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Graydon Gigs

This section presents a handful of memorable Jay Graydon gigs. From time to time we will give you the lineups, some pics, sound bites, reviews, as well as some stories and comments from Jay. Hang around - more of this is just around the corner....

All photos are from webmaster's private collection and may not be used without permission. Copyright © KEO 1996 - 2023. All rights reserved.

The first memorable gig on webmaster's account was of course when Jay and his All Star Project visited Umeå - the City of Birches - far up on the northeast coast of Sweden. This was on January 29, 1994. We had more snow than usual this year and it was very cold (-29C which is -20 in Fahrenheit) The gig was sold out and we were MANY who had waited for this concert to happen!!! Tell you one thing for sure - we were not disappointed!

A note from Jay regarding rare tour footage released by Ward Records, Japan...

Jay Graydon All Stars Tour DVD 1994 "When on tour with my All Star band in 1994 we toured Japan, Sweden, and Norway. The video is of a concert in Japan and I don't remember why it was filmed. The audio was from a feed from the PA audience mix. Typically the audio feed from such a mix would not translate well for a recording as the levels are set by the mixer for the audience considering sonic information bouncing around the room building up certain frequencies and sucking back other frequencies. Ironically, the mix sounds good as a recording!

Many years later my good friend Kenji Sano mentioned a video company was interested in releasing the video, I said we needed to watch and listen as to make sure it was good enough for release. I was amazed how well all of us played and how good the vocal performances were! What is most amazing is I think this was the first night we had performed! Yea, you might enjoy checking out the sound bites from this gig.

Since the odds are good such a tour will probably not happen again it's nice to have the concert on film! It is available at HMV Japan, CD Universe, Amazon and other online stores. - Jay Graydon"


Update 2015:


Jay Graydon All Stars 20th 
Anniversary Edition

The Japan/Scandinavia Tours 1994 and 1996 with documentary bonus material

A Region Free 4 DVD box set, having a few flashbacks from the 1994 and 1996 actual concert footage, a fun and informational band reunion hang at Garden Rake Studios 20 years later, filmed by Todd Homme, and a lot of bonus material, such as for instance a complete explanation by Jay Graydon on how to play his "Peg" solo, as well as a very cool jam session in Jay's garden from 1989 with great musicians, including Steve Lukather, and so much more.

This Region Free 4 DVD box set is for instance available at Amazon. - Worldwide shipping!






Jay's own memories from the gig in Umeå...

I clearly remember this gig for many reasons - I will start from the beginning.

1. Before arriving, I was told the people of UMEÅ are most friendly which proved to be true. When arriving at the hotel, everyone was so very kind!

2. We went to a record store as to sign autographs. During the autograph session, I met Kerstin, Lage and their family. Since that meeting, we have become great friends! Note: Kerstin is my incredible PA and the webmaster of this sight!

3. Up to this point in my life (the Scandinavian tour), I had never seen snow fall let alone walking on slick ice. When arriving at the gig, as soon as I stepped foot of the road bus, I slipped on the ice and almost fell on my butt! That was a wake up call as to watch my step on ice!

4. When entering the concert hall, I was impressed that the room design was ideal for seating and most beautiful! (Aula Nordica at the university - Webmaster's remark) A few minutes later, I plugged my guitar into my amp set up and discovered a serious sonic problem - the room was very dead sounding meaning all surfaces were soft (walls are covered with cloth type material, the room is carpeted and so on). Such an environment is not typical meaning 99% of medium size halls have many hard surfaces (plaster walls, etc.)

So why the problem? When playing live, I do not use any effects such as reverb and delay lines since there is usually so much sound bouncing off walls, etc. (If using such effects in live rooms, this just adds to sonic confusion). Since my guitar sound was extremely dry, since my amp speakers were about 15 feet back, the sound from my amps sounded thin and small. I experimented with amp EQ settings but to no avail. My sound sucked! When any guitarist is not digging their tone, this is distracting when trying to create musical ideas.

