Wayne and Chris Have Some Late Nights

A couple of weeks ago my good friend, Wayne Goins, came back to Boston to visit the gang here. I first met Wayne at Camp Encore/Coda in Bridgton, ME in 1985(?) where we were both guitar instructors. Back then, he played a strat and his main guys were Hendrix and Prince and the blues. I was a pure jazzer with my Gibson ES-175 and Berklee degree. We got along instantly, talking guitars, playing 24×7, or on the basketball court.

Now…he’s gone on to get his PhD (Dr. Goins!) and I’m at IBM. Wayne still has amazing chops and musicality, big ears, and a warm personality. Luckily, we got a chance to play while he was here. He borrowed my 175 and I never heard it sound so good…certainly not in my own hands! 🙂 We got in some good times playing with Jamie Saltman, owner of the aforementioned Camp and a great pianist, too.
Wayne and I hung out a couple of late nights. The first night we stayed up until 3 am watching Wes Montgomery videos on youtube. We hadn’t seen these before and there were even some where Wes was speaking (“this is not a perfect instrument“) about how difficult it was to keep the guitar in tune. We decided he sounded like Quincy Jones. There’s another one (End of a Love Affair) where he’s teaching the piano player the tune in rehearsal – watch at the end where the pianist wants to take it up a notch, tempo-wise, and Wes is saying, “alright, let’s go”. Wes is so cool and effortless when he plays; the music just flows out of him like a spring, with endless ideas. He’s often looking around, offstage or wherever, as he plays, just killin’ it! He even stopped to light up a cigarette during the real take of that tune. :0 We kept trying to see how he was actually using his thumb so fast – it was like a butterfly on the strings.
On Memorial Day, we had a bbq at our house before heading over to Jamie’s to play a little – this time, adding in renowned local musician, Bo Winniker, who also lives in the neighborhood and who’s son just graduated in my son’s class – small world dept. I thought we were just going to play through some standards for a few hours, but it turned into a real lesson! Bo had been talking at the bbq about a tune he’s been “working on” for a few years (!) and called that one up first – The Dophin. I had seen this one in the Real Book, but never really stopped to play it. It’s got some gnarly twists and turns in it. If I looked down off the page, then there was certainly danger of skipping a line and getting lost! We played that one for about 20 min, going around taking solos, feeling it out. There is a video of that one that I got, but it’s too big to post.
The next one Bo called was “Airegin“, by Sonny Rollins. Yet another one I hadn’t played that much, but of course heard alot via Miles and Wes Montgomery. Well, we played that tune for an hour and 20 minutes straight! Deborah (Goins) got about an hour of it on video before it ran out. We just kept going around – Bo, Wayne, Jamie, me – one chorus at a time. I can tell you that I got pretty tired (on bass, no resting between solos) and was lucky that Wayne kicked in some rhythm when I was starting to drag – hehe. That tune is also pretty tricky in parts with the various II-Vs (which is why Wes loves that song, no doubt) cycling thru a few keys in rapid succession, but is fun to play. Bo (on trumpet and flugelhorn) sounds amazing – so tasty and smooth, soulful. It was a pleasure to hear him play this pure jazz.
Later on Wayne and I went back to my house to hang out and partake in some Hennessy(his new drink of choice). Funny that no one else wanted to go with us… Even though I was already tired from playing earlier, I wanted to play some more with Wayne, so we went to the basement and went through a couple or three tunes – a blues in G, Beautiful Love, and Someday My Prince Will Come. This time, I played the upright bass instead of electric, which is always more challenging for me since I hadn’t played it that much in recent months and I’m out of shape on that physically demanding instrument – it’s not something you can just pick up and play. I got my customary blister for the effort. I flipped on the Zoom H4n recorder and got some of it.
Blues in G – (click to load the mp3 in your browser) You’ll hear how great Wayne is on this one!!
Beautiful Love – I’ve listened to Bill Evans play this tune about 4000 times, but haven’t played it much, which is why I made Wayne play it with me.
Not sure if I want to post the last one yet…”Some day…” was interrupted by a phone call from one of his students.
Again, we stayed up til 3 am chatting and I spent the next day at work recovering. Allegedly there were a couple of empty Hennessey bottles found in the morning. (I blame Lucas.)