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Smooth Sax

Founded in 1977, Forecast specializes in what regional radio used to call “lights-out jazz,” a progressive sort of lounge sound almost verging on rock and roll. Mining the same smooth ground as locals Fattburger and Hollis Gentry’s Neon and national acts such as Spyro Gyra and the Yellowjackets, Forecast revolves around saxes and flutes of bandleader Greg Pardue.

“We play jazz-rock fusion, contemporary smooth jazz, swing, and funk, along with standards from the great American songbook, Brazilian, Latin, and classical jazz,” says Pardue. “Lately, most of our gigs have been for a duo or trio, although sometimes the band is as large as a six-piece. The piano player Max Zape and I have been together over 20 years.”

Pardue also plays with the Will Faeber Band (classic rock), the San Diego Nite Big Band (orchestral jazz with up to 20 members), and PHD Jazz, which he describes as “an offshoot of a jazz improvisation workshop I’ve been in for several years. We can be as small as a trio and as big as a septet.”

WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?

1) Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane, at Carnegie Hall. “A modern-classic jazz quartet just doesn’t get any better than this. Two awesome jazz giants at their peak.”

2) Tower of Power, Live. “The greatest funk band of all time. I spent years playing their music in clubs.”

3) Ivan Lins, A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins. “Ivan Lins is one of the great modern Brazilian composers, and this CD has all kinds of artists covering his songs — people such as Sting, Grover Washington Jr., and Chaka Khan — along with an all-star backup band. Just gorgeous music.”

4) Sting, Bring on the Night. “This is a live CD, and it’s arguably his best band ever, with great jazz musicians like Branford Marsalis and Kenny Kirkland. The guy is a great songwriter.”

5) James Carter, Conversin’ with the Elders. “Carter is my newest favorite sax player. It’s obvious why he wins multiple jazz polls every year — he plays his ass off. A friend of mine said he’d probably break his teeth if he tried to do what James does on the sax, and I agree. The guy has redefined jazz sax playing.”

LOCAL HANGOUTS?

1) “My wife and I love to go for walks on the La Jolla coastline.”

2) “I make a point of going to the KSDS Jazz Live concerts once a month.”

3) “Several Saturday afternoons each month, you can find me wine-tasting at Vintage Wines on Miramar Road and at Eli’s in Del Mar Heights.”

4) “On Wednesday nights, after my big-band rehearsal, I like to go to O’Brien’s Pub on Convoy. They have a killer draft-beer selection.”

MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS?

1) DownBeat

2) National Geographic

3) Wine Spectator

WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB?

“I’ve been in the musical products biz for a long time. I go to the National Association of Music Merchants show every year, and I used to run product clinics for some of the companies I represented.”

FINISH THIS SENTENCE: “IF I HAD PSYCHIC POWERS…”

“…I’d know exactly what the keyboard player was going to play next, so my solos would be out of this world.”

BRUSH WITH FAME?

“When I was in high school, I got to meet Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Needless to say, I was in awe. Over the years, Forecast has opened concerts for Kirk Whalum, Richard Elliot, and War, among others, and we got to hang out with them.”

EVER MIX MUSIC AND POLITICS?

“Well, in the past, I did gigs for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon — when they were each the governor of California — and I got to meet each of them. That was interesting, even though my politics were different from theirs.”

MOVIE YOU CAN’T SIT THROUGH?

“Just about any movie with Sly Stallone. That guy is a terrible actor.”

GOOD ADVICE?

“My dad and mom always said, ‘Save your money for when you get older.’ Good advice, considering the economy these days.”

HEART’S DESIRE?

“I’m still not the jazz sax player I want to be.”

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Founded in 1977, Forecast specializes in what regional radio used to call “lights-out jazz,” a progressive sort of lounge sound almost verging on rock and roll. Mining the same smooth ground as locals Fattburger and Hollis Gentry’s Neon and national acts such as Spyro Gyra and the Yellowjackets, Forecast revolves around saxes and flutes of bandleader Greg Pardue.