The lesson to be learned: on the next tour, I made sure I had reverb (if needed).

5. I only used one effect which was an Orange Squeezer compressor. This unit plugs into the guitar and the guitar amp cord plugs into the compressor. As to make sure the guitar cord does not accidentally get unplugged from the compressor (stepping on the guitar cord while playing), I always wrap the guitar cord through the guitar strap as to anchor.

During the concert, after going off stage for a song, when coming back on stage, I forgot to wrap the cord through the strap. When I started to play the guitar solo on "Nothing You Can Do About It", I stepped on the cord which pulled it out of the compressor!

Well, that was it for the guitar solo since by the time I got the cord plugged back in, the solo was over. At the end of the song, Sherwood asked the audience if they wanted to hear the solo - the audience said yes. We then counted off the song at the solo section and I played the solo.

6. Even though I struggled with my sound all night, the gig was very fun and I think we all performed better than average. By the way, the audience was outstanding which always inspires us to perform well!


For a larger version
click on the image!

Jay Graydon in 
Umeå Jay Graydon All 
Star Project Sherwood Ball Bill Cantos Kenji Sano Jay Graydon All 
Star Project. 2nd pic Steve Porcaro Joseph Williams

Jay may have struggled with his sound all night but this did in no way affect the sound coming out to the audience, since the sound was superb at this concert. More than 1000 ecstatic music lovers had the time of their lives ever. The venue is not supposed to take more than around 800 people but since the pressure for concert tickets was so huge the arrangers finally got permission to allow more people attending, sitting on extra chairs. A second concert would easily have filled the venue to the brim, since a large portion of the audience would gladly have paid a second time to re-live this gig.

When the rumors were starting to circulate about Jay Graydon coming to town nobody really believed it. Some kind of joke? Jay Graydon coming to Umeå? You gotta be kidding! But what if it was true? Well, we all know now that it was true and it sure changed the life for many of us.

In fact this concert was the talk of the town for many months after that gig night, for the wonderful music, for the outstanding musicians doing their utmost to surpass one another in performance and for the music joy and sarcastic but warm humor they so generously shared with us. The whole concert was filled with a perfect mix of playful performance and musical professionalism.

The musicians on this tour were, apart from the band leader, Jay Graydon, on guitars and vocals - Bill Champlin (vocals, of course, guitar and Hammond B3), Bill Cantos (vocals and keyboard), Sherwood Ball (vocals and guitar), Steve Porcaro (keyboard and synths), John Van Tongeren (keyboard and synths), Pat Mastelotto (drums), Kenji Sano (bass) and Joseph Williams (vocals).

What a line-up, folks!

Starting with Sherwood Ball in a powerful interpretation of CRIMINAL from the Planet 3 album "Music From The Planet", the musical hits followed like a string of precious pearls - Grammy awarded AFTER THE LOVE IS GONE and TURN YOUR LOVE AROUND, NOTHIN' YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, INSINCERE, WHEN YOU LOOK IN MY EYES, WALK THE WIRE, SHE JUST CAN'T MAKE UP HER MIND, ROXANN, Bill Champlin's SATISFACTION and many, many more delicious musical tidbits.

Bill Champlin caressed our ears with a looong innovative Hammond intro to IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT (which he is singing in the TV series with the same title) and Jay did, among all his other outstanding classy solos one absolutely unbelievable-out-of-this-world guitar solo on the same song. Steve Porcaro, also delivered one of his own compositions, an instrumental harmony masterpiece on synths, together with Bill Cantos and John Van Tongeren.

Sherwood tried to get singing assistance from the audience in SHOW ME THE MAGIC and the mood became more and more exhilarated both on stage and in the audience as the concert proceeded and at the encores - PAMELA and STRANDED - we were all standing up and singing with the band. Maybe the audience did not sing all that great or in tune but WOW!!! what a feeling!



