Sunday, April 02, 2006

gig 005 - w/House Band #9

Friday March 31, 2006
@ Café Pazzazz on rue de l’Eglise in Val-David, Quebec
9:30 pm-12:30am

John Sobol – sax
Lauren Belec – guitare electrique
Jean-François Barbeau – drums/batterie
François Myrand – basse
Richard St-Aubin – acoustic guitar

50 spectators
Set 1: 35 minutes
Set 2: 35 minutes
Set 3: 35 minutes
Improvised instrumental jams on simple and not-so-simple song forms
Serious grooves and blowing
no recording
no press
no cover charge
our regular gig
alcohol sold and consumed
people freaking out
general musical mayhem

the night's surprise was another sax player who showed up
Guy Seguin
a guy I didn't know but who had brought his tenor and come hoping to play
so i told him he could come up in the 3rd set
the band had a blast in the first 2 sets as usual
i was exhausted well before the night was over
almost blown out
my only excuse being that
it had been a real loong week
and the fact that
i was blowing amidst a full drum kit and three well-amplified guitars (bass, electric and acoustic)
while i had no microphone
so i spent those two sets turned up to 11

and that's when i invited Guy to get out his horn
i'd learned he was a friendly but kinda quiet guy
who'd moved to Val-David a year ago same as me (!)
and had studied at the Conservatoire and UdeM and McGill
and he played like it
i mean he really blew beautifully
exquisite finger control, lip action and harmonic invention
tasty too

so that was kind of a surprise to me
me standing up there feeling kinda beat
and suddenly this guy blowing the hell out of his horn
in my band and in my bar!

i'd like to say i turned on the jets and left him reeling but it ain't so
i played ok
in the third set
but i was a bit thrown off
not just by his sudden appearance
but by his style of play
which was generally Breckerish

that kind of harmonically-focused technical mastery
is sort of inherently virtuostic and often over-achieving
(some people think it is also inherently soulless but I do not agree)
but it's virtuosity has always intimidated me
because it's not how i play at all
yet it's how many of today's top sax players and musicians approach things
(even though
when i think about it
most of my musical heroes did it very differently)

still, it left me asking some questions about myself musically
which, thankfully, were answered the following night (gig 006)

Risk Factor: 4.5
Riff Factor: 9
Success Factor: stimulation
Wild Card: The Competition
Cash Factor: 7
Parking Lot: spring mud and dirty snowbanks
Interactivism: 4 (subtle saxy articulation of a powerful literatized narrative challenge (Breckerism) by the classical grove groove Guy, me being of the bluesologist's aural boneyard where words blossom and reek)
Concern: 8.5
Obliteration: 8.5


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