Showing posts from May, 2012


Obviously, you weren't there…I mean, NOBODY was there…but we had a pretty good salsa gig last night at Kat's Cafe in midtown.  For the most part, we got it right, and the handful of people (eight?) who did show up were genuinely appreciative and danced well.  We had fun, and played well for no full rehearsal!

Linda Chicana by David B Freeman

See you next time!

Tito Puente Jr

I had the pleasure of playing with Tito Puente Jr at the Atlanta Jazz Festival last night.  Leading up to the gig, I was really excited, then not excited at all, and then we got on stage and it was exciting again.

Very cool…just the sound of two trumpets (Karl Liberatore and Paul Garrett), trombone (Eric Alexander), tenor sax (Will Scruggs), and me playing full blast mambos for an hour and a half was incredible.  Tito brought his rhythm section guys, and they were naturally awesome (and the keyboardist had a piano AND a suitcase rhodes…nice!).

At one point, we stopped so they could introduce the band, and the music director handed ME the microphone to introduce the horn section.  I HATE TALKING ON THE MIC!!!!!  I was so petrified that I have no recollection of what I said.  It was horrifying, and it took me almost two songs to recover from the adrenaline.  I was informed by my son this morning that I was on the video screen while I was speaking, which makes it doubly embarrassing.



I played two gigs today.

Gig number one was a little salsa trio--a party celebrating the first communion.  Did I mention in an earlier post that we had a rehearsal?  We got together in a rather rough part of Decatur at the home of someone NOT playing in the trio (I don't know how that happened, but it made me think driving away afterwards that I probably should have told my family where I would be in case I didn't come back).  Anyway, we sorted out keys, transitions, forms, endings--you know what I mean.

Yeah, well, fuck everything I just mentioned.  The transitions, the form, fuck it all.  Kind of frustrating.  What else?  Well, how about the gig was 2:30-4:30.  I got there at 1:50.  The second guy in the trio showed up at 2:26, so I sat in these people's living room for a half hour pretending to do stuff on my phone, occasionally assuring the homeowners that the band was "right around the corner."  Fun.  And hey, the gig's outside, and it's 90 degrees,…

CD Release at the Park Tavern

The Yacht Rock Revue had a great show at the Park Tavern last night.  We had a really big, enthusiastic crowd--it was a lot of fun!

I played pretty well…I tried the strings on Night Fever with a harmony underneath it, but I didn't like it at all.  The kinks of live performance…

We released a couple of recordings at the show.  Yacht Rock Revue:  Live at the Georgia Theatre (you can buy it here), and our original songs (Can't Wait for Summer and Good Thing), which you can find on iTunes here.  Yay for us!

In other news, I sucked real bad on Whatever Gets You Through the Night.  My reed could not stand the humidity, and I grabbed the mouthpiece too hard.  Boo for me.

Peter Stroud sat in with us on Can't Wait for Summer and Still the One, and then snuck up on stage at the end of the night to duel with Dannells on Go Your Own Way.  Awesome stuff!

Georgia Link

Funny thing about being a sax player…my brain automatically thinks mouthpiece (Otto Link) whenever I say or hear the word link.  Ha!  I just made a (hyper)link for my link.

Yacht Rock played a private party in Centennial Olympic Park for Georgia Link, which is a lobbyist group.  We played on the stage, almost across the street from CNN.  Usual easy stuff…no problems from the audience, and we played well.  We were fortunate to have the gig as an opportunity to run down the things from rehearsal again before the big Park Tavern show tonight.  With that said, I fared a lot better on the things I'd ruined the other day (Sara Smile and Night Fever).  Bring on the next gig!

Anyway, this gig was a long one…three sets, so it stretched out from 7:30-11 PM.  We were there all damn day.  Still, I was home earlier than I would've been if we'd been stuck at the 10 High, so yay for that.

Here's one of Dave's faves...

