November 13, 2015

1 Year Update

It’s been a little while since I updated this blog. I have been told that not keeping my blog up to date will result in people not coming to the site anymore. I like the idea of people coming here once a month for an update as opposed to going to my Facebook profile where I mostly talk about sports. Anyway, here goes my informal and humbling attempt for an update.

It has been about year since my wife and I sold our house and left New Orleans for Nashville. Nashville has been the change I was looking for. It is not New Orleans which is both a good and a bad thing. There is a laundry list of reasons why I left New Orleans but the biggest reason is to expose myself to a bigger spotlight. In an ideal world I would have a residence in about a dozen cities and spend a month of my life in each one. Obviously I’ve chosen some wrong genres of music to make that dream come true. This will be my 5th city I have taken up residence in (Houston, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, and Nashville) and I have grown quiet accustom to how the DMVs work and the correct paperwork to show for changing plates.

Since moving here I’ve had some great opportunities to record and/or perform with the likes of BJ Thomas, Pat Coil, and Steelism at some great venues such as Music City Roots and The Jazz Workshop. I wish I could make a longer list of the other great musicians I’ve made music with here but that list will unknowingly leave off some great people. Living here has given me an insight into the music industry that has been very educational. This city has helped me redefine what it means to be a successful musician. To see more on that topic please visit my previous blog post here. I see some of the greatest musicians here in Nashville that make their living through a day job while I’ve heard other musicians that play high profile gig$ refer to themselves as “stage actors who learn the notes on the records”. A few years ago both of these scenarios would have  confused me but it somehow makes sense now. The music industry is a lot smaller than what I imagined it would be. It is still hard for me to detail my opinions and experiences without a bit of rambling. I’m not one to reminisce about the good old days and pray that the old music industry will come back. I’m more of a “living in the present and accept reality” sort of guy. Nashville is a southern Los Angeles. It is a small town with a southern charm fading ever so slightly. 

I’m looking forward to 2016: Both Bionica and The Wee Trio will be releasing new albums. Look out for this news in a future blog post!

I will leave you with a few highlights of my 1 year anniversary in Nashville.

w/ BJ Thomas after the show in MO

w/ BJ Thomas after the show in MO

w/ Jon Estes and Jon Radford at The 5 Spot

w/ Jon Estes and Jon Radford at The 5 Spot

The Wee Trio at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

The Wee Trio at New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival

w/ Riley Anglen CD Release

w/ Riley Anglen CD Release

Recording w/ The Wee Trio in NY

Recording w/ The Wee Trio in NY

Hangin' w/ Bruce Matthews

Hangin’ w/ Bruce Matthews

at SIR w/ Jenna Torres

at SIR w/ Jenna Torres

November 5, 2014

AllAboutJazz Italia!

A new review of The Wee Trio from my second most favorite country.

“Listening to Live at the Bistro is a truly exciting and fulfilling for Both the mind and the body. We hope to see them as soon as possible and listen to These latitudes.” – Di Luigi Sforza – Italian Allaboutjazz

Italian Language



The Wee Trio: Live at the Bistro

The beautiful cover of the CD-Wee Trio-style comic pop art, Roy Lichtenstein, including onomatopoeia-represents the three musicians in the act of playing.The music is a dynamic and multi-faceted, in line with possible variations of a company on the move.The combination of pop art and  Live at the Bistro  -Disco photographing the performance of the homonymous group of local St. Louis for a couple of years away from  Ashes to Ashes: David Bowie Intraspective -not accidental. Like the works of Lichtenstein, the disk contains no distinction between genders. Pop and bop, funk and rock, swing and cool jazz are references in the joint process of kaleidoscopic musical representation of the group. Each piece is in itself a synthesis of poetic antolologica of the trio, where nothing is hidden within the parameters to change. The execution of each piece is malleable, constantly moving. The sound tracks are not closed square. They evoke images always changing.Live at the Bistro  evokes an imaginary dream in which live sound American “high culture” and “low” energy, frenzy, meditative space, the ability to change perspective and direction to the music, a sense of belonging to a linguistic syntax jazz identity of the modern type , aspiration and realization of a democratic music, in which the parity between vibraphone ( James Westfall ), bass ( Dan Loomis ) and battery ( Jared Schönig ) is the formal discipline of the entire project.That Wee Trio is made ​​up of creative originality of the sound is shown that he knows is powerful, supple, expressive and full of adogmatici references if necessary lackluster. Apart from the aforementioned genres, music that is known to be nicely decorated with baroque-music echoes even then understanding of the jazz tradition that leads inevitably to the  Modern Jazz Quartet .
The trio’s music will not surprise artificially and a priori, simply amazed at the way in which is built: it feeds the exchange of ideas between musicians and performances by no means obvious.
The strength of the group comes from the game of the parts, dall’interplay-that is the mainstay of sound-and an approach to the musical culture of pragmatic – pluralistic and multilingual-in which the unexpected combinations are the norm.

What are the standards (“Cherokee” and “There Is No Greater Love”), to pop songs by David Bowie (“Queen Bitch”) or original pieces (“Sabotage,” “White Trash Blues,” “New Earth” and “Ranthem”), the assumption is the same: to give the performances a deep sense of lightness music. This makes the song highly legible to the user, despite the valuable traits of craftsmanship and technical mastery.

Listening to  Live at the Bistro  is a truly exciting and fulfilling for both the mind and the body. We hope to see them as soon as possible and listen to these latitudes.

Track Listing: Cherokee; Drum Intro; Sabotage; Vibraphone Intro; hite Trash Blues; Queen Bitch; Bass Intro; There Is No Greater Love; Space Jugglers; New Earth; Ranthem; Tig Mack; Drum Intro; White Out.

Personnel: James Westfall: vibraphone; Dan Loomis bass; Jared Schönig: drums.

Record Label: Bionic Records

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January 13, 2014

Louisiana Weekly

New Orleans Jazz CDs of 2013

imgres“Vibraphonist James Westfall, a Houston native who again makes his residence in New Orleans, is an immaculate player who assembled The Wee Trio, a talented and aggressive group, in 2005. The Wee Trio Live at the Bistro stands as an excellent representation of the variety of rhythms, styles and textures – from funk, to swing and even a cover of David Bowie’s “Queen Bitch” – of their performances.” – Geraldine Wyckoff

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December 18, 2013

The Wee Trio in Downbeat Magazine


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October 17, 2013

James Westfall Quartet at the Ellis Marsalis Center this Tuesday