It is finally August and that means that summer is on its way out the door. The other signal is the beginning of a new school year, and this year I graduate from the University of Central Oklahoma in December. After starting in January of 2011, I feel pretty good about being done a semester early on a degree plan that generally takes students 4-6 years to complete. Music degrees are highly competitive, and when you tack on general studies courses, it takes an eternity to complete one. I have come a long way with my performance capabilities since I began. My improvisations have more direction and flow than when I first started. My ideas are longer and flowing and more unifying than when I began college. I am extremely thankful for my time at UCO and for the opportunity to study with: Lee Rucker, Danny Vaughan, Brian Gorrell, Michael Geib, and Dennis Borycki. I have met some amazing players and played with several different groups that put me out of my comfort zone. I have cherished my time doing my undergraduate degree and look forward to applying for graduate work in Texas and Colorado.
I recently drove down to Dallas and purchased a Henriksen Jazz Amp 112ER from Tom Van Hoose of Van Hoose Vintage. He's a great guy with a wealth of knowledge of guitars and amps. I purchased my first archtop, a D'Aquisto Jazz Line, from Van Hoose's friend Gary Brunner. I still have and love that guitar! Anyway, the amplifier is fantastic. The EQ control, reverb, and tweeter are all very interesting options not offered on most amps. Of course reverb and tweeters do come on a lot of amplifiers, but you can actually toggle them both completely out of the circuit. It's a really great concept. The amp is just about a 15" cube all the way around. It's maybe 30lbs. It is the ultimate "gig-ready" rig. All you have to do is find an outlet, plug it, and go. I am looking forward to "thinning-the-herd" and getting rid of my Fender Deluxe Reverb.
One of my big summer projects was to transcribe more. I found myself transcribing a lot of solos, but nothing completely finished. So I sat down last weekend and completed Wes Montgomery's solo on Four on Six from Smokin' at the Half Note with the Wynton Kelly trio. It took me about 6-8 hours to learn it, write it on paper, and then transfer it to Sibelius. I have not been able to proofread it, but I do look forward to being able to share it briefly here on my website.
My next project is my senior recital. It is tentatively scheduled for October, 27th, 2014 at 7pm in the UCO Jazz Lab. It is a full hour of music and I am really looking forward to playing with a great group and getting a solid recording. My tune selection so far is: Celia - Bud Powell, Four on Six - Wes Montgomery, and Detour Ahead - Herb Ellis. I will add a few more tunes and be ready by October. Truthfully, I feel as though I am ready right now. I don't have many anxious feelings toward this recital. I am ready.
I'll cut it here. My gigs are posted in the gig page on this site. They will likely remain fairly few until after my recital. If you're nearby a gig, please do come through and say hey!