CARLI MUNOZ TRIO
Live at Carli's VOL. 2
(released in 2007)
The Trio: Carli Muñoz on piano, Gabriel Rodriguez on bass, Gonzalo Sifre on drums WITH PEDRO PEREZ: BASS ON TRACK 10
Although my most recent releases have been graced by jazz luminaries such as Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette and Joe Chambers, Lucille Dixon and Jack DeJohnette among others, this second volume of Live at Carli's, recorded with relatively unknown local players, doesn't leave much to be desired.
Part of what constitutes the magic of this trio with local and relatively unknown players could be mainly attributed to three things; we've been playing together for nearly six years, we have never rehearsed, and we never have a plan for what we are going to play once we are on stage until we play it (we could add that we have never used a fake book or any other source of material other than an occasional “chicken scratch chord chart). Other elements raising the ante are simply obvious such as individual talent, musicianship, etc.
The double bassist on tracks 1-9 Gabriel Rodriguez, joined the trio in the year 2001 when he was sent as a substitute to cover for another young and talented bassist Ricky Rodriguez, who had been playing with the trio for some time. Gabriel's talent, although still not fully developed at the time, was evident to me. From the beginning he displayed what I value most on a bassist for trio work: a great ear for listening and fearless spontaneity.
On the other hand, drummer Gonzalo Sifre, who had been playing with me for a longer time, was more reserved than what I had previously been accustomed to in a drummer. This actually turned out to be a blessing. Over the years many great drummers have sat in to play with me on different occasions and the intensity and level of playing have often raised -- and even burst the barometer, but Gozalo's “less is more” and understated melodic approach has prevailed.
I am proud of this recording: The level of communion, pure spontaneity and sheer beauty can be probably most appreciated on the second track and ninth track—“In the wee small hours of the morning” and “Portrait of Mia” – but that is just my personal opinion. In all, I love this trio work: it was a long due release and it reveals the passion for making music that truly represents the magic of the moment...now.
Pianist Carli Muñoz has collaborated with some of the major figures in the jazz and rock history. His impressive résumé includes concerts and/or recordings with a wide variety of jazz giants, such as Charles Lloyd , Chico Hamilton, Les McCann , Wayne Henderson and George Benson. And under his leadership: Putter Smith , Paul Chambers , Lenny White, Chris Potter, Eddie Gomez , Jack DeJohnette , Don Byron , David Sanchez , Lucille Dixon and Jeremy Steig .
Carli's substantial contribution to rock includes concert and/or recordings and collaboration with Wilson Pickett , The Association , Jimmy Haskell, Jan and Dean , Peter Cetera , Blondie Chaplin , Evie Sands, Henry Gross and eleven years with The Beach Boys . Carli's fourth solo album Maverick marks his pinnacle in the mainstream jazz arena with an all star cast including two Grammy Award recipients for 2005, and was mentioned among the best CD's of 2006 by Downbeat Magazine ; January 2007 issue.
This is volume two of the Live at Carli's recording series. It features the original trio that has kept the pulse of jazz going throughout the years making Carli Café Concierto the unique world class jazz listening experience it is today. Although Carli's previous release Maverick marked the piece de resistance of his career in the main stream jazz arena, this new release brings light into its roots, revealing a quality of performance never before exposed on his previous recordings. As his companion and constant listener for many years, I am proud of the level of achievement in this production and I hope that you too will like and enjoy it as much as I do. --KATIRA
For many decades now, my name has been associated with music . My passion for music from an early age led to a lifetime of career achievements that covered a wide spectrum of experiences; from my first garage combo with the kids in the neighborhood, to joining Wilson Pickett and later The Beach Boys, to performing and recording with jazz giants such as Charles Lloyd, Chico Hamilton and George Benson among many others, and in the last decade, owning my own jazz club/restaurant Carli Café Concierto, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
Although the restaurant business is associated with enormous amounts of work, I have, thanks to my wife Katira, a great staff and your continuous support, managed to continue to evolve in my music career as a jazz pianist and composer, performing almost nightly and realizing recording projects of the highest caliber, at the same time keeping the standards of Carl's to that of a world class fine dining and live jazz experience. This new recording should bring the live jazz listening experience to new heights. Sit back, relax and enjoy the music . -- CARLI
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CARLI MUNOZ TRIO
(Inside) Love Tales (Released in 2002)
Carli Muñoz on piano
Carli Muñoz Love Tales
It is love that takes me into this journey. Love not always fulfilled, but more often love broken into peaces and finding its way through the cracks of a painful soul-searching leaving its impurities behind like a fine cognac would in the process of distillation. Love Tales could be testimony to that. It portrays a kind of metamorphosis carried by a combination of songs original and standards, each one telling a different story.