Graydon singing at GINO Club in 
Stockholm 1996. Photo © Kerstin Olofsson 1996

Jay Graydon singing at Club GINO in Stockholm 1996. Photo © Kerstin Olofsson. All rights reserved.


Second Japan / Scandinavian Tour.

Ward Records, Japan has released a DVD with the Jay Graydon Allstars Band Live in Japan 1994 (Shm-CD - compatible with standard CD players). This is a live CD release from the Jay Graydon All Stars featuring Bill Champlin, Steve Porcaro, Joseph Williams, and more! CD features the high-fidelity SHM-CD format JAY GRAYDON ALL STARS DVD+CD package as a "SHM-CD" product (Super High Material CD- high sound quality) with added bonus materials. The new bonus materials feature live performance footage from JAY's 1996 tour of Scandinavia, and rehearsal/performance footage from the Osaka shows.


Jay's memories of the gigs at Club GINO, Stockholm, Sweden:
In March of 1996, one of the last gigs on the Japan/European tour was in Stockholm at the GINO Club. What a great gig as the band played better than any gig on the tour! Some of the guys from the band "Chicago" were there and sat in - Bill Champlin and Jason Scheff. Bill sang "After The Love Has Gone" and "She Just Can't Make Up Her Mind" and Jason played bass on a few tunes as well.

Now for a bizarre situation. At one point, I smelled smoke meaning a fire was happening but since I did not see smoke, I couldn't figure out where the smell was emulating from. After the gig was over, I was told that a T-shirt had caught on fire, hence the little fire.

A major highlight - on the last song before the encore, Tris (our drummer) had broken his bass drum head. I mentioned that we would be back for the conclusion of the gig after Tris installs a new bass drum head. I had forgotten that Bill Cantos can work an audience without any help and get into a participation situation as to keep the groove alive! Bill did so and all had fun digging his musical journey!

At this point, I turn over the gig "rap" to our most gracious web master as Kerstin was there - go for it Sister and "rap" down your views! - Jay Graydon




Review from the Gino Concerts February 12 and 13, 1996

The "Jay Graydon All Star Band" blessed Stockholm with two concerts at Gino on February 12 and 13. Although there had been hardly no advertising at all the place was sold out both nights and on the second concert, when they sold about 50 extra tickets we - the audience - were standing (yes, through the whole concert!) tight tight together with a maneuvering space of about one half inch.

In short - the first concert was outstanding but the second was a real knock-out!

This time Jay had brought with him some "old" friends and some new:

  • Sherwood Ball - Guitar and Vocals
  • Ned Doheny - Guitar and Vocals
  • Tommy Funderburk - Vocals
  • Tris Imboden - Drums
  • Jay Oliver - Keyboards
  • Bill Cantos - Keyboards and Vocals
  • Kenji Sano- Bass
  • Joseph Williams - Vocals

Jay sang lead vocals on NOTHIN' YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT, backing vocals on a few songs as well and most of all, played his guitar on each song like a GOD!!! He had really gathered some of the best singers in the music world today and they sure sang the house down on these two magic nights. You can just imagine the great mix of voices............Sherwood Ball - glass-cutting diamond in the rough with intense feeling, Joseph Williams - soft and sweet, Tommy Funderburk - crystal clear and powerful, Ned Doheny and Bill Cantos - excellent backing vocals and also doing some great solo singing of their own. Bill Cantos - the king of improvisation - even persuaded us into having a bit of crazy community singing, while we were waiting for Tris' bass drum to be fixed.

Starting with two classic "Airplay" songs "Cryin' All Night" and "Bix" Tommy Funderburk with his godsent vocal cords, instantly got the temperature to reach boiling-point right from the start and that's were it stayed all night - both nights. Sherwood Ball's "Say That You Love Me" from his new album "White Light" added to the heat and the old hits and new songs then alternated through the concerts to the crowd's enthusiasm.

