Friday, November 30, 2012

The Gilligan Show

Yacht Rock played the corporate event for whom we had rerecorded the Gilligan's Island Theme (with their lyrics).  Easy gig--we played one two hour set to close out their program.  Early in the evening, we played the theme for them, and they couldn't have cared less.  Uhhhhh…I don't get it.

The event was at the Evergreen Marriott in Stone Mountain Park.  A half hour into setting up, we had to evacuate the building for a fire alarm.  Not a good start!

I'd never seen a lighting/sound rig with a birdcage of trusses, especially for a corporate event in a hotel ballroom.

We set up and then waited for two hours while they ran their program.  Eventually, we made it to hiding behind a curtain.

Finally, they introduced us and we could play.  We had Ganesh Giri Jaya subbing on drums--great job!

I played great.  Damnit!  Why couldn't I have been terrible tonight and good on Turkey Eve at Smith's, or some average for both?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

My Old Routine

Back to the church gigs!

My AM church gig is running out of money, and thus the horn section was disbanded (at least through the end of the year).  I'm back to improvising parts and filling in the gaps, which is kind of nice.  I liked the parts aspect of playing within the section, but there wasn't any freedom.  I played a lot of soprano this morning, which was a nice change pace.

Another cool thing about this morning was that I was positioned right smack in the middle of the band (piano across the front of us, drums behind me, bass to the left, acoustic guitar to the right), which meant that I could hear everything well.  Matt was even generous enough to provide a monitor for me.

I think I played pretty well.  Both my soprano and my tenor might have some leaks that need to be corrected.  Maybe it's a mental issue, or a reed issue, or some combination of both.

After lunch, I took some time to investigate my new travel sax case, made by Battle Cases.  The idea is that I would rather have a good case that I can put all my horns in and check (on a fly date) rather than try and carry three or four horns plus my laptop onto the plane.  It's also a little more durable and roadworthy than the hardshell cases that come with new saxophones.  Even on a road trip in the van/trailer, I think it's wise to have a good sturdy case.  Pretty much any time someone other than you might be moving your gear.

I bought this case--it's a massive Pelican case with a custom foam interior.  It holds alto, tenor, EWI, flute, a couple of sax stands, and accessories.  The case has wheels.  It's looks pretty huge, but I can still pick it up when it's fully loaded.

I have spoken to Delta on TWO different occasions, and they assure me that because it is an instrument, the size/weight restrictions are higher, and I will be able to check this just like it's another piece of luggage (no penalties).  We shall see!  I want to find something reassuring to print out and carry with me.


My PM church gig was OK.  They seemed kind of surprised to see me.  It felt like my soprano tuning was all over the place.  Once again, is it the horn, the reed, or my head?

Lou Marini!  How cool was that!

Blue Lou

I had a House Live gig last night as part of a wedding reception at the Ritz (Buckhead).  Wayne, Jeremy, and myself were on this one, with a Studio 54 disco theme (I wore some of my Yacht Rock clothes).

Across the hall from us was Steve Tyrell (also part of the same reception).  The band was all New York guys, and the two horn players happened to be Lew Soloff and Lou Marini!  Wow!  Quite a thrill to meet both of them.

with Lew Soloff

with Lou Marini!

Our gig was an easy two hours, most of which was played to an empty room.  I played really well--I played like at any moment, Blue Lou might walk in and check me out!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Turkey Eve

Agh!  I was terrible!  I should have thrown myself down the back stairs as punishment.  The worst show I've played in quite a while.  I deserved that load out.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

West Coast!

Yacht Rock returned last night from a fantastic trip to Los Angeles, California.  I'd never been to LA;  in my mind it was Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Fletch, Training Day, and L.A. Law, plus some OJ.  It pretty much lived up to that.

P.S.  David Sanborn played sax on the L.A. Law theme song.

P.S.S.  Was Susan Dey hot?

Wednesday:  we flew nonstop Atlanta to LAX.  I slept for all but about twenty minutes of the flight--asleep by the end of the safety video, awake to buy a sandwich somewhere over Oklahoma, and then woke up as we made the initial approach.

First stop:  In and Out Burger.  Having now eaten one, I'm not sure what the big deal is.

LA Weekly was advertising our show, but unfortunately misspelled our name.

Next up, we hit the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, which is stacked full of celebrities, and they're all jammed in this little lot behind a couple of office buildings.  You may read a list of the dead people here.  If you don't care to, just know that this is the cemetery where Marilyn Monroe is buried.

Wednesday night, several of us went to the Dresden Lounge, which is a legendary dive bar.  Marty and Elayne have been the house band for the past thirty years.  Check it out.

Jon Hamm sat down in the booth next to us.

I should mention that before that, we ate at Il Capriccio.  My dinner was excellent, but Dannells wished that they had beaten his chicken flat and not cooked it until it was so dry.  Foodie.