The story begins with Tere , a song about friendship without boundaries. It is both personal, and a general statement about the passion of friendship. on the latter, Tere could just as well be called Daphne, Jim, or Breaker (Breaker is my dog on the cover picture). Regardless of who or what, Tere is about solidarity and friendship with no boundaries, and about looking at each other eye to eye. It is a tale of love about to begin with no ending in sight, and maybe no beginning, with just fate taking its place in time. It is about the continuum of an instant mutual acknowledgement of respect and admiration.
If there is such a thing as the love for the delicate aspect of a particular melody, Spartacus Love Theme is one of them. This is a love tale about melody or form in its simplicity and depth all at the same time. It is about the gentle discovery of curvy, subtle, sometimes mysterious places in a body...of music?
Occasionally a love tale takes a leap into new boundaries . Three Little Steps to Heaven rarely ever takes you to the same place in a predictable way. At least it seems that way. Isn't that the way of love, as we know it? Its continuous cycle of thirds will land you in a different key center each time. I know that this analogy must send familiar signals to some of the regulars of the relationship roller coaster. We live and learn!
But how delicious is love for the sake of loving! This is more like taking a plunge into the unknown. Sometimes I think that Anastasia only existed in my fertile imagination. It is a tale of love that started as a mystery and still remains a mystery. It is about embracing the unknown , exploring it, taking a chance.
Speaking of taking a chance, isn't that what we do when we say we go All The Way ? Could it be about commitment ? Isn't this what we often strive for but we are so seldom willing to give? There is a long intro that I play that vacillates long before finding myself immerse in the melody of this beautiful song. So, “who knows where the road will lead us? Only a fool would say. But if you let me love you, it's for sure I'm gonna love you, all the way, all the way”. Take your time listening to this song. Give in to it; let it take you all the way.
If a love tale could be measured by its constant reward and gratification, Melanie is a tale of love of the sweetest kind. This is certainly love at its most rewarding and gratifying state. It is for the love of my daughter Melanie that I took the challenge of writing the words to this song in an ancient and almost forgotten acrostic style:M elodies and sunshine in her eyes,
E ven when a storm is passing by,
L ending to the misty night her smile, A lways fun and gentle, that's her style. N ever will she cross you; she is kind, I nstant fascination you will find, E ven when she's mad or a little shy,
M ost of all she's lovely, she's all mine.
U nafraid of the worries the world could reveal, N ever lending a thought of sadness concealed, O h! How silly she can get when no one is near, Z any; serious; romantic; or shabby-genteel!
Composing for me is as predictable as the weather in Puerto Rico . And Serendipity is no exception. It just happened to come by at a time when I was processing a major heart brake and alas...came Serendipity! It is a love tale about the peripheral stages of love itself (falling out of love) in its whimsical nature. I relate it to a kind of purging the old stuff and connecting to ourselves and to the results of events around us. It's about letting go and allowing new things to happen...new beginnings.
New beginnings are special, and can be fun. They often bring the best
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out of me. They are like soul cleansers and I have been fortunate enough to have found myself experiencing new heights of awareness along with it. Yellow Moon Tune could be considered an expression of one of such special moments. The key word to me here is reverence , not for anyone or anything in particular, but for all. To me it is the embodiment of the unspeakable. It is the exaltation of pure beauty and awe that can only be expressed in music. Let the music speak for itself!
“ My Romance doesn't have to have a moon in the sky”. And can I relate to that! There is nothing like the sweet smell of a new romance! It is the closest thing to hovering above the ground without a propeller. Also it usually does not include a parachute or flying instructions and the landing tends to be rough to say the least. But, do we complain when we drink “few” glasses of fine wine or champagne and enjoy it to bliss knowing that the next day we might feel like digested food in a toilet bowl?
