Reno, Nevada

I love the new William Orbit album ‘Pieces in a Modern Style’.

Classical music played on synthesisers. Great compositions by Ravel, Handel etc.

Woke up at the Nugget in Reno looking at a scrapyard and the train tracks. The mountains in the distance are beautiful. Hotel coffee is awful and there seems nothing in walking distance.

Had a good first show of the year in Avon the other day. With all of the work in the studio I hadn’t practised very much this year and it was great playing the guitar again. It seemed so new and exciting. The band sounded great.

I want to tell you about the melody we play in our live shows at the end of ‘Ballad 4 Santana’. I first heard it on Santana’s album ‘Lotus’, recorded live in Japan in 1973, I believe. Carlos played this melody during his solo on ‘Samba Pa Ti’. I heard the same melody next on George Benson’s ‘On Broadway’ from the album ‘Breeze’. When we toured with Santana in 1996 I asked Carlos about the melody. He told me that it originally belonged to the great Hungarian guitarist Gabor Szabo who during a session together traded it for a George Benson lick (musician-speak for melody). George Benson used it on ‘Breeze’ and then Carlos started playing it during his solos – he plays a few melodies of other songs during his solos, an in-joke with his band.

Avon, CO

Avon, Colorado
I was thinking…..
I prefer the small bunk on a tourbus to nearly all hotel beds because most beds in hotels are much too soft.
I had MTV on in the hotel room this morning – with the sound turned off of course! – and noticed how much fur was being displayed by rappers and popstars. Is keeping animals in little cages until they get killed for a coat fashionable again?
I am told that the Denny’s in Avon wasn’t serving breakfast this Morning because the computers were not automatically adding the sales tax and they had forgotten how to do the math…

I am addicted to
Current listening:
Ben Webster – Ben Webster meets Oscar Peterson on Verve Master Edition- Great mellow Jazz
Cafe del Mar #7 – Compilation on MCA Records
Claude Challe + Ravin – Nirvana Lounge on Challomusic – brilliant compilation of music from Europe, Turkey, India and all over the world, one mellow CD and one lounge CD…..

Current reading:
Travanian – Hot Night in the City (Short Stories)

Luna Negra XL 2001

We are planning a fantastic show for this year. All of those people who loved the bigger band Luna Negra XL I toured with in 1997 and 1999 – it’s coming back. 2001 may be my last touring for a while and I want to put on a big show. We will travel with our own sound and lights again, and we will have some great musicians in the band. Calvin Hazen, who was in the band from 1992 until 1994, and who has lived in Spain playing Flamenco for the last few years will perform with us. Here is the line-up for this year:
OL – Guitar
Jon Gagan – Bass + Keyboard
Mark Clark – Percussion + Guitar
Michael Chavez- Drums + Percussion
Calvin Hazen – Guitar
Kanoa Kaluhiwa – Saxophone + Keyboard
Mike Middleton – Trumpet + Flugelhorn

The new album “Little Wing” will be released on May 15th. We will tour West-of-Santa Fe in June + July and East-of-Santa Fe in September + October. All dates will be published on our web site as soon as they are confirmed!

Lullaby Music

I am writing music for a lullaby album I plan to begin recording in April. It amazes me how hard it is to play very slowly and very releaxed at the same time. I have been thinking about the music for this album for a long time. At first I was planning to create a very pure acoustic album with nothing but guitar and silence, but then I realized that the music might have to mask out background noises such as traffic, forced air heating, or the neighbors having an argument. I decided to use synthesizers and some calming environmental sounds in addition to the acoustic guitar. Last night I recorded the rain drumming on the roof of my car and today I shall record a little river that flows nearby.