New York City bassist Brad Miller invited me down to do an impromptu gig on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in an unlikely space called Richie’s Burger Joint. Richie’s shares a space with the neighborhood butcher shop Schatzie’s Prime Meats. If you are into burgers and beer, this is the spot. Serving the neighborhood since 1911. Brad formed a relationship with the owners and created a gig there where he performs every other week with guitarist Oz Noy along with featured guests. I never played with Oz but have seen him perform at The Bitter End in 2008 with the great drummer Rocky Bryant. No discredit to Richie’s, the acoustics in this joint were horrendous as I hated the way I had my snare tuned that night. I also didn’t like the ride and hats. Normally live, I use a Zildjian K Custom 22 inch ride and K Mastersound 14 inch hats. Those floor tiles had that metal bouncing back in my face sounding a bit too harsh for that room. I should have used my K Custom High Definition 22 inch ride which has a much softer attack and projection. 13 inch Quick Beats or 13 inch A Custom Mastersound hats would’ve created a much tighter crispness. Oh well! The gig turned out fun, but went by in such a flash. I just met Oz officially that night along with saxophonist Patrick Bartley Jr. As you’ll see a couple tunes into this video, Patrick has some cowbell chops too! Usually, I can’t stand when someone grabs a cowbell and annoyingly gets in the way, but Patrick was in the pocket and kept it moving to the k.i.m. Then of course, Oz and Brad were having some great abstract harmonic conversations. Brad is finding his identity on the instrument as Oz is just bringin’it! GREAT PLAYING from everyone on this laid back night. I like how NYC musicians keep the gear simple and work with basic inexpensive garage band gear too. Little amps and a few pedals, badda bing!
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