A dear friend said to me once that every time she would hear Tujunga Waltz she felt like removing something from her body. I told her that even though I never had intentions of composing a song that would incite inappropriate social behavior she wasn't very far from its original lyrical intention. Tujunga Waltz is a song about removal of false ideas and of reconciliation with the idea that we are alone. Not that we are necessarily alone in a negative way, but alone to create our own reality about the way that we choose to carry on when we no longer have the company of someone we love. it is really a song about the powerful transformation from being victim to being source, about the realization that we are still alone but richer in our memories and that in love “to win or lose is all the same”.
The coffee makes the brake of down, it wakes me, I'm out of bed.
The pastry is sweet but not enough, to fill me; I'm in the red.
You filled my heart
with true love and
then you stripped it away.
Pretend I'm nothing to you,
but baby I'm just the same.
Now I can see right through you, I no longer take the blame.
My cup was filled with sorrow and now is vanished away.
We danced the Tujunga Waltz, right above the skies,
gliding sweet and flying, where the sun and the moon and the stars they all watched as we danced.
I want to seal my broken heart away from my empty nest.
For love, for life for all it's worth, to win or lose is all the same. And now I can see clearly,
It's just me and my Tujunga Waltz.
When it comes to tender love , love's longing for its own expression; The Nearness of You is a favorite of mine. It is through this song that I have chosen to acknowledge the loving company of K for allowing me to express the full passionate and joyous nature of my being. This one is for you K, thank you for fulfilling the most fundamental and essential kind of love that continuously nourishes and enhances my spirit, and thank you for making “all my wildest dreams come true”.
It is through this work that I get to have the joyous opportunity to honor all (including the moon and my dog) that I have had the privilege of loving one way or the other.
Good music doesn't really need a description. And different people perceive music in their own unique way. I offer these liners only as my own personal story. I am sure that you too will have your own story to tell as you listen to this music.
When you sum it all up, life itself is a love tale. I hope that I have gotten your permission to enter and be a part of yours by sharing my music and some of my most intimate thoughts and innermost feelings. May this be the beginning of a love tale.
I would specially like to acknowledge the valuable collaboration of Jack and Jaye for making this recording possible, and for their warm welcome to their beautiful home, The Chantry Villa in Vermont , and most of all for their genuine and supportive friendship. I would also like to thank the staff at The Chantry, especially Dolores, Glenn and Joy for making my stay so special.
Special thanks to Jim Bonbright, Nildin Saldaña, and the Muñoz clan: Brenda, Marcel, Myles, Marlon, Melanie, Brunny and my Dad the wizard. Also special thanks to Vinny Urrutia , Kent Raine, and last but not least to chef Jorge Cruz and the staff at Carli Café Concierto for their loving support.
Dedicated to the memory of my mother; a most endearing love tale.
Pelosenel Q Lo RecordWARNING: UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION OF THIS RECORDING AND ARTWORK ISPROHIBITED BY FEDERAL LAW AND SUBJECT TO CRIMINAL PROSECUTION
Co. 2002 Pelosenel Q Lo Records. All rights reserved.
ART OF THE DUO
Live at Carli’s VOL.3
The Duo: Carli Muñoz on piano and Felipe Fournier on cajón and partial drum set. With guest Guillermo (Memo) Barrón also on cajón and light percussion on tracks 6, 9, and 10.
Many thanks to our guests at Carli’s who, throughout the years, have shared many special moments with us; and especially to those familiar faces (you know who you are) who have become our friends. God bless you all.
When I started thinking about releasing the next Live at Carli’s Vol. 3 cd, the thought that kept creeping
in my mind was how unlikely it would be in general terms to make a great jazz record limited to piano and percussion without bass, unrehearsed and recorded live direct to two tracks and with an audience on the most part dining and conversing.
ent on his percussion work has root in the fact that he is also an accomplished jazz vibraphonist. But in all fairness it is his innate talent, his ability to listen and his sensible approach in engaging in the musical con- versation that makes it all work as well as it does. A theme that both Felipe and I have shared in common and that has been present through our association is that “less is more” - that has certainly played a roll in the attitude while performing this music. I must also mention another young talent, Guillermo (Memo) Bar- rón, who shares many of the same great qualities as Felipe and is also certainly a joy to play with. One of his crisp and powerful solos can be specially appreci- ated on track 10, Wangari Maathai.