Apart from all the great singing we were also impressed by the incredible guitar playing of these gentlemen. The master - Jay Graydon - who as usual played his intelligent, dexterous and beautiful solos and fills - excelling in exquisite harmonies from out of this world, was backed by Sherwood Ball and Ned Doheny in a delicious, equilibristic guitar symbiosis of restraint and perfect timing. They even did the guitar solo of the "Airplay" song" It Will Be Alright" once again for all the guitar players in the audience as a lesson in three part harmony playing or as Jay puts it - "wire-choir" (167 K .au file). Thank you guys, I will start practicing right away!

The second night we were in for a great happening - some of us knew just a little something of what was going to happen, but for the audience as a whole this was a really shocking happy surprise. Sherwood started to sing "She Just Can't Make Up Her Mind" and after about two lines someone sneaks up from behind and takes over the microphone - Bill Champlin! Need I say that the audience was wild? The excitement of the astounded crowd reached a deafening, roof-lifting crescendo ......WOW!

These two multi-talented singers then sang the whole song by turns almost drowning in the ecstatic roaring of the crowd. Bill also came in later for the superb "In The Heat Of The Night" and one of the encores "After The Love Is Gone". Jason Scheff was the other "surprise guy" from Chicago who appeared on stage this night, playing bass on a couple of songs.

Apart from the great singers and guitar players this super group also had an excellent groove - Tris Imboden - the drummer of Chicago and Kenji Sano - Jay's bass player from the 1994 tour, and really outstanding keyboard players - Jay Oliver and formerly mentioned Bill Cantos, who also was one of the singers.

What more can I say? IT WAS A FEAST FOR OUR EARS LET ME TELL YOU!!!!!!!!!!

After the last encore when the curtains were down we still wanted more and the crowd roared and shouted and even sang, to get the band back on stage. Don't wait so long until the next time guys! Now that you know where to tour.... - Sis


                        JAY GRAYDON SET LIST (1-17-96)

    1.   Cryin' All Night			Tommy = KING OF HEARTS
                                 	   	Sherwood = WHITE LIGHT
    2.   Bix                     		Joe = I AM ALIVE
                                   		Ned = LIFE AFTER ROMANCE

    3.   Say That You Love Me			Jay Talks-introduce Joe

    4.   Dirty Little War			Jay introduce Tommy

    5.   My Desire
							Tommy talks about Airplay
    6.   It Will Be Alright
							Jay Introduce Sherwood
    7.   Holdin' On To Love
						      Sherwood introduce Bill
    8.   Cool Drink Of Water
							Jay introduce Joe
    9.   When You Look In my Eyes

  10.   Endless Nights
							Joe talks
  11.   Heroes
							Introduce Sherwood
  12.   She Just Can't Make Up Her Mind 
                                             Jay Airplay rap
  12a. Nothin' You Can Do About It.
                                             Introduce Band
  14.   Whatcha Gonna Do For Me 
							Ned introduce Sherwood
  15.   Insincere
							Jay says Planet 3 song
  16.   Criminal
							Tommy says "Toto song"
  17.   Pamela
  18.   After The Love Has Gone 

  19.   Stranded


Other Jay Graydon Gigs


A few photo collections plus corresponding comments from various events with pics of Jay's buddies and fellow guitar heroes, as well as other musicians and friends.


Jay Graydon at 2nd Don Ellis reunion gig in May 2007
(Photos published courtesy of Denise Marie Luko.)


Jay Graydon with fellow guitar heroes at Spazio
(Photos published courtesy of Matt Resnicoff and Bob Barry.)


Jay Graydon at Don Ellis gig in December 2005
(Photos published courtesy of Denise Marie Luko.)


All written material, all images and photos in all sections of this website copyright © Jay Graydon/KEO 1996 - 2023. All rights reserved. Comments, suggestions, appreciation, corrections... whatever...
talk to us.


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