Friday, January 12, 2007

An (Extra)ordinary Day

NEW YORK--Yesterday was just a typical day here at IAJE...

9:45--Breakfast on the cheap (I'll explain how this works later).

10:00--See a clinic by the piano/vocal duet of Steve Kuhn and Sheila Jordan. She told great Bird stories. I really liked a particular song of theirs back when I worked in radio; that was the very first song they performed.

12:00--Saxophone mouthpiece clinic. I get to talk to the guy who sold me my Mark VI alto in college.

1:00--See a performance by the Taylor Eigsti Quartet (up-and-coming young pianist;I got his debut CD in the fall).

2:00--I hear a familiar tune wafting through the hallway. I find its source: Wayne Bergeron is rehearsing with a school group. I listen for a good half-hour.

2:30--Eigsti has finished his CD-signing session; I get to chat with him for a bit.

3:15--I eat pizza at "Original Ray's."

4:00--Eddie Gomez clinic. He brings out Jon Faddis for the last tune. I get to greet Rufus Reid for a second (I saw him in Greeley in '04).

5:00--Dave Pietro performance (I went to school with him, and have seen him perform before as well).

6:00--They've opened a temporary Borders store in one of the smaller ballrooms. Among my fellow shoppers are most of an entire junior high jazz group (recognizable by their matching bright red hoodies with the school's name on the front). I ponder the fact that I would have killed to even be in a jazz group in high school, much less junior high--never mind getting to come to something like this at such an early age.

6:15--I explore the just-opened exhibit hall. Run into Denis DiBlasio (who's been a guest artist at our college twice). I turn the corner and am suddenly inside...Penders? Yes, I go a thousand miles, only to find myself in Denton North. Get a sweet deal on Vanguard Jazz Orchestra CD's (ten bucks a pop!), also get to see Eddie Gomez at a booth, and say a quick hi to Jimmy Heath (our guest artist at camp this past summer).

7:15--Catch a bit of Ingrid Jensen's set.

9:20--After some opening student groups, I get to see the Conrad Herwig/Brian Lynch group do the latest in their "Latin side of Miles Davis" series: Sketches of Spain. That's followed by a barn-burning set from Randy Brecker and Bill Evans' Soulbop band.

12:15--After dessert at the all-night deli down the street, it's time to turn in.

I'm looking forward to another "typical" day today.

(Normally I'm not a shameless name-dropper like this, but it's the only way I can accurately describe the scope of this thing.)

Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday to Aaron, my protege and bandmate, who really wishes he was up here with us right now (that desire will quadruple if he reads this post).

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