All posts by Tarik

Lessons Learned

On Friday I joined Jessica Lurie and Arne Livingston in opening for and sitting in with Victor Wooten, Dennis Chambers, and Bob Franceschini, musicians I’ve been listening to and admiring for half of my life. Here’s what happened and what I learned:

They walked in and sat down to watch just as we started going over tunes at soundcheck. I was nervous to the point of almost shaking but thankfully my body took over and made the music happen. Living Daylights’ repertoire is full of twists and turns and, this being my first time playing their music, I’m glad I studied and had a strong foundation of practice to fall back on. Preparation and time on your instrument always pays off. I give full credit to mega-bassist Damian Erskine for being a shining example of how a pro gets ready for the stage. He plays through the music on his own, marks up charts so they’re extra readable, and makes his own charts when necessary. Whenever I’m prepping for a gig, I always ask myself “What would Damian do?”

After soundcheck I escaped to the green room to pull myself together. When I came out 10 minutes later Dennis was walking back and met me in the hallway. He smiled big, threw his hands in the air, and said he was looking for me to ask about sitting in. I was stunned and the nerves came rushing back, but he was so kind and funny and personable that within minutes I was fully relaxed, hanging and shooting the breeze with one of my idols. By the time we took the stage an hour later I was completely comfortable and just happy to be playing, free from fear of being judged by the incredible musicians I looked up to, and that’s the key. My nerves were an extension of an irrational fear, and getting comfortable with the source of that fear allowed me to get out of my head and enjoy myself. Our set went great.  Continue reading Lessons Learned

Abouzied Erskine Doria Balmer

On a chilly February Seattle weekend I gathered a handful of my favorite musicians for two of days of recording, the first of which featured Damian Erskine on bass, Dan Balmer on guitar, and my long-time McTuff pal Joe Doria on Hammond organ and Rhodes. Everyone brought in a tune, we rehearsed in the morning, and recorded after a break for some barbecue. 

Big thanks to Jason Gray and Nick Molenda for the engineering and camera work, and to Skerik for the space! Watch above, listen and purchase tracks below, and catch the band at Tula’s on Friday, May 18th!

Happy Orchestra’s Debut Album “Baba”

Take a listen, share, and download the album on BandcampiTunesAmazon, or Spotify! It’s been a long road. Thank you for the love and support.

– #5 on KEXP Northwest Music Chart
– Nominated NW Recording of the Year, 2018 Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Awards
– Rated 4 Stars at All About Jazz

“Happy Orchestra in a way encapsulates the jocular personality of its creator and leader, blending overwhelming positivity with virtuosity, utilizing the talents of some of the top jazz and funk soloists on the west coast. While the music may express the intricacies of modern jazz expressionism, it never loses sight of its soulful, horn powered grooves, supported by the rhythmic virtuosity and leadership of Abouzied on drums.”

 

 

Drums with McTuff

Got some new toys and brought them to Seamonster for a show with McTuff (Joe Doria – organ, Andy Coe – guitar). I have no idea what we’re playing in this clip. Got a Ludwig Black Beauty snare that plays beautifully with my DW maple drums, and a pile of new cymbals from the great folks at Sabian. On the stands are:

14″ HHX Evolution HH
19″ HHX Fierce Crash
22″ HH King Ride
16″ HHX Evolution O-Zone Crash