one last time upstairs at the Grey Lodge in October (the World Series Edition) where I got to meet Scoats and Mark Gardner. That was fun, but by then attendance had tapered off to almost nothing. The meetup sputtered along for five years and threatened to come to life in 2014. Finally Karl proposed a date and got some commitments. We all had a fine time this past Saturday afternoon, and I was even inspired to get my blog working again (It had been crippled in late 2012 by a software upgrade; since I wasn't posting at all, I never bothered to fix it.)

So, my blog is working again, great. All I need is something to say...


Tell the lost-cymbals story! Alternatively, you could attempt to justify your decades-old affection for Anthro office furniture. The possibilities are endless, really.

Welcome back to blogging! I'm so glad Karl is reviving the meetups!

Yes, and he wants to hold meetups in various neighborhoods, including Center City, of course. Hope you can make one of those!

January 15, 2012

Gig: Andy Pratt at Roller’s (January 20 & 21)

I first worked with Andy Pratt back in October when we played together at Roller’s at Flying Fish. I was added to the band at the last moment and had to learn 15 or so songs fast. The first night went well enough, but by the second night, we sounded like a band. It was inspiring (not to mention fun) to work with such a creative and imaginative singer-songwriter.

Andy is coming back to Philly, and we’ll be rehearsing this week for his return shows at Roller’s on January 20th and 21st at 8:00 pm. Tickets are $20. From the Philadelphia Inquirer:

For a time in the 1970s, it seemed that Andy Pratt was rock’s next big thing, with his one hit, “Avenging Annie” (a conflation of Woody Guthrie's “Pretty Boy Floyd,” prog-rock, and hippie culture sung in a great falsetto over dynamite piano playing), but he ended up a near-miss as a pop star. It was a shame, since the eponymous album that contained the hit also had some perfectly gorgeous, musically adventurous songs that were easily the equal of the era's more famed songwriters. If, like us, you find yourself listening to the vinyl original now and then and wondering what happened to the erstwhile pop genius, here's welcome news. He's been writing and recording for years... [Andy is working on his 29th CD; most of his catalog is still in print. —Tony]

Besides Andy Pratt on piano, guitar, and vocals, the band includes Jim Dragoni on guitar and Fred Weiss on bass.


Glad your still making the skins vibrate. you were made to play from the day the trash can broke.

January 9, 2012

Gig: Trinity Memorial Church (January 15)

Bassist Alan Segal’s “Jazz & Joe” concerts bring the message of jazz to the community, and he and his groups are now appearing at eight houses of worship in the Philly area. I’ve played a few Jazz & Joe concerts myself at churches in the Philadelphia suburbs.

This Sunday will be my first concert at a church in downtown Philadelphia, Trinity Memorial Church at 2212 Spruce Street. The trio includes Barry Sames, a distinguished pianist with a long history of playing jazz in church, Randy Sutin on vibes, and Jazz & Joe founder Alan Segal on bass. We start at 8:00 following the service.

UPDATE: We are playing the service as well, starting at 7:00.

January 6, 2012

Gig: Le Cochon Noir (January 13)

Sambagrilo is back at Le Cochon Noir for our third appearance on Friday, January 13. We had a very appreciative audience last time; I am really looking forward to it! Sambagrilo plays classic Brazilian sambas and bossa novas, sung in Portuguese.

Le Cochon Noir serves upscale barbecue and more (I can vouch for the food—it’s excellent). 5070 Parkside Avenue, Suite 5100E, Philadelphia. We hit at 8:00 p.m.

November 21, 2011

Gig: Salt Creek Grille (Princeton)

I first worked with Rosemary Benson (vocals) and Ward Marston (piano) at the Salt Creek Grille near Princeton back in September. It was a fun night all around, and they have asked us back this Saturday, November 26.

We’ll be playing danceable selections from the Great American Songbook. There’s no real dance floor, but a few people tried to dance anyway last time, and there’s a whole mess of comfy chairs near the bandstand for listening. We play from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m.


Comfy chairs? Hmmm....

November 14, 2011

Gig: Le Cochon Noir

I’ve been rehearsing with a new band (“Sambagrilo”) for a few months, and we had our first gig at Le Cochon Noir a couple weeks ago. That night went very well, so we are back there this Friday, November 18th. We play classic Brazilian sambas and bossa novas, sung in Portuguese; it’s some of my favorite music in the world.

Le Cochon Noir serves upscale barbecue and more (I can vouch for the food—it’s excellent). 5070 Parkside Avenue, Suite 5100E, Philadelphia. We hit at 8:00 p.m.


When will this band play again?


J. Fink

We have nothing on the schedule at the moment, but soon, I hope. We had roughly twice as many folks come out for this second show; it was a good night.

THIS JUST IN... Sambagrilo has just been booked for a return performance at Le Cochon Noir on Friday, January 13thth, 2012 at 8p. Don't miss it!!!

Hey, whose blog is this, anyway? :-) It's true, we're back and we're glad.

June 22, 2011

Gig: Katie Eagleson and Friends

I've always enjoyed working with singer Katie Eagleson, but this is the first time we’ve worked at an event open to the public. Psyched!

The concert is this Sunday, June 26th at Jacobs Music Recital Hall (at Jacobs Music, 1135 North Easton Road, Willow Grove, PA) starting at 2:00 pm. Since Jacobs Music is a piano store, I'm betting there will be a niiice piano there! Tickets are $12 at the door. Light refreshments (including Katie's homemade chocolate-chip cookies) will be served at intermission.

The program includes fresh arrangements of some classics from the Great American Songbook (aka "standards") and some jazzy instrumentals as well; late-night, smoky jazz on a Sunday afternoon. Katie will be joined by Lenny Pierro on sax, Tom Lawton on piano, and Madison Rast on bass. (For drummers only: I'm also excited to be using my new-to-me classic Sonorlite snare from 1985.)

April 27, 2011

Gig: Roller's at Flying Fish Again

Appearing again with the Jazz Doctors (Joe Camardo, piano and Justin Fink, bass) this Saturday, April 30 from 8:00 pm to midnight. Special guests include Richard Orr (sax, flute, and clarinet) and vocalist Michael Andrews.

Roller’s is at 8142 Germantown Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia. $10 cover, please call 215-247-0707 for reservations.

I had been planning to go to the Battle of the Brewery Bands at Stoudt's in Adamstown Saturday (6:00-10:00), but obviously now I can't. I have two tickets available if anyone wants to go. $60 face value; $50 OBO. My email is in the footer. Thanks!