In end result, this unusual format turned out a bless- ing. I couldn’t begin to recount the moments of joy and satisfaction that I experienced throughout this magical journey since I started playing duo with Fe- lipe Fournier! Apparently it’s been contagious as well; at least as performed live nightly at Carli’s bistro. I only hope that the magic has been faithfully transmit- ted to you here on volume three of the Live at Carli’s recording series.
From Acquittal to Yes, I Love You, the obvious focus has been in some of my original songs. Among those, Kenguen is a piece that has been mutating like a cha- meleon for years and this is its first release. Besame Mucho and So In Love are some of my favorite stan- dards and here they take a totally new vibe. Last but not least Wangari Maathai – honors the Nobel Prize African woman (hence the name) and is one song
that I look forward to see evolve in multiple ensemble formats. Thank you very much for listening.
If a picture can tell 1,000 words, so can music, in addition to countless emotions and sensations. Therefore there isn’t much more that I can say about Felipe Fournier than what you’ll be listening to on this work. However, there is a lot more to Felipe as a musician and as a human being; not enough good can be said about the former. Perhaps the musicality pres-
Pianist Carli Muñoz has collaborated with some of the major figures in the jazz and rock history. His impressive résumé includes concerts and/or recordings with a wide variety of jazz giants, such as Charles Lloyd, Chico Hamilton, Les McCann, Wayne Henderson and George Benson. And under his leadership: Potter Smith, Paul Chambers, Lenny White, Chris Potter, Eddie Gomez, Jack DeJohnette, Don Byron, David Sanchez, Lucille Dixon and Jeremy Steig.
Carli’s substantial contribution to rock includes concert and/or recordings and collaboration with Wilson Pickett, The Association, Jimmy Haskell, Jan and Dean, Peter Cetera, Blondie Chaplin, Evie Sands, Henry Gross and eleven years with The Beach Boys. Carli’s previous and fourth solo album Maverick marks his pinnacle in the mainstream jazz arena with an all star cast including two Grammy Award nominees for 2004.
FEATURING CARLI MUNOZ & FELIPE FOURNIER
1. Acquittal (Carli Muñoz) 2. Kenguen (Carli Muñoz) 3. Tere (Carli Muñoz) 4. Yellow Moon Tune (Carli Muñoz)
5. Anastasia (Carli Muñoz) 6. Yes I Love You (Carli Muñoz) 7. Besame Mucho (Consuelo Velazquez) 8. So In Love (Carli Muñoz) 9. Wangari Maathai (Carli Muñoz)
This is volume three of the Live at Carli’s recording series. In the spirit of adventure and sheer bravado, the ensemble on this recording consists of only piano and per- cussion. This unusual format in jazz is the result of an “accident”: the bass player didn’t show up. Little did we know that the result would be so wonderful – full of magic, spontaneity and discovery. The success of the duo relied on expanding on the dynamic nature in both the instruments, rather than trying to replace the bass. The end result is a fun, dynamic and liberating session – a special treat for us and hopefully to you as well. Enjoy! —carli
For many decades now, my name has been associated with music. My passion for music from an early age led to a lifetime of career achievements that covered a wide spectrum of experiences; from my first garage combo with the kids in the neighborhood, to joining Wilson Pickett and later on The Beach Boys, to perform- ing and recording with jazz giants such as Charles Lloyd, Chico Hamilton and George Benson among many others, and in the last decade, owning my own jazz club/restaurant Carli Café Concierto, in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Although the restaurant business is associated with enormous amounts of work,
I have, thanks to my wife Katira, a great staff and your continuous support, man- aged to continue to evolve in my music career as a jazz pianist and composer, performing almost nightly and realizing recording projects of the highest caliber, at the same time keeping the standards of Carli’s to that of a world class fine din- ing and live jazz experience. This new recording should bring the live jazz listening experience to new heights. Sit back, relax and enjoy the music. —carli
© 2009 Pelosenel Q Lo Records. All rights reserved. Made in the USA. Produced and recorded by . Mastered by Bob Katz at Digital Domain Sleeve Design by Garrick Gott. Photography by Guillermo Real.
