On Being a Horse's Ass at a Jam Session
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!