8.28.2013

Happy Hump Day

It’s Wednesday, August 28, 2013. I did not sleep very well last night because I was overheated and my dog Foster kept gouging me with his claws. He was sleeping on my bed, as he sometimes does. I think he was overheated too, notwithstanding the box fan I had blowing full pelt on the bed. So he stretched out to expose more of his canine surface area to the cooling gale. When he would extend his hind legs, the claws would scrape my back or side, waking me.

I also ate two slices of cheesy pizza after jazz night last night. I never sleep well when I eat heavy foods like that late at night. After I get done with jazz, especially when it is as spectacularly funky as it was last night, I am often in need of replenishing sustenance, and with Falbo’s Pizzeria just a couple of doors down from the Mason Lounge, where jazz is hosted, it’s too easy to succumb to it.

Last night we had six musicians at jazz night, including a new sax player named Rob. He can really wail quite well and it is nice playing with him. In addition to the core rhythm section of me on bass, Charlie Painter on guitar, and MG Sherry on drums, we also had occasional keyboardist Trey Grimm with us, and jazz violinist Rin Ribble. Rin was plagued with feedback issues for a while, but at some point in the night, she and Charlie solved them.

We tried some new tunes and they went well. We had some really good jams too. I am not a big fan of trading fours. I probably would be if it was done sensibly, but more often than not it happens chaotically at jazz night. I am the kind of bass player who gets into a good groove and I sometimes close my eyes and sway in a way reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s performances. So I sometimes miss visual cues when the other musicians are giving each other the universal sign for “trade fours.” Often, the trading fours does not interrupt my bass playing, if it is between instrumental soloists. But when it is between and instrumentalist and the drummer, it usually works best of all the instruments, including the bass, cut out during the drum’s four measures of solo (trading fours is where soloists trade off four measures at a time). Otherwise, it sounds like a bass drum groove, which can be fine, but is not usually the intent of the trading fours impromptu plan, especially when I am taken by surprise and ill prepared to lay down some tasty delicious bass lines.

Last night, I was laying down some good grooves and getting more comfortable improvising in various keys and complimenting what the other players were doing. At least that is how it sounded to my ear. Were you there? How did it sound to your ear?

I am at work. In about five minutes I am going to go change into my walking/running shoes and power walk to downtown Middleton for a bite to eat and some power book writing