Blog #74: Gigs Gigs Gigs
This week was the last of my 'busy gig' run. Monday I played with my band 'Red Light Growler' at Bar 4 in brooklyn. My chops were still bit tender from the weekend gigs with 'Morning Musuko', but I thought RLG played well and was really happy with the turnout. Great, enthusiastic crowd and our music was well received. At our last gig someone at the show told us they loved our band, but that we were super awkward on stage and had 'zero stage presence'. Strangely enough, I always liked the fact that I didn't talk much to the audience, so at the Bar 4 gig, I actually talked a bit, announced songs, made a few jokes. In all my time playing music, this was the first time i really tried to talk to the audience. It wasn't that bad; maybe I'll do more of it in the future(though ideally I'd have someone else do it).
Last night I played at Chris' Jazz Cafe in philly. It was a group with trumpet, tenor sax, organ and drums. We played standards all night. I can't remember the last time I did a gig of all standards, so that was cool and I was leading the gig, so we only played ones I like :) One of the guys in the band actually got someone to sub on his teaching gig so he could come down and play with us(knowing he'd make less money on the gig than teaching). I thought that was beautiful, and is a good reminder why we all do what we do. Also I've felt recently like I'm really making progress in my playing and could really feel it on this gig. One thing I've been thinking about a lot is playing small phrases that can stand on their own. Just focusing on making one perfect idea. Using more space too. I just really want to play something that means something and I've been definitely feeling a pull towards simplicity and directness.
Today I'm really paying for it chops-wise. I've done a lot of gigs and rehearsals in the past few weeks, playing loud, high, and with little to no warm-up. My chops are feelin' pretty beat up and my tone is a bit distorted. I have from now until Wednesday to get it back together, because that's when my recording is and I really have to sound good on that(obviously). Luckily I've got the next few days free. Heading to see my trumpet teacher Laurie Frink tomorrow...