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June 1997

I know it's been a long time since I wrote a newsletter but I've been so incredibly busy the last few months I really haven't had a spare minute until now.

As I write this I am in Bermuda, taking a few weeks off to rejuvenate after such a hectic schedule. I've been working on finishing up the new Avenue Blue album titles, "Night Life" (scheduled for release July 22). I think all the hard work paid off. I love the record. I think we've really found a great balance of sophistication and soul.

As usual, Rick Braun and I co-produced the record and also as usual, his contributions were immeasurable. We're both very opinionated, stubborn people and we argue constantly during this process. ( I compare us to George Costanza's parents on Seinfeld). We don't do this just to antagonize each other but to make sure our best ideas are allowed to surface. We can only do this because we're such good friends and we know we can be honest with each other without jeopardizing our friendship. Isn't that what family is all about? Well, anyway, friendship still in tact we've made a *GREAT* record.

Along with all the usual suspects associated with Avenue Blue (Jim Biggins, Steve Barbuto, Steve Gaboury, Jeff Levine, Lincoln Goines, Roger Squitero and Done Harris) there are a lot of special guests on it. We recorded this at a few different locations on both coasts and I took advantage of this to work with some other old friends.

Bob James came down and lent some of his distinctive Fender Rhodes style to the record. My old friend, Bill Evans contributed some fantastic sax playing. Grayson Hugh, one of my all time favorite singers sang a song. A special treat for me, Gato Barbieri, one of my biggest musical influences consented to recording a duet with me. (Something he hasn't done since a guest appearance on a Santana record, quite a few years back.)

It was also great fun working with Steve Ferrone on a few tracks. Being such a fan of the Average White Band, this was especially cool! Some other new names on the record are Mitch Fowman, Neil Jason, Chico Huff, Andrew Lippman and Dave Woodford along with repeat offenders David Palmer, Scott Breadman, Cliff Hugo, Fred White and Jack Daro. The radio stations should have an advance copy of the title track, "Night Life", around June 20th, so please call and make those requests.

Another big event to happen in my life is that in April, my longtime girlfriend Audrey and I eloped. We had an impromptu church ceremony in New York, (that is anyone who was available to attend on 2 hours notice) and a dinner party at a Manhattan restaurant (a few more attendees for that because they had 4 hours notice). We immediately got away to Bermuda for a few days. Then I went back to work. We've been sneaking in more honeymoon time every chance possible, (this being one of them).

Well, it's time to get back in the water as it's difficult to write with the waves and all, so I guess I'll say good bye for now.

Hope to see you soon,

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