NEW YORK--I've already had a defining experience, and I've been here less than a day: Last night, I got to see the Bob Mintzer Big Band live, at a local club called Sweet Rhythm. The place is probably not much bigger--if at all--than the coffeehouses I've played at home, so we actually got to sit at a table alongside the band, and it was a really unique experience (John Riley's ride cymbal ringing in my ears, reading over the bass trombonist's shoulder, etc.).
I'll elaborate more later, but suffice it to say that, after finally seeing a band live that rarely gets to tour, anything else that happens here is gravy. And there's a lot more gravy to come.