Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Take a moment and look around...It's a nice view.

When was the last time you stopped in the middle of what you were doing and looked around? I bet it's been a while. Maybe it's been a week, or a year or maybe you haven't done so since you've been a child. But I want you to look around you, and notice the little things. I know it's not a big thing to do, nor will it take much effort. But what it will do is plant a seed of realization. Some people stay away from what their reality is for many reasons, maybe it's a money issue, or a family one, maybe they just feel lonely or out a place, and their best answer is to simply dive into work, dive into an addiction, or simply dive, but when you take a moment and realize what is usually right in front of you, or right at your door, you realize life is marvelous.

Take a moment to breath, to live, to smile. Don't do it simply because someone tells you that you should, do it because it's the things that surround you, the feelings that you feel, that make you alive. It makes you human.

You eat and sleep because you are human, you love and feel because you exist. If you spend your whole life never really experiencing the little things..then what are you truly doing?

See in my eyes, noticing the little things makes doing the big things worthwhile. I once was asked a question by a lady on the streets of NYC, why I was smiling and whistling. My answer was "because I'm living". She looked at me as if she was in shock, she took a moment and looked around, looked back at me and then began to smile as she walked away. So do me a favor and take a moment to look around, notice how lucky we all are, and remember..It's a nice view out there.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Latin Jazz Thursdays starts this week!

I'm thrilled that I got the Curtis Brothers to lead Latin Jazz Thursdays at B. Smith's With Ciroc as the sponsor I got a great feeling about this series. We are running it to March 10th and possibly further. Just depends on you...the fans in coming out! 
So what else you got going on Thursday nights? The music starts at 9p.m and there is no cover. I'll be there, not to mention CIROC Models  
Have you seen these commercials. I was laughing so hard...
If you wanna RSVP to the event click here to be directed to facebook.
Hope to see ya soon!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A quote about reaching your goals

It is a fact of life that most of us try and fail many times before we ultimately achieve the level of success that we desire. You can expect to travel the extra mile many times only to find fool’s gold at the end of your rainbow. But you will most certainly miss out on the great riches that await you if you quit trying. A superficial commitment to doing more than expected based only on what you expect to receive will not sustain you in the long term. Great achievement results from a commitment to do the right thing regardless of the consequences, and that commitment will ultimately lead you to the pot of gold at the end of your rainbow.

For more inspirational quotes and more info on Napoleon Hill go to http://www.naphill.org

Monday, January 10, 2011

‘Inner Peace,’ Albert Rivera helps define Atlanta’s Turnaround Records

Jazz CD review: With ‘Inner Peace,’ Albert Rivera helps define Atlanta’s Turnaround Records
by Jon Ross | Jan 10, 2011

Turnaround Records had a full-blown coming out party in 2010. The two-year-old Atlanta label had been relatively quiet since its founding, only releasing the debut disc from its sole artist, New York tenor saxophonist Albert Rivera, in 2008. Last year, “Evidence of Things to Come” by local saxophonist Brian Hogans — here’s my review — rolled out; another local player, trumpeter Melvin Jones, went into the studio for a recording due out this spring. In addition to signing new talent, the label also returned its original signee in the act, releasing Rivera’s sophomore effort, “Inner Peace.”

The saxophonist’s gruff, unaccompanied tenor is the first sound on “Inner Peace.” There’s reverb — it sounds like he might be playing in a tunnel — but the short, rhythmic statement introducing “It Always Comes Back to This” is otherwise completely raw. Rivera repeats a four-note pattern twice in a commanding, low tone before the band joins in and he launches into a melodic line full of tender sentiment. The album’s foundation is a contrast between this bedroom sound and the aggression heard mostly during Rivera’s solos. In the span of a minute, the saxophonist has imprinted his two personalities on the up-tempo song, which evolves into a smooth funk tune, propelled by prodding organ pecks, frenetic brushwork and the clean guitar tone of Mark Whitfield.

On soprano, which Rivera reserves for two languid ballads (“Inner Peace” and “While You Were Gone”), he asserts his more confrontational personality on the smaller, more sensitive-sounding instrument. Rivera’s soprano sound is equally as compelling as his tenor technique; he wrestles a deep, rich tone from the bright, tiny saxophone.

Bassist Luques Curtis and pianist Zaccai Curtis, holdovers from Rivera’s last effort, are thoughtful accompanists who help bring Rivera’s ideas to fully-formed compositions. The exceptional Nick Roseboro is also heard on trumpet, his improvisations matching (and nearly exceeding) Rivera’s abilities. For the rest of his sidemen, the saxophonist uses a revolving door — Jean Caze on trumpet; Nathan Jolley and John Iannuzzi on drums; Beck Burger on Hammond B3; and Whitfield on guitar. This lineup is broken up into different combinations for each tune (everyone playing together would be a bit muddy for Rivera’s songs), and this gives Rivera the benefit of introducing new ideas into the group and receiving fresh responses in return. Each ensemble change is flawless; the many different units presented on the album work interchangeably.

