Sunday, July 14, 2013

July 14, 2013 - Blue44 at The Turquoise Cafe

Blue44 is back in trio format Sunday evening at The Turquoise Cafe in Pacific Beach.   Nice warm days, mean nicer warm come and hang out with us from 7:30 to around 10:00PM.

Adam Wolff - Piano
Larry Vee - Bass
Ptrack Armenta - Drums

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Next Performance: Turquoise Cafe - 2nd Sunday, Every Month

Join Blue44 and guests at the The Turquoise Cafe the Second Sunday of Every Month at 7PM.

The Turquoise is located at:

873 Turquoise Street
San Diego, CA 92109

Pacific Beach, CA

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday 11/11 at Turquoise Cafe in PB

Blue44 is heading to PB this Sunday evening to lay down some grooves at Turquoise Cafe in Pacific Beach - 7PM until who knows?  

Adam Wolff - Piano
Larry V - Bass
Ptrack Armenta - Percussion

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Getting Out There to See the Greats

Ron Carter at the Blue Note
Heya Everyone - Adam and I have been getting out there and listing to a lot music lately.  In April, Marisa and I dropped in on Ron Carter at the Blue Note in New York and caught the late set.  It was an unplanned, improvised event and surprised us both with it's edgy grooves and complex harmonies.

Chick Corea at Catalina Bar & Grill

Stanley Clarke

Stanley Clarke & Jack DeJohnette

Then last week, Adam and I caught Jack Dejohnette's 70th birthday celebration at the Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood, where he was playing with Chick Corea and Stanley Clarke.  While you might expect some bass bias from me, Adam's comments after this performance went something like "hands down, Clarke stole show...his passion and intensity led this performance for most of the night".  I agreed.  After I got over the fact that Mr. Clarke did not bring his Alembic (or any other) electric bass to this gig, I was duly rewarded watching and listening to him thrash, strum and beat his acoustic bass as though it were a smaller, nimbler instrument.  At the 11th hour, Hubert Laws shows up and sits in for restrained rendition of Mile's All Blues, looking a tad frail, but blowin' the shyte out of his piccolo flute.

John Patatucci at Anthology
Patatucci shreading at Anthology
After Hours Follies
with Rick Lyon
Finally, Adam, Manny, Michelle and I attended John Patatucci's trio performance at Anthology on May 25th.  With front row seats, we could feel the beads of sweat bouncing off the cymbals and watched Patatucci's animated facial and body expressions with delight.   At 53, Mr. Patatatucci approached both his electric 6 string and his acoustic bass with  youthful energy.  He laid down amazing grooves, some of which were so great that Adam had to write them down on the back of the napkin.  "We need to try this one", he said.   After shutting the place down, and chatting with the musicians, we ended up in an alternate universe at the Imperial House, a faux piano bar to listen to Rick Lyon sing and play 70's soundtracks off his 5.25" floppy drive equipped piano.     The transition from Anthology to Imperial House was a mind bending experience in polarity - kind of like going directly from the Louvre to Madam Toussaud's Wax Museum (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Monday, February 27, 2012

Blue44 Performing at UCSD Sunday, March 4th

Join Blue44 in celebrating the 101st Anniversary of Woman's Day in a spectacular setting at UCSD's Great Hall. Blue44 will be joined by guest artists Dave Millard, Patrick Armenta and others.

March 4th, 2PM to 4PM
Plenty of Parking

More at

Throughout the world, a tiny loan is enough to interrupt the cycle of poverty. Women’s Empowerment International, a San Diego-based  nonprofit that provides microfinance loans to women in poverty, works in Mexico, Honduras, Ghana and San Diego, providing small repayable business loans and business training to women living in poverty. Globally, this proven economic model helps women develop their potential, strengthen their families and create a brighter future


Directions to the Great Hall, UCSD:
From the north:
Take I-5 South. Exit Genesee and go right (west) upon exiting. Turn left onto Torrey Pines Road (third light) Make a left onto Pangea Drive (fourth light) The Pangea Parking Structure will be on your left. Parking is free.
From the south: Take I-5 North. Exit La Jolla Village Drive and go left (west).  Follow La Jolla Village Drive (which becomes North Torrey Pines Road at the top of the hill) to Pangea Drive (4th light past N. Torrey Pines).  Turn right onto Pangea Drive.  The Pangea Parking Structure will be on your left. Parking is free.
Finding the Great Hall
From the Pangea Parking Structure, the Great Hall can be seen just east of the parking structure across North Scholars Drive. It is the large building with a wooden, sail shaped roof. Guides and signs will help you find your way.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

