Live at Vicky's
The leader of this band says: forming a band and recording a CD was the last thing on my mind, having entered "retirement" in the California Desert five years ago, but in life it's the surprises that can bring the greatest pleasure. The Desert Cities Jazz Band was the culmination of some chats and musings with my wife and friends coupled with the knowledge that I still had "something to say" on the drums and the feeling that others I knew were in the same frame of mind. Since I had drummed with another so-called 'celebrity' band a few years ago, The Beverly Hills Unlisted Jazz Band, I thought perhaps that concept of putting together a group of solid musicians who were also somewhat famous might be entertaining. So I gathered up a couple of friends and colleagues and we started to play. Don't get me wrong, this is not just a bunch of old cats passing the time, we're all seasoned professionals who are still serious about our music. We're from recording studios, road bands, TV and live performance careers from Carnegie Hall to the London Palladium to NY and LA jazz clubs, we've done it all. We've played and recorded with Johnny Mathis, Streisand, Liza, Carmen McRae, Anita O'Day, Billie Holiday, Dinah Shore, Woody Herman, the NBC Orchestra, Barry Manilow, Steve & Eydie - well, the list goes on. We are now in our fourth year together at this venue, Vicky's in Indian Wells, we collectively have "something to say", and we're saying it on this CD. Thanks to Hal Linden, the first sideman to join The DCJB, for his generosity, professionalism and friendship. He is one hell of a clarinet player! All the musicians in the Band have their own terrific and special gifts. I've known Bob Corwin, our pianist, since we were both young musicians out of NY; and Don Shelton was singing with the Hi-Lo's in the '60s when I worked with them, and is also amazing on clarinet, sax and flute. Stan Watkins with his soulful vocals and trumpet and Kent McGarity on trombone with his "Herd" stories round out the amazing front line. These three produce a sound like a big band and put out megawatts of energy! I was fortunate to meet bassist Danny Flahive shortly after moving here and that rounded out the Band. It's an exciting group to work with. As a drummer I know without a doubt that "timing is everything" and so it was that when Debby Boone recently joined The DCJB to sing a few jazz standards, the time was right to ask her to make music together. She's an immensely talented performer and singer and a pleasure to know and work with, so her contribution to our CD is a happy "icing on the cake" moment. There are still a lot of notes to be played and we'll still be here swinging. Hope that you all enjoy this CD as much as we loved making it.