Five Gigs in 54 Hours: Labor Day Weekend Gigs
Slammed! That's the only word I can use to describe my Labor Day weekend, as I ended up with five gigs between Friday night and Sunday night, and while I'm certainly not complaining -- I am a trombone player, after all -- I was exhausted by the time Monday rolled around. I ended up sleeping most of the day -- felt gooooood.
Gig 1: Friday night started with the group I play with at the Pampas Club at the El Gaucho, Micah Hulscher and Keys to the Country. A fairly uneventful night of standards, Americana, and other danceable stuff. The group generally plays on Saturday nights, but this week we ended up with both Friday and Saturday. Sadly, this gig is going away soon, but I can't say it surprises me too much, as the group is a little too upbeat and lively for the 60-and-over crowd, which seems to be the El Gaucho's bread and butter. Leader and pianist Micah Hulscher does a good job of giving a nice, upbeat but subtle vibe to the joint, and it's always a pleasure to play with these guys.
Gig 2: It was Anacortes Jazz Festival weekend, and playing with the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra in the middle of the day. Recapping music from our Woody Herman and Louis Armstrong concerts, both concerts this weekend came off very strong, certainly stronger than average. In the trombone section, we had Bill Park subbing for usual bass trombonist Dave Bentley (see picture). I really think that the 1-2-3 punch of rehearsal-gig-gig seems to work well for this band, as was evidenced this weekend.
Gig 3: After the Anacortes gig, with no time to spare, I packed up my gear, got in my car, drove back to Seattle, took a quick shower and headed directly down to the Pampas Club for more music-making with Micah Hulscher and Keys to the Country. Once again, a fun, low-key gig, but by that point I was pretty tired, so it seemed to go a little slower than usual, and I certainly got fatigued more quickly than usual
Gig 4: Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra does Yakima! We've played The Seasons a few times before, but this time we played outside on a beautiful, hot Sunday afternoon. After the long day on Saturday, it was tough getting up and jumping right back into the car and driving for three hours, but I made it to Yakima with plenty of time to spare for picture-taking and beverage-consumption. An even stronger performance than the day before in Anacortes, everyone was having a ball onstage, energized by the crisp tempos and outstanding soloists. We're gearing up for an upcoming performance at Jazz Alley, so stay tuned to more from the Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra.
Gig 5: And so, for the second time in two days, I start driving back to Seattle at breakneck pace to make another gig. This time, it's down-and-dirty bar music with the band I like to refer to as "The Fuffering Suckheads," if only in the interest of public decency. Co-leaders Ron Weinstein and Mike Peterson describe the band as "punk jazz," and while I don't know if that's quite the right term, it probably comes closer to what we sound like than any other term I could think of. This was our first extravaganza at the Owl'n Thistle after getting fired from the Sunset Tavern for the third time, and we put on a good show down in Pioneer Square. While the band never "suffers" from over-rehearsal, the gig was a total blast on all fronts, with special thanks to the many guest singers -- CT, Billy Joe, Brad Mowen -- who helped to energize the evening (especially for me, who by this point, you can imagine, was dog tired).
And so now you've heard my story. I can't say that I wouldn't ever do that again, because all-in-all it was a pretty lucrative weekend, but I sure did pay the price. It took me most of Monday and part of Tuesday to feel normal again, and my chops were pretty tight on Tuesday and needed some flexibility studies to get back to functional. Hope you all had wonderful Labor Day Weekends as well -- anybody else have some crazy gig stories this weekend? Post in the comments, and feel free to check out more pictures from the weekend over at Flickr.