I walked into my AM church gig to find it set up for the orchestra instead of the usual small group. I wish I'd known I could have left three of four instruments at home! Oh well…middle school level saxophone parts are easy on my brain first thing in the morning.
While we were rehearsing, I got a text message from a friend who works as a pilot for Delta.
My big excitement of the morning was when my tenor sax/T.C. baritone (treble clef) part was flipped over to reveal the B.C. baritone (bass clef) part. That's an exciting transposition! Change clefs and up a whole step! I flipped it back over and went back to sleep.
We lucked into playing both services this morning, so double the money! Yay!
In the afternoon, I somehow avoided taking a nap and instead ran errands and worked on stuff for a Tuesday morning rehearsal. We're learning Bodhisattva (Steely Dan) for our show in Nashville this coming weekend. I found this amusing anecdote about the part I am covering (from steelydan.com):
This reminds me of a certain Arp Soloist you can hear on Countdown to Ecstasy. It was used for that melodic passage in King of the World but I am thinking now of the four part harmony in Bodhisattva that feels somewhat like for saxophones playing together. Now, the Arp Soloist was a small plastic keyboard that could only play one note at a time. It had on tiny plastic knob that you turned between your thumb and forefinger to tune the entire unit.
The only way to get four part harmony out of this synthesizer was to record four parts on four separate tracks, one at a time. By the time we progressed to the second of these tracks we could hear tuning problems. "I could swear I had it in tune," said Donald. "Maybe it's just certain intervals," said Walter, proud owner of a book by Hindemith on music theory. So we began tuning and patching bits and pieces of each part. Sometimes we returned to a previous part to repunch a note or two. The air grew thick, and Donald's fingers were getting sore from turning that little knob. This affected his performances so the each bit required more takes. He began saying "I'm gonna kill this thing" every time he had to retune. Then he started saying it whenever the tape stopped rolling.
Then it was done. The last part had been played and played back. The look on Donald's face was one I will never forget. He yanked the wires out of that Arp Soloist and headed for the door. We all followed. Outside the door was a hallway that led to a balcony and stairwell that let out on a courtyard down below. Donald threw the synthesizer down the stairs as hard as he could. He then chased after it and started jumping up and down on it. Several of us joined in with a few kicks and thumps. Roger got some alcohol from the studio and we proceeded to set the thing on fire! That [sic] we a warm glow.
That studio was in the same building as ABC Dunhill headquarters. It was therefore no surprise and no accident that the wreckage was discovered the following morning by some men in grey suits. Their response, however, was something else. It must have touched a raw nerve, because they had that twisted lump of burnt plastic framed and mounted on a wall with an engraved plaque. I don't remember the inscription but it said something about Steely Dan, men and machines.
The drive to my PM church gig was pretty harrowing considering the rain, my bald tires, and the fact that I kept nodding off. Somehow I made it, and managed to stay awake through the entire service. I'd even go so far as to claim that I played well and my mix was pretty good!
I made it home, ate, and passed out on the couch while trying to watch the Braves game. At 3 AM, I finally crawled into bed, where I laid awake for a half hour, trying in my head to play the eight bar sax solo to Hip to Be Square. I couldn't do it--probably the reason I can never get it right at our gigs.
I nail it at soundcheck, though.
In other news, I've been listening a lot to the new Jeff Coffin album, titled Into the Air. Great stuff! Here's one:
Also, the latest Dave Douglas record Time Travel. Go Matt Mitchell!
The record before that was the same group plus a vocalist, called Be Still. I love that one too.
Big Yacht Rock shows at the Georgia Theatre in Athens this Friday, and our first Yacht Rock Revival in Nashville on Saturday!
P.S. I am majorly procrastinating, thus the long post.