I've got a new band I've started with producer / drummer / friend Robin Macmillan doing exotica music. It's something we are so stoked on. We've been talking about doing it ever since I got back to New York last July and it's finally happening next week at Threes Brewing in Brooklyn. If you're not familiar with exotica, I highly recommend checking out this site: http://flashstrap.blogspot.com. It is the blog of Evan Crankshaw who is a writer / artist / dj over at wfmu. He writes extensively about exotica on his blog and there's tons of great music to check out as well as collage art. But a simple explanation would be that exotica is an American style of music that was popular in the 1950's/60's that romanticizes Polynesian, Oriental, and Latin-American music fused with jazz. It's pretty loungy and is generally orchestrated with flute, piano, vibes, and lots of percussion, bird calls, and jungle sounds. Think tiki styles. Some of the popular exotica artists back in the day were Les Baxter, Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman, and Juan Garcia Esquivel to name a few. So basically Robin and I gathered some of our favorite musicians and will be doing arrangements of really cool exotica music.
Which leads to the other thing I wanted to mention here. I've starting writing and arranging music for a new record that I'm hoping to record in late May / early June. Not much to say about it except that it will be leaning a bit more in the El Dorado (my second record) direction but mostly latin and actually done in a pro studio for once.
And if you're in Japan, I'll be on tour out there from February 7th - 19th with a piano trio. I've played Japan several times but never as a leader before, always as a sideman. I'm really excited about this. We'll be playing jazz clubs in Tokyo, Nagoya, Osaka, Kyoto, Shizuoka and some other spots I don't know of yet. And my brother will be joining us towards the end of the tour after which we will spend a few more days in Tokyo. It will be a very memorable trip. I'll post the itinerary on the tour page hopefully by early next week.