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DENTON, Texas (KNTU) FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino urged a group of University of North Texas students to provide some brain power for emergency preparedness in remarks at the Denton campus on Thu., March 10.
Serino focused his message on what’s called the whole community approach to emergency management which means everyone, including students, takes part in the planning process.
“Students in higher education on college campuses can actually do a lot. The idea is to get invovled beforehand, so they know what they can do, so they know how they can actually play a key role,” said Serino.
He pointed out that students come up with some of the most innovative solutions.
“Whether that be how we’re going to feed and take care of two million people after [a] catastrophic disaster, how we can bring a team of folks together, how we’re going to be able to provide security for large numbers of people. How we’re going to be able to, when we respond to an incident, feed that many people, and, a lot of times government, we look at things the same way. So I think having new, young ideas is how we’re going to do that,” said Serino.
Contrary to popular belief, FEMA does not take over command and control at the scene of a disaster, but provides support for local governments during emergencies.
FEMA Region 6 covers Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.
Click below to hear FEMA Deputy Administrator Richard Serino talk with KNTU’s Will Stuart.
Here are a few photos from my trip to L.A. and the Grammys 2011.
The following is a CD review of The Tone Generator featured on JazzReview.com. Written by Lee Prosser.
CD Title: The Tone Generator
Record Label: Organ-Ized Records
Style: Contemporary Jazz
The Tone Generator features the organ magic of Eric “Scorch” Scortia. The Hammond B-3 organ is alive, hot to trot, and a perfect companion for Scortia whose keyboard techniques are in top form. Scortia is superb in this wonderfully eclectic collection of eleven jazz selections.
Scortia is joined by Andrew Griffith on drums, Marchel Ivery on tenor saxophone, and Clint Strong on guitar. These four musicians form a perfect musical union, and the solo work as well as the group work is pure and sweet and hot! This is the kind of CD organ jazz that comes along once in a great while, and this is that great while and here it is!
The musicians are topnotch, and so are their performances. There are eleven songs on the CD collection. Songs include: “Comin’ Home Baby,” “Black Talk,” “Ode to Billy Joe,” “Let the Music Take Your Mind,” “The Scorpion,” “Son of a Pracher Man,” “Think.” “Mr. T.,” “We Are Not Alone,” and a memorable interpretation of the American Standard, “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise.”
If you like jazz organ, get a copy of this fine CD for yourself, your most intimate companion, and each of your friends, for it is a one of a kind special recording. Each performance is perfect, and this is a CD that will endure as a classic jazz organ music collection. Every performer on the CD is superb, as is the jazz!
Highly recommended. One of a kind. Special. Pure jazz. That is how I would sum this collection of jazz songs and the group performing those songs! Scortia and his crew are perfect in their interpretations of these jazz songs. The Tone Generator !!!!!!
Tracks: These eleven tracks will have appeal to all jazz listeners with their fresh creativity and verve!
Reviewed by: Lee Prosser
A great turn out, over 100 motor cycles and a great day of music featuring guitarists, Lance Lopez, Wes Jeans, Eric Gales, Tallan Latz and Zack Rosicka. All of these artists featured Eric Scortia on keyboards. Scorch says that playing gigs like this are great fun. You get to play with a cast of great guitar players and they usually play their best songs. While all the players on stage are great musicians, when you line up five burning guitar players on the same stage they are going to turn up the heat big time. A little friendly competition always brings out the best in a good musician. That same concept has always been an important ingredient in American jazz, blues and rock music. Bring it on!
Jazz With A Lone Star Spin
Hammond B3 organist Eric Scortia – a mainstay of the Texas music scene and an omnipresent figure on the national and international tour circuit – has covered a lot of territory, not just geographically but stylistically as well. In the course of his career, he has developed a style that embraces jazz, blues, rock, funk, country and more, and distilled all of these sounds into a distinctive blend that has become his trademark on four solo recordings, dozens of session recordings with other artists and countless live gigs. Through it all, he’s earned the well deserved nickname of “Scorch,” due to a relentlessly burning attack that leaves an indelible and instantly recognizable signature on every song he touches.
His newest recording, The Tone Generator, is set for official release on Organ-Ized Records on March 30, 2010. Consistent with the eclectic approach that has become Scorch’s trademark over the years, The Tone Generator is an eleven-song set that borrows material from a number of well known songwriters representing a variety of genres and reshapes it via Scorch’s innovative sensibilities.