“Inner Peace” typifies Turnaround Records’ musical outlook. Storied jazz companies like ECM Records and Blue Note became famous for spotlighting certain types of musicians and helping mold a signature recorded atmosphere through studio techniques. When listeners picked up a Chick Corea album on ECM, they were buying the label’s idea of jazz as well as the musician’s artistic concept. While Turnaround Records lacks the output to establish a definition of its place in the jazz sphere, “Inner Peace” echoes many of the same ideas heard from Hogans on his debut. The albums eschew traditional standards and opts for original material that incorporates a range of pop, funk and jazz influences. Through studio work, the artists have a crisp, clean sound with a presence so big it jumps out through the speakers.

Of course, two artists don’t make a label, and it’s a bit early to start writing the history of Turnaround Records. But Rivera and Hogans have gone a long way toward helping the label achieve an all-encompassing concept.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

My Time at the Jazz Conference in New Orleans

I can't think of a better time then getting together in a beautiful city with thousands of people all for the love of jazz. With shows, clinics, panels, discussions and of course seeing friends and colleagues you may have not seen in a while.

I arrived early Thursday morning to New Orleans, LA even with my flight having a slight delay. The flight was packed with great musicians, from legendary pianist Junior Mance to amazing drummer Matt Wilson and a bunch of Jazz Education Conferences attendees.
I was fortunate to have Litchfield Performing Arts and RS Berkeley(my saxophone endorsement) bring me down, so I did my best to split my time spent with them both. Not to mention trying to have time to meet a whole lot of new people, But it worked out perfectly!
(L:R) Albert Rivera, Vita Muir(LPA), Todd Feldman, Don Braden 

Friday came quickly and a bunch of the RS Berkeley endorsers got together to do an impromptu performance of "When The Saints Go Marching In" Fun times for all!
I always love these conferences, cause it builds up memories that last a long time.

Saturday went quick with my flight in the late afternoon, but I was able to have a great lunch and conversation with my good friend Frank Alkyer (Publisher of Downbeat Magazine) and a number of other people including saxophonists Claire Daly and Andrew Hadro as well as PR supervisor of Alfred Music Publishing Marina Terteryan and marketer/vocalist Carri Bugbee about the future of self marketing, career building and social media. Pretty intense, but I feel like I got a lot of it.

My flight back from JetBlue was quick and easy with fellow saxophonist Victor Goines(J@LC) among others and even happen to be sitting next to some jazz fans!
I head back to NY with a refreshed mind, and some great ideas. 2011 is just in it's beginning stages and words can't express how excited I am!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Lesson about adversity from N.Hill

There’s an old adage that those who refuse to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. So it is with our failures. Unless we learn from our mistakes, we are likely to repeat them until we learn from such experiences and correct our course — or give up and accept temporary defeat as permanent failure. Every setback you encounter in life contains valuable information that, if you study it carefully, will eventually lead you to success. Without adversity, you would never develop wisdom, and without wisdom, success would be short lived indeed. When you make a mistake, say, “That’s good! I?ve gotten that out of the way. I will never do that again.” You will no doubt make other mistakes, but they won’t bother you nearly as much when you treat them as learning experiences.


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Heading to New Orleans this week!

Well with the new year upon us, I can look back and say how amazing 2010 was. It was the year where I paid my entire student debt off (and all other debt as well) my 2nd album was released, I was endorsed by RS Berkeley and have a beautiful saxophone in my arsenal and not to mention I've never had this many gigs in a course of 1 year ever. For that I am truly grateful!
A lot to be thankful for, but I do admit, I'm even more excited by 2011.
Having in my mind all the lessons I have learned from last year, I can only hope and know that this year will be an even stronger one for myself and my career. And I'm happy to be starting it off right!
The first couple of days found me performing, and on Thursday I'll be in New Orleans, LA for the Jazz Education Network conference.
You can find me in Booth #608 with the good folks at RS Berkeley as well as running around with my great friends and family at Litchfield Performing Arts that I am proud to be the Director of Operations. (a.k.a Assistant Musical Director) promoting the Jazz Camp and a new program that started last year called "Teach The teacher"
So for all the folks that will be there, feel free to say hello, and let's catch up!

Let us all think big for this new year and make things happen.
As in the great words of Napoleon Hill
"There are no limitations to the mind except those we acknowledge."