Showing posts from September, 2009


Not much to report.

Sunday was a day of digging out. I unloaded all my gear from the truck and put it away. I played my church gig that night (and took Jack with me). Jack puked in the parking lot before we went home.

The only thing memorable about Monday was that I was teaching and my phone lit up because of an incoming call. It was the store--Music and Arts. But I was there (and had been there for two hours). So I called them back, and as we were talking, I walked out front to let them know just how dumb they were. While I was standing there talking on my cell phone to the guy four feet away from me on the store phone, my phone beeped--it was the other clerk calling me!

The biggest news of the day is that Y.O.U., my favorite local band, has decided to disband.

Rain and the Jazzoo

Yacht Rock was supposed to play a pair of gigs yesterday--the Sandy Springs Festival and Jazzoo at the zoo (duh).

The Sandy Springs gig got rained out. We showed up and it was pouring. Then the rain stopped. It's on, we thought. As we were loading our stuff on to a golf cart to take into the festival, the golf cart driver got a message that the gig had been canceled. So...back in the truck! We walked over to the stage to see what we would be missing. Twas a nice little ampitheater in Sandy Springs. By the time we got back to our vehicles, the rain was coming again, so I drove home in the rain. It kept raining for a few more hours.

Two nice things about that gig getting cancelled: 1. We still got paid. 2. The squeeze of trying to pack up, sprint to the zoo, and set up again was eliminated. Instead, I went home and ate supper, and then left around 6 PM.

I loaded into the zoo around 6:30. It was still raining, but miraculously we were able to drive through the back of the tent and unloa…

Thursday business

Thursday was another day that didn't look too bad when I checked my calendar.

I went by Music and Arts to buy a new saxophone stand. I have a couple of Hamilton stands that I've been using, but the bumpers at the bottom don't cradle my horns well, and I've tried to bend them and get them to work, but it's never been what I wanted. The older ones have a V shaped bumper--the newer ones are pretty flat, and they don't work that well in my opinion. It started to bug me, so I moved on. I had a Hercules stand that was holding an old saxophone up at home, and so I switched one of the Hamiltons out for that. I went and got another one so I'd have two in my bag.
While I was buying my stand, I overheard the clerk working say that he is now the manager. If my memory is right, that's the fourth manager in four years. Ahh, retail! I'll have to get the scoop on what happened to the other guy. Anyway, when he got around to me he mentioned that they brought …

Update on Flute/Guitar Duo

In case you're interested, I have added mp3s of a couple of songs from last night to my website--it's on the "sounds" page down at the bottom.

You might also notice that when Dan is soloing, there's another guitar comping behind him. The beauty of technology! Dan ran his guitar through a Boomerang pedal, allowing him to record the chord changes during the first chorus. There are a couple of minor mishaps (when the form was too long for the pedal's memory!, or as in Jordu, when Dan said "I was sure you'd take more than two choruses!") but who's a really cool way to make the gig happen.

Duo with Dan

I played a flute/guitar gig with Dan Baraszu tonight. I'd bet I've known Dan now for about twelve or thirteen years. In that time, I don't think he's ever made a mistake! We had a good time--it was a relaxed gig, and they even insisted that we eat! I had some kind of spicy shrimp pasta.
I recorded the affair (except for the first couple of tunes). Here's some 2 minute samples if you want to hear what we did.

Out of the Weekend

This past weekend I had no gigs which made it a good weekend to go to Mississippi and visit my grandmother. She's doing well considering her age. While we were there, Jack and I fished (we caught a bunch of catfish and a couple of turtles, but I returned them all safely to their natural habitat). Jack also drove the golf cart all over the neighborhood (highly illegal, but in a town as small as Leland, MS, who's going to catch us?). Jack had fun and we all had a nice visit.
Reggie got so excited chasing the geese in the back yard that he dove into the lake. I guess it's the lab in him. He can swim, though! He only did it once, so it's safe to say that he still does not like the water.

