Happy Birthday, Princess!  

Posted by Tony Guerrero


Ella is three years old today...or as she likes to say "I'm free!"

Final Freddie Post - Free Song Download!  

Posted by Tony Guerrero


After Freddie Hubbard's death (see previous blogs), some musician friends and I decided to record his classic song "Little Sunflower" as our own little tribute to him, just to give away. So, here it is. Click the link to download it, then toss it on your ipod or computer, and whenever it randomly gets played, think of Freddie. (While you're at it, go to iTunes and buy some of his music...the real thing is way better!) Click here for your free mp3 of "Little Sunflower":
http://snipr.com/anhg3-nuvm5y

Tony Guerrero - Flugelhorn & Drum programming
Greg Vail - Flute
Gannin Arnold - Guitar
Tom Zink - Keys
Melvin Davis - Bass

One for the band geeks...  

Posted by Tony Guerrero



I've often joked that I don't mind when my things get damaged or stolen, because it means I get to buy new things! Everything's replaceable, right? Not so, it turns out.

I was reminded by my friend Kurt Witt at Yamaha instruments that my trumpet, from the very in-demand Xeno YTR8335RG line of Yamaha Professional Series Trumpets, is the ONLY one ever manufactured in the brass color. Every other one is silver, like the picture.

So, hands off my trumpet.

Ole  

Posted by Tony Guerrero


Today I heard my daughter counting to eight in Spanish.

Thanks, Dora.

Proud of my Pastor & Country  

Posted by Tony Guerrero


Yesterday, I was very proud to see my pastor take the podium at the inauguration. Seeing someone you know in an international moment is indeed a strange experience! The picture above was taken as the staff of Saddleback Church - his staff - gathered to watch him.

While I'm at it, you know I didn't vote for Obama, but yesterday I was also proud of him. The racial barrier is, of course, a landmark, and I cannot help but admire the man who broke that barrier. But he has also handled this transition with dignity and humility. Of course, his performance on the job remains to be seen, but I have committed to pray for this president and to support him as I can, AND to oppose him in the areas I feel strongly about. That's my responsibility - and yours.

And I was proud of our country yesterday. I was reminded of just what a great country we live in. A peaceful transition of power - do you realize just how horrible power struggles are in other parts of the world? That God has allowed me to live in this country will not be lost on me.

Finally, I am proud of our ex-President. More so, I am grateful. He has kept us safe for these last eight years since 9/11. I wish more Americans recognized him for this. What a shame. He has every right to leave the office bitter at the ungrateful American people, but instead chose to offer one of the most notably courteous transitions on record. He has had nothing but praise and support for the new President.

My favorite line of the day was Obama's statement to terrorists: "Your people will judge you by what you build, not by what you tear down”. Awesome.

Okay, on we go to this next season of history!

UPDATE TO LAST POST  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

After I wrote my last blog, I thought "Why not share my fan moment with the man himself?", so I felt compelled to drop Gene a little email via his website, just for kicks. I figured that since our Starbucks meeting was so brief, I might as well tell him why it was meaningful to me. So, the topper of the story - he posted my letter on his website and thanked me yet again!
(Yes, I am a dork.)

Click on this picture to see it:

That's right...I bought Gene Simmons coffee.  

Posted by Tony Guerrero



I went to the NAMM show today - its the annual convention where all the musical instrument manufacturers go to show their new product lines. Zillions of music celebs attend. Maybe I'll blog about it later.

But for now, just know that today, I bought "The God Of Thunder" a decaf coffee and a scone at Starbucks.

How big of a deal is that? When I was a kid, KISS were like super heros to me and my friends. I owned all their records. My room was covered in KISS posters. I was at their "KISS Alive II" concert in 1977. My first band played KISS songs. I dressed as them for more than one Halloween (see pic below).

I am a musician today largely because they made me want to be a rock star when I was a kid.

And today, I stood in line with and bought coffee and a scone for Gene Simmons.
He shook my hand and thanked me, twice. Cool.


<-----Me as KISS drummer Peter Criss in 1978.

On my way outta here...  

Posted by Tony Guerrero


I had to fill out a survey today. In the age category, I noticed that out of the six circle choices, my selection was past the midway marker. I am, officially, "over the hill" and am, apparently, on the downward slope. I'd better make the most of my last two circles!

Snow Man, meet Man In the Moon. Man in the Moon, meet Snow Man  

Posted by Tony Guerrero





We took the kids to Big Bear for their first snow trip yesterday. Our daughter refused to wear gloves, and almost refused her jacket (well, she did, but we forced it on her!) but she did get to build her first snow man (pictured).