“We play jazz-rock fusion, contemporary smooth jazz, swing, and funk, along with standards from the great American songbook, Brazilian, Latin, and classical jazz,” says Pardue. “Lately, most of our gigs have been for a duo or trio, although sometimes the band is as large as a six-piece. The piano player Max Zape and I have been together over 20 years.”

Pardue also plays with the Will Faeber Band (classic rock), the San Diego Nite Big Band (orchestral jazz with up to 20 members), and PHD Jazz, which he describes as “an offshoot of a jazz improvisation workshop I’ve been in for several years. We can be as small as a trio and as big as a septet.”

WHAT’S IN YOUR CD PLAYER?

1) Thelonious Monk Quartet with John Coltrane, at Carnegie Hall. “A modern-classic jazz quartet just doesn’t get any better than this. Two awesome jazz giants at their peak.”

2) Tower of Power, Live. “The greatest funk band of all time. I spent years playing their music in clubs.”

3) Ivan Lins, A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins. “Ivan Lins is one of the great modern Brazilian composers, and this CD has all kinds of artists covering his songs — people such as Sting, Grover Washington Jr., and Chaka Khan — along with an all-star backup band. Just gorgeous music.”

4) Sting, Bring on the Night. “This is a live CD, and it’s arguably his best band ever, with great jazz musicians like Branford Marsalis and Kenny Kirkland. The guy is a great songwriter.”

5) James Carter, Conversin’ with the Elders. “Carter is my newest favorite sax player. It’s obvious why he wins multiple jazz polls every year — he plays his ass off. A friend of mine said he’d probably break his teeth if he tried to do what James does on the sax, and I agree. The guy has redefined jazz sax playing.”

LOCAL HANGOUTS?

1) “My wife and I love to go for walks on the La Jolla coastline.”

2) “I make a point of going to the KSDS Jazz Live concerts once a month.”

3) “Several Saturday afternoons each month, you can find me wine-tasting at Vintage Wines on Miramar Road and at Eli’s in Del Mar Heights.”

4) “On Wednesday nights, after my big-band rehearsal, I like to go to O’Brien’s Pub on Convoy. They have a killer draft-beer selection.”

MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS?

1) DownBeat

2) National Geographic

3) Wine Spectator

WHAT’S YOUR DAY JOB?

“I’ve been in the musical products biz for a long time. I go to the National Association of Music Merchants show every year, and I used to run product clinics for some of the companies I represented.”

FINISH THIS SENTENCE: “IF I HAD PSYCHIC POWERS…”

“…I’d know exactly what the keyboard player was going to play next, so my solos would be out of this world.”

BRUSH WITH FAME?

“When I was in high school, I got to meet Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Needless to say, I was in awe. Over the years, Forecast has opened concerts for Kirk Whalum, Richard Elliot, and War, among others, and we got to hang out with them.”

EVER MIX MUSIC AND POLITICS?

“Well, in the past, I did gigs for Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon — when they were each the governor of California — and I got to meet each of them. That was interesting, even though my politics were different from theirs.”

MOVIE YOU CAN’T SIT THROUGH?

“Just about any movie with Sly Stallone. That guy is a terrible actor.”

GOOD ADVICE?

“My dad and mom always said, ‘Save your money for when you get older.’ Good advice, considering the economy these days.”

HEART’S DESIRE?

“I’m still not the jazz sax player I want to be.”

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Outtakes: MOST VISITED WEBSITES? 1. “Signonsandiego.com, for news.” 2. “KSDS.com, for the jazz calendar and the Lakers.”

SO ARE YOU WITH OBAMA, OR AGAINST HIM? “I voted for him, and I’m much more hopeful now than I was during the previous eight years.”

SOMETHING ABOUT YOU FEW WOULD KNOW OR GUESS? “I’ve been an environmentalist for a very long time.”

Jan. 7, 2010

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