Seeing as we have already swept into March almost, I am, obviously, a bit late on updating my website. Here is a brief recapitulation of the past few months:
After a productive winter break, I auditioned into the Jazz Composer's Combo at UCO. It is a group of forward thinking modern jazz musicians, who either compose or transcribe modern jazz tunes. We had our first concert last night at the Jazz Lab playing selections by Mark Tuner, Stephen Schultz, Cedar Walton, and Jesse Van Ruller. It was a great set last night, everyone sounded great, and for once I get to be the one getting beat up in rehearsals. I have been on the upper edge of most of the ensembles I have been in thus far at UCO. I have been fortunate to be in some great ensembles, but this combo has truly driven me to practice harder. I am truly blessed to be playing with these guys. I wish we could rehearse everyday!
For some time now, I have been researching semi-hollow guitars in order to bridge the sound between arched-top and solid-body instruments. I have been through several Ibanez models and been very disappointed by both vintage and newer models. Sometime around January, I stumbled across Bill Comin's Guitar Craft Series, which are built in Korea then shipped to Philadelphia where Bill sets them up and sends them to dealers. Being a jazzer in Oklahoma City puts me at a significant disadvantage to trying new gear, but I decided to go ahead and order a Comins GCS-1ES. I should take delivery of it by mid-late April, but I am very excited about his instruments. I have scoured the internet for a negative review of these instruments and I could not find one. I am not looking to give up my love of arched top instruments, but I do need a little more practical guitar to haul around everyday.
I have played a few gigs since I posted at the beginning of this year: A set a Zannotti's, which is always a great place to play, although it is rather quiet on Tuesday nights. Two shows at the Jazz Lab, one with Jazz Ensemble III and the combo concert last night. The big band will also be playing this upcoming Monday night: March 3rd at 7pm. All four big bands will play that night, so come on out and enjoy the wide selection of tunes by all four bands. I started out solo this past Friday playing at Paramount OKC, on good ole Film Row down West Sheridan in OKC, and was then joined by Melissa on vocals. It was a great show. It can be hit or miss at these smaller venues, but I felt really well about how I played that night.
I have added a couple new students this semester, all of which I am happy about, but adding the fact that I am enrolled in seventeen hours at UCO - it makes for a very long week.
I will try and post more updates in the future. I'll do my best to document the Comin's GCS-1ES when it shows up at my place. There is not a ton of information about these guitars online just yet, so I will give my two cents when it arrives. In the meantime, check out Jesse Van Ruller's album Views, specifically the tune Sway, which I transcribed and the composers combo played last night. Also, a big thanks to Jesse Van Ruller for