August brought a delightful week in California, specifically Monterey and Carmel, where Bud did a concert for KRML Radio and the Monterey Jazz Society. It was an outstanding evening with a truly listening audience. Thanks to Alan and Gil for the invitation. Also on the agenda were the Monterey Historic Auto Races which were excellent this year. Interesting how many jazz people are also car and racing nuts.
Prior to that, the Bud Shank Jazz Workshop and Festival drew record crowds at the end of July. Bud's Sextet performed on Saturday to a SRO audience on the main stage, and Bud was presented with a plaque commending his 15 years as Artistic Director and guiding presence for the Workshop. Even more special, Bud received a letter of commendation from the Governor, declaring July 27 "Bud Shank Day" in the state of Washington ! Bud was just floored. He then went on to play with the Festival Big Band, Jiggs Whigham conducting. The piece was "The Gift", a suite for Big Band and alto saxophone written by Bill Holman on commission as a birth- day gift for Bud. It was the world premiere, and the band was roaring - how could it help it with guys like Pete Christlieb, Bill Perkins, Gary Hobbs, Randy Porter, Gary Foster, Jack Nimitz - and on and on. A very very special day for Bud Shank.
September brought a nifty three week tour back East, an extra pleasure for Bud as he seldom tours there. First stop was Jazz At Seven Springs, near Pittsburgh. This is a model jazz festival - more promoters should take a lesson from producer Marty Ashby ! Bud"s Sunday concert was packed and CDs flew out the door. From there it was on to stifling Washington DC, where Bud joined a stellar rhythm section at the Blues Alley and managed to jam the place despite it being the Tuesday after Labor Day and raining like hell. Speaking of which, a sightseeing detour into Virginia turned into quite an adventure as Hurricane Fran arrived there at the same time !! Arrived in Louisville, Kentucky, drenched but intact, and played a concert there for the Jazz Society at the glorious Seelbach Hotel, where Al Capone used to play cards in a back room.
Next stop is the Norway Jazz Cruise in October/November. NO MORE HURRICANES PLEASE . Thanks to Crescendo magazine for a nice piece on Bud last month, and to the Washington Post for their kudos.
In the planning stages: a new recording contract under negotiation, a clinic and performances in Winnipeg, an April tour with bass giant David Friesen, and at last the release of the awaited Bill Evans Tribute CD. Thanks to Producer Dick Bank who has worked tirelessly on this lovely recording.