Looking back!!! Wow- Timeline!!
lets give it a try. Somewhere back in the 1990's Brad, Peter and I were playing all around the San Francisco Bay area as The Brian Melvin trio. I've always loved many styles of music- and always snuck it all under one roof. Having grown up in San Francisco I was exposed to everything musically and culturally as you can imagine-especially the late 60's and early 70's. This is when I was turned onto The Grateful Dead and was and continue to be a big fan of their music. It was a constant Satori for me. Flashback!!! so I was friends with they guys in the Dead- hung around Bill and Mickey a bunch at the concerts in San Francisco- but it was Bob Weir that opened his heart to me. We just kind of hit it off- maybe I reminded him of himself- there i was at 16 years old trying to understand The Dead- good luck!!!! anyways time rolled by and I played in The Beluga Whale- probably the first real younger generation San Francisco jam band- many years ahead of the curve. Then I entered the Jazz world- fast foward. I had a group called Nightfood a jazz jam band which turned into my first recording session as a leader. This is where I met the great bassist Jaco Pastorius and the rest is history. My second Nightfood CD under the same name was a major label deal with Sony BMG- and that is where Bob Weir enetered my life again. It was very cool- we recorded the basic tracks at Different Fur studios in San Francisco and did the overdubs and mixing at the start of TRI- Mt Tamalpais Research Institute- crazy- its true- look on the back of our Nightfood CD. This would lead to some great and very rare live concerts with Bob and Jaco around The Bay Area. This was around 1983-85 period. Then I went and moved to New York and did the whole jazz thing- thats a whole other story in itself!!! I think then I started playing and touring in Europe with my different trio's and quartets- and this is where I first met Jeff Chimenti - it was in Amsterdam at The Alto cafe- where I was playing. We remained friends from a distance and this is when he was cutting his teeth with all the Bay Area jazz players as well. At this time he played and recorded with Brad and Peter in different ensembles- and we did some trio hits as well. I ended up in New York again and lived with the great drummer Al Foster for 2 years- then moved back to San Francisco- Flashback- I was invited to Estonia to play at The Jazzkaar festival in 1993- and I never knew this would lead to my wonderful family. Wow!!! again. I have lived in Tallinn Estonia since 2003. I traveled between San Francisco and Tallinn from 2000-2003- and at this time I was doing the Beatlejazz Cds with pianist David Kikoski. We started out on Zebra records for Ricky Schultz- and this is when he agreed to do my trio as well- but suggested a group name. I remember playing San Francisco at Shanghai 1930 and Brad , Peter and I were think tanking for a band name- somehow FOG came up and we all agreed- and the first CD for Zebra was Slow And Slower. We toured Finland and Estonia and did a bunch of Bay Area concerts and small club gigs.A few years of FOG rolled by and then we recorded our second CD- The Antidote - with Matt Renzi on sax. I love this CD. Then I bought my place in Tallinn where I still reside in 2003- but we continued always playing when I was home in SF. Back to Jeff!!! another WOW!!! Jeff started playing with Bob Weir and Ratdog 15 years ago and has been part of The Dead's family of music ever since- so one thing led to another- and I beleive I sat in on Ratdog's 500th concert in San Jose- and this is where the fire started burning again. Time rolled along but Jeff and I would always talk and meet for coffee and just catch up- we always knew we would play again. Well this is when Weir started the new TRI studio- which is just absolutley incredible. So Jeff said hey lets go up to TRI and record some tunes- well we did!!! and it sounded and felt great. All four of us knew each other well and were coming from the same musical space. TRI was made for a group with dynamics- and for us this was perfect- we love to play soft and in a mellow way- where space and air a very big part of the FOG sound. So we did the first session in 2011 and recorded about 10 tunes and Justin Kreutzmann did some really great video's of us. His dad Bill- The original Grateful Dead drummer was one of the biggest influences on my drumming and improvised music- so the whole thing was very very cool. Then we headed back up to TRI in 2012 and did another session- and Bob joined in on a very soulful and quiet China doll. Justin also made another wonderful video . So here we are- kind of!!! ready to share the TRI FOG sessions with the world- and hopefully some special concerts along the way. I thank Jeff and Bob and Chris and Rick and all of the TRI staff for the wonderful friendship and support- and to Brad and Peter- the foot soldiers.
One Love- Brian Melvin- FOG.