Saturday, August 09, 2008

Let's Imagine a Jazz Musician's Dream Wedding Reception Gig...

...mine would go something like this:
  • The bride grows up in a house where the two most-played albums are Dave Brubeck's Time Out and Miles Davis' Kind of Blue. Not only are "generic danceable standards" unnecessary (nary a note of "Satin Doll" is played all night), but there are specific requests for multiple tunes from the above two albums, and everything else played is in a similar "cool jazz" vein.

  • The food is delicious, and the musicians are allowed to partake of it.

  • Not only that, but there is a generous amount of break time to consume said food while various toasts to the happy couple are being raised.

  • There's one phrase that a wedding host can utter that will strike fear into the hearts of bandleaders the world over: "We have a friend who'd like to sing with the band." But even though this is scheduled to happen at this gig, it turns out that the friend in question sings very, very well.

  • As is often the case at a wallpaper gig, there's not a lot of applause, but the people at least nod and smile in your general direction, and there are random compliments afterwards. Someone asks for a business card at the end.

  • And to top it off, the gig is only a seven-minute drive from home.
Most veteran musicians would read the above list and say, "Yeah, Kev, in your dreams!" Which would normally be true...except that I played that exact gig last night. It joins my sister's own wedding (in which I was a groomsman and the bandleader) as the top two weddings I've ever played, and the all-jazz wedding I attended a few years ago would round out a list of the three most fun weddings I've ever been involved with in some way.

I don't know a thing about the happy couple, apart from what the toasters were saying, but I wish them all the best. Their reception certainly had a very cool soundtrack...

Blowing out half a century's worth of candles: Happy 50th birthday to James Lileks, one of my favorite writers and bloggers.

No comments: