Sunday, June 21, 2009

Barney Kessel 1991

The photograpeher Robert Burns has just sent me this photo of Barney Kessel and I in concert in January 1991.
It was so nice to have this reminder of those great times I spent working with Barney.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Airports & Other Nightmares

Air travel is becoming more and more unpleasent. Airlines treat you like you are some kind of irritation that's come along to spoil their day. Gone are the days when you were treated as valued customers.

Airport security staff always make a big show that they're doing such a great job when in actual fact they seem to me to be fairly incompetent. The important thing for them is to look like they're efficient, which is why, I can only guess, they stop little old ladies and elderly vicars and put them through the full search treatment. It doesn't impress me, and it certainly doesn't make me feel safer.

Ok, ok...I've had my moan and minor rant. On a positive's always great when I'm in the middle of one of my airport nightmares to bump into fellow troubadours. This photo was taken last week at Stockholm Airport (a surprisingly pleasant place with very helpful staff) with Robin Nolan, Nomi Rosenburg, our Swedish promoter Svante, and the rest of the Djangofest gang.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Life in the Bus Lane

The garden in Scotland is starting to look good. The plants are starting to grow, and Baxter is enjoying leaving messages all over the place. I'm enjoying having time off from touring and living life in the bus lane. Rock n' Roll!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

My old friend Danny Godfrey came to see me today. Danny and I first met in the 1970's. He's been a big jazz fan for years and we used to have some great jazz nights at Danny's house in Glasgow. There would always be a few musicians there and we'd play music well into the wee small hours. Great sessions. Danny also introduced me to golf many years ago, and I've been annoying myself with my trusty "Mashie Niblick" eversince.

He's now enjoying his retirement as a gentleman of leisure.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Djangofest, Sweden

Just back from Eskilstuna, Sweden where I played a set with Andreas Oberg at the Djangofest.

I met up with Robin Nolan. I haven't seen Robin in years. We first met about 25 years ago when he was a young lad who came up to me and asked if he could play a tune with me at the end of my set.

We played a blues together, and he played some tasteful blues licks on his Gibson Les Paul. A couple of years later he sent me his first CD. He'd completely changed musical direction and was playing Django style.
Robin is now one of the top exponents of Gypsy Jazz Guitar. A great player.

This is a photo of us at Amsterdam Airport on our way back from Sweden.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lamp Ceremony

I was asked to be the representative for Scotland's Buddhist Vihara by lighting a lamp at a ceremony with Venerable Rewartha.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Students and early flights

I have a small group of guitarists that visit me from time to time for advise and guidance about guitar playing. I enjoy doing these mentoring sessions, and I have some very good students. I've just spent two days in the studio with a couple of students who flew in from Norway.

I'm back on the road tomorrow. I have to leave home at 3.30am to take a flight to Stockholm via Amsterdam to play at the Djangofest in Eskilstuna, Sweden - it's going to be a very long day!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Raj in Toronto

I've just got back from playing two solo shows in Canada. The first was at Hugh's Room in Toronto where I met up with my old friend from Colombo Raj Jalaldeen who's been living in Toronto for the past nine years. Raj is a fine jazz guitarist who I've known for almost 20 years.

My second show was at Festival de Gittare du Monde at Rouyn Noranda, Quebec. Both shows were fantastic, the audiences were so warm and enthusiastic. I had a great time.

It was a short, and pretty hectic trip, which involved four flights to get home in time to re-pack for my next show in Sweden.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the Scottish sunshine in my garden.