My grandfather died January, 8, 2009, and left me his truck. There has been an issue with executing the will (the title was in his name, not my grandmother's), and since it has been nine months, she is now able to transfer the title to me. So, Reggie and I drove the truck back. …

Man on the Run

It's been pretty wild the past two days.

Yesterday (Wednesday), I played a duo gig with Louis Heriveaux. It was a three hour gig, but we probably only played an hour's worth of music. If that. Super easy. The rest of the time, we just sat there and talked (while some guy gave a presentation). Super easy. Now for the bad the process of opening the door to my truck and switching hands, I dropped me tenor. In the gig bag, but it got a little messed up--the right hand is not sealing and the bell got bent (easy enough--I bent it back). Nothing that can't be repaired. Mostly I'm just feeling like an ass for being casual and dropping my horn.

Today was another two gig day. I played a trio gig with Tyrone Jackson and Tommy Sauter in Gwinnett from 6-9. The toughest part of that was the traffic (which was terrible with all the rain, and trying to be out there at 5 PM). After that, I jumped in my truck and boogied down 85 (again in the rain) to the 10 High for…

The Weekend

This weekend was pretty easy. Friday I taught a few lessons. Nothing in particular to say about it.
Saturday was also pretty straightforward. Jack had a t ball game. That night I had a wedding reception--jazz quartet plus a singer. It was a wonderful alternative to the usual "we exist to serve you" sort of ass-kissing wedding gigs to which I've grown accustomed. We set up, we played, they dug it, and it ended. A three hour gig. No big deal. Why can't they all be that relaxed? Also, the food was awesome.
Sunday brought a recording session...the new Platnumb demo. No big deal. I sat in the control room and played EWI (strings and synths) on some stuff, and saxophone on two tunes. Done in an hour and a half. After that, I taught a clarinet lesson and hit my church gig.
I tried to stay up and watch the football game, but I fell asleep at half time. I'll probably have no better luck tonight.

Branford Marsalis on teaching


I made it through Thursday night's double-whammy unscathed.

My first gig last night was a little trio hit at Neiman Marcus in Lenox Square Mall. I never understood what it was for--I think it was some sort of private party for high rolling customers. We (Tyrone Jackson and Tommy Sauter) were stationed in the men's department next to a bunch of extremely high priced Tom Ford clothes. Nothing much to report other than our self-amusement.
I need to learn some new tunes. The three of us have played these sort of gigs for years now, and so I know what tunes we know in common, but since the two of them are more "on the jazz scene" than I am, I'm not picking up newer tunes as quickly as they are. I usually bring charts of things I want to try, but I was traveling light due to the fact that I had to run out the door when the gig was over.
Speaking of which, when the gig ended, I boogied on out of there (I had a half hour to get from Lenox to Va. Highland, park, get in…

The Easiest Gig I Ever Did

I had a duo gig last night that was supposed to be four hours long. It was a private dinner for about ten super VIPs in town for a business meeting. We were to provide the music during the cocktails before and after the meal.
Louis Heriveaux and I played the gig. Louis has become one of the finest jazz pianists in town, and is also one of the coolest, most laid back guys with whom you could ever hang out. Good thing, too. We played from approximately 6:30-7:05 PM, and then the crowd went in to eat. At that point, we were on break. Louis ran to a McDonalds to get some food to eat with the medicine he's taking. When he returned, we continued to stand by until the guests returned around 9:40 PM. When then played two tunes and they all got back on their mini bus back to the hotel. We were finished at 9:55 PM. I don't think we made it through ten tunes the entire evening.
So what did we do between 7 and 9:40? We hung out, talked, talked on the phone, text messaged the wor…

