October, 2017

I didn't get to play much music the last couple of months, but the quality certainly made up for the lack of quantity!

At the Cleveland Classic Jazz Party, I was fortunate to lead a true all-star band, and the music we played was some of the most exciting I have ever been involved with! The "Pretty Wild" band - Randy Reinhart, Dan Barrett, Andy Schumm, Rossano Sportiello, Howard Alden, Joel Forbes and yours truly - definitely got the audience going. Not only did we receive a standing ovation; the compliments for our performance continued throughout the night, into the next day, and on Facebook for several more days! Fortunately, Michael Steinman captured our set on video, and I will be posting links as soon as I receive them from Michael.

Another group I really enjoy working is the Brooks Prumo Orchestra, in Austin. The material recorded in June is available through BANDCAMP:


This is a fantastic big band, and vocalist Alice Spencer is one of the best you will ever hear!

Pass The Bounce

I was still taking it easy at the end of September, and into October -- giving my shoulder more time to from the rotator cuff surgery. However, that did not stop me from attending a couple of railroad historical society conventions!

The Monon meet took place in my home state - Indiana. The group was invited to visit the maintenance facilities of the Indiana RailRoad in Jasonville, and I was happy to see some IRR locomotives close-up:


The shop was also doing some contract work on older locomotives, including a Norfolk Southern GP-38. Sadly, the original high hood will be cut down to the standard low hood...but at least I was able to get a shot before it is altered forever.

Norfolk Southern

The meeting and banquet of the Monon society was held in the historic Salem, Indiana depot. There was a vintage caboose outside...


And an original station sign inside...

Depot Sign

I was also able to attend the joint convention of the Missouri Pacific and Chicago & Eastern Illinois Railroad Historical Societies in Mt. Vernon, IL. The groups visited the headquarters of a short line: The Crab Orchard & Egyptian Railroad:



In addition to the presentations and banquet, there was also a tour of the Union Pacific's yards in Salem, IL. I captured some video of a stack train on the UP, run by a CSX crew, and also saw UP's "Heritage Unit" - commemorating the Missouri Pacific (now, together with C&EI, part of the Union Pacific system):


The trip to Mt. Vernon was the last of my railfan holidays for 2017. Now I am ready to get back behind the drums! First, a trip to New Orleans and gigs at the Bombay Club with Kris Tokarski, Larry Scala, Nobu Ozaki, Evan Christopher and Duke Heitger. Next, I will be at the Roswell (NM) Jazz Festival, playing with Dan Barrett, Allan Vache' and others. From there, I will head to New Orleans to celebrate a very special occasion with my good friend Banu Gibson and several musician pals.

Afterward I will have another brief respite before my schedule really gets crazy in November. I am looking forward to spending time with my highly-motivated cat Alex,


and his sister Mittens, who enjoys watching me do physical therapy exercises.


In the near future I will be moving to a new website. Please check back around the first of November to check out the "new look" and to read up on an exciting new band that I can't wait to work with!

Thanks for stopping by!
– Hal