Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Debut as jazz musician complete

Debut as jazz musician complete - recording contract still on hold, pending actual reception of an offer...

Well, last night The Flying Monkey played host to three bands from UAH, one of them the Wednesday night ensemble that I play in. At our designated start time of 7:00, only two of our band members were there, but nobody else was ready to play, so when we had everyone but our singer present (some time long about 7:20), we went onstage and began. We opened with Have You Met Miss Jones, which went servably well, with no major goofs and no outstanding lines or anything. My Funny Valentine was next, even though it wasn't on our playlist, and it too was adequate without being professional. Our third song was Wave, which was very sharp, fun, driving, and right on. That was the definite highlight of our set. Then our singer showed up, so we went to Lady Sings the Blues, which again, was clean and crisp without being impressive. We closed our set with Michelle, and unfortunately, that was our mistake. The bass and guitar got out of sync, and the sound set-up wasn't good enough for me to be able to pick up what was being played and choose an instrument to play along with. I played a few notes in spots just to "fill", but finally had to sit out as the wanderings got more and more convoluted and distorted. We managed to get back to the head and plow through the song one more time, before we more or less just stopped, and what the applause lacked in enthusiasm was made up by politeness.

It went about as expected.

I guess that looking at the positive, there's a lot to be said. First, it was my first concert in jazz, so I've got that under my belt. Second, everybody made positive remarks. Nobody said anything like, "You guys sounded great except for that last song" or "What happened?" Everybody just said, "You sounded good" or "Good job", and I like that positivity. Third, I learned that if any band is going to sound good, a minimal amount of organization is required, but there has to be some, and that, in the future, if the organization is lacking, someone (maybe me) can just take charge and bring in the necessary level of planning and focus, in order to at least have a complete set of songs, in a specific order, that everyone can play.

If my expectations aren't met and I need to take charge, I'm okay with that. At any rate, I'll definitely be a better musician for last night's experience. It will still be quite a while before I'll be recording anything, though.

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