And the Ed Palermo Big Band.
The [semi-]short (back) story is: Walking in NYC’s “The Village” one time, looking for something to do. Saw a sign, at the Red Lion, for a musical double-bill: Project/Object [the repertoire of Frank Zappa] [and please see my other posts, about him (and about books about him), on this blog, including this one] and Mahavishnu Project [the book of… you guessed which Orchestra.] I took a gamble and walked in. Both bands blew me away. I signed onto the e-mail list for P/O. Then, on a subsequent tour, they asked for volunteers for “local crews.” Help the band load in & out and get free admission & beer! I wrote a long letter about all my skills & attributes and care while handling other people’s expensive/delicate equipment. The leader, Andre Cholmondeley, chose me and I met him at Maxwell’s in Hoboken one (fateful) afternoon before their gig. Fun!
The next year I volunteered, for them, at BB Kings. The next year I volunteered at Mexicali Rose. The next year I volunteered at Iridium. Etc. I’ve lost count. But have made a good friend in Andre (a killer guitarist [as was FZ, not everybody realizes]). (The rest of the players have rotated.) [And met both Ike Willis and Ray White, from some of FZ’s best lineups!]
And I met Katie Jacoby, electric violinist [did you love Jean Luc Ponty’s time with FZ?!] one time at BB King’s. We now think, the first time I met Ed Palermo–the hero of this current story–and, when he first met her, too. Of course, we both were enamored of Katie. I photographed her (and everyone/all evening, of course). Ed invited her to sit in with his group. Now she’s (a regular) in his band.
Oh, so, one time, hanging out with Ed in some NYC venue, after meeting at least several times, we realized that we both live in the same town in northern NJ!
xxI started paying attention to/catching/photographing his band (with 10 horns!) whenever I could. Now we’re friends. I even drive him to shows–so that he can be the “designated drinker”–when his lovely wife Sue’s out of town.
Including up to The Falcon, in Marlboro, NY, several times; once with (special guest star) Napoleon Murphy Brock (another famous alumnus of a killer FZ “rockin’ teenage combo”) (and another uber-talented cat whom I now count as a friend, after several long car-rides together [BTW, so great to hear him recount the story about the night he met FZ!])!
And now I know Tony Falco, the proprietor of that venue. And we’ve realized that we both used to hang out–at several bars where I worked–in New Paltz, NY!
And now I’m friends with long-time regular members, Paul Adamy (bass); Ted Kooshian (KB); Bob Quaranta (piano); Ray Marchica (drums); and Facebook-friends with at least half of the other players, especially the front row (saxophones), including Barbara Cifelli, Ben Kono, and Phil Chester.Anyway, so let me give you some links, to learn more about Ed!
Oh wait: caveat emptor: Ed’s got “mashup disease.” Perhaps a little ADHD (but then I must, as well, because I love this [style of] music), he both runs songs together in rapid segues (you might be humming along to a Beatles tune and then realize that you’re still humming along… to a Zappa refrain and then maybe to an Ellington chorus and then maybe to a King Crimson riff, etc. [Remember how I told you about Girl Talk?] Full of surprises, always with seamless transitions.) and plays parts of different songs at the same time! Like this recent Henxrix/Zappa mashup (and potential lawsuit nightmare!): Little Miss Lover / Voodoo Chile / Foxy Lady / Who Knows / Big Swifty / King Kong… All played simultaneously (and it really works [for the non-linear-thinking, I guess])!
My pix of the EPBB on July 31, 2013.
My pix of the EPBB on August 1, 2015.
Also current. Less jazzy/very (“Chicago”) bluesy:
August 1, at The Falcon–
the “Big Band Beach Blanket Bingo Party.”
[Click on the below graphic to see the whole show!]
Starting off with The Beach Boys, nodding slightly to Frank Zappa, going into an upbeat Sly & The Family Stone, and then into (a touch of) one of Frank’s darker tunes, then to The Rolling Stones, then to a Zappa/Stones mashup… (the whole set list is there, too [but, if you’re like me, you won’t want to peak–but rather play “Name That Tune,” in your head]).
Oh, another fun/small world thing, at that show. I was photographing the middle (featured alto) sax player; I thought that she looked familiar. I chalked it up to her general pulchritude. But later, over dinner (after sound-check/before the show) I heard someone call her Jordan. DOH! I had met Jordan Pettay at a jazz vespers gig in Newark, with Rodney Jones (who I now know to have played with Ray Marchica!) [the jazz world is as incestuous as the multi-layered inter-weaving of Ed Palermo’s mashups!] as the leader, and talked with her after the show! [Here‘s one of her solos!]