Whatever Gets You Through the Night by David B Freeman


Dogs on I-20

The Yacht Rock Revue played a gig for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce on Monday night, out at the Ritz at Lake Oconee.  Super sweet gig!  We played one ninety minute set (8:30-10 PM), and they set us up with rooms for the night (as in individual rooms at the Ritz).  Holy cow!  We also ate steak and asparagus and some kind of banana custard desserts.  Good stuff.

So…the Ritz has a dog!  A chocolate lab named Dooley who spends the day next to the concierge.  Awesome dog--I tried to bribe him with my apple core to come to 346 so we could hang out.

Tuesday morning, we stopped at a McDonalds for coffee, and there was another cute dog parked out front who looked a lot like the Reggie Dog.

We straight to a rehearsal…me, not so great.  Ugh.  I sucked real bad on my big two measure string solo on Sara Smile.

In other news…Yacht Rock has released a live album!  I'm not sure if I'm proud to be on it, or terrified that somebody might hear what I'm doing and maybe realize it's, uh…

Sunday=Chart Day!

My AM church gig did not happen yesterday, which was fine because I was busy all day being chart man.  Mostly I was cranking out Finale versions of some of my hand written salsa lead sheets, so I will be able to read them a little easier on the gig.  Following that, I had a few tunes to work out for an upcoming Yacht Rock rehearsal.  I also updated a handful of Beatles charts for an upcoming gig.

My usual PM church gig went off without a hitch.  One of the singers turned around to see if her mic was working so I pushed the fader all the way up.  That failed to satisfy me, though, so then I took the panning knob on her voice and the panning knob on the shaker microphone she was using and ping ponged them back and forth on the quarter note for an entire verse and chorus.  I wonder what that sounded like out front…

Police Ball

Yacht Rock played the Atlanta Police Ball.  Just like last year, there were no actual police involved.

This was another easy corporate/private gig.  The sound on stage was outstanding.  I didn't even need ear plugs.


I played a GREAT gig last night!  My jazz quartet was hired to provide a quartet for a corporate networking function at the Marriott Marquis downtown.

Tyrone Jackson is one of a kind.  He is super awesome!  One of my favorite keyboardists and one of my favorite people.
Nadav Spiegelman is a younger guy on the scene.  He has a beautiful bass sound and plays really melodic solos.
Chris Burroughs has an incredible sense of time--he is constantly shifting gears and reacting to everything and everybody.  Fantastic stuff!

Here's the audio:

David Freeman Quartet-May 18, 2012 by David B Freeman

I had a wonderful time!  Hopefully we can all play together again soon.

Neither Rain, Nor Sleet, Nor Snow, Nor Hail...

I loaded up my gear in my truck for the trek to the 10 High last night, and the sky was grumbling.  I thought maybe I'd be able to get away before it struck, so I jumped in and took off.  By the time I got to I-75, the clouds were really dark and low, and most were poised just south of me.  It looked like I was definitely going to have to go through it, but if I could go really fast, maybe I could get out from under it before my gear got wet.

Just south of Delk Road, the sky was creepy and dark.  All of the sudden--POW!--a big piece of hail hit my windshield, then another, then another!  Aghh!!!  Before I knew it, I was in the middle of the most ferocious hailstorm I'd ever seen--and all my gear was getting pounded in the bed of my truck!  The interstate was completely covered in ice, so much that you could no longer see the lanes.  People were pulling over and slowing way down, while I tried to weave through them at sixty miles and hour, fishtailing madly on the ice.  I need…

House Live

Wayne Viar and I were back at Ventanas for a House Live gig this past Monday.  It's been a while!  This one was a four hour party, which meant that for sure there'd be at least an two hours of total bullshitting by us.

The gig wasn't too bad.  Jeremy did a nice job of setting up little sections in which Wayne and I could play, and then when we would finish he would go into the track.  I really we'd be in agony (four hours of this?!), but everything turned out fine.

