Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra at All-City Street Dance
I was certainly not the only person subbing in the band today -- at least six chairs were filled with people other than the regulars, but this made for some surprisingly interesting music. Julian Priester, certainly one of the most historically-connected players in Seattle, sounded as good as I've ever heard him play live -- so organic and natural sounding. Brian Kirk, jazz instructor at Seattle Central Community College, always brings a spark of energy and his diverse commerical background to the drum chair. Ed Lee, who I haven't heard in years, filled in the trumpet section next to regulars Brad Smith, Dennis Haldane, and Thomas Marriott. Along with super-strong solo support from folks like Travis Ranney, Bill Anthony, Mark Taylor, Phil Sparks, and Buddy Catlett, you can't go wrong, especially for a dance gig playing Fletcher Henderson, Glenn Miller, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and much more. But damn, what a long day! We rehearsed for two hours in the morning starting at noon, and we finished the gig at 8pm -- the real deal, eight-hour work shift! Plus, the majority of the day was spent outside, and while it was a beautiful summer day in Seattle, it was a hot one in slacks and dress shirts.
It is always fun to play with this group -- I've missed the chemistry between the players in this group, and while it can be volitile at times, it can also produce some great music from time to time. Thankfully, my time with the band before I went to New York has been well documented on the Origin Arts CD, SRJO Live, so I can relive some of those moments myself. Hopefully, I'll be able to get myself back with the group regularly and be able to experience this musical experimentation as it should be: in the present.