The bebop workshop goes large at Smalls

Today we had a chance to showcase the songs we’ve been playing in class and our hard work payed off. My wife and best friend were impressed. Okay, jazz smarty pants they are not, but they loved us, thought we were great, and they had a fantastic time. Life doesn’t get better.

As for me, I thought we played about as well as our current capabilities allow—for that, I give us a well-earned B. The heads sounded really good: the strongest, Joy Spring; the A section of Tunisia, the weakest. I thought the balance was off, though. I couldn’t hear Michael (p) and Scott (g), Jason (d) and Andrea (b) sounded loud (to me). I founded myself blowing too hard, which made it hard for me to relax and my playing suffered accordingly; my tone on ballad solo is one memorably cringing example. The room was bright and miked, much more than our practice space on 28th street, and we didn’t compensate.
I know we’ll improve. Listening to each other and the group sound are key. More interaction. I’d like to hear a recording of our performance in our class and talk about the Good, Bad and Ugly.
Hey, it was a gas. I had a ball. Hope you did, too.
Andrea, thanks for all your hard work and the care and interest with which you teach the class.
PS. If you had any better shots of us playing, send them to me and I’ll post them.