The second straight Gigful Weekend is upon us, and the first portion was a lot of fun.
Tonight was the concert at Rowlett; I was the guest for one tune (In A Sentimental Mood) that they'll be doing at IAJE next month with Chris Vadala. Micah came back from TCU to be featured on the other one: an arrangement of A Night In Tunisia that I think was originally done for Allen Vizzutti, so it made sense to have a trumpet play it in the first place.
It wasn't exactly a great night for a concert; the weather was my least favorite combination: cold and rain. I don't mind one or the other, but I could do without them simultaneously. At least I got to the school without incident; Ryan V. almost had a wreck on his way there when he got run off the road into a ditch by a truck. You could still see mud on him when the concert was over. However, there was a decent crowd, and that's always more fun when it's full of people.
There was almost a comical incident before it was time for me and Micah to play (his tune was right after mine): We were walking around backstage and noticed that the main stage door was locked. We checked out the other one and it was locked too! We were trying to figure out how that was gonna work--enter from the audience?--when the assistant director realized we weren't back there, figured something was amiss, and unlocked it for us. Comedy averted...
So it was my turn to play, and I realized it wasn't the same mic I had played on in rehearsal this afternoon. None of the mics had those twisty gooseneck things that saxes like to use, and this one would barely even angle down towards me. At one point, it came off the stand into my hands, but it didn't faze me like it might have in the past; I guess you could say I was a ball of focus in that I blocked out anything not having to do with playing.
At any rate, I think it went pretty well; I actually liked some of the stuff I did (I'll pause a moment while you fall over from shock on that one). It had been a while since I'd done a ballad feature with a big band, and I definitely felt more "in command" than the last time. I think with all the tenor playing I've been doing lately, I'm finally feeling more comfortable playing in Bb. With the perfect pitch thing, and having played alto and bari for so long, I just tend to think in Eb most of the time, and sometimes, when I'm on a Bb horn, the ideas get tangled between mind and fingers. Tonight, everything flowed smoothly. (Also, Inspiration Theory gained some more credibility tonight, as I had Joshua Redman going not just on the way to the gig, but all afternoon before that. I really think this works.)
I stayed backstage and listened to Micah's feature; as I said, it was originally done for Vizzutti, so it was pretty demanding. He not only played the head, but soloed, played lead over the shout chorus, soloed again and played the head out! He was getting pretty warm up there, he said. But of course the audience ate it up; nothing like the "hometown boy made good" coming back and showing what he's learned since graduation...and if you had to choose someone to be the subject of all this adulation, you couldn't pick a nicer guy.
Fizban came up for the concert, so afterwards, he joined me, Demon Matt, Micah and his "entourage" (his GF Carly [sp?], a couple TCU friends, and random Rowlett jazz band members) at the local Chili's for a round of food and great conversation. Micah and Fizban and I are looking forward to hanging over the holidays and then again at TMEA, where we'll all buy way too many CD's again.
One down, two to go....this was one of the good ones.