Thursday, April 22, 2004

Colorado Bound

It's 2:00 in the morning on a weekday. Why the $#*&@# am I doing a blog entry now instead of sleeping like a civilized person?

Well, it turns out I'm on one of my famous all-nighters again, which can only mean one thing: air travel. I'm notorious for getting stuck on really early flights when I'm traveling to national Sinfonia events (I've written about this before), but this time it's something different--I'm about to join the college jazz band trip to the UNC/Greeley Jazz Festival "already in progress," as they'd say on TV.

The rest of the band got on a bus about 20 hours ago. Why wasn't I on that bus? A few reasons...

--I would've had to get a sub for improv class, which only meets once a week, and nobody that I'd feel comfortable with as a sub was available.

--Believe it or not, it was cheaper for me to fly a few hours from now than it would have been to miss a whole Wednesday (a notoriously long day) of teaching.

--Hey, if you could avoid one end of a 16-hour (each way) bus trip, you'd do it too.

The only thing weird about all this is the logistics: I'm having to shuttle from the college to the airport so that my car will be parked in the right place when we get back on Sunday night. The shuttle in question is picking me up there at *shudder* 4:30 a.m., which means I only have a short time left to keep myself from accidentally drifting off over here. Sleep will come eventually--on the plane, on the shuttle to Greeley, at the hotel...probably all of the above.

So let me update to this point--that'll use up a little of my stay-awake time...

This afternoon, Halfling came over to work on our little side-project, which I hinted at on Lab Band Madness night and will reveal now: We're gonna play Foosball. No, not the table game, but rather the tune whose formal title is "Overture to the Royal Mongolian Suma Foosball Festival." It's a Lyle Mays chart off Lab '75, and it has a righteous tenor battle at the end. Halfling and I will do our own take on said battle at the final LMOJO concert next month. A lot of it will be improvised, of course, but we have to have a framework, and we're now 2/3 of the way done with that. I can't wait; it's gonna be a whole lotta fun...

Improv was weird tonight; it was not as poorly-attended as last week, but it took until 6:45 before the last of the four people in attendance actually arrived. We got a lot of stuff done, but the people who have missed two weeks in a row have dug themselves a Dingus-sized hole. I did thank those who were there for allowing me to only have to do one leg of the bus trip.

Afterwards, I went to Denton to hear J-Guar play with the Nine O'Clock at the Syndicate. I was hoping to get there in time to hear some of the Eight as well, but I hit Lewisville and saw the unholy flash of red...what, rush hour?? Now?? Sure enough, they had 35E down to one lane for a couple of miles, with no warning for me because KRLD was doing a Rangers game instead of doing their traffic reports every ten minutes. I sat in stop-and-go hell, breathing truck fumes all the while, for about 45 minutes, in which time I traveled three miles; thankfully, I got to the Syndicate just in time to see the Nine take the stage.

[rant] While it's great that they're doing this construction at night instead of during the day, I think that the 8 p.m. starting time is just too early...especially on a road that's the only thoroughfare in its area (as 35 is near the Lake Lewisville bridge). Maybe the work hours should be restricted from midnight-6 a.m. to avoid congestion like this (sure enough, when I came back, that side of the road was moving much better after midnight). [/rant]

At any rate, the Nine was quite enjoyable, playing an eclectic mix of styles and eras with a lot of energy. J-Guar had some nice solos and also was the ringleader of the "Dancing Monkeys" (you had to be there?) on Duke Ellington's "Ko-Ko" (no relation to the Bird tune of the same name). I downed my first dose of coffee (at least one more to follow) on the way back home and cranked TMBG on the stereo ("It's So Loud In Here" is a great one to play at high volumes while driving).

So here I am. Almost time to hop in the shower and head out. This all-nighter hasn't been too bad, talking to Zack on AIM as I have been. It'll be a good festival (seeing Kurt Elling tomorrow night [tonight], the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra on Friday and Kenny Wheeler on Saturday), and even if it's not in the most picturesque part of Colorado (it also smells like cows there; I'll talk about that when I'm back), we'll still get to see a bit of that while we're there. The forecast calls for some snow and never getting out of the 50's for the duration of our visit, but I'll deal with it.

I'm back way late on Sunday night, so my next entry will have a Monday dateline...unless I actually get hold of a computer up there, in which case I'll be "Kev, Live from Greeley." Hope everyone has a great weekend.

He'll never work in this town again...we hope: The most unprofessional musician of the year thus far would have to be the poor excuse for a piano accompanist who managed to oversleep J-Guar's recital performance...due to being stoned the day before in celebration of "4/20"; read about the situation here.