Saturday, January 17, 2004

Weekend of Concerts, Part I

It seems as though almost every Saturday since the beginning of December has featured some sort of musical performance or another. At least this time, I got to be in the audience...twice.

Today had two things going on: Region Jazz and middle school All-City. Thankfully, they're not at the same time, because there was some crossover between the two audiences, like siblings of the middle-schoolers who were also classmates of the jazzers. The All-City concert was at four in the afternoon, because their rehearsal times are shorter than they would be in high school. The Region Jazz concert was at 7:30, so there was a little buffer in between.

The All-City concert was good; they really did get a lot out of seventh- and eighth-graders for two partial days of work. Some people thought the clinicians talked a bit too much, but I'm sure it was a combination of resting the players' chops and actually wanting to compliment the students. One can never be sure if the band on stage is really "the best all-city group" the clinician has worked with, but the two today did seem sincere and genuinely impressed with what happens in our district. I had lots of "dogs in this hunt" (you like the Texanism?) because half of the saxes were from my studio, and since this was my first January in four years not to have a weekend job, I actually got to come and support them. Oh yeah, and the top band did a really cool thing where they sent four different groups around the auditorium and did different African tribal beats, each pretending to be a different "village."

This year's Region Jazz band was one of the better groups in a while, and I would say that even if four out of the five saxes weren't from my studio...but they were, so I say it even louder *grin*. The clinician was Tim Ishii, an old college buddy/sectionmate from Jazz Camp/one-fourth of Thrascher. He picked a good program of music that gave each section a chance to be featured, and he even took a few solo turns himself (always a great thing). Unlike a few years ago when the entire concert program was medium swing, he gave them a little bit of everything: Basie, Mintzer, a Latin tune, a ballad, and so on. The ballad was Phil Woods' "Randi," which featured the sax section. They did a nice job--a few glitches here and there, but not bad at all for two days' rehearsal. Freed of the shackles of some of their lesser (i.e. non-Kevoid...not bragging, just the truth) section-mates from their schools, the guys (and girl--Betsy sounded great, nice and aggressive) got to play in a true section for once. Demon Matt had a nice solo on that one, sailing over the top of the section at times and getting his own space as well. He also got to really assert himself as a lead player, even if he got worked to death in the process. Fizban had a few choruses of blues on one tune, maybe the first bass trombone solo in the history of this band (yet a much higher register than he usually plays; I guess he was "getting in touch with his inner lead player" tonight), and Halfling got to shine on the Latin tune. We jammed on it a bit yesterday, and he was able to transcend my bad piano playing and come up with some stuff he could use tonight. All in all, it was awesome having so many people from the Kevosphere up there (yes, this year I even ordered the CD!). Everyone's chops were dead in the water afterwards (the eight tunes probably set some sort of record), but it was worthwhile. The triumph of everyone making the band in September finally came to fruition tonight.

Oh yeah, and there were two burrito runs today! Can't ask for much more than that...tomorrow's the Hard Rock Cafe gig, which will make up part two of this post.

WINDOW STICKER OF THE DAY: (as seen on a truck in North Dallas)
Wonder if the cop would believe that? And would Halfling have tried that excuse in his pre-ticket days?

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