Topic: Having a very cool week.

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1.Having a very cool week. Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: May 15, 2013 9:59 PM

Last Thursday three of us left Texas for a one-nighter in Chicago with the [url=Les Elgart Orchestra]http://www.leselgart.com/[/url]. Then Tuesday my regular big band, Pecos River Brass, started rehearsing for a big show tomorrow with the two guest artists, Phil Wilson on trombone and Jack Peterson on guitar.

The show is in honor of Woody Herman's 100th birthday. Our bandleader is a HUGE Herman fan, and he's putting it on. The last two days have been really hard work, and really educational. Working with a guy like Phil, on arrangements he wrote, is both scary and great fun.

When I joined this band in 2001 there was no way we could have played the music we're doing tomorrow, and I include myself in that. We'll be playing a ballad at 50 bpm, three "burners" at 300 bpm or more (really. I clocked it.), and all points in between.

We have some killer soloists, and listening to them roar fills me with joy, and our rhythm section can do just about anything, IMO. Our shuffles are just relentless, and we swing hard at any speed. When I look back and consider the string of unlikely events that landed me in this band I feel really, really lucky.

Gear story: Phil was directing rehearsal of his suite that we're going to play, and a one point I started playing my 70's A Zildjian 22" swish cymbal with two rivets, and Phil looked up with a big smile and gave me a big thumbs up. Great. Then a couple of songs later I saw him looking at me and pointing to that swish again, at which point I switched to it, again getting a big smile. I think I marked four charts with notes to play that china, and those won't be the only times it gets used. I should play it more often. After my bandleader heard it played the first time he started writing it into his arrangements.

If you're still here, thanks for reading. It's been a cool week so far, and I can't wait to play tommorrow. I have some parts that have given me trouble, so I'll be working really hard to not screw up. We're also playing some stuff that I really LOVE to play, like Herman's arrangement of Fanfare for the Common Man, by Aaron Copland, and Hallelujah Time, an Oscar Peterson tune that features dueling tenor saxes at about 320-330 bpm (I just lay down time with occasional accents. It's freaking INTENSE).

Yeehah!

2.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: May 15, 2013 10:00 PM

Man, I'm a verbose SOB.

3.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: technique2012
Posted on: May 16, 2013 4:13 AM

I bet one of those fast songs is La Fiesta? I love that song.

4.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: toeNEE
Posted on: May 16, 2013 6:48 AM

how long are you un in chicago for???

the vintage drum show is this weekend???

5.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: May 16, 2013 9:56 AM

We were in Chicago last week for about 18 hours. Left Texas at 6:00 AM Thursday and stopped for the night near St. Louis. Left for Chicago about 8:00 AM. Got there shortly after noon on Friday, played the gig that night, and left at 6:009 AM on Saturday, arriving back here 10:30 that night.

We were gone for about 64 hours, 32 of which were spent driving.

6.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: technique2012] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: May 16, 2013 10:04 AM

technique2012 wrote:
I bet one of those fast songs is La Fiesta? I love that song.


Sorry, but that one's not on the list tonight, although we've done it in the past. Great chart.

The program for the evening is attached below.

(Click the picture to view the original one)

7.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: technique2012
Posted on: May 16, 2013 12:32 PM

paul wrote:
Sorry, but that one's not on the list tonight, although we've done it in the past. Great chart.

The program for the evening is attached below.

I'm just being picky here, but I believe the "Neil" in "Neil Hefti" is actually "Neal."

8.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: OldFart
Posted on: May 16, 2013 5:21 PM

I like Herman's stuff, too. I'm sure I picked it up from my father who seemed to listen to more Woody Herman recordings than those of Benny Goodman (although the difference would be difficult to compute).

Are you doing Caldonia?

EDIT : Ooops ... should've realized I could enlarge the listing by clicking directly on it.

So, no Caldonia. But you're doing W-w-w-w-Woodchopper's Ball.

My favorite 'Greasy Sack Blues' didn't make the cut. Oh well Smile

EDIT2: Bad eyes ... Caldonia IS there.

9.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: StillKicken
Posted on: May 16, 2013 6:03 PM

WoW!! What a trip and a lot of driving. I know you had fun but I bet you would rather do it again in Dallas.

Woodchopper's Ball is also one of my favorites. I remember when playing Big Band there was this little lady with a voice so week you could hardly hear; she would ask us to play Woodpecker's Ball, with a little chuckle the band leader would reply with; Sure we will be glad to. Smile

sherm

10.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: pgdrums
Posted on: May 17, 2013 6:38 AM

Congratulations on all the exciting events, Paul. I'm very happy for you, and also encouraged by your example, which gives me hope that I might one day find a similar form of musical fulfillment later in life. My imminent retirement at the end of this year from my current band of 12 years has been weighing on me, but your story gives me reason for optimism.

Playing in Chicago is fun, but the few times I've done it, it's always been a pain in the a$$. Nothing in Chicago is simple.

If you're ever in St. Louis again, please let me know. I'd love to buy you a beer.

11.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: May 18, 2013 10:28 AM

Sherm, I'd love to have a beer with you. As it happened, we went around SL, and stayed at a cheap motel in Collinsville. Got there about 4:00, and I was asleep by 9:30. Coming back we didn't even stop; just waved at the Arch as we went by.

12.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: paul
Posted on: May 18, 2013 10:31 AM

Oldfart, we rehearsed Caldonia at about 300 bpm, but on the concert Phil counted it off substantially faster. I hit a few accents on crashes, but mainly played HARD cross-sticks on 2 and 4 for several minutes. I think we were at about 325-330. It was really cool, and the bass player was worn out.

13.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: pwc
Posted on: May 18, 2013 6:01 PM

I have travelled far for gigs and even to other countries and continents but did so by air, luckily. I am not sure that I could drive so far for so long for one. Longest for me would have been a 10hour round trip with an overnight stay. Kudos, Paul.

14.Re:Having a very cool week. [Re: paul] Copy to clipboard
Posted by: toeNEE
Posted on: May 22, 2013 5:54 AM

well hope the gig was fun, would have been cool to meet someone from this forum.

vintage drumshow was awesome for those who care

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