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Stretching the Jazz Muscles

I haven’t yet mentioned my musical day on Sunday, which saw me playing three different ‘gigs’. The first was at church, so relatively easy music, a very forgiving setting and, when things are going right, nobody is really listening too closely as my role is to support their musical expression of worship rather than to draw attention to myself.

In the afternoon, I headed down to a private party near Clifton Hampden for a jazz gig. Then back again to pick up the vital amp lead I forgot and back to the gig – fortunately a fairly informal affair. The quartet was keys, trombone, alto sax and bass and I had the pleasure – and challenge – of playing with some very accomplished musicians. No such thing as a set list or rehearsals as we just took turns in picking tunes. We did some standards, I had a chance to get ready on some of the tunes I knew were coming up for my evening gig and there was also a flow of tunes I’ve not played much or at all before. Slightly seat of the pants but we even had some of the crowd dancing in the rain before the end!

Finally, I carried on down to Reading to guest with another group at The Jolly Anglers. There was a set list for this but I’d had minimal time to prepare apart from the playing I’d done earlier in the afternoon. It was a great event though with a friendly and appreciative crowd and I enjoyed laying down a strong foundation and sometimes ripping out a good solo, certainly after we’d got past the second track (Night in Tunisia – lovely but hinging on the bass riff so a bit of pressure there).

All done and a good chance to keep my jazz muscles stretched and growing.

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