Feeling the CMJ burn yet?

Tired of indie rock pushing you around? I actually am and I haven’t left the house in years.

Well, if you’ve ever seen us (wrens) play and thought, “wow, I wish the one on the right would just put aside those cloying songs of heartbreak and loss so that I could really take in the guitar work” – ok, the odds you’ve said that without actually being me, are probably slim - then friend, I’ve got a show for you.

Anyway, I (charles, the one on the right) am playing a duo with the amazing jazz guitarist Christopher Crocco and it won’t be standard wrens or solo or even indie rock fare. More somewhere between the 'out' end of straight-ahead jazz and the outright free variety, courtesy Chris, and from me, an attempt to hide behind as big a veil of pedalboard trickery as I can manage, with the occasional swung note.

Basically I’m just gonna try not to embarrass myself.

Put another way and with an eye toward Halloween, I’m dressing up as a jazz musician; Chris will be donning the super-convincing costume of Regret.

The Particulars…

The show itself is this Friday at 9:30pm in Chris’ midtown C2 studio where besides teaching hopefuls like me, he’s been hosting an ongoing series of loft shows this past year with really amazing musicians like Francisco Mela, George Garzone, Peter Slavov, etc. that harken back to Sam Rivers' Bond Street loft space performances of the ‘70s or even W. Eugene Smith’s loft recordings before that, now documented in the Jazz Loft Project.

C2 Studios
257 West 39th St., 10th floor
Friday, Oct. 21st
Two sets: 9:30 & 11:00

Seating is sort of limited to about 35 or so, so if you’re interested in hitting up the loft in-person maybe also hit up the Facebook event and leave a reply.

More conveniently, if you can’t attend in-person, you can watch via the comfort of your divan and the miracle of a still-neutral net. The show will stream live here on C2 Studios’ U-Stream page.

About his Eminence and me

Chris Crocco has been the long-running guitarist with – and former student / protégé of – Boston/NY sax legend, George Garzone, as well as leading his own groups. This makes him the leading exponent – certainly on guitar anyway – of Garzone’s famous-among-jazz-geeks Triadic Chromatic Approach. For me, it’s pretty cool, weirdly comforting even, to be fitting in some tiny way into a musical ‘school’ of some kind, or even just a teaching history a la classical music’s “so-and-so studied with ___, who was a pupil of ___, who studied with Czerny”. (it’s always Czerny).

I’ve been studying with Chris off and on for the last couple of years which has fundamentally changed my guitar playing and even my approach to music. It’s also helped with focal dystonia - a whole ‘nother story but just watch my 3rd & 4th fingers fight it out some time. It’s a hoot.

And really, me playing jazz isn’t quite as out-of-nowhere as I make it out to be. Shocking as it may seem, especially if you’ve seen me play the guitar, I was actually a jazz major in school back when young Wyntons toured the Earth (remind me to tell you some sad-larious ‘worst player in the best school’ stories next time we share a beer).
More on that when I update the band bio (incl. Kevin’s own secret musical edu-tainment pedigree)…right after we redesign the website…right after we finish the new album…right after four horsemen or so ride roughshod over a burning Creation….

But I am humbly honored he asked me to play – truly. I’m also nervous as hell, fairly unprepared and pretty much in over my head. If I could figure a way to count this as my senior recital, 25 years late, at least I might actually finish my degree out of it.

Thanks as always and hope to see you there or waving from your computer.