Labor Day work

I had the weekend off (in other words, I didn't work Saturday night). It felt like it went by in about twenty minutes. I cleaned house Saturday afternoon. Sunday morning I got up and drove to Peachtree City to pick up Jack. Then we went to my parents' house and got my baseball glove and fishing pole. All of the sudden it was Sunday afternoon and I was trying to keep Jack occupied for the couple of hours before my church gig. We went swimming--I felt like I was jumping over the side of the Titantic. When I came up from underwater, I expected ice chunks to be floating around me. We swam for a little bit (and I did get used to the cold water) and then we walked across the street and tried fishing. I threw the line out and it settled, and Jack declared "This is taking FOREVER!!" We crossed back over and went swimming again (still cold).I went and played my church gig. Nobody was at church. Nothing else to report. I wore my other new suit. I looked good. Sund…

It's Gotta be the Shoes

The dressing room for Andrews Upstairs is up above the stage, and you can look out and see how the room is filling up before you go on. It's a small, hot room with a couple of couches, a mini fridge, and a restroom. We sat up there last night, worried because there was nobody on the floor in the twenty minutes or so before we started. It turns out that we were ok, though, because the bar in the other room was full and people were steadily filing in. By the time we got moving, it was pretty good. Not the most packed ever, but pretty thick. We have noticed that lots of our regular fans have been missing in action, but there are still plenty of new ones turning up, so that's cool.

Musically, it was a pretty solid night. For some reason, other people in the band actually put me in their monitor mixes last night. Usually I am ignored in that regard, but everybody threw a little bit in there, and that was cool. From my perch on the stage, I'm kind of isolated from the ov…

The Captain is Drunk

Yacht Rock was weird last night. We added Hot Child in the City, which was cool--nice to add a new tune, and it went over well. We'd worked out the ending (the full length version, not the version that ends with just voices), but when we tried it on the gig, somebody tripped and it all went to hell for about five beats and then Mark Cobb counted us back in. Woah!The on stage sound last night was kind of weird. It was like there was no bass and very little highs, so there was just this midrange-y thing. It's not that we were playing poorly (in the first set), but it just felt weird. I don't know what else to say. Some nights the sound is really full, but tonight it seemed kind of empty. On the break, several band members shared a round of "car bombs"--liquor dropped in a beer (like a sake bomb). Let's say that the second set did not go particularly well. Lots of random (and bizarre) stuff going down. At one point (about three or for songs in), Ganesh …

Wednesday White Guy

I did a jazz gig tonight with Jace Honage down at Centennial Olympic Park. We were part of a series called "Wednesday Wind Down." It was cool; Tyrone Jackson brought me on board for this one. The drummer was Henry (I can't remember his last name), and the one and only Ramon Pooser on bass. My first real jazz gig in months. I was pretty amped up about it. Tyrone is one of my favorite people both musically and personally; I hadn't played a gig with Ramon in probably ten years; I'd never met Henry (or Jace).
I showed up at the park and I was the only white guy for miles this is how it feels! Years ago I did a gig with a singer in Augusta in a nightclub where I was the only caucasian. Also quite an expericence! Alot of feeling like I have to prove myself.
On to the gig. We opened with two instrumentals, Yes and No and The Chicken. I played both like my life depended on it--maybe not such a good thing. I find that when I haven't done a …

Sunday into Monday

Sunday was sort of a weird day. I got home from my experience at The Earl, cooled off for an hour or so, and went to bed. I think I woke up late in the morning on Sunday. It was hard to tell because of the rain. Anyway, I unloaded my gear from the car, took it upstairs, and reset for my gig that night. I ate, showered, and it was about time to head out the door. My gig Sunday night was me on saxes and flute, Wayne Viar on percussion (that's Wayne up there in the pic), and Jeff Burnisky on turntables (?)--he's a DJ. Basically the idea is that he supplies the groove and the vibe, and then Wayne and I play over the top of it. It works--people eat it up. The only problem is that the turntables never get tired (and never stop), so it's hard to figure out how to take a break, so I end up playing for three hours straight! This gig featured parking validation, which is a beautiful thing. We were told to valet, so I did. I took my validation to the valet, and they said, &…