Friday, January 1, 2010


So that was 2009...

Yacht Rock played a private party for Six Feet Under at Paris on Ponce last night. I love playing that room! Not only is the load in super easy, but there's just the right amount of space for us (and for the crowd). I can always hear well, and nothing ever gets too loud. Last night's crowd was pretty cool (with no Skynard requests!), so it made for an all around great evening.
It's tough to say who played best last night. Mark Cobb played possibly his best show ever. He just came back from NYC last night, and I think being up there for a week really energized him. Mark Dannells was his usual top notch self. I know it's unfair to compare players, but when I hear him play the gig, everything he does sounds exactly right. He also had on a nice new suit (and he helped me load out). We added Maneater last night, and Mark Bencuya's sounds were soooo spot on it sounded like they'd been lifted directly from the record. Wow!

Over on my side, I had a very good night. I spent a good bit of time shedding the piano part to You're So Vain, and it felt way better last night. I'm slowly getting the passing chords worked in there, so it's less of A minor, F major, A minor, and more of the actual part. A year ago we played Don't Go Breakin' My Heart at our gig, and I crashed really really bad on the string part. I was thinking about that last night while we were playing it again. A year of playing that has made a huge difference! I guess another way to think of it is that it's only taken me a year to get comfortable on it.
Saxophone-wise, I gacked a high F# on Who Can it Be Now. A little too tight in the embouchure. No excuse for that. Everything else was pretty comfortable. As I mentioned, we added Maneater, which was a little nerve-wracking. It's such a well known solo, so it has to be right. I'm not to the point of owning it, but I got it right last night. One thing that I probably didn't worry about enough was the stuff at the end where they're tagging the chorus. I probably need to get a little closer to the fills on the record.
Diligent readers of the is blog probably remember this post about my EWI freezing up on a cold gig. In frantically trying to get the thing to work again, I started pushing buttons...never good! In doing this, I changed the setting of what the EWI tells the computer about the breath pressure--the faders moved when I would blow. That was no big deal, but it totally messed up my settings in Logic. I lived with it for a while, but I decided that some things (specifically my horn section sound) didn't sound as good (the horns were all equal, and so it lost the trumpet dominating the top). Yesterday afternoon I got the EWI set back to the right number, and to wipe out the fader issue I reverted back to my saved sounds. All was good.
We soundchecked Nights on Broadway, and it dawned on me that my saved sounds did not include the synth bass that I play. Agh! I tried a different sound last night that I dialed up really quickly, but it didn't sound good in the context of everybody else. Oops. That was my only major malfunction. I'll get that fixed before next week.
Next week we're actually playing on a boat. The Rock Boat. It should be a bizarre experience.