Here are some Photos Chris Ward took at the show in Philly
Blog #73: Mini-Tour
Just got back from a mini-tour with 'Morning Musuko'(a big band that plays Japanese pop songs). I've done some small tours in the past, mostly leading my own groups, but this was the first I've done with a large ensemble. I had a good time, it was fun hanging with some friends, meeting some new ones and playing some shows. Its funny, touring ends up being 95% travel and 5% actual playing. We did a 1 hour 15 min set in Philly and 45 min set in DC at the Cherry Blossom Festival but were gone for basically 2 days. There wasn't much down time outside of driving and I didn't get to practice other than warming up before the performances. That was a bit weird for me, in the past when I've lead groups I've had times set up where I know I'll be able to do my exercises to keep my chops together, but even without that, I felt good chops-wise during this tour. Shout-out to Miki Hirose and Taku Kuroda: two bad-ass japanese trumpet players.
One thing I thought was interesting was the music that we listened to while we drove around. I wasn't in charge of the stereo so I just listened to whatever they put on(and I'm not one to complain). We listened to a lot of Phil Collins, some Michael Jackson and other 80's pop stuff. This got me thinking about how pop music is mostly in major keys and is generally pretty happy and up-beat. After a while I was just dying to listen to something a little deeper, darker and melancholy. Elliott Smith to the rescue via my ipod. I guess I just really love darker music and the 'real-ness' of it. I don't really understand 'good-time party music'. We all gotta find what speaks to us.
Back to the tour, it actually was pretty nice to drive around and talk with people in the van(the band had 2 vans, each with 8 people). I was lucky enough to be with my friend John Beaty(alto from my first record). Besides the band, we also had 2 girlfriends, an artist and a film maker(Morgan) taking video footage for a documentary. I thought he was a pretty cool guy. I am usually the one off to the side doing his own thing, but ended up talking for a lot of these drives after getting pulled into conversations. It was nice, but now that I'm back, I'm in serious need of some alone time(which is usually the hard part I have while touring).
Anyway, it was nice getting out of the city, playing some music and meeting some new people. I hope everyone enjoyed the shows. Tonight I'm playing a show in Brooklyn with 'Red Light Growler' and then back to Philly Wednesday playing at Chris' Jazz Cafe with a quartet group led by me. Should be fun.