MAVERICK (Release 2005)
CARLI MUNOZ - EDDIE GOMEZ - JACK DEJOHNETTE
& featuring :
Don Byron on clarinet David Sanchez on tenor sax
The social dynamics in this CD are filled with great interplay -ensemble symbiosis that can only come from an unflinching group respect for each soloist. - Van Dyke Parks
This musical work is the fourth of its kind conceived in the tradition of an honest and non pretentious outpour of love and passion for the expression of jazz music, away from the hustle and tussle of popular music, hence going back to my roots. It is also a dedication and acknowledgement to some of the Mavericks in my lifetime and beyond, including the exceptional players who accompanied me on this project, for they are Mavericks, as musicians, and in their humanity. Producer /engineer Brandon Mason's sharp shooting diligence on getting a great sound was also Maverick . The recordings here were made with as few takes as possible, and as in the case of "A Cool Night in the City", choosing the first "take" as I was running the tune for the first time at the recording studio for Jack and Eddie to familiarize with, therefore taping into the raw and spontaneous energy of these colossal players. Also there were no rehearsals or strategic pow wows prior to the sessions.
Somewhere beyond the cortex is a small voice whose mere whisper can silence an army of arguments. It stands alone in final judgment as to whether we have demanded enough of ourselves and, by that example, have inspired the best around us. -The New York Times
There hasn't been a war in history that has accomplished more towards the eradication of social ills as the work of a single man or woman with a compassionate heart and the necessary determination and in most cases, by the use of peaceful means. These men and women are Mavericks , for they stepped out of their comfort zone and by their courage and independence of thought and action, they have made the greatest difference in our humanity. If we take a look at the current events going on in the world we will certainly come across plenty of the same stuff that have plagued our society since the beginning of time. The big difference now being that the possibility of self annihilation is far more looming and ominous than before. I find it amazing that while we are supposed to be on an evolutionary trend, we seem to keep falling into the inanities of the past. I would add that we have actually re-engaged ourselves in the iniquitous march of the folly. This is the result of the predominant state of fear and ignorance that still prevails in our minds, in our society, and in our country. It seems that we've made progress towards human rights, racial reconciliation and tolerance for religion diversity, but the truth is that we still have a long way to go. We must look at our neighbors and even our potential foes beyond the filters of ignorance, selfishness, hate and fear. We must see ourselves as potential beacons with the capacity to make way for a safer world. It is only through the recognition and activation of our noble heart, the striving for the good of all, including tolerance and compassion for those who are "different" from us and through courageous and measured positive action, that we will truly enjoy peace and light the way to our future generations. The things that I loathe the most are greed, oppression, racism, and a general lack of environmental and social consciousness. All of these are rooted in the darkness of fear and ignorance. As human beings we are gifted with a measure of resilience, but the planet we live on has proven to be more vulnerable than we think and human resilience will only go as far as the soil that sustains us. I reverently bow to the Mavericks of the past, the present and the future, for without them, even with our present short comings, the sun wouldn't be shinning as bright as it does today. Some memorable Mavericks that come to mind (to mention a few) are: Nelson Mandela, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, Martin Luther King Jr., Thomas Jefferson , Florence Nightingale, Mohandas Gandhi, Waangari Maathai, Sitting Bull, Rosa Parks, Chief Joseph, Rigoberta Menchú Tum, Eleanor Roosevelt, Don Luis Muñoz Marin, Ornette Coleman, Jesus of Nazareth and Tenzin Gyatso, his Holiness the Dalai Lama. There are many more Mavericks – of all colors and flavors, and too many to mention here. I humbly dedicate this music to all of them, and especially to my father; a Maverick at heart.
- Carli Muñoz
We can easily forgive a child who is afraid of the dark; the realtragedy is when men are afraid of the light.
Pelosenel Q Lo Records
One truly memorable musical experience in Southern California was when I gigged for a couple of years playing Country Western Swing and Blue Grass music. It came to me like a sweep from the wind sometime after having left the Beach Boys and venturing out with various musical genres; especially coming from jazz. At the time I was sort of going through a musical vacuum and the idea of stepping into a new musical genre tickled my curiosity. Fortunately I joined the right players from the start and became probably one of the first contemporary journeyman pianist in Southern California to gain notoriety within the Country Swing and Blue Grass circle, at least that ’s what they said!
