On the weekend of June 15 (happy belated Flag Day) a group of us converged en masse upon Sin City for my first ever jazz blog interstate field trip!! I mentioned in a previous blog entry that I was planning to go to hear Diana Krall backed by the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and was joined by FOUR friends! The concert was at the same theater where I heard the Commodores a few years before. I kid you not. I am shameless, but that show was fun too.
ANYWAY, Mark Heimbigner, Kesha Rodgers, Emily Hands, David Daunch and I had a fabulous time at the Krall show. I've seen Diana Krall at least a half a dozen times, but this was the first time I've seen her live with a 19 (+/-) piece orchestra behind her. The show opened with 3 big band pieces before Diana came out and that was very fun / very old school Vegas. I enjoyed the show quite a bit, in part because it was like getting two shows in one: she did several numbers in a combo format with just herself on vocals / piano, John Clayton on bass, Jeff Hamilton on drums, and Anthony Wilson on guitar. She did other tunes in front of the big band with Tamir Hendelman on piano (although at one point during an instrumental break she sat down on the piano as well because "it was swinging so hard I couldn't resist!"). If you get a chance to check them out at the Hollywood Bowl this August, please do!
Other Vegas highlights: part of the fun of stalking a group of musicians is running into them in the lobby bar and hanigng out. Unfortunately I've gotten worse than ever at capturing memories by camera, but my BlackBerry did enable me to get a couple of grainy shots at the "Lobby Trumpet Summit" where we were able to hang out with, among other notables, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos (recently named one of Downbeat Magazine's 25 trumpeters to watch), trumpeter Terell Stafford (who has played with McCoy Tyner, among others) and bassist Christoph Luty (you all know he's one of my all time favorite bassists). Unfortunately, my plans for a "dessert hang" with pianist Tamir Hendelman and his wife, bassist Sherry Luchette, were foiled by a lengthy (but productive) power shopping session (outlined below).
Gilbert Castellanos' non-chalant look
Trumpeter Terell Stafford and me in a BlackBerry "self portrait"
Christoph Luty sitting down for the first time in hours
And in the interest of true confession time, I decided to revamp my "throwing away my money in Vegas" strategy and shopped more than I gambled. My "shoe guy" Justin McKay from the Wynn spent the better part of Saturday afternoon with me and Mark helping us find my new very favorite shoes:
Christian Louboutin's "Ernesta"
and man bag / "murse" for Mark:
Louis Vuitton's "Citadin PM"
If you ever go to Vegas and want to do some power shopping, be sure to let me know and I'll hook you up with St. Justin of the Strip, the patron saint of fashion. He really is tons of fun and an amazing resource...
And that's all for now. Net-net, it was a really fabulous trip and while it has taken me almost two weeks to make up for the sleep deficit, it was definitely worth it!!