The Road To San Francisco, and Other Tales

I started up again with my 5 mile walk/run workouts around Miramar Lake, and managed to do a yoga routine too.

Having done yoga routines before on a daily basis, I’m realizing that I need some cardio training for cardiovascular health and to benefit my drumming.

Realistically, I’m thinking that if I get in these 5 mile workouts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I can do Yoga on Tuesday and Thursday. That would give me a good balance, a recovery day from the cardio, and on those recovery days I’ll do Yoga to stretch the muscles and get healthier on a deeper, spiritual level.

I’m thinking that I won’t do any workouts on the weekends, since that is time for family and I’m usually busy gigging on the weekends anyway.

. . . .

The Week’s Schedule of Gigs

Though four gigs in a week might not seem like a lot, they involved four separate musical projects, four separate venues, four distinct areas, four separate musical genres, and three separate cities.

. . . .

Wednesday, November 3 – The Modern Ancients at Kitima

I have a regular Wednesday night gig with The Modern Ancients at Kitima Thai Cuisine. Here, we delve into somewhat experimental territory, performing a lot of Jazz Standards but improvising heavily on the structures, and changing styles quickly. There is a lot of potential to create music out of thin air, and improvisation and “chop-building” is the emphasis. So, I consider this my most fun and rewarding gig. And, challenging as well. In addition to myself and drums and various percussion, we have Nathan Mills on trumpet/percussion and James Forston on keyboards.

. . . .

Thursday, November 4 – Flamenco Nova at Le Papagayo

Flamenco Nova is a quartet of musicians who play a combination of Flamenco Music, Latin-Jazz, Bossa Nova with an “edge”. The overall sound nowadays is, however, acoustically driven. Another fun and relaxed gig, the music too is improvisational and with a lot of room to put our creative personalities into the mix. The place is usually packed here with a built-in crowd the enjoys the fine cuisine, the mojitos and sangrias. We are usually here twice a month on Thursdays.

. . . .

Friday, November 5 – Donnie Finnell Trio at Duncan & Channon in San Francisco

This is probably the big highlight gig of the year for me. Donnie Finnell, Gary Wilson and I were invited to perform a 90 minute set at the downtown headquarters of an award-winning advertising company by the name of Duncan/Channon. It was the company’s 20th Anniversary Celebration dubbed D/C/20, and they partied with class and style.

As I understand it, our keyboardist (the legendary Gary Wilson of New York experimental Rock scene fame) is a longtime friend of one of the owners, and the owner is of course a fan of Gary’s.

[ Incidentally, Gary Wilson has a brand new CD out called “Electric Endicott”. If you’re a fan, you’ll wanna pick this up! ]

Duncan/Channon seemed to be a really fun company. It seemed like a company of young, educated professionals, highly creative in an office setting that had an industrial chic to it. The receptionist desk was made from a jumbo jet engine turbine, of polished chrome. This was used for Gary’s keyboard setup.

They had a nice Yamaha jazz drumset ready for me that sounded excellent, and having asked for my specifications on how that kit should be, as far as drums, cymbals and hardware were concerned, ahead of time, so that the only thing I brought with me were drumsticks!

The company flew us up to San Francisco on Virgin America, got us hotel rooms, and we even had a driver waiting for us at the airport with a sign. And we felt like rockstars as we rode from and to the San Francisco International Airportin a limo!

With this trio, we play popular standards from the “Great American Songbook”, Bossa Nova, a lot of Johnny Mathis songs, and other pop classics.

There were other musical acts performing at this 20th Anniversary Party and also furry rabbits, a marching band, jugglers, dogs performing tricks, a bunny boudoir, a belly dancer, other costumed characters and tons of party people (the place was jam-packed). On street level there was even a “snail car” that breathed fire… it was quite a wild party!

After our performance, however, I started to feel sick, and retired early to my hotel room. On the flight back on Saturday I wasn’t feeling too well. Yet, I still had to perform one more gig for the week!

. . . .

Saturday, November 6 – Corporate Gig at Celestial Ballroom, U.S. Grant Hotel San Diego

Though I was on the verge of getting sick with what I felt were flu symptoms (muscle aches and pains, general fatigue, and a headache), I still was able to perform with some very talented and creative individuals: keyboardist David Owen, vocalist Valerie Pierce and Jon Harford of Smokestaxx.

Despite my feeling sick, I played reasonably well and had a lot of fun performing with this combination of musicians, even though we never performed together as a group (I have performed with each of them in separate groups), I thought the group was sounding pretty tight.

This was a Corporate Event and it went very well. I hope to do more with this group configuration soon. We blended well together with our musical talents and creativity and positive spirit.

. . . .

In Summary

All in all, the whole week of musical performances for me was a good one. From experimental Jazz, to Flamenco, to Swing and Standards, to Top40, Blues and R&B… it was a very good week. And, I hope to get another week like this one soon….

Next week will be a gig in Palm Springs!



Carlos Rull

Carlos Rull is a musician living in the San Diego area. His interests include Yoga, Eastern Philosophy, Zen Buddhism, and Gardening. He plays drums, piano, and composes New Age & Ambient music, and his albums are available on iTunes and

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