I've finally put a project together where I get to sing the type of songs I've wanted to do for years, but couldn't find the musicians who could play it (including myself). Well, no more! I've begun working with a sick group of cats called the Deftet Jazz Trio who, in addition to their own gigs, have agreed to back me as a singer. We're gonna take a lot of the old Sinatra and Ella-type classics and put our own swingin' little twist on them. I couldn't be happier. Not just because I'll be working with such kick-ass, swingin'-like-a-pair-of-brass-ones musicians, but also the fact that they're all fairly young (for jazz musicians) and hip cats; the kind of guys you can discuss 'Trane with and then get loaded on beers and yell at the game with.
So, the guitarist, Nick, and I figured we could maybe do some side gigs as a duo for places that couldn't accomodate all 4 of us. As a li'l sneak preview/public rehearsal we took to the stage Wednesday at the ol' Brighton Bar here in Long Branch. It was a very low key gig, which worked well for us since we had no idea how we were going to begin or end any song, nor where to come back in after the solos. Or how long the solos would be. We didn't really have much planned out. If that sounds like it should've been a complete mess, you're right. It should have, but it wasn't. We managed to follow each other pretty well and had good communication throughout. It also helps that Nicky's absolutely filthy on the guitar. The only songs I really got lost on were "Cheek To Cheek" and "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square".
Below are some pics of the two of us (you can tell it was more of a rehearsal by how much of an unshaven scumbag I look like), as well as video of what I think was our best moment - the Sinatra saloon song classic "One For My Baby". The sound quality's not the best, but you'll get the idea.
And, speaking of Christmas gifts, I am available for commission work. If you want a portrait, caricature or anything else done by the time Santa's loading up his sleigh, contact me by December 16th.
Rather than go with something highlighting his entire MVP season I thought I'd zero in on his 500th HR. Here are a few layout ideas, plus a quick color test to help me decide if I wanted to do this in b/w pencil or a full color painting. I, of course, still reserve the right to do both.
Feel free to leave any comments on which you think would be best.
One of the main things I'm trying to do is to sit down and do some drawing or painting everyday, and I'm going to do my best to continuously post what I'm up to on this blog. So... long story short, there's gonna be a lot more to see (and hear) on this blog from now on. To start, here's some fun (and some not-so-fun) I had over the last week or so messing around with pastels.
First off, LT sacking mark Rypien. I like the way this one turned out. It was nice coming up with something photo-realistic yet stylized. I think it has a very lively, kinetic feel to it. I just wish you could feel the hit a little more.
Next up we have some Sinatra sketches. For the most part, this is just me messing with color and drawing style, but I do love this pose of his and want to do something definitive with it. These are just the first steps toward deciding what that something will be.
First is what I call "Neon Shite". A complete disaster. In fact, it doesn't even look like him.
The likeness on this one is better, but he looks like something from the land of the dead in the Corpse Bride. I was trying to avoid using actual skin tones and thought something in blue would be cool, but...
...It wasn't cool, so I ended up going with more realistic skin tones. I was still trying to do something a little more loose and sketchy, rather than go straight for the photo-realistic gusto. I'm still not satisfied with it, though. Plus, his mouth is too big.