Thursday:  we were up early to play Good Day LA…fortunately, our bodies were still on Atlanta time, so the 6 AM lobby call felt like 9.  It was easy--we played two minutes of You Make My Dreams.

Here's the video (do yourself a favor and skip ahead to the four minute mark--don't sit through the bullshit).

Once again, trouble with the name:  the blurb on Good Day LA accompanying this video mentions us (sometimes) as the Yacht Club Revue.

Nice cameo of the van in there at the beginning.

After that, a couple of us made a quick pilgrimage to Sunset Blvd.

That afternoon, we jumped in the van and took a field trip to Gary Wright's house.  How cool is that?  A couple of nice looking Rhodes suitcase pianos, pictures with George Harrison, a cool studio with Moogs, and awesome stories.  Did we really just do that?

We got back to the hotel, regrouped, and made the eight mile, hour and forty-five minute journey to The Satellite where we were playing that night.

Great gig!  We had Elliot Lurie from Looking Glass sing Brandy and Dancing in the Moonlight, and Bo Wagner rocked the mallet solos on Starbuck's Moonlight Feels Right and I Got to Know.  James Gadson stopped by to watch us.  Mark Dannells played some great stuff on My Old School, and Mark Bencuya's organ solo at the end of Biggest Part of Me was fantastic.  Around 150 people showed up to see us.  Very cool for our first time out to California.

with Elliot Lurie
with Bo Wagner
Friday:  everybody slept late--we went to bed at five-something, Atlanta time.  Just before noon, we got a message about going to Eric Gardner's horse farm out in Thousand Oaks (out in the desert).  Cool!  I didn't know who the guy was either…read his resume here.  Wow!  We walked through his office, which had seventy-something gold and platinum records on the walls, and out onto his back porch, where we ate lunch with Elliot Lurie and Peter Beckett and Ron Moss of Player.  Eric has casual pictures with each of the Beatles.

On the way home, we stopped in Venice Beach to score some weed.  No luck.  It was ok, though, because we were already high.

High there

Friday night, we went to see Jon Brion play at Largo.  Can you say self indulgent?  Thanks for the $25 nap.  The five of us who went walked out in the middle of the show.

From there, we met up with Nick and Pete (who attended the Lakers game--Kareem bobblehead night!) and went to the Rainbow Bar and Grill on Sunset Blvd, where it's still 1989, judging by the dress code.  We had pizza.  Ron Jeremy walked by.

Saturday:  wedding day!  We played a reception at the Bel Air Beach Club.  Old school.  The wedding party=awesome;  the Bel Air staff=crappy.  The staff was evidently used to pushing bands around.  We don't put up with that.  There was friction ASAP.

Anyway, the attendees and the bride and groom were enthusiastic from the first note, which made the gig pretty easy in spite of the conditions.

Sunday:  we flew out of LAX around 1 and landed in ATL around 8:30.  Football and naps.

Special thanks to our soundman Hans, who drove all of our gear out there, ran sound for us, and is currently driving it all back.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

More Trio Stuff

I lucked into playing a corporate brunch gig today in Buckhead at a place called Estate (kind of back behind Buckhead Diner and Fogo de Chao if you are familiar with Atlanta).  The building is an old house that has been converted into an event space.  I think it was a restaurant previously.  This was their grand opening as Estate.

Anyway, we played in a nice ballroom space with hardwood floors and and high ceilings and glass windows.  Not exactly the best acoustics, though it does give the recordings some natural reverb.  It also made the crowd super loud in the middle of the gig.  We, on the other hand, were under strict orders to play softly--I had my sax neck pouch in the bell of my tenor to cut down on the volume.

Louis Heriveaux played keyboard and Kevin Smith (in his magnificent new suit) played bass.  We debuted a new tune (currently untitled) that I finished last night--after several weeks, I finally heard it clearly enough in my head that I could write it down.  I like it!  Number 4 on the player below.

 David Freeman Trio - November 13, 2012 by David B Freeman

Monday, November 12, 2012

Irish Wedding

Constantly Awesome (Yacht Rock) played a wedding reception for the owner of Limerick Junction last night at Paris on Ponce.

Paris on Ponce used to be a really cool place to play.  It's kind of funky, and the load in was right next to the stage.  Since the installation of the Belt Line, there's no more bringing in equipment through the back.  Boo.  The only way to do it is to snake through the entire store.  Not cool!  They did finally move the grand piano off stage, which is a plus.  Now if they could figure out how to get some light on stage...

Check out the cake.  Awesome!

This gig ended up with a lot of Beatles tunes and not much yacht rock, so I didn't have much to do.  I played a good solo on Use Me, and that was about it.  We didn't play either of the new tunes--Raspberry Beret or Hip to be Square.  It probably wasn't the right crowd for those.  Very easy, low key gig.  Shitty tenor reed.

We loaded all of our gear into the trailer and sent it off to L.A.  See you in California!