This has nothing to do with the music, but they had these cool balloons that had controls, and you could steer them around the room.  Many times, I was nearly attacked from above by a large, inflatable shark.  Death from above!

Here are videos from the middle set:

Ups and Downs

I had two pretty good church gigs yesterday.  The AM gig is coming together well--we've figured which voices in the horn charts we need to make the section sound good, and the leader is picking songs that work for us as a band.  More importantly, we've added Phil Smith on drums!  Super solid drummer.  I've known Phil since the late nineties, when he was in love with Kenny Washington.  Over the years, he's expanded his focus, and his pop/rock playing has strengthened immensely.

The PM gig was small but mighty, with just two vocalists.  No problems, though.  If Lopes ever gets around to repairing my soprano (which I gave him two weeks ago to fix), I might play it again on this gig.

In between, I did some less exciting stuff like finding guys for upcoming gigs.  I checked in with a local guy I'd used before via text, and he hadn't bothered to save my number and had no idea who was asking.  That kind of crushed my ego--I thought I'd played pretty well, but to …

Dunwoody Beer Fest + 500 Songs

Yacht Rock had quite a long day Saturday.  Nick and Dannells flew in from Indianapolis;  the rest of us began our third day of gigging in a row.  We played the Dunwoody Beer Festival for the fourth time.  I think this is the first time the weather's been clear--usually we are huddled under a leaking tent.

Why anyone would want to stand in the parking lot of Perimeter Mall and drink beer in the middle of the day is beyond me.  People turn out, though, and we gave them three sets of music (our first set was our Dazed and Confused stuff, so I only played on half the set).  No problems.  Still no crazy bass feedback, which makes me think The Hamilton owes me some kind of monetary apology.  Get it together!

Anyway, we finished and it was still light out.  Yay!  I went home and unloaded all me gear, and then I started to get really tired.  It was tough to turn around and head out to Smith's to play 500 Songs for Kids. We were given Strawberry Fields Forever.  No sweat, right?  We do…


The Yacht Rock Revue played a snoozer of a gig last night.  The audience was a bunch of lawyers.  We were largely ignored (except for the half dozen wives who tried in vain to get the party going).

My big entertainment was trying to fit "the lick" into all of my solos.

10 High

The Yacht Rock Revue (with a couple of subs) was back at the 10 High after a few weeks away.  It's still a dirty hole of a room.  Load in through the back hallway, past the stagnant puddles of something(why there are puddles indoors is a mystery), past the dead roaches, over the rubber bar mats that are thrown in the way, and you're in, but then avoid the dead roach on the dance floor and the leaking pipe from the bathroom upstairs while you're setting up.

The crowd was thin.  I'm guessing the crowd has moved on as we've moved on to bigger and better things.  The head count was somewhere around sixty people on the night.  Not very inspiring!  We made the best of it, though, and generally played well.  Oh well…at least there were fewer people to dodge while loading out.

Thanks to Jim for the pictures.  You can check out his Yacht Rock fan page here.

May Yacht Rock Tour

Where have we been?

Wednesday:  The Yacht Rock Revue began our little northeast tour with a local gig at the Weather Channel, celebrating their thirtieth anniversary with a party.  An unusual start, if for no other reason than I drove down to the office, loaded my gear in the trailer, and then drove most of the way back to my house for a gig.  This one was 80s themed, since they began in 1982.

The gig was pretty easy.  We backed the trailer up to the stage, unloaded, and set up.  Good weather (predictably) made it all go well.  We were on one end of a giant tent;  food trucks were on the other;  Jim Cantore in the middle.  Cantore looks like a cop, by the way--a bit shorter than me, stockier, shirt sleeves rolled up--Detective Cantore.  The food truck (Yumbii) was awesome, by the way, and I had two desserts from the King of Pops.

After the gig, we packed up and drove up to Charlotte, NC, where we spent the night.

Thursday:  We were up pretty early for the drive to Baltimore for our n…