live-blogged from the hostel, Tuesday afternoon, as others are watching some crappy Adam Sandler movie (50 First Dates, maybe?)
Monday morning, while waiting in line at Gare Centrale, I heard someone call my name. I looked up and saw Jason, former Effusion beat-boxer, getting in line for the ride as well. It was cool to be in a friend's company for a change, and we talked about our music projects, modern dancers, and various other things. The border officers seemed a bit puzzled that we knew each other but weren't travelling together.
After checking into the hostel, I changed my routine and went to the Cutting Room jam, led by Richie Cannata. It's a nice room in Chelsea - the layout reminds me a little bit of the lower level of Spectrum, but not as big. The house band opened with a two song set - "Mr. Magic" (oh, the cruise ship memories) and some Jeff Beck tune I didn't know the name of. The house band was good and tight, but everybody's bag of tricks became evident pretty quickly. Usually it takes more than two solos to figure out everybody's licks and become able to guess where they're going.
The jam started with a singer who sounded like an incarnation of Janis doing "Piece of my Heart" and "Respect," and some neo-soul-looking (skullcap - check; shades - check) and sounding dude doing "Sir Duke." As the horn line started I audibly lamented that the tunes I wanted to play had already been done. I was called up, but the tune chosen was one I didn't know - "Baby I Love You" (and not the Andy Kim tune... anyone know the original artist?). Sat it out, though I figured it out in one pass of verse/chorus. The next tune was "Me and Bobby McGee" which I got to do the country-rock piano stuff on. Of course, next thing I know, Richie calls the house band back up and they proceed to do "Superstition/Sex Machine." Of course, I'm sitting there thinking, That's what I wanted to play! I kind of got the feeling that, like many other jam sessions, if they don't know you they're not going to do you any favours, which now leaves me wondering how much time I actually want to invest in cultivating relationships in the Cutting Room scene when the vibe at Smoke is a lot more enjoyable and conducive to what I want to be doing.
Today was the first reading session for BMI, and I was excited - both to hear the work of everyone else in the group and to have my music read by musicians of very high calibre. Aside from a "harmolodic" mixup of the flute part being played on alto, it went pretty smoothly (and sounded pretty much how I thought it would, thankfully). The BMI group is a great hang, and I'm really happy to be involved with it.
Tonight - a cross-town adventure to check out Henry Grimes, Andrew Cyrille and Bill McHenry. More to follow.