Second 2020 update

Well, can’t say I had “global pandemic” on the 2020 bingo board. Most of my work has dried up, with the exception of my radio host duties at KMHD, which have increased. I stopped hosting the AM Bridge in February; now I’m hosting it again since I have a home studio. That airs 10-noon pacific, weekdays. KMHD unfortunately does not have an archive system, so the only way to hear the show is to catch it live (89.1 FM locally in Portland, or streamed from I’m pulling a lot of deep cuts from my personal library which I’ve never played on my show before! You can also hear my program Weekend Jazz at Sunrise from 7-9AM Saturday and Sunday.

I’m trying to get my home studio more set up. It’s a little better than it was, but still at heart a chaotic room full of gear. Hoping to set up some acoustic treatment soon to make live instrument recordings sound nicer. For now, I’ve got a great setup for recording direct.

Because I’m a maniac, I bought more gear – I got an early, early Conn organ (model 703) because I wanted the Leslie that came with it, a 50C. The 50C is a rare, unique cabinet – it’s the only amp circuit with two 6550 power tubes in combination with a 15″ field-coil Jensen bass speaker. I’ve heard it’s Joey DeFrancesco’s favorite Leslie, which, well… ’nuff said. It does have an unusual interface, though: while it’s a 6-pin socket, the pin layout is different from 6H (the “Hammond” interface on the 122 family of Leslies) and 6W (the “Wurlitzer”/147 family). It’s a 6C (C for Conn), with a second channel going to two 6×9 stationary speakers in the cabinet. Not useful on a Hammond, but on the Conn they were for the “string” voices which I suppose Conn thought didn’t sound good through the rotary channel. It’s not super helpful to have that second channel on a Hammond, though you could route a reverb signal to it if you don’t like the reverb tails having that rotary animation. I like that extra motion on the tails, so I don’t usually use that. The other keyboard I got is a Yamaha CP-80M. This is closely related to the CP-70, Yamaha’s famous acoustic/electric hybrid piano. The 80M variant has 88 keys and MIDI out. I’d told myself it was not a keyboard I needed, unless a cheap CP-80M came up so I could get the 88 keys and MIDI, and, well… here we are. It needs a bit of a tune. It breaks down into two halves, but I swear each half weighs as much as a Rhodes. The thing is truly massive. The tolex is in pretty decent shape; it has a sticker showing it used to belong to the Jefferson school district. Another electric piano enthusiast I know lives in Jefferson, and scored a Wurlitzer 200 electric piano from the district. They must’ve been flush with electric pianos back in the day!

I’ll try to get my butt off the couch and record some music and post it here, or make videos about my keyboards, or something – anything, really. For the time being, though, the thing I’m getting done consistently is my KMHD content. Tune in!

The Bern, Switzerland tour with Curtis Salgado has been tentatively rescheduled for fall, but I’m not holding my breath for anything at this point.

Thanks all, stay safe – wear a mask and wash your hands!