When I went to American Music the other day to look at keyboards, I thought it would be a straightforward, in-and-out, information-gathering venture. But then I met Phil Curry, the keyboard expert there, who showed me some stuff. This cat can play! So I asked him if he performed around town, and he said that he'd be playing in the house band at a jazz open mic/jam session at The Mix in Georgetown that night. Erin and I had nothing better to do, so we decided to check it out.
What a great scene! Turns out I knew the bassist, Alex Dyring, a Berklee grad, through my longtime collaborator and soul-brother Robby Seager. And Alex was a whiz on that upright, making extensive use of the bow, following whims into 4 bars of double-time feel, taking deliberate and refined solos. The sax player and bandleader, Dave Desrochers, honored John Coltrane both in his style and by announcing several times that it happened to be JC's birthday. The drummer Ed Littlefield put on a veritable master-class, going after the drums with attitude, playing around and holding it down--a big smile on his face the whole time. Jeremy Shaskus showed up, sat in on tenor, his playing at once virtuosic and extremely tasteful. Phil was lighting it up on the keys, and I got to hop up there for a few as well. My lady Erin overcame her nerves and came up and sang "How High the Moon," beautifully I might add. Several other cats held forth as well, and all of them could play.
It was a great night. We'd only been back in Seattle a few days, and in the course of half of one day I went from feeling at a loss as to where to begin with establishing myself musically, to suddenly being connected with a handful of spectacular jazz musicians. I even got a gig! Dave asked if I'd play keys with the house band on October 21st! So it was a serendipitous turn of events, to say the least; fateful, if you believe in that sort of thing. Not saying whether I do or not, but I do believe in gratitude, and I'm beyond grateful for this experience and the opportunities that accompanied it.
More to come! For now, check out our impromptu version of "Autumn Leaves"