Tonight was the first rehearsal of Combo PM for the semester. Though the "old guard" rhythm section remained intact from the fall, there are a few new faces in the horns, including Halfling, Collin from Jazz Camp and a new All-State Jazz trumpeter. Fizban had to 'retire' for the semester, but Dingus remains.
I had a thought at the end of the semester, when a bunch of saxes like Halfling and Demon Matt expressed an interest in joining the combo: How about playing a bunch of Supersax charts?? I own several of the published arrangements and had never really had a chance to use them, so this seemed like the perfect time. Even though Demon Matt couldn't make it through the concurrent registration process, we'll still be able to fashion a full saxophone section with the people we have (I'll probably be among them, which is just fine with me; you don't have to twist my arm too much to get me to be a "player-coach" in this situation).
After passing out the huge charts full of sixteenth- and thirty-second notes (or, as they call them in England, "semiquavers" and "demisemiquavers"), I put on the CD recordings of the originals. The saxes knew they were in for some major work, and Dingus occasionally cringed at what Frank Rosolino played on "A Night in Tunisia."
So we sight-read three charts at what we used to call "therapy tempo" back in college, and you know what...it'll take some work, but I think we can do this! Call me crazy, but it's totally doable. Of course, we'll keep some other tunes up so we can do Ke Davi gigs in the meantime, but I'm really looking forward to getting this thing going. Supersax Jr. (thanks to Halfling for the name) is officially launched.