I got a call yesterday around lunch about subbing that night in Bumpin' the Mango, Atlanta's best Tower of Power style horn band. Heck yeah! I've played with them a couple of times earlier in the year, but this was my first opportunity to play the tenor sax book (previously I'd only played bari sax). After hearing John Sandfort and Umcolisi Terrell nail the tenor parts, I was pretty intimidated, but who can pass up the chance to be Lenny Pickett for the night?
I think I played pretty well; I missed a repeat sign/third ending somewhere and I stepped in a rest on Soul in a Capital S, but no other prominent errors. My solos were ok--I couldn't think of anything particularly nifty to play.
Also subbing on this night were Eric Frampton on keyboards, Rob Opitz on trumpet, Mike DeSousa on trombone, and Dan Baraszu on guitar.
What was really fun was the saxophone hang afterwards with bari saxophonist Gary Paulo, another Indiana U. music school alum. Gary's a super badass, very casually nailing the bari parts in Bumpin' the Mango. In addition, he plays guitar in AJ Ghent's band, and teaches classical saxophone at Emory. Interesting to compare our experiences at and after school. I feel more average than ever.
Funny how a gig like this will pull your ear in a certain direction. Last week's Beatles stuff got me interested in playing clarinet a little more often, and Bumpin' the Mango has led to a major Tower of Power binge today.