****** Musician's Meanderings******
Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal – News From the Trenches – 06-15-2003:
Man, what a week -- entrances and exits, life in a nutshell. Went to Leonard
Pirani's funeral, expecting mostly to see "the cats", and was very surprised
that not very many jazz musicians were there; the majority of people were
members of various church choirs that Lenny directed or accompanied, all of whom
spoke glowingly of him. Very touching to see how many lives in the "straight"
world he touched, and a bit depressing that of us jazz guys only Corpolongo,
Centano, Armandi and Bill Klewitz showed up (as far as I could tell).
Then I got word that Rick Levy (the keyboard player Eric Levy's dad) died
Thursday night, suddenly. Rick and I played many gigs, a lot of them the stuff of
jobbing legend (ask me about the famous Gary Blum gig at Cafe Brauer
sometime). Rick had some rough patches in his life over the past several years, but
I'd heard that things were back on track for him, so the timing of his death is
Then Friday night I had a chance to sit and talk to Lonnie Plaxico for a
couple of minutes at the Green Mill; although we're not especially pals, we know
each other for a very long time, and it was nice to catch up. Hope you caught
his band; he's writing and playing up a storm.
Finally, played with a new (to me) band, the cajun/zydeco band The Midway
Ramblers. A lot of fun, good players, nice folks, and the gig was also very
touching -- a senior citizen's dance. I've been around hospitals and funeral homes
so much lately that it's REALLY nice to see a bunch of seniors who are active,
having fun, getting out and DANCING. Not to mention that they're probably the
last generation of Americans who really appreciate live music and musicians
-- they were raised up to know enough that if there's a live band and you dance
to their music, then you should applaud after every song. How many weddings
have you played where the dance floor is filled, people are having fun, and
when the song's over -- nothing?
And the coda to the week -- Pat and I played at the Gateway Thursday night
and somehow we're getting this audience of regulars who like us, but some of
them (not you, James!) are absolutely out to lunch. One woman who'd probably been
drinking since, oh, 1975, planted herself directly in front of the stage for
two complete numbers, dancing with herself and repeatedly mumbling "Oh God! Oh
God! Now THAT's talent! Will ya listen to that? Oh God!" As if that wasn't
surreal enough, then her blonde pal joined her, alternately telling us how great
we were and how she wanted us to play something slow and sexy because she was
tired of listening to all of this weird jazz! Pat found it a bit distracting
but I treated her like she was a bad drummer -- just blanked her out of my
This week Steven Hashimoto will remember fallen comrades at:
SUN. 6/15: at THE IRVING PARK RIBFEST, FAMILY STAGE, 4150 N. Lincoln, 12:45pm
(one set only), with Rio Jam (Nicolau Santos, guitar and vocals; Carrie
Ingrisano-Santos, vocals and percussion; Heitor Garcia, drums); then later on at
PETE MILLER'S STEAKHOUSE, 1557 Sherman Ave., Evanston, 6-9:30pm, with the Mark
Madsen Quartet (Madsen, guitar and vocals; Bob Long, piano; my old pal Charles
MacFarlan, drums). I enjoy (mostly) all of my gigs, but I'm really looking
forward to this one.
TUES. 6/17: at LYON'S DEN, 1934 W. Irving Park, one set only at 9pm, with Al
Rose & Some Transcendos (Al, guitar & vocals; Laura Blye, vocals; Steve Doyle,
guitar and dobro).
THURS. 6/19: at AVENUE ALEHOUSE, 825 S. Oak Park Ave., Oak Park,
8pm-midnight, with The Steven Hashimoto Quartet (Dan Hesler, sax; Brad Ard, guitar; Steve
FRI. 6/20: at JACARANDA, 3608 W. 26th, 9:30pm-12:30am, CD release party for
vocalist Miguel DeLeón (with Leandro Lopez-Varady, piano; James Sanders,
violin; Steve Eisen, saxophone and flute; and Roel Trevino, percussion); then later
on, as always, at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N. Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The
Green Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob Long, piano; Rick Shandling,
drums) for the After-Hours Jam Session.
SAT. 6/21: at THE CUSTER STREET FAIR in Evanston, the Jazz Stage at Chicago
and Main, one set only at 1pm, with John Temmerman's Jazz Obsession Quartet
(John, saxophone; Steve Ramsdell, guitar; Steve Magnone on drums); then a real
honest-to-God jobbing date in the evening with Lenny Marsh -- thanks, Len.
SAT. 6/22: back at CUSTER STREET again, same time, same band; then later on a
jobbing date with the same band. Somebody screwed up somewhere, because the
two gigs are close to each other, rather than the first one being in Evanston
and the second in Barrington or Indiana. I'm sure the oversight will be
rectified in my next week itinerary...
Early gig warning: SUEÑOS LATIN-JAZZ QUARTET returns to Quenchers, 2401 N.
Western, Tues. 6/24, 9:30pm-1am. It's a jam session with the qualification that
I'd rather not have drummers, bass players or pianists (unless you've played
with the band before and know the material) sit in. In other words, horn
players, guitarists (bring an amp), percussionists, more than welcome. I just need
to have a nominally cohesive rhythm section on this one, guys.
Check out Derek Henderson's website at www.fattimekeeper.com -- he's a great
player, a nice guy, and like everyone else he needs more works than he's got!