Posted on 5/7/2008at 12:41 PM

Quite a significant moment in my career occurred in February courtesy of Leland Melvin and NASA.

Leland, who is a buddy of mine, is an astronaut. Back in December, the Space Shuttle Atlantis (STS-122) was scheduled to launch, headed for the International Space Station. Melissa and I went down to see my man take off for his first launch. Due to a mechanical malfunction, the launch was delayed for one day, then two days, three days, then finally, they put it off for February. Unfortunately, Melissa and I were not able to make it down for the rescheduled launch. You may, however, wonder why this launch was quite a significant moment in my career? Well, the CD that Leland took into outer space with him was, “LIVE AT TONIC”!! Yes, I accompanied Leland into outer space. (see photo) The STS-122 mission was accomplished in 12 days, 18 hours, 21 minutes and 40 seconds, and traveled 5,296,832 statute miles in 203 Earth orbits. (I got that from the NASA website….)

Special thanks to my friends, Kathy Panoff and Beverly Bradshaw from the University of Richmond.

Congratulations to my man, Leland Melvin. Mission Accomplished!

Right after Valentine’s Day, I started a month-long tour of the US with Pat and Antonio in support of our new release “Day Trip”. It was a great tour. We did some great shows all over the west coast (California, Arizona, New Mexico), Texas, Florida, and finishing up in DC, Philly, Boston, Connecticut, and New York. We close the curtain on the trio this summer in Europe. If you missed us on this past US tour, I don’t know when you’ll see us again. I guess you’ll have to follow us to Europe in July. ☺

After Pat’s tour, the CMB played a show in Amherst, MA at the University of Massachusetts. Sitting in for Geoffrey Keezer was Martin Bejerano. I’ve been listening to Martin for many years with Russell Malone’s group and also witn Roy Haynes’ group. He sounded wonderful. Ron and Terreon were in fine form, too.

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