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I was going through some old recordings and found this gem. Hal Stein was a jazz giant with a wonderful sense of humor and ferocious approach to the tenor saxophone. He passed away a few years ago after living a beautiful jazz life. What an honor it was for me to get to work with him regularly.

The Hal Stein Quartet, Live at Pearl’s, 6-3-2000.

Hal Stein, tenor saxophone; John Wiitala, bass; Danny Spencer, drums; BK, guitar.

For old times sake, here are some recording of the Brian Kane Trio. These were recorded before 2006, in my days in Berkeley. This trio used to play every week at place called the Townhouse in Emeryville, CA. This was a great place to hear jazz, with good acoustics, a nice bar–but a terrible piano! East Bay musicians would often come by and sit in. These recordings were done just before I moved East, at a studio run by my friend, Bruce Koball.

Brian Kane, guitar
Bryan Bowman, drums
Lorenzo Farrell, bass

Alfie – a highly underrated ballad, in my humble opinion!

Our Delight – recorded live, with Bob Kenmotsu sitting in on tenor saxophone.

Felicidade – one of my favorite Brazilian standards.

Black and Tan Fantasy – an unusual Ellington masterpiece

I Should Care – the trio swings this ol’ chestnut.

 

A fabulous swing band. Here are a few tracks that feature the guitarist!

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? – a real tear-jerker.

I’m Still in Love with You – man, get down with your bad self.

The Man From the South – quite possibly the dumbest song ever!

A sophisticated trio with an unusual instrumentation: piano, guitar and bass. This trio worked for many years at Houston’s in San Francisco’s Embarcado, often multiple times a week. It allowed for the group to develop huge repertoire of songs, some quite obscure, each with a unique arrangement. Jason and I were insipired by many of the trios with similar instrumentation from the 40s and 50s, such as Nat King Cole, George Shearing, Oscar Peterson, Ahmad Jamal, et al. Visit out Jason’s website at www.keyplayermusic.com.

The first couple of tracks are fromĀ Cookin’ at Houstons, recorded live in San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

Honeysuckle Rose – a nice arrangement. Check out the last chorus…

I’m Just a Lucky So-and-so – a perennial Ellington classic.


And here are a few more tracks from the album Sentimental Journey, recorded just before I moved to the East Coast.

Sentimental Jouney — the title track.

Nuages – Django Reinhardt’s mysterious and lovely ballad.

Johnny Come Lately — Billy Strayhorn’s up tempo minor tune.

Victoria Williams is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever heard, with an absolutely unique style and voice. She also has recorded, over the years, many jazz standards. These two tracks come from Victoria Williams Sings Some Ol’ Songs, a record she and I co-produced over the course of a few years. Learn more about Victoria at www.victoriawilliams.com.

Blue Skies – we gave this old classic a dark and moody treatment.

And Roses and Roses – we found this amazing song on an Astrud Gilberto record. I played guitar and bass clarinet on this one, as well as arranging the strings and horns.

Here is a track from almost a decade ago. I’m playing alto saxophone in an Ornette Coleman cover band name And/Ornette. Yes, you heard right — an Ornette cover band!

Blues Connotation

Jonas Mueller, Trumpet
George Cremasci, Bass
Andy Borger, Drums