I can still remember the day when I was sitting on the sidewalk in the front of my house in Hudson Drive Pasadena playing with my three toddlers when Frank Sullivan, my neighbor from across the street, approached me. Frank must have heard me playing or practicing from his house so he already knew that I could probably tackle any musical challenge that he had to offer. He was straight to the point and offered me a gig with a band where he was the pedal still player and musical director—a local country swing band by the name of Van and The Southland Country Band.
The band was fairly large—it toggled between 7 and 8 pieces and the level of musicianship was excellent. The repertory was authentic and vintage on the most part, which made it interesting and swinging; it was the real deal! The founder and lead vocalist was a former truck driver by the name of Van Ezell. His long hair and full beard along with his overweighed but solid body frame made the perfect constitution for the black leather outlaw cowboy garb he wore….Waylon Jennings would have been proud! The drummer Big Rick, was nearly 250 pounds and had a long thick mustache below his 10 gallon Stetson and all he needed was to wear a sheriff batch on his shirt—he was actually a sheriff!
That was the sheriff and the outlaw. The rest of us were somewhere in between; sinners and saints. Most everyone was from a different southern state. I was, of course, the southernmost
The stage where we played at was very large and it didn’t lack any of the pro amenities of a main stream concert stage. Arrays of lights, large sound consoles with engineers, roadies, a master of ceremony and a comfortable backstage area was the norm at the club where we performed as house band for a least a year; it was called The Cowboy. There were at least 3 large bars, a huge dance floor, a mechanical bull and a wide back door from which the nightly brawlers would be vehemently exited by a battery of eager bouncers. On stage I played a Yamaha Electric Grand piano I owned with a pair of bull horns on fur at the end of the tail. The front line from stage left was: band leader Frank Sullivan on pedal steel and banjo; Brantley Kearns on fiddle, mandolin, lead and bg vocals; Marty Gwen on vocals; Van Ezell on lead vocal and rhythm guitar; Mark Smith, Greg Humphrey or Bill Bryson on electric bass and vocals; John David on lead guitar, banjo and harmonica; and I flanked the right on piano. Sheriff Big Rick, guarded the rear. Later on i brought in my friend drummer extraordinare Jim Cruce.
Something really interesting in country western swing is that as in jazz, all the lead players get to do several rounds of solos in every song which it’s really cool for stretching out. I had to keep up with the speed of the banjo, the fiddle and pedal steel and gel with the blues nature of the harmonica, the guitar and the mandolin- it was really cool! I even became a part of a small bluegrass unit of the same band and that was even more challenging. One of the highlights was to open for Bill Monroe at an outdoors concert.
Soon enough me and Frank were car pooling the endless and non-eventful hauls from Pasadena to Anaheim and back on the Santa Ana freeway. The ride was specially excruciating whenever I drove by myself, which fortunately wasn’t most of the time. It’s not easy being from the tropics and having to drive 20 miles of concrete with occasional views of track houses that not only looked the same in structure, but their colors blended with the rest of the gray sameness….six night a week!
So, as much as the ride was at times boring, I had the must fun riding with my new cowboy friends. I remember one time when the band hired a new bass player, Bill Bryson from South Pasadena, who was an old friend of some of the guys in the band and I was to pick him up to ride with me on his first night with the band. After getting somewhat acquainted and just settling into the freeway I (jokingly but serious) said to Bill not to worry that we were a little late (we really weren’t) cause I was a real fast driver (I don’t think that Bill or too many people in Southern California had ever experienced being next a Puertorrican on the wheel dressed full gear as a cowboy!). As I covertly observe the look on his face I went on and said to him that I didn’t really have a license but not to worry because I could outrun the cops. By that time he was so nervous that I had to let him know I was only kidding—we became great friends.
Frank and I had a lot of fun car pooling too. Sometimes the fiddle player, Brantley Kearns, also car pooled with us and that was just too much fun. Speaking of Brantley Kearns; what a fantastic player and personality! I feel very fortunate to have spent a couple of years of my life with these guys. Unfortunately distance, since I’ve been back in Puerto Rico, has played an awful role on keeping us far apart, but as I write these memoirs I get the urge to contact my old friends and try to arrange a visit to the old west….hmmm, wouldn’t mind gathering the old cowboys for a midnight session….. “What the hell have I got to sit around here for?” As Joe Buck would say!