Monday, October 31, 2005

Performance schedule through the end of the year

Here's where I will be playing through the end of 2005, as far as I know right now:
  • Nov 5: Fireside Coffee Lodge 9:00 PM - Midnight
  • Nov 12: Fireside Coffee Lodge 9:00 PM - Midnight
  • Nov 19: Fireside Coffee Lodge 9:00 PM - Midnight
  • Nov 22: Mississippi Pizza 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM
  • Dec 17: Fireside Coffee Lodge 9:00 PM - Midnight
  • Dec 27: Mississippi Pizza 7:30 PM - 11:00 PM

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Fire destroys collection of Kansas music

My earliest musical experiences were in my childhood home state of Kansas. The local bands were big influences. Through the years, a gentleman named Bill Lee in Lawrence, Kansas has been collecting records, tapes, photos, and other memorabilia of these artists, and a few years ago he founded the Kansas Music Hall of Fame. Last week, the apartment building where Bill lived burned to the ground, and Bill's entire collection was destroyed.

Read more about this here.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Fireside Jazz Jam this Saturday

As many of you know, I frequently play in the "house" rhythm section at the Saturday night jazz jams hosted by Darren Littlejohn at the Fireside Coffee Lodge in Portland. This week, Darren has asked me to be the host.

So, I'm casting an open invitation to my friends in the Portland jazz community to come out and play. That's Saturday, Oct 22, 9 PM - Midnight (approximately) at Fireside Coffee Lodge, 1223 SE Powell Blvd, (503) 230-8987.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Six-String Justice

My old friend Zerf has a new CD out called Six-String Justice. Zerf is a walking history book of the frontier days of Kansas, and his new CD has great tunes that incorporate the colorful characters and stories of those days. Zerf's a fine singer, musician, and composer. We go way, way back to my school days in Manhattan, Kansas.

If you'd like to get your own copy of this CD, surf over to Drover's Mercantile (a pretty cool establishment, by the way).

Wednesday, October 05, 2005


The jazz world lost a powerful presence and strong voice yesterday. Portland area singer Armonica died of complications of an auto accident. I only played with her a few times, but I could see that she was a powerful and unique person. She always seemed to be in a great rush to get her thoughts out, and she demanded a very high level of attention and performance from her backing musicians. I am sorry that I did not get more chances to play music with her.

She made a terrific debut CD that you really should give a listen to. She has world-class backing musicians like bassists Ben Wolfe and Dave Captein, drummer Ron Steen. Check it out at her website.

The Mingus Method

Folks who know me know that I frequently cite Charles Mingus as an influence. Of course my own playing and composition can't touch his. But I've also been interested in some of the non-music-related aspects of his life.

One very interesting thing Mingus did was to develop the "Mingus Method" for toilet training a cat. Mind you, this is not a method for teaching the cat to use the litter box. With this method, you teach the cat to use the real, porcelain, human potty!

Here's the page on Sue Mingus' website:

So, this morning I ran across a website called "CitiKitty" that seems to have ripped off this idea entirely, and is selling a kitty toilet training kit for $29.

Judge for yourself:

So, I decided to write to Sue Mingus' website and tell her people about it. Here's what I wrote:

From what I can tell, this outfit has ripped off Charles' "Mingus Method" for toilet training a cat:

I hope Sue is getting royalties, or at least some props as to who really came up with the method.

Steve Pinkston
Molalla, OR

And -- surprise, surprise -- Sue herself wrote back:

Have sent your letter on to my son, the lawyer! I suspect that it is one more great idea down the financial tubes. But thanks for the info....... Sue Mingus

To me, this is just about like getting a personal postcard from the Queen. Probably inconsequential, but it made my day.