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  • Happy Anniversary to Tiki Lounge Talk!

    Posted on March 31st, 2010 "Tiki Chris" Pinto 3 comments

    happy-tiki-anniversary-bettApril marks the One Year Anniversary of Conversations at the Tiki Bar! Notice the shiny new header and the kool glowing background graphics? They’re just part of a month-long celebration of Tiki, Retro & Vintage fun.

    In the coming weeks I’ll post lots of fun-stuff, from some of the first few posts to new and exciting concoctions. I’m also planning on adding a drink recipe page and an events page to give a little more usable info in addition to the general silliness that usually swings around here.

    So sit back, take a sip of your Rusty Nail and enjoy Tiki Lounge Talk, the Tiki Blog for Tiki Culture & Tiki Lifestyle (whew that’s a load of Tikis, but I guess it will help with SEO!) in our second fantabulous year!

    -Tiki Chris, reporting from Sunny South Florida

  • Back to the Sax!

    Posted on November 4th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    That's me, playing Tenor Sax

    That's me, playing Tenor Sax

    Well, Halloween is over and so are the 8+ weeks of decorating and preparing for my krazy Halloween Party. Now I’m taking things down a little at a time, which gives me back the time to do the other things I love…writing, having drinks and conversation at the Tiki Bar with my wife Colleen, catching movies, working on the ’53 Chevy Belair, and playing the sax.

    I’d say I went from blowing notes every day in September to about once or twice a week in October…just to keep frosty. Last night I picked her up for the first time in days, and it showed! I was rusty as hell, my fingers tripping over the keys like a high school freshman. The reed wasn’t right, and my breathing was labored (too much Halloween candy, or not enough). So I backed up a few steps, took a deep breath, and played something I know inside & out…Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train”.

    Sax on the bar, too much (or not enough) Bourbon

    Sax on the bar, too much (or not enough) Bourbon

    I’ve always loved the way A Train sounds on a solo tenor sax. It can be played low and moody, with a sort of bluesy darkness. Or it can be play crisp and light, filling in the gaps with lots of pretty notes. It can sound swingin’, reminiscent of the 30’s big band soloists. It can sound upbeat and boppy, like Bird. Or it can be played as a slow and easy ballad, almost mournful. I like to play it as a story.

    I like to start out bluesy, kind of slow in the lower octave, the subject of our story just hangin’ out, waitin’ for the train to come. It’s late, and he misses his lady…the one who lives in Sugar Hill way up in Harlem. Then the train pulls up, he steps on, and the A Trains takes off out of

    Duke Ellington's Orchestra

    Duke Ellington's Orchestra

    the station swingin’, movin’ a little faster. His mind fills with images of his beautiful doll, and as the train rolls faster so does the tempo. Third time around the tune really takes off, progressing into an up-tempo modern jazz style going way out into space and coming back in for a three-point landing around 125th Street. Then, suddenly, it slows down again to a nice, easy ballad as he sees his lovely lady waiting for him at the door.

  • Jazz 101 – A Guide To Smokin’ Retro Riffs

    Posted on April 25th, 2009 "Tiki Chris" Pinto No comments
    Dexter Gordon, Tenor Sax

    Dexter Gordon, Tenor Sax

    You can’t have a retro party or live in the retro moment without the proper tunes to back you up. And no, the Beatles and Led Zeppelin don’t count. If you want to do it right, it’s got to be Jazz, or Exotic. But there’s soooo much to learn, man! Well don’t blow a gasket, baby, because ol’ Mack has laid down the basics for you.

    Click here or up top on the page navi that says “Jazz 101” and get a short but sweet shot of all you need to know to get in the groove.

    In the not so distant future I’ll dedicate a page to Exotic music too…Tiki bar stuff, Polynesian, Tahitian, Island, Calypso, Etc…