NAMM 2012

V and George Furlanetto of F Bass
Just got from the NAMM show in Anaheim - what a whirlwind experience.   The best part was connecting with my old childhood friend Mike VanStiphout.  It was great getting to know him a little and catching up on old times.  He introduced me to George Furlanetto of F Bass, and if that was cool enough, I got to meet Alain Caron, who happened to come by the booth at the right time.  I tried out a AC5 bass right in front of George and Alain... a tad intimidating.
Lot's of cool stuff from F Bass on display.   I also got to check out nice pieces from Fodera, Marleaux, Lakland, Ritter and others.  I was able to meet Gerald Marleaux and Jens Ritter and talk to them about their work.  
Alain Caron and V
Celebrity sightings on Saturday included Tommy Lee, George Benson, Stevie Wonder, Donovan, Greyson Chance, Greg Grunberg, Scott Grimes, Bob Guiney, Chuck Lowery, Tinsel Korey, David Crosby, Shaun Barrowes, Maya, Joel and Benj Madden, and Jackson Brown.

Mike VanStiphout, Alain Caron and V

F Bass AC5 Alain Caron

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Herbie Hancock at the Balboa Theater

I went to listen to Herbie Hancock last night at the Balboa Theater and was knocked the fu$# out.   He is 71 now and still loves living on the cutting edge of rhythm, in a place that just can't be categorized.  He was clearly having fun with his eclectic  band -   West African guitar and vocal sensation Lionel Loueke, former Frank Zappa drum wizard Vinnie Colaiuta and “Saturday Night Live” band bassist James Genus.  The second tune was an extended rendition of Watermelon Man, where Hancock and Genus got into a call-and-response throw-down that brought the house down.  They did a nice mix of old favorites, but they all felt fresh, modern and relevant. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sept 7 Performance in the V Lounge - At Viejas

Blue44 is performing September 7th in the V Lounge at the Viejas Casino. This performance is part of KIFM 98.1's After-Work-Jazz-Party series with Lenny B.  The show starts at 7:00PM.

We will be joined by guest artist Derek Cannon on trumpet and Ptrack Armenta on drums

Monday, July 18, 2011


Imagine improvising new grooves in the Himalayan foothills.  Imagine turning the Nepalese community on to our flavor of groove based funk, latin and jazz.  While we could not pull it together for 2011, we're hoping to play at the Kathmandu Jazz Festival next October (2012).    
I first made this journey in 1984 and then again in 2009 and the experience was nothing short of spiritual.  The people were delightful, the culture was incredible, the views and trails stunning and the flight into Kathmandu was nothing short of breathtaking, with views of the entire, snow lined Himalayan range visible from the left side of the plan (I connected in New Delhi). So, with a little luck, persistence and planning, we might see you in Kathmandu in 2012.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Istanbul Jazz Festival - Happening Right Now


... Just got back from Istanbul last night and thought I'd post the jazz happenings from the Euro-Asian bridge.  What a city!  It's an incredible, eclectic, dynamic, colorful, friendly, chaotic, culturally rich mega mix.  

The 18th Istanbul Jazz Festival, organized by the Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts,  will take place between July 1-19.  Performances include....



7 July Thursday, 21:00, Harbiye Cemil Topuzlu Open Air Theatre
Paying homage to American musical genius Miles Davis, this concert brings together legends who have collaborated with Davis before. A unique quintet comprised of Herbie Hancock on piano, Wayne Shorter on saxophone, Marcus Miller on bass and bass clarinet, Sean Jones on trumpet and Sean Rickman on drums will perform Miles Davis’ masterpieces regarded as jazz reference works.
Herbie Hancock piano, keyboards
Wayne Shorter saxophone
Marcus Miller  bass, bass clarinet
Sean Jones trumpet
Sean Rickman drums

Performance in the V Lounge - At Viejas

Blue44 is performing on Wednesday, July 27th in the V Lounge at the Viejas Casino.  This performance is part of KIFM 98.1's After-Work-Jazz-Party series with Lenny B.  The show starts at 7:00PM.

Moving On...

