New drumset with Mark Lockett

Early July,

Am Visiting New York City with my drummer buddy Mark Lockett.

After seeing a local trio perform in Washington Square Park, Mark decided it was time to purchase a drum set that was portable, that could be wheeled to gigs and that was nice enough to play.

Mawwells drums shop had all that was needed. All the right gear, all the right trolleys, everything a modern day jazz drummer would like in a portable kit.

I was much impressed with the “wall of snares”

Check the pics




Smoke jazz club with Itai Kriss

Wednesday 11th July went uptown manhattan to ‘Smoke’ jazz club.

I remember the venue from my last stay in NYC, it’s hard to forget a club that has a stage with a supporting pillar right in front of it!

Anyway, a fine sextet playing tonight led by pianist / organist Bill Charette. Joined by:

Itai Kriss – flute
Kenny Brooks – tenor
Frank Perowsky – bass clarinet
Mike DiRubbo – alto
Jochen Rueckert – drums

The band had some wonderful harmonies in their arrangements (all original composition). Most outstanding player was Itai Kriss with amazing technical facility over the full range of the flute combines with extensive jazz knowledge in both harmony and rhythm. Kenny Brooks also impressive.

Odd moment when Brian alternated choruses of accompaniment on organ & piano (sounded very strange).



Seamus Blake gig @ Kitano

Saturday 6th July….

Joined some fellow Aussies (Aaron Searle & Mark Lockett) and went to see the Seamus Blake Quartet.

Last time I was in NYC 1996, I had ask Seamus for some lessons, but unfortunately he was sick that week. I was excited to be able to hear him again live.

Prior to the music starting Seamus was warming up on a couple of notes and completely filled the venue with his sound. Wow, huge tone….Super balanced Action Tenor with an Otto Link Reso chamber 8 opening.

After a brief speech by the house MC outlining the ettiquette expected on this gig (felt like a lecture), the quartet launched into a Cole Porter standard and were on fire.

Seamus Blake – saxophone
Boris Kozlov – bass
Bruce Barth – piano
Donald Edwards – drums

All musicians had an amazing sense of time. Must mention the interesting Eddie Harris composition “1974 Blues”, which was in 7/4. Groovy.

Had a blast listening to this gig. Wonderful musicians, wonderful music, wonderful friends.



Flute lesson with the great Keith Underwood

I was last in New York 17 years ago, for private music study purposes. It had been a long time between lessons. At the time my favourite teacher with whom to study was Keith Underwood – a flute specialist. He was extremely articulate in answering questions, always had sensational recordings to demonstrate his theories, was always complimentary in his approach, a master in the art of breathing for wind instruments, knowledgable in all players and genres of music, and treated me like all his professional playing students (despite the fact that I was a beginning “doubler” at the time).

He was constantly travelling to Brazil, Japan, in fact all over the world. I felt very fortunate to study with him.

Lessons with Keith were always inspiring.

Perhaps the most inspiring lesson I learnt from Keith is that he was always the ‘student’ too. Continually hunting down new resources to aid in instrumental playing, and always open to the source of the information.

In my 17 year absence I had managed to track down a few videos of interviews with Keith teaching. He was into new quality theories. I wanted to know more. I just had to got back to New York City.

So, today I got to experience the joys of studying with Keith again. Quality instruction of this level is rare. I felt like I was at University again. I was inspired. My eyes lit up. I wanted to be a sponge, and absorb all information.

An hour and a half lesson just flew by. I wanted to stay longer.

Another lesson next week, can’t wait!!!!!


Paul Van Ross Jamming at “Smalls” with Roy Hargrove & Quincy Phillips

Headed down to the infamous jazz club on New York City called “Smalls”.

Listened to One set played by Carlos Abadie and his friends then the jam session began….

No shortage of players wanting to jam…..I was keen to I obey etiquette and not tread on any toes.

Eventually I managed to play a few tunes….and was privileged to be on stage with the great Roy Hargrove on flugelhorn and his drummer Quincy Phillips.

Wahoo….. What a great night.