Archive for the ‘Notable Notes: Dear Diary’ Category

More Recordings for 2010

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

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.

Tony Pacini Trio Live At Jimmy Mak’s CD

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

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)

Chuck Redd: revisted (December 5th, 2007)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

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.

Karrin Allyson (October 2007)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

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.

Carl Saunders (May 2007)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Trumpet virtuoso Carl Saunders delighted a spellbound audience at LV’s Uptown Tony Pacini performs with Carl Saunders in May (2007). What a treat is was to share the bandstand with him. Carl joked with the crowd before scatting a tune as well as any top flight jazz vocalist. Altogether a musical powerhouse, Carl gives voice to the trumpet second to none.

During his visit to Portland, Carl led a clinic on jazz improvisation at M.H.C.C. I had just completed my presentation on the role of the rhythm section in jazz and at Carl’s request I accompanied him at his clinic. Following these clinics Carl, myself and Tall Jazz performed a concert, wrapping up this weekend of musical education.

Central Oregon Jazz Society at Bebop Coffeehouse

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

In March (2007) The Tony Pacini Trio had the honor of performing the inaugural concerts for the Central Oregon Jazz Society. Thanks to the hard work and determination of jazz fan and visionary Duncan McNeill the Trio was well received and the concerts were well attended. It would be great to have the Bend area become a stronghold of all things jazz. Good luck Duncan!

Marlena Shaw (September 2005)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Tony Pacini Talking With Those Closest To The Piano

The summer of 2005 ended with a bang when the Mel Brown Quartet performed at the Newport Jazz Festival on the Oregon Coast. The Quartet accompanied outstanding jazz vocalist Marlena Shaw who headlined the Festival. The intuitive interaction developed over the five years this Quartet has been together served us well at this special musical event. Marlena’s version of “You’ve Changed” with her her unique spoken intro brought the house down.

Dee Daniels (December 2006)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Tony Pacini's Hands At The Piano December brought unexpected cold and heavy snow. Lucky for me I was at Bend’s spectacular Sun River Resort performing with the equally spectacular vocalist Dee Daniels. Sharing the bandstand with this gracious and talented singer made the death-defying trek worthwhile.

Mary Stallings (March 2006)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

Spring found Mel Brown, Ed Bennett and myself in Seattle, WA at Jazz Alley, the jazz hotspot of the Pacific Northwest. We were there accompanying jazz singer Mary Stallings, a former Basie Band vocalist. As is customary Mary sent the band charts and Cds ahead of time to prepare for the gig. After hearing Mary sing “Remember Love” and “Stuck In A Dream With You”, I was blown away. Mary pulls the listener into the song, taking you with her to the very last note.

Mel, Ed and I spent our days rehearsing at the condo-complete with piano-provided by Jazz Alley. The three of us have been playing together every week for ten years and it was a treat to spend that time with first-rate musicians who are also great friends.

We were at Jazz Alley for two nights playing two sets each night. Each set began with our trio doing several arrangements from my trio book. Then Mary would take the stage and the rest was magic. Almost every jazz vocalist regardless of their personal style or favorite influences must include the great Carmen McRae in their studies at one time or another. After the performance I asked Ed Bennett (longtime bassist for Carmen) if there was anyone that ever came close to that quality. Ed’s reply was “Mary Stallings”.

Harry Allen (May 2005)

Tuesday, November 24th, 2009

During my years as a professional jazz pianist I’ve had the privilege of working with some truly outstanding players. Tony Pacini B and W Live Pic Out of that group there are a handful of players that I would hitch a ride with a long-haul trucker if need be for the opportunity to perform with them. Fortunately, in May of 2006 a few hours drive down the Oregon coast rewarded me with an evening performing with tenor saxophonist Harry Allen. I have shared a bandstand with Harry a number of times over the years and each time find myself dazzled by his talent, ability and professionalism, not to mention the encyclopedia of tunes this man holds in memory. From coaxing breathtaking ballads gently out of his horn, for example Hoagy Carmichael’s “Skylark”, to demonstrating his mastery of the old school jazz tradition, a style very rarely heard live today, Harry does it all effortlessly. Performing with Harry is an honor, an education and most of all a night of great music.