Improv cognoscenti -  Blue44 is no longer playing at Candelas in Coronado.  It was a great three year run, but it's time to move on to other venues.  Stay tuned.... we'll let you know where we land.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

June 10th Performance Udpate

Fernando Gomez
Improv enthusiasts will be happy to know that Blue44 is performing with Fernando Gomez this Friday, June 10th at Candela's in Coronado, CA.  It's sure to be a great experience, as Fernando is one of our more playful, risk taking drummers and we never know what will happen.  He brings a multi-layered rhythmical component to Blue44 and has become a significant contributor.  UPDATE:  We posted two tunes on the Streams page....  One is a chill, dreamy rendition of Norwegian Wood, featuring Adam's ethereal guitar patch with digital delay. The other is a very easy going jam called HSFC that reflects the good mood we were it that night.  Fernando messed with our heads several times by playing in 3/4 over our 4/4 and of course, playing in 4 for tunes in which we were thinking in 3.  What a ride!

Last week's performance with guest artist Russell Bizzett was simultaneously down-beat and intense, as Russell's masterful poly-rhythmic drumming sizzled underneath groovy, "album length" renditions of Summertime, Elanor Rigby and several homemade improv recipes.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 3rd Performance

Russell Bizzett performed 6/3
So, improv cognoscenti, those of you that came to Candela's Friday night heard the subtle, post-modern grooves that payed homage to some of the old classics. It was good to see you'all there.   Russell Bizzett's percussion provided a terrific rhythmic backdrop on which Blue44 layered funky grooves that morphed to surprising places.  We are always thrilled to have Russell play with us - he brings so much to our project, having studied with Roy Haynes and Billy Higgins, and played with Jimmy Smith, Freddy Hubbard, Bo Didley, and toured with Tommy Bollin and Jose Feliciano back in the day!
The rendition of Gershwin's Summertime, while composed in the '30s, had a crazy, modern, urban feel to it.  Stolen Moments stayed a little more true to it's original roots but there were many surprises along the way - the least of which was an up-tempo, modern rendition of Herbie's Cantalope Island - very satisfying with Larry V dropping notes in the bassline to create space, Russell filling in with powerful beats, and Adam frequently leaving the tonal center to create just enough tension to keep listeners engaged.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Friday, May 27th Birthday Gig

This Friday, May 27th join Blue44 as we celebrate the long weekend and most importantly, Adam's birthday. 

We're not saying exactly what the birthday number is; but....

When stacked vertically, it's an odd time signature, popularized by Paul Desmond's  successful standard.  It's also a goofy sitcom that ran from 1961-1963 about a couple of cops and their car.   The element Xenon lives on this spot on the Table of Elements.   129 degrees Fahrenheit expressed in Centigrade is pretty darn close.  And it was Steven Rubell's wild nightclub and disco in New York, popular in the late 70's and 80's.  So, come down to Candela's this Friday and bring your personal form of debauchery to add to the mix.  Looking forward to seeing you.

Adam Wolff, Piano
Larry V, Bass
PTrack Armenta, Drums

Friday, May 27,  6PM-9PM
Candela's on the Bay
1201 First Street (The Landing)
Coronado, CA

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Blue44 Back @ Candela's Friday May 20th - Going Gonzo

The team is looking forward to performing Friday evening the 20th of May after a week off to recharge our creative batteries.   We're joined by young phenom Fernando Gomez on drums.   Fernando has been busy getting his thing together with the Chase Morin group in preparation for their upcoming performance at the Monterrey Jazz Festival.   Adam spend a week baking in the hot desert, determined to best George Hamilton's tan, Tiger Woods' golf game and Hunter S. Thompson's penchant for rum, coke and the like.  Good to be back.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blue44 Off Tonight

Improv Cognoscenti ....   Blue44 has the night off tonight, but we'll be back next Friday, May 20th.  See you then.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Uehara's Modern Funk

My friend Greg sent me this link awhile back and it wasn't until Adam and sat down and really listened to this piece the other night that I fully digested and appreciated Uehara's genius.   Check it out...and hold onto your mouse after 3min:20sec.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tout Va Bien a Montreal

While Blue44 grooved at Candelas last night, yours truly was hanging out on Boulevard St. Laurent with Al and Zak....eating crepes, drinking coffee, watching people walk by, everybody happy to feel the few warm rays of the spring sun touch their faces. 
Tonight, Al and I are going to go looking for some improv - of any kind.  Music, comedy, whatever.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

New Line Up This Friday

Due to some plans to visit family in the great white north this week, the Blue44 lineup for April 22nd will be :

