Friday, June 13, 2003

Burlington and Birthday

OK, let's get caught up on a few things here:

VERMONT: A quick food-and-music review from Saturday night. So there are lots of great little restaurants on Church St. in downtown Burlington, and they all have patios or sidewalk seating since those several blocks of the street have been closed to vehicular traffic. The only trick was, we didn't get back downtown until nearly 7:00 (had to take the instruments back to the hotel after the gig) and the Dave Holland concert started at 8, so we wouldn't have gotten a table at some of the better places anyway. Plus, a couple of the people in our group were running out of money...but still, a few of us were adamant about not doing McDonald's or the like. Fortunately, we took a glance onto a side street and discovered the answer: Henry's Diner.

Henry's is one of those boxcar-shaped diners that has actually been there since 1925. The waitress was a charming sort--reminded me of Penny Marshall's "Laverne" character in a way, except classier. There were five of us crammed into a table for four, but we were well taken care of and the food was great. I had an open-faced pork sandwich that was really good and had lots and lots of meat. Everyone else had these humongous cheeseburgers. Then a few of us actually got free carrot cake, which evidently had been cut into pieces that were too small to be sold. But the biggest thing was yet to come, when one of the guys ordered a chocolate/peanut butter pie. By the time I came back from the restroom, the whole table had some, and wanted more. I got to take a bite; imagine a Reese's cup in pie form and you'll have the idea. We found out it was from a local bakery, and some of the guys who didn't go to Dave Holland actually found the place, but it was already closed. So if you're in Burlington, I highly recommend the place....Bank St. just west of Church.

Then it was on to the Dave Holland Big Band concert. A great time, lots of energy; they played for almost two hours without a break. The big band is basically an expanded version of Dave's quintet (Dave on bass, Chris Potter on tenor, Robin Eubanks on trombone, Steve Nelson on vibes and Billy Kilson on drums), and most of those players had leading roles in the big band as well (Chris Potter wasn't there, which was a disappointment to us saxists, but he was ably replaced by Mark Turner). Robin Eubanks (brother of Kevin, of Tonight Show fame; another brother, Duane, played trumpet in the band as well) didn't solo until a few tunes into the set, but when he did, he tore it up. I have a few of his solo CD's and really enjoyed hearing him live. Steve Nelson was all over the place on vibes and marimba; a lot of times, he used these mallets with bright green heads, and they were moving so fast it was like watching someone twirl one of those light-stick things. I had never heard of Billy Kilson before Dave's quintet, but he was nothing short of explosive. And the leader himself--what can I say? We got to witness another living legend. Can't wait till the next CD comes out sometime next year.

BIRTHDAY: OK, a real quick rundown....after teaching, I went to big band, where we had a short round of Basketbottle during the break. Sasquatch joined the game and was the only one to make it, so he said he no longer owes me the burrito he promised me when I went to pick him up when he had car trouble...oh well...After rehearsal, it was on to Chipotle, where we took up three tables. Then on to the Main Event for some bowling (I won. Yay!) and games (a quite hilarious moment when Zack went to play DDR in bowling shoes). A few people didn't feel like calling it a night yet, so we came back here for a short jam session.

So, if you're keeping score at home, that's birthday, big band, Basketbottle, burritos, bowling and bebop. I guess that day was brought to you by the letter B. :-) Whew, I'm all caught up now.

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