Also, driving down the mountain, we were awestruck by an amazing moon at dusk, not at all aware that it was the closest to earth it will be for at least another 26 years! Here's some cool shots just taken from the car window...

A nice way to spend a Saturday.

Another Freddie Post  

Posted by Tony Guerrero





Hubert Laws & Stevie Wonder


Herbie Hancock










Yesterday, I was honored to be among the 300 or so mourners at Freddie Hubbard's funeral. To be there as so many living jazz legends paid tribute to another who has passed…well, it will not be forgotten by me anytime soon.

There were, among the crowd, many known musicians with whom I've had the honor of sharing the stage and got to reconnect with, and several I didn't know personally but of whom I've been a long time admirer. Among the attenders, speakers and performers were Herbie Hancock, Stevie Wonder, Bennie Maupin, Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Marcus Miller, Christian McBride, Patrice Rushen and many more. Hearing Stevie Wonder play Freddie's tune "Little Sunflower" on harmonica was a highlight.

There were several moments I wanted to grab my phone and take a video or photo, but ultimately, I was there to honor Freddie - not just as a jazz fan, but as someone who was a recipient of his personal kindness and generosity, and I felt those memories would be more significant to me tucked away in my head rather than on a cheesy cell-phone video. (The pictures above are from the press.)

The pastor ended with a wonderful message about the significance of the trumpet in Scripture. Blowing the trumpet was always a call to something - to gather the people, to prepare for battle. And so many people around the world were touched over the last five decades because this one man knew how to 'blow the trumpet'. As the preacher said - "Gabriel, get ready for Freddie…you have a new lead trumpet player on his way!"

Blow the trumpet, Freddie. You were the greatest.

Lyrics  

Posted by Tony Guerrero

GOOD LYRICS:
Daddy’s just like Coltrane
Baby’s just like Miles
Lady’s just like Ella
When she smiles…
(“Lady Wants to Know” by Michael Franks)

BAD LYRICS:
She's a dancer
A romancer
She's a Capricorn
And I'm a Cancer
("C'Mon And Love Me" by KISS)

(So, why do I have the KISS album in my collection and not the Michael Franks album?!? Yep, I'm a little embarrassed.)

I love good lyrics, but, man, they are hard to come by. Lyrics are always a challenge as I write songs, but I love coming across a great lyric, whether I write it or someone else does.

This blog was prompted by a song I heard last night that really moved me, both musically and lyrically. It was written by Clint Eastwood with his son Kyle and is the closing theme to the movie "Gran Torino" (a GREAT movie to check out, but sit through the closing credits because this song will mean much more).

The song is sung by Jamie Cullum, although the first part is Clint singing (which makes more sense in the movie).

Click and play this YouTube video of the song, then read along the lyrics below. Beautiful.

[Side Note: My Clint Eastwood connection...Clint once brought his son Kyle, now a very established jazz bassist, in to the Baked Potato Jazz Club in No Hollywood to hear my band. Later, when Clint's L.A. home was converted into an office, my manager had her office in it.]



THEME FROM GRAN TORINO

[*Sung By Clint Eastwood*]
So tenderly your story is
nothing more than what you see
or what you've done or will become
standing strong do you belong
in your skin; just wondering

gentle now the tender breeze blows
whispers through my Gran Torino
whistling another tired song

engine hums and bitter dreams grow
heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long

[*sung by Jamie Cullum*]
Realign all the stars above my head
Warning signs travel far
I drink instead on my own Oh! how I've known
the battle scars and worn out beds

gentle now a tender breeze blows
whispers through a Gran Torino
whistling another tired song

engines hum and bitter dreams grow
heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long

these streets are old they shine
with the things I've known
and breaks through the trees
their sparkling

your world is nothing more than all the tiny things you've left behind

So tenderly your story is
nothing more than what you see
or what you've done or will become
standing strong do you belong
in your skin; just wondering

gentle now a tender breeze blows
whispers through the Gran Torino
whistling another tired song
engines hum and bitter dreams grow
a heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long

may I be so bold and stay
I need someone to hold
that shudders my skin
their sparkling

your world is nothing more than all the tiny things you've left behind

so realign all the stars above my head
warning signs travel far
i drink instead on my own oh how ive known
the battle scars and worn out beds

gentle now a tender breeze blows
whispers through the Gran Torino
whistling another tired song
engines hum and better dreams grow
heart locked in a Gran Torino
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long
it beats a lonely rhythm all night long