Every once in awhile, we as musicians are fortunate enough to do a gig that inspires us and reassures us that there is indeed a great purpose behind this sometimes crazy business we exist in. For me, that gig came last week when I was fortunate to play with Bob Mintzer and his incredible big band at the Blue Note Tokyo for four nights.
Bob is as good a musician as I have ever played with. There are a few who equal his level of virtuosity, but none better. His writing is brilliant, inspiring and a joy to play. For this particular engagement, he combined his New York and West Coast big bands to form one of the finest ensembles I have ever been a part of. Captaining the ship was the great, and I do mean great, Peter Erskine on drums. The combination of Bob’s music and Peter’s drumming is sublime. Peter has a way of setting up the figures and phrases that makes it impossible to fail as a horn player. For the most part, the music we performed was from Bob’s latest CD entitled For The Moment. A brazilian themed project that is extraordinary in every way; brilliant writing, fabulous playing and exceptional production. Go online asap and order a copy. It’s worth ten times what you’ll pay for it.
Just to sweeten the pot a bit, I was honored to give a masterclass at one of the most incredible music stores I have ever been to. The shop is called Joy Brass and is dedicated to selling the finest products the brass world has to offer including instruments, mouthpieces, cases, mutes, stands, music, books and recordings. In short, it’s heaven for a brass player.
I was thrilled to see they had 5 Michael Davis model Shires trombones in stock and had already sold several more. The shop is run by a gentleman named Kazuhiro Sanada who is both a consummate professional and a wonderful guy. So, calling all brass players, the next time you’re in Tokyo, check out Joy Brass.
Thank you Bob Mintzer for your amazing music and for giving us all such an inspiring opportunity. In an era when people tend to cut as many corners as possible, thank you Kazuhiro for doing things right. Tokyo RULES! I cannot wait to go back.