Adam Wolff - keyboards
Russell Bizett - drums
Kevin Freeby - bass

Basking in the Post Party Buzz

Thanks to all who came out to the David Alan Collection Take99 Party last Thursday, and to Jeff for making it happen.  The party was jammed with a terrific collection of people, milling about, sipping barrel select wines, snacking on great international fare and chilling to the worldbeat grooves of Blue44.  The music moved from Medeski booga-loos to colorful Bollywood themes, which happened to complement the 99 incredible carved elephants.  Of course, we bought a blank (un-adorned) elephant - an artistic project that SAR can't wait to get started on.   We all hung out aftwards to chat, discuss the evening, the people, the elephants and bask in the post party buzz.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Blue44 Guest Artist Goes to Monterey Jazz Fest

Chase Morrin & Fernando Gomez
Blue44 is thrilled and wants to congratulate percussionist Fernando Gomez for his success with the Chase Morrin Group's recent win of the Monterey Jazz Festival Next Generation event.  Fernando and the Chase Morrin Group competed with won the opportunity to play at the Monterey Jazz Festival in April 2011!   More info at

Before he heads back up to Monterey, Fernando is performing with Blue44 this Friday, April 8th at Candelas.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Blue44 Takes 99 in Solana Beach on April 14th

Join Blue44 at the David Alan Collection Gallery on Cedros Ave in Solana Beach on Thursday, April 14th, where we will be adding the soundtrack to the Take 99 event.    In addition to the un-usual collection of asian art, the gallery will be displaying the results of a Balinese competition. This special event, orchestrated by David Alan, will be the competitive entries of 99 Balinese amateur and professional artists - all tasked with creating art from the same 16" wooden elephant "blank". 
The event runs from 6PM to 9PM.
Check out David Alan Collection

Friday, March 25, 2011

March 25th at Candela's

Esoteric Window To the Invisible Instruments

Improv cognoscenti that are on the Blue44 email list are hip to exploration taking place at Candela's tonight.  Some are hoping to gain a deeper understanding of the experiment.   Some are hoping to visit the back alley's of Kolkata, while the most spiritual are wondering if their have achieved what it takes to really see what others cannot.    Find out what's going on tonight.

Guest Artist: Ptrack Armenta

Next Week: Russell Bizzett

Monday, March 21, 2011

New Streams for USCD WE Concert

Armenta, Wolff, V and Millard at WE Concert

Go to the Stream page to hear some snippets from our recent performance at the Woman's Empowerment concert at USCD.  This performance included guest artists Ptrack Armenta on drums and Dave Millard on Alto Flute and Soprano Sax.

Monday, March 7, 2011

WE Benefit Concert Rocked

Dave Millard Tears it Up

Blue44 performed at the Women's Empowerment event held at UCSD's Great Hall on Sunday.  Blue44 was joined by guest artists Patrick Armenta and the Dave Millard, whose incredible energy and vision inspired the band to new heights.    It was a little chilly but the crowd was inspired and very engaged in all of the activities that included indigenous food stands and arts and crafts from various African and Middle Eastern countries, staffed by newly minted as well as seasoned refugees affiliated with the International Refugee Center.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Corea & Burton Wow Crowd @ Anthology

Thanks to the thoughtfulness of D & W, I received a wonderful surprise invitation to see Chick Corea and Gary Burton perform at Anthology on Tuesday night. The duo appeared sans drums and bass but that didn't anything away from the experience created by these two jazz icons. Corea, who first found fame with Miles Davis and was a key purveyor of jazz-rock, has wriggled free of attempts to be pigeonholed with Houdini-like agility.  During the course of the evening Corea made historical references to playing with Miles or Getz, and out popped the fact that Burton resigned from the Stan Getz band in the 60's, just as Corea joined. That's a lot of history. Corea, gave a warm shout-out to audience member Peter Sprague and then announced the concert strategy as an exploration into "lesser known" jazz standards and proceeded to roll out energetic, articulate arrangements from deep inside the repertoires of Monk Light Blue), Jobim and others. The arrangements had Corea written all over them....highly rhythmic, complex (often 6 page charts), syncopated melody lines, often played in perfect unison with Burton, who was at once precise and creative and demonstrated that he is the living master of the vibes.    These guys are a true American treasure and this venture can be viewed as part of an ever-shifting axis between introverted and extroverted music.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

"Improv Requires Your Nervous System to Be On Alert"

Thoughts about improvisation from Keith Jarrett and Chick Corea. More on this subject as time goes on. We're going to explore parallels in improv across different art forms.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Feb 25th Performance Impacted Time

Another cool night at Candelas with Fernando Gomez providing the beats.  First set started with a couple of improved chill grooves and moved into some dirty funk.  We spent the break visiting with regulars Chuck and Chris, as well as a surprise visit by Kathy and Steve.  The second set yielded a slow, anti-magnetic version of All Blues and a very syncopated, rendition of Eleanor Rigby.    Then then we wound our way into a latin jam that felt a little "off center" at first, but we quickly realized that the wobbly groove was happening.   That rolled into a 3/4 on 4/4 back on 3/4 version of Footprints that made my watch spin backwards, but put smiles on some faces.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New Content on Photos & Bios Page

Check out the Photos & Bios page.  New biographies have been added for some of the guest musicians who play with Blue44.

Sprague Releases New CD

Jazz pianist Geoffrey Keezer and guitarist Peter Sprague have teamed up to form a band that explores their unique vision of music.  Many of you know Peter and will be pleased when you hear this latest work.  This new recording is the first for the group and celebrates eight new compositions traversing the sonic environs of modern jazz, India and Americana.  The new CD is called Mill Creek Road and get's listed at #12 on the National Jazz Charts!  Go Peter!  Check out the track called India Zach, featuring Zach Harmon on Tablas. 

The instrumentation is:
Geoffrey Keezer — piano
Peter Sprague — guitar
Hamilton Price — bass
Duncan Moore — drums
Zach Harmon — tabla drums (3,6)
Erica Adams Ochoa —violin (6)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Brilliant Bassist Beats Bieber at Grammys

Justin Bieber, all dolled up in his white tuxedo, probably thought that he had best new artist in the bag at the Grammys. But it's Esperanza Spalding, a lesser-known jazz bassist and singer, who now has bragging rights to one of the Grammys' biggest kudos - Best new Artist.

Spalding beats out Bieber, Drake, Florence & the Machine and Mumford & Sons for the honor that's previously gone to icons like Mariah Carey, Carly Simon and the Beatles -- and some less aspirational acts such as Milli Vanilli and Evanescence.

But who is this woman who has no doubt made several hundred thousand teenage girl enemies? The 26-year-old Oregonian has been playing almost her entire life, having taught herself the violin by the time she was five. She's recorded three solo albums ("Junjo," "Esperanza," and "Chamber Music Society"), and, at 20 years old, became the youngest professor at Berklee College of Music -- a position she continues to hold when she's not touring.     [From Zap2It]

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Blue44 Helps Empower Women

Women's Empowerment International (WE) has a simple and direct mission. It provides microcredit loans as small as $50 to very poor women so they can start businesses and create new and better lives.

Hajia Kangame fled civil war in Somalia in 1991
Please join Blue44 as we celebrate the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day –  a global day of celebration created to recognize the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.

March 6, 2011
2 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Great Hall, UCSD

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Performing every Friday Evening at Candelas

Blue44 is currently performing every Friday evening, from 6PM to 9PM at Candelas on the Bay in Coronado.  This hip restaurant and bar sits at the Ferry Landing, at 1201 First Street and has floor to ceiling windows overlooking the San Diego bay and downtown skyline. 

More at:

Monday, February 7, 2011

Friday - Feb 5th Performance

We had drummer Ptrack Armenta join us for the second week in a row.  Candelas was jam packed - party goers, corporate clients, bar flys, the works.  Several new jams emerged out of nowhere - especially during an intense, high energy first set.  The set closed with a Metheny/Mays-style groove that lasted about 9 minutes.  Adam was shredding away, playing 16th note chord based rhythms over Ptracks 16th note quartz accents.  The bass line stretched out over two measures and a new piece was created.  Rumor has it that Adam recorded it, but with the full house, it's bound to be a rough one.

About Us:

Welcome to our Blog.  First a description of who we are:

Blue44 is genre-bending  ensemble whose music is  rooted in jazz.  Reflecting today's rapidly changing and unpredictable cultural and musical landscape, Blue44 mixes in elements such as spoken word, latin, world-beat and funk to create a modern urban groove based sound.  Ambient  grooves, sometimes called Acid Jazz or Nu Jazz,  with simple harmonic structures provide a deconstructed musical foundation on which musical journeys are embarked in an unpredictable, improvisational format by a rotating group of local musicians in San Diego.

While Blue44 was founded by Adam Wolff and Larry V sometime around 2002, the ensemble always includes guests artists that continuously bring their unique musical vocabularies and styles to the performances.  Check out the "Blue44 Musicians" page for a list of artists what have performed, or are currently performing with us.

Compositions on our CDs are always recorded live, in the presence of an audience, with no tracking or overdubs and are driven only by what the moment provides.