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NEWS

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February, 2017

On Jan. 21, I played drums in public for the first time since my auto accident. And did I ever have a great band to work with: Clint Baker, trumpet/leader; Steve Drivon, trombone; Ryan Calloway, clarinet; Jeff Hamilton, piano; Bill Reinhart, guitar; Sam Rocha, bass; Katie Cavera, vocals and guitar. We played for swing dancers at the Bootleggers' Ball in San Francisco. The sound of the band was based on Kid Ory's groups of the mid-1940s and Clint's musicians played the style better than any band I have heard in the U.S. The dancers were ecstatic, and all of the musicians are hoping that Jan. 21 was just the first of many gigs for this terrific group.

hal and june

Just a few days after the engagement with Clint, I drove to Austin for the Hot Rhythm Holiday - another swing dance event. I taught a drum class and also played with the Thrift Set Orchestra and the brand-new Brooks Prumo Orchestra. Brooks' group only had one rehearsal before the Saturday night dance, but with the superb musicians (and vocalist) involved, it sounded fantastic!



Brooks Prumo Orchestra

After returning from Austin, I only had time to change clothes and gulp a coffee before heading to Chicago and a recording session for my own SWING CENTRAL group (Jonathan Doyle, clarinet; Dan Walton, piano/vocals; Jamey Cummins, guitar; Steve Pikal, bass). We spent two days at Hi-Style Studios, with jazz/swing/Rockabilly/Blues drummer Alex Hall at the controls (he is also an ace recording engineer)! Swing Central sailed through the material we planned to record, and wound up with over half-a-dozen additional tracks to choose from. I hope to have the CD ready for release by late spring. Swing Central has a unique sound; besides Jon Doyle's interpretations of music played by Pee Wee Russell, Lester Young and Frank Chace, we feature Jamey Cummin's Charlie Christian-inspired guitar work and Dan Walton's red-hot Boogie Woogie piano. The band members and I will continue to keep fingers crossed for gigs in 2017 and beyond!

Jon Doyle and Jamey Cummins

Jon & Jamey

Dan

Dan

Steve

Steve

Hal

Hal

Alex

Alex

I am already back on the road - to New Orleans, and another recording session; this time with Tim Laughlin and David Boeddinghaus. In addition, I have a couple of outside engagements with them and am looking forward to all of it.

At the end of the month I will be at the Seaside Jazz Festival on the Oregon Coast with Dave Bennett, Gino Meregillano and Joe Jazdzewski - the Memphis Speed Kings. I haven't played with them since before my accident, so will enjoy rockin' with the Speed Kings again!

Meanwhile, Alex and Mittens were just getting used to my being at home all the time. Based on their expressions, I think they are not pleased with my current travel situation...

Alex

Alex

Mittens

Mittens

Thanks for stopping by, and please check in again in March when I will have an updated calendar for the Spring!

Best regards,

Hal