Red Raspus Music

Home of Musician and Educator David Marriott, Jr.

David Marriott, Jr. is a jazz trombonist, composer/arranger, educator, and blogger. A two-time Earshot Jazz Golden Ear Award recipient and winner of the 1999 National Jazz Trombone Competition, David is active in a variety of Seattle jazz groups, including the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, Zubatto Syndicate and his own critically-acclaimed groups Septology and Triskaidekaband.

On Being a Horse's Ass at a Jam Session

Ok, ok, ok. First off, this is an open posting to all those who were at the Owl and Thistle jam session last night. Second, being in a bad mood and trying to get your darkness out by playing is not the best of ideas when you've been drinking for the last couple hours.

This was me last night (see left) to a certain degree. I had been down to see a bunch of friends play at the Triple Door last night, and was super-amped to go play afterwards. The music I had heard was great, and while I wanted to just hang for the rest of the night, I was excited to actually go play somewhere. The usual Owl and Thistle session is always a fun night, but last night I took it a little bit left. Yes, I had been drinking, and I'm a little guy, so I was on the way to a real nice hangover. We played Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise and while it was far from perfect, it was a good time. Somehow I lost a bridge along the way, but who knows how that happened. But when we ended up playing Milestones pretty fast, before the first chorus was over, I knew the form was BUSTED! And, naturally, after trying to get through a couple of more-or-less free choruses, I got really upset. Too upset. I just wanted to play one tune after being really inspired earlier in the night, and I felt like I was playing in some Bizarro Jazz World. And I was visibly dark about it, too. Maybe that's an understatement...

My apologies to all of you who may have witnessed that, especially Ryan Burns who was running things last night. I would like to blame it strictly on the booze, and while it really helped me out along the way, I have to blame it on the bad attitude and dark frame-of-mind I was in when I got there. I am constantly reminded that we as musicians generally communicate what's going on in our lives and minds, and tonight was no exception for me. I was tired, not sober, and negative when I got there, and that totally came out on the bandstand. While the playing part of it was nobody in particular's fault, one must remember that it is a jam session, not a gig or recording session, and things ALWAYS have the potential for weirdness. It is supposed to be fun, not a pain in the ass! And when people like me get all bent out of shape when it gets weird, it just makes it not fun for anyone.

Lesson 1: Take a chill pill before the jam session.

Lesson 2: Dave doesn't need to drink before he plays (a rarity for me, but still worth the reminder)

Lesson 3: Jam sessions are loose -- by design. Don't impose your needs on the group, because it's supposed to be fun!

Ok, all -- that's it for me. Thanks for a fun night last night as always, and just disregard the Dave that was present last night -- see you all next week!