Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The not-quite-excellent adventure

Commuting's a bitch. The upshot of delayed flights: complimentary drinks.

After scrambling all weekend to find a flight to get to the BMI reading yesterday, I received a call Monday night that my 6:30 am flight (Trudeau to Toronto's Pearson, connecting flight to LaGuardia) was cancelled, and luckily rescheduled for a 10:30 am flight direct to LaGuardia. So far, so good. Having no checked bags was a welcome bonus - I deplaned and immediately caught a shuttle into Manhattan.

I grabbed some lunch from the deli across the street from Local 802, and frantically set about taping the rest of my parts together. The piece I brought in is easily the longest piece, in terms of paper, I've written - nearly 60 pages of score, and parts ranging from 2-6 pages, depending on intricacy and formatting. No horrendous train wrecks, and I got a good idea of what needs to be fixed or kept in the piece. Mike Holober guest conducted the piece, as Jim came in late, and looked rather worse for wear - I guess he caught something from the flight back to NY from his latest European voyage; he missed the meeting last week as well.

Volker Goetze's piece brought a cameo from Lenny Pickett on Eb clarinet. Pickett played with a lot of slap-tonguing (whether by choice or by instruction, I'm not sure) and it sounded rather like Nintendo music sitting atop this lush orchestration. I had to leave early to catch a shuttle back to LaGuardia, and this is where it all went wrong.

I missed the 4:30 shuttle by 7 minutes (though the other person in line said it never showed up), and for a minute the 5:00 looked like it was going to blow by Grand Central Terminal. Upon arrival, I'm told all flights to Toronto are delayed by a ripple effect caused by an earlier mechanical failure and ensuing ground crew issues, and that the flights direct to Montreal are oversold because they downgraded the aircraft. Long story short, my 7:30 flight to Pearson was pushed back to 8:15, and the 10:30 connection to Trudeau was postponed till 11:20, which was further postponed to accomodate another late flight from Cancun. Didn't get back home until 1 am, all for a three-hour reading session in NYC.

The added benefit of the flights were that none of them cracked the 30,000-foot ceiling, above which my ears get horribly blocked. Given that I've got a final recording session with Kids Eat Crayons tonight and the start of an Indigone Trio residency tomorrow, I'm quite happy.

Linkage (which has already gone across the blogosphere): Ethan Iverson and Stanley Crouch. Darcy and Pat have cogent analysis; my only addition would be the irony of Crouch lambasting Leroi Jones' black-nationalist transformation into Amiri Baraka while he insists upon trotting out racially-fuelled perceptions of the jazz world.

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