Saturday, June 28, 2008

Jazzfest 2008 - Day 2 (aka SHOWTIME)

2 pm: Hank Jones press conference. I hope to be half as elegant, witty and musical at half his age.
3 pm: Prep charts, warm up, zone in, etc etc. Hang out in press room.
4 pm: Press conference for Francois Richard's Nouvel Orchestra disc on Effendi. Nice chamber jazz with flute, strings & rhythm section.
6 pm: Nordic Connect @ Gésu. Great room for a great band. A bit of a rocky start but once they jelled, they fell into the inspiring beauty I can always get from sisters Jensen.
7:30 pm: Show up early for soundcheck. Meet the technical team and soundman. Fight with the Rhodes pedal that I eventually go without. Breathe.
8:55 pm: Gust of wind blows charts off the piano. Techs run and get extra plexiglass.
9 pm: Hit for the first set. Nerves finally calm down. Music happens. Phil sounds great, Seb sounds great, huge crowd... and competition judges in the second row. Didn't realize the blues stage right behind us would be going on at the same time. Once we started going you couldn't really hear it though.
10 pm: Breathe huge sigh of relief. Mingle with crowd. Congratulate Seb & Phil. Prep for set 2.
11 pm: Launch into set 2. What a difference one set (and one beer) makes. This set is the more late-night groovy, chillout set. More vocal crowd. We all feel more relaxed.
11:58 pm: Done.

I can't really talk about our set in any better detail. Phil said that he finally gets the music now, and it sounds that way. Seb played his ass off and learned this music - which, while not extremely difficult, isn't all that easy - really quite quickly and I'm very happy to work with him. July 5 (next Saturday) they announce the competition winner, and whoever wins will play an additional set that night. Stay tuned to this space.

Set 1: 9 pm
Driscollage [in memory of Chris Driscoll]
As of Now
Dancing Serpent in Dawn's Quiet
Tonglen [for Andrew D'Angelo]
Visions (Stevie Wonder)
Ramblin' (Ornette Coleman)

Set 2: 11 pm
As of Now
Pleasure is All Mine (Björk)
Dancing Serpent in Dawn's Quiet
Dupla Traiçao (Djavan)
Settled in Shipping
First Impressions
Erghen Diado (Peter Lyondev)

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