Every night around 10:00 I retreat to what is essentially, the record room. Basically, it’s my office where I have my work desk and the forever growing record and CD collection. As of late, I’ve been listening to more jazz. With a rather small amount of Jazz amongst my vinyl collection. The idea of revisiting what I do have is one of the more attainable goals on my list. So there I was with my Chet Baker record practicing some tai-chi just hours before putting a rather trying day behind me. Looking back to my early twenties where I worked for a small Jazz label and floating Jazz sponsor. Chet was the artist whose horn playing really put the hooks in me. With my first Jazz album being Baker’s ‘My Funny Valentine.’ With all the records I have. I’m pretty sure I will never be able to listen to them all. For the time being, though, sitting down and listening to an album in its entirety is beyond rewarding.
As my first visit to New Orleans began to unfold. I really began to rethink my choice to make it seem like such a photo based trip. While there was a undeniable excitement surrounding my first trip to what was both a historic and storied destination. I couldn’t help but notice what a distraction having my camera had become.
When I look at the images featured here. I can’t help but feel that wherever I go, whether it’s just outside my door or a distant corner of the world. The most important thing is the people I meet and what they teach me about the places I’m visiting. Maybe I’ll stick to my cell phone the next time I travel. Stick to pictures of the people I’ve travelled with and the ones I’ve met.
I don’t claim to know a lot about Jazz as a whole. My first job while living in Manhattan was at a Jazz Label/ Floating Jazz Festival company. I also worked for a cigar smoking Jazz lover who ran a record store in the Village. I got the ins and out on Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, the many faces of Coltrane, Buddy Rich and a few others including my personal favorite Chet Baker. But overall I am a novice when it comes to the genre . Enter my friend Tony Crisos. Both student of life and teacher/performer of Jazz Guitar. To hear him talk about “true jazz” you would think it was one of the seven wonders of the world. Tony came to Hoboken today to hang out, catch up and take some pictures. After a stop at the corner Tai restaurant for some good food and conversation about his recent trip to Greece. We got down to business. My usual M.O. when having someone over is to find some good music. This time around I was treated to a live set of Tony’s best offerings. I had some issues early on in the session including getting used to using my new strip box and realizing a little late I had not reset my ISO to 100 after my last concert. (It turned out I shot the first few shots at ISO 1600) The biggest challenge turned out to be keeping Tony seated the first couple of minutes. The man is so full of energy and ideas. I could hardly get off a shot before he was jumping up and wanting to move to the next thing. However, once he started playing that guitar it was sheer concentration. It reminded me a lot of my Father when he played piano. He just went into his own world. There was no getting through. Tony is a great guy and talented beyond his years. He joked that our friendship was the only good thing that came out of our time with the company Freeze Frame. Sounds right to me.