Upcoming Performances – Closing Out 2016

October 4, 2016

2016 is almost over, but there are a few performances left. It’s been a busy year, including a trip to Fresno to perform in the Mardi Gras festival with the Fog City Stompers, and a visit to beautiful Cline Cellars for their annual Wine and Jazz Festival. But now we’re down to the final three performances of the year.

  • October 15: Devil Mountain Jazz Band, Friends of Jazz, Danville CA
  • December 4: Mission Gold Jazz Band, San Joaquin Dixieland Jazz Society, Stockton, CA
  • December 18: Mission Gold Jazz Band, New Orleans Jazz Club of Northern California, El Sobrante, CA
  • The December 4 gig is tentative, as I may have a family commitment. But go hear the band anyway – they’re fun!


    Devil Mountain on October 15

    October 4, 2016

    I’ve been taking a break, more or less, from music as I spend my days playing coach for my offspring’s youth team. However, I received a very complimentary call the other day, requesting me to sub with a band I have long highly admired, the Devil Mountain Jazz Band. This group has long been one of the premier traditional bands in the Bay Area, and they are a fixture on the festival circuit.

    I initially thought I had a conflict but we managed to make things work, and so I shall be playing trombone with Devil Mountain on Saturday, October 15 at the Danville Grange Hall from 1:30 – 4:30 PM. If you’re in the area, don’t miss some good jazz!


    Random Thoughts

    October 4, 2016

    I recently realized that I’ve been silent as I’ve been absorbed by real work for the past year. However, fear not, I have not been abducted by aliens or otherwise disembodied.

    I had promised a fuller assessment of the 1919 Conn cornet purchased a year or two back, and so here it is.

    Tone: The tone is frankly lovely. This horn has a classic, early 20th century sound with a mellow, full resonance. Depending on he mouthpiece, it can easily take on other characteristics, but it’s natural state – especially when used with a period mouthpiece – is one of beauty.

    Valve Action: In any instrument this old, the valve action is a major concern. I do not recommend purchasing any instrument sight unseen unless you know the seller well, either personally or by reputation. However, there are exceptions to this rule, and this instrument is one of them. It would appear that the valves are near-original in their wear, and they move effortlessly. Standard maintenance only has thus far been required to keep them in excellent condition.

    Slides: The slides have been well-maintained and all of them work easily, including the screw that adjusts the fine-tuner.

    Key-change Mechanism: The mechanism that automatically moves the slides and adjusts the key from Bb to A is mostly in good condition, but one screw has rotted out. I will of course have that replaced shortly, but otherwise the mechanism works perfectly. It is in amazingly good shape, considering.

    Case/Accessories: The case is not original – it is a 1960s-era case. However, it is in acceptable condition, though I have purchased a soft case for daily use. However, the original mute did come with the horn and still works well.

    Overall, I’m very pleased. It is a more difficult horn to play than the 1926, but it produces a far superior tone, making the additional effort well worth it. In short, if you encounter one of these instruments in corresponding condition, I highly recommend purchasing it.