Transmitting From NYC... Just received an advance copy of Steve Lampert's new CD, "Music From There." Steve is an amazing trumpeter/keyboardist/composer whos work combines elements of jazz, classical & electronic music in an extremely original & adventurous way. (He's also been my best friend since the 4th grade!) I'm very proud to be playing drums on it. Its official release is to be sometime in September so keep on the lookout for it. It's on Bridge Records (www.bridgerecords.com). I've been feeling the urge to write a bit on the slow death of the record store. I was a big fan, in particular, of Tower Records whos doors closed for good earlier this year. When travelling, at the top of my list of things to do always is to scope out any cool record or book stores. There were many cities in the U.S. (especially San Francisco & Los Angeles) where I would plan any & all excursions during my trips around visiting the local Tower. Even though it was an international chain, Tower stores seemed to resonate with the pulse of the true music fan. The current & only remaining large chain left in NYC to my knowledge, Virgin Megastore, only smells of the coldness of hard cash & commerce. I took a last walk through the Tower that existed in Greenwhich Village here at the corner of West 4th St. & Broadway a few days before it closed. I actually got quite emotional with the knowledge that this was going to be the end of a major chapter in my record buying experience. Of course, there are still plenty of specialty & used CD stores around but none with the variety & that special funkiness of Tower. As you've probably read 100 times, the direction of buying music is now pointing straight at the internet & digital downloading which, for someone like me, is great in that it allows me to get my music all over the world while barely taking a step outside my apartment. Still, I will always long for those old days of making that pilgrimage to Tower. It was a world where I felt very much at home.

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