This has been a peculiar year for the Shanks. What with the war in Iraq, the economy in the tank, and gangster rap taking the place of real music, the jazz business has suffered along with everything else.
After ten years of virtually nonstop touring in the US, Asia, and Europe, Bud did not work at all the first three months of 2003. This was a blessing in disguise, as the Shanks moved to a new home in Tucson for the second time in six months, having come to the conclusion that their first home choice had been a totally wrong one.
The second time around they struck gold, however, and are happily settled in and plotting things like patios and landscaping and carports and swimming pool heaters.
Starting in May the temperature begins to hit 100 plus degrees every day, and that means a whole new lifestyle which includes getting up at 5 a.m. and having all the chores done by 10 a.m. The grocery store is jammed at 6 a.m. and empty at noon. The rattlesnakes are on the prowl, and flocks of exotic birds crowd the birdbath.
In April Bud drove over to Scottsdale to play the Paradise Valley Jazz Party which was a fun hang with a lot of old friends.
In May Bud took his little 356B Porsche on a wild rally in which a bunch of old farts drove ninety miles an hour up a very twisty mountain road and back down again. We are happy to report there were no fatalities.
At the end of that month, the Shanks went to a reception and retrospective show in honor of Bill Claxton and wife Peggy that was held in the Phoenix Art Museum. Clax's work remained as exciting and vibrant as ever.
In June Bud was off for a week to do The Jazz Showcase in Chicago followed by concerts in Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Phoenix. July will be even busier with two concerts in LA with pal Bill Mays, and a quartet concert in Portland, and then the 25th year of the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop and Jazz PT Festival in Washington.