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Archive for the ‘Notable Notes: Dear Diary’ Category

Having A Blast In 2009

I‘m having a blast in 2009 working with some great people in jazz. Tony Pacini Performs with Bill Henderson

On Wednesday, April 15th, I had the honor of accompanying vocalist/actor Bill Henderson, (formerly of Count Basie’s Orchestra). We performed quite a few selections off Bill’s new CD “Beautiful Memory”, and had a great time sharing experiences amongst ourselves, as well as with the audience. I always think of Bill’s role in the motion picture “City Slickers” as much as I think of him as a Jazz Vocalist for some reason. I guess that’s the entertainment business for you.

On Wednesday, May 27th, 2009, I found myself on stage with jazz trumpet sensation Terell Stafford. After the usual afternoon rehearsal, we (Ed Bennett-bass, Mel Brown-drums, myself on piano, and Terell Stafford on trumpet), all converged on the bandstand for some of the most soulful trumpet led music I have had the honor of being a part of. Terell brings both jazz history and forward thinking vision to his compositions, arrangements and playing. Tony Pacini Performs with Terell Stafford

On Friday, May 8th, 2009, I met, rehearsed, and performed with alto saxophonist Antonio Hart. The band consisted of Gary Hobbs on drums, Tim Gilson on bass, and myself on piano. Antonio brought so much energy to the bandstand, that I was amazed after he announced he felt a “little under the weather”, and “stuck on a different time-zone”. We played some of his compositions, but what really blew me away was his Coltrane-ish approach on the alto while playing standards.

The following day, the four of us did a performance at Mt. Hood Community College thanks to Susie May Jones (instrumental -pun intended- jazz faculty of the college, responsible for putting together such great artists, workshops and performances).

Thank You Susie!

And, thanks for saving the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz!
We are all forever grateful.

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Tony Pacini Trio Records Live: August, 2009

The Tony Pacini Trio Records Live -in concert In addition to performing every Wednesday night at Jimmy Mak’s (Portland’s premiere jazz club), my Trio recorded live there on Wednesday, August 5th, 2009. Our hope is to produce a follow up CD to our previous release, “Live At Jimmy Mak’s” which is currently celebrating worldwide popularity (especially in Japan). I’ll let you know how the production of our newest CD is coming along here at, so check back frequently.

In the meanwhile, feel free to listen to
this audio sample from a rough mix of that night’s session
Note: The Mp3 sample above is unedited and has not been mixed.

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What’s Ahead In 2010?

I‘m looking forward to some spectacular performances in the coming year. 2010 proves to be as rewarding, if not more exciting than ever before with a line-up you don’t want to miss – see below

A brief, “What’s coming” listed below: Please save the dates,
& please check the Schedule Page for updates!

  • Thursday, December 17th, 2009:
    Dick Berk Welcome Home Bash
    at Wilf’s Restaurant with Tony Pacini, Ed Bennett, and special guests.
  • Thursday, December 31st, 2009: New Year’s Eve Dinner Set at Jimmy Mak’s with The Mel Brown Quartet.
  • Saturday, February 13th, 2010: An Evening Of Elegance with The Tony Pacini Trio , Astoria, OR.
  • Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010: Chuck Redd at Jimmy Mak’s with
    Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, Mel Brown-drums.
  • Wednesday, April 21st, 2010: with Benny Golson at Jimmy Mak’s with
    Tony Pacini-piano, Ed Bennett-bass, Mel Brown-drums; Portland, OR.
  • Saturday, May 8th, 2010: with Byron Stripling at Jimmy Mak’s, Portland, OR, with Tony Pacini-piano, Tim Gilson-bass, Gary Hobbs-drums.
  • Sunday, May 23rd, 2010: Chez Hanny’s in San Francisco with the Dick Berk Group, (Tony Pacini-piano, Scott Steed-bass, Dick Berk-drums).

I’ve lined up Chuck Redd for a return visit with the Mel Brown Quartet in early March (Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010). Hopefully I can arrange for vibes master Chuck to share a bandstand with drum master Dick Berk. Stay tuned.

This is going to happen; I’ll be sharing the bandstand with one of the most venerable, and sophisticated tenor saxophonists of all time, whose integrity, inspiration, and contributions to jazz bridge all divides, the great Benny Golson. Yes, that’s Benny Golson. Please check back with me here at the website in the near future for details regarding this once in a lifetime Portland performance scheduled for Wednesday, April 21st, 2010.

On Saturday, May 8th, jazz trumpet star Byron Stripling will grace the bandstand at Jimmy Mak’s backed by Gary Hobbs on drums, Tim Gilson on bass and myself on piano. Byron is a great jazz trumpeter, doing everything from film scores (literally playing like Satch), to blowing Be-bop, swing, writing, etc. For our engagement in May, Gary Hobbs will be on drums with Tim Gilson on bass, and I will be on piano. I can’t wait for this.

Louis Armstrong Signature(Hey Bryon, you might appreciate this little pic I made. The signed note was given to me by my high school counselor the day I graduated. She had the opportunity to meet Louis as a little girl, and wanted me to have it. At first I refused accepting it knowing that she should preserve her memory of conversing with such an iconic “Jazz Saint” if you will. She insisted I have it saying; “You’re deserving of it”, and so I accepted it, and honorably guard it in my jazz shrine. It sits with my original copy of 78 speed lps of “The Dizzy Gillespie Big Band”, as well as a few Satch cuts too).

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More Recordings for 2010

Tony Pacini, Tim Gilson, and Todd Strait Record More recordings will be coming out in 2010. During the Summer of 2009 bassist Tim Gilson and I began recording as a duo in the studio. Tim envisioned producing a CD consisting of mostly piano and bass instrumentation with a few solo numbers. As we continued to bring to the sessions originals, and arrangements of notable jazz standards, it became evident that some of the material would really sound good with drums. As a result of this change in mood during recording, we employed drummer Todd Strait (formerly of the Karrin Allyson band and pianist Eldar’s recordings). This was a great move as some of the arrangements with drums were spontaneously created during recording, and the blend of solo, duo and trio instrumentation as the end result of these sessions is sure to provide us with a CD full of varied material. Please stay “tuned in” to the website in 2010 for updates about this project.

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Tony Pacini Trio Live At Jimmy Mak’s CD

In The Tony Pacini Trio in concert addition to my Trio’s ongoing shows at Wilf’s Restaurant, we performed and recorded live this past Summer at Portland’s newest jazz hotspot, Jimmy Mak’s. (The Tony Pacini Trio consists of myself on piano, Ed Bennett on bass and Tim rap on drums). The Tony Pacini Trio Bio Go

The CD that came about from that performance is our best work to date, thanks to those of you who filled the room that night with your attentive passion. Tiffany Sheahan and Classic Pianos graciously provided both the trio and listeners simply the best piano I had ever played, and the enthusiasm from both the audience as well as the bandstand is unparalleled on this CD.

The January 2007 CD release event for “Tony Pacini Trio-Live At Jimmy Mak’s” was a stellar success. Over 200 hundred attentive listeners – the size of a small jazz festival – came out to welcome the new recording. We played selections from all three of my CDs as well as tunes not yet recorded. All the music was well received; it was an honor to perform for such a large, enthusiastic audience. Eager for more, many fans went home with autographed CDs. For anyone who wasn’t able to brave the crowded room, I’ll be happy to sign your CD at any future performance.

Special thanks to: Dick Bogle for standing in as guest emcee; to the staff at Jimmy Mak’s for their hard work; to everyone at K.M.H.D. radio who helped introduce the new music over the airwaves especially Dick Bogle and Lynn Darroch for having me on their shows and Calvin Walker for helping promote the event. Thanks also to Gary Fantz for helping Marci at the CD table. Thanks to John Slavick and Classic Pianos for tuning the Yamaha to perfection for this event. The biggest thanks, of course, go out to my loyal listeners. There is nothing like looking out at a sea of familiar, friendly faces. As always, this CD is dedicated to you.

Sincerely, Tony Pacini

Excerpt from liner notes by: Marci W. Maitland

“On Wednesday, August 9th, an unexpected chain of events, beginning appropriately with a piano, led to this live recording. Thanks to Tiffany Sheahan and Classic Pianos a beautiful Yamaha S-6 was sponsored for the Trio’s first performance at the new Jimmy Mak’s, Portland’s premiere jazz club. Inspired by the Yamaha’s responsive touch and depth of tone, Tony contacted Marc Davis of Aloha Sound and “Tony Pacini Trio-Live At Jimmy Mak’s” is the result.”

(Excerpt above taken from liner notes by: Marci W. Maitland)
(Photo above by: John Slavick courtesy of Classic Pianos)

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Chuck Redd: revisted (December 5th, 2007)

On December 5th, (2007) the Mel Brown Quartet had the pleasure of sharing the bandstand with vibes master Chuck Redd. A celebrated drummer in the jazz world, Tony Pacini And Chuck Redd Backstage October 2009 Chuck has toured with, for example, the Charlie Byrd Trio, the Great Guitars ( Charlie Byrd, Herb Ellis, Barney Kessel ), Conte Condoli and the Mel Torme All Star Jazz Quintet, earning critical and popular acclaim.

Chuck had performed with us ( the M.B.Q. ) once before and I looked forward to the upcoming encore. We met up at the club a few hours before the gig. Local vibist Mike Horsfall had delivered and set up his vibraphone for Chuck’s use that night. After an hours’ run through with Mel, Ed, Dan and myself, Chuck and I jammed on a few personal favorites – Eluthera, a Monty Alexander tune, Juicy Lucy and Rockin’ Chair the last of which we performed as a duo that night. The combination of stride piano and vibes worked well on the Hoagy Carmichael tune.

We began the evening with Chuck’s original Happy All The Time from his CD of the same name. Chuck’s arrangement of Laura and his original When Redd Is Blue gave the audience a tasty sample of his well rounded artistry.

Mike Horsfall joined Chuck at the vibes for a vaudeville style presentation of I’ll Remember April. Standing side by side, each appearing to block the other’s reach while trading fours.

Chuck stayed in Portland for several days allowing us to meet at the Benson Hotel Friday night to hear saxophonist and friend Lee Wuthenow. The band invited us to sit in. With Chuck on drums, myself on piano, Andrea Niemiec on bass, and the wonderful Lee Wuthenow on tenor, we woke up the room with I Remember You, I’ve Never Been In Love Before, and the Jobim jewel Dreamer. As is the custom in Portland, musicians converged on the Benson after their own gigs, sharing musical experiences, news, and jazz past, present and future in general. It was a great “hang” as we say.

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Karrin Allyson (October 2007)

Wildly popular jazz vocalist Karrin Allyson accompanied by the Mel Brown Quartet sang to a Tony Pacini performs with Karrin Allyson SRO audience featuring such tunes as, Life Is A Groove and I found The Turnaround, (selections from her Grammy nominated recording “Footsteps”), as well as other originals and standards from her many CDs.

Karrin typically travels with her band, thus it was a rare honor to share a bandstand with this internationally acclaimed artist. I found Karrin to be very personable and professional. A confident performer, she was remarkably easy to work with.

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