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Here I am in Fountain Hills, Arizona, curled up on the couch and settling in for the night after a long day of traveling.  Last night at the Red Parka was, in my opinion, the most fun and creative jam session I’ve had yet with Carl and Shawn.  We riffed on a C minor progression we’ve been tossing around for a while, plus on the fly I came up with the skeleton of a new groove that to my ear sounds really promising.  We also did a killer version of Take Five in celebration of Dave Brubeck’s 90th birthday.  Shawn and I were inspired by a recent recording we heard of the classic tune that featured a beautiful and striking shift to Eb major for the solos and we tried (and succeeded, I think) to capture that unique color.  In a word – awesome!   I can’t wait for the three of us to get together and lay down some grooves.

So, after getting just 2 1/2 hours of sleep, Shawn brought me to the airport in Portland this morning, and after a connection in Charlotte, I’ve finally arrived here in the desert.   There was a slight haze to the sky, due in part to a couple of forest fires that we were actually able to see from the plane.  My favorite part of the flight was flying over New Mexico and seeing these vast expanses of ravaged-looking desert, where there was nothing to be found but huge crevices in the earth and a few dirt roads scattered among the hills.  When I got to the airport in Phoenix, the temperatures were still in the mid 70s.  When I called JD to tell him I’d made it safely, he told me that it was 19 degrees up in Jefferson, NH.  Yikes!  He’s right though – I’m going to freeze my @ss off when I get back on the 16th!

But let’s not think of that now.   Right now, I’m looking forward to a sound night’s sleep and having breakfast in the morning with Evan, my friend/host’s nearly-4 year old son.  He’s already played a little guitar for me and even treated me to his renditions of some Christmas carols during the drive from the airport.  He’s an early riser, though, so I better hit the hay so that I stand a chance of getting a good solid block of shut-eye.

I’ll be posting lots of pictures of the trip to my Facebook page so stay tuned!