Contact Info
"Grenade Live @ Channel 8"

In March of 2003, Grenade visited PBS Channel 8 and did a live video shoot for their Best Of Houston weekly show, "the connection". Two tunes were used on the 04/25/03 show, and we recorded two more just because the tape was rollin'. KUHT owns the rights to these recordings, so if you make any money off of these, you have to give it to them. Maybe someday I'll get the videos of these posted, but that would involve abilities I do not currently possess. Then again, here I am slingin' HTML like a champ, so nothing's out of the realm....

Track One--Rhino Wino (5.6 MB/4:20)
Personnel: Me-tenor sax; John Calderon-guitar; Felix Luna-bass; Vernon Daniels-drums; Gilbert Sedeño-keys

The Story: You can get the story of the song over at "The Garage Tapes." This version didn't make it to the show, but we changed a few things, and I think it was for the better. John takes a nasty solo, and instead of repeating the form, we just opened it up on the vamp at the end. It helps to give him a little more room to get loose, and it keeps things from getting too sing-songy. Also, we only had one solo, because we wanted to keep the length down in case they wanted to use it on the show. Anyway, it feels tighter than the Garage Tapes version, and having Gilbert there can only send the stock upward...

Track Two--Stage Fright (8.3 MB/6:26)
Personnel: Me-tenor sax; John Calderon-guitar; Felix Luna-bass; Vernon Daniels-drums; Gilbert Sedeño-keys

The Story: As a pseudo-grad of The University of Houston (I walked across the stage in a cap & gown, but the diploma has mysteriously never arrived...) I look back on my time there with a sense of real accomplishment, while also noting that much of it was a giant sinkhole, devoid of any real purpose. Fortunately, this song was from the former category.

Music students are required to attend Tuesday afternoon recitals, where other music students get fed to the wolves. The movie "Gladiator" suddenly comes to mind. Anyways, I signed on for a couple of recitals during my tenure there, and since I knew that trying to play classical music in front of that crew would be the musical equivalent of doing the Full Monty, I decided to make it an all-original jazz recital. Most of 'em couldn't improvise, and since it was music I wrote, they'd have nothing to compare it to. My strategy worked swimmingly, and this was one of the fruits of those efforts. I thought the title and the dark mood of the tune sorta summed up the whole brutal experience. John takes another inspiring solo, Vernon does some terrific mallet work, and Gilbert comps like a friggin' maniac.

Track Three--All U Can Eat Ribs (7.4 MB/5:31)
Personnel: Me-Yamaha WX7 MIDI Wind Synth; John Calderon-guitar; Felix Luna-bass; Vernon Daniels-drums; Sedeño-keys

The Story: I originally wrote this at a much slower tempo. It was supposed to be a slow little groove, like sittin' on the front porch, sippin' some lemonade, and diggin' on some tasty barbecue. One of the guys (it was either Felix or Vernon) suggested doing the tune using James Brown's "Cold Sweat" groove. That struck me initially as a little odd, but it really worked great, kickin' the whole thing into hyperdrive. Of course, the title now doesn't have much to do with the song.....unless you think of it as the soundtrack for a rib eating contest!

I get to break out my Yamaha WX7 Wind Synth on this, which is great fun. When I listen to this track, I'm reminded that Tom Scott was king of the lyricon, an analog version of the WX7 (that Yamaha copied with impunity). I hear Tom Scott's fingerprints all over my solo, but I managed to get a few original ideas in there. Felix altered the bass part slightly to adjust for the new tempo, and it bounces very nicely. Gilbert takes a solo over the form, and demonstrates why he's one of the bad boys in this neighborhood (and why he keeps getting called out on the road!)

Track Four--Do It Again (5.9 MB/4:20)
Personnel: Me-tenor sax; John Calderon-guitar; Felix Luna-bass; Vernon Daniels-drums; Gilbert Sedeño-keys

The Story: We had shot a video at Channel 8 a couple of years ago, and I'd wanted to record this Steely Dan tune, but we ran out of time. This time, I was not to be denied! I think this shows what Grenade does best---take a nice little tune, and mangle it into something completely unrecognizable. Check out Felix with his syncopated-beyond-all-reason bass part, along with his tasty double stops during my solo. 16th notes at this tempo represent my current "bleeding edge"---any faster, and the wheels start coming off. I'll use this as my tempo dipstick, and see if I can gain some velocity in the coming months.

The night before the video session, I got inspired and wrote a new tune called "Channel 8 Spank." Unfortunately, we didn't have time to play it...maybe they'll invite us back to record it.....
This page posted 05/06/2003

Hosted by Spiderweb Computers