Just got done playing two back-to-back amazing gigs. Friday I had a rare jazz gig, at the Carl Jung center in Manhattan. Believe it or not this was my first gig in Manhattan since I’ve come back from California. Luckily, as a jazz gig all I had to bring was my horn, some charts and a stand. I worked in the NYC office that day and walked to the gig. The rest of the guys had to drive in, unload and worry about parking.
The gig was organized by my friend Gary Trossclaire, a trumpet player and Jungian analyst. It was a wine-and-cheese fundraiser event, and the format was first Gary gave a lecture/seminar on the The Dionysian Dynamics of Jazz, then we jammed for a half hour or so. The seminar itself was very good and Gary touched on alot of topics including Dionysius, the Greek god of wine, song and extasy, the historic roots of jazz, a bit about psychotherapy, the relationship between creativity and substance abuse, how it all relates to Jung, and even a bit of music theory. For such a diverse range it was very well delivered and woven together. My favorite bit of knowledge in the whole thing: Jung didn’t dig jazz.
Next came the concert. The group consisted of Gary T. on Trumpet, Gary B. and Jay from the Haven Street Five on guitar and bass, this dude K. C. on drums, and myself on tenor sax. We’d gotten together twice to rehearse, in the music building of SUNY Purchase, where K.C. is on the factuality. It’s actually a great place to rehearse, with high ceilings and great acoustics. The set included a bunch of standards, all great songs: Bohemia After Dark, Mercy Mercy Mercy, Willow Weep for Me, I Mean You, Straight No Chaser and Second Line. We ran thru the set before the show, and it all really came together for the performance with great energy and spontaneity. K.C. in particular had alot of feel, ideas and dynamics. Hope to be able to play with him again. The crowd and the Jung Center people loved it and sent each of the musicians home with a bottle of wine.
Next day LEFT HOOK played for our bassist Ken and his wife Kate’s 125 party. It was his 50th birthday, and hers as well, and their 25th wedding anniversary. 50 + 50 + 25 = 125. So it was a big todo with lots of their friends and relatives, great food, cake and all. The venue was a lodge house in Croton Point State Park. Very nice but also very hot and muggy. We played one set, a little over and hour, all our best stuff. I must say it sounded great and went over well although by the end people were drifting out cuz it was much cooler and breezier outside. All in all a great time. Congratulations Ken and Kate!
The last LEFT HOOK gig before that was three weeks ago. Musically the group keeps getting better and our songlist keeps expanding. The Bowie was a hit among the young hipsters in the crowd as well as the old timers.
But we’re growing dissatisfied with the same old dive bars and the same old crowds, so we’ve stepped up our quest for better gigs. It’s an uphill climb. We’ve started calling and visiting bars and other venues. We recorded the audio from that show and I’ll be putting together a new demo reel as soon as I’m able. Now with the gigs from Ken’s party and the audio from the Burke’s gig I have three shows worth of material to draw from. Just sifting thru it all will be a major task. At the same time we’re focusing on tightening up our arrangements and vocal harmonies and looking strategically towards picking new songs.