The songwriting credits on the album tell the tale. From start to finish, Scorch and his three-man crew reinterpret the works of artists as diverse as Charles Earland, Bobby Gentry, Aretha Franklin, Chester Thompson, Oscar Hammerstein and more – all of whose songs have made their way into the band’s live show in recent years.
“We’d been performing a lot of these songs in our shows,” says Scorch, “and it was just a matter of documenting a body of material that had become a very important part of what we’d been doing onstage. The recording process was very natural and quick. We went into the studio, set up in a circle to promote good eye contact, did a few mic checks, and in most cases, we played the tunes in one take. We finished it in a day.”
“We” is a group informally known as Eric Scortia and Vital Organ, a collective that is as diverse as the material they play. Guitarist Clint Strong, whose resume includes stage and studio work with Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, is a second-generation axeman who straddles the two very different worlds of country and bebop with no effort whatsoever. Tenor saxophonist Ivery Marchel, who passed away shortly after the album was recorded, had polished his jazz chops by playing with piano giant Red Garland in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Drummer Andrew Griffith, the relative youngster in Scorch’s crew, developed his chops via festival and studio gigs with B3 players Jack McDuff and Joey DeFrancesco.
The well-pedigreed quartet converges in a perfect storm from the very first riffs of the lively “Comin’ Home Baby,” a driving composition originally penned by Ben Tucker and Bob Dornough. Once the basic theme is established, Ivery wastes no time putting his formidable sax chops to work, followed immediately by Strong, who lays down licks that are silky smooth one minute and aggressive the next. Scorch himself ties it all up nicely with solo work that’s equal parts technical skill and hardcore groove.
The funky and syncopated “Black Talk” is the first of three songs on the album written by sax/keyboard virtuoso Charles Earland, the “Mighty Burner” of soul jazz whom Scorch considers among his primary influences. Other tracks from the Earland catalog appearing later in the sequence include the jazzy “Spinky” and the freewheeling “We Are Not Alone.”
Griffith’s straightahead beat and the elaborate solo work that surrounds it take Bobbie Gentry’s 1967 country hit, “Ode To Billy Joe,” and give it a decidedly R&B spin. Also drawn from the country well is a groove-driven version of “Son of a Preacher Man” inspired by Scorch’s brief meeting with actress Uma Thurman between sets at a gig in Austin in the late ‘90s, during his stint with saxophonist Johnny Reno and the Lounge Kings. The encounter reminded Scorch of the 1968 country hit for Dusty Springfield that figures prominently in the soundtrack to filmmaker Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 classic, Pulp Fiction.
“I got a chance to chat with Uma for a few minutes,” he recalls, “and the whole time, I’m thinking, ‘Wow, I’m talking to Uma Thurman…’ A few days later, I just started playing around with the tune on the piano and came up with my own arrangement. We were playing it in our gigs by the following week.”
Scorch and company’s rendition of Aretha Franklin’s “Think” is just as pulsing and intense as the Queen of Soul’s original recording in 1968, thanks to Scorch and Ivery moving in perfect tandem with Griffith and Strong, and then stepping out on their own exactly when and where the arrangement warrants.
The Tone Generator closes with an uptempo, light-hearted reading of the classic “Softly, As In a Morning Sunrise,” a track that seems to move on air with no extraneous baggage to weight it down – a vibe that’s consistent with Scorch’s longstanding philosophy about music’s place in the universe, and his own place in relation to music.
“Music is like the wind, almost like a spiritual thing,” he says. “You can’t just grab a hold of it, you can write notes on paper, you can record a CD, but the music itself is all around us all the time. So if that’s the case, why limit yourself by saying that you’re just a jazz musician or just a blues-rock musician or whatever?”
Perhaps the single element that defines Scorch’s music is Scorch himself. “I try to put everything I do into the same blender that is the style of organ that I play,” he says, “and then just kind of lay it all out in a groove mode. I do it subconsciously, I guess, and that’s what makes it all fit together.”
The CD was recorded at The Dallas Sound Lab. The legendary studio where Stevie Ray Vaughn recorded his Soul To Soul and In Step albums. Scorch recorded the band through the vintage SSL mixing console. This project is now in line to be mixed and mastered at Scortia’s own Organ-ized Records production studios. The Groove Machine project is one of several creative musical endeavors that Scortia is currently producing. Release date is slated for sometime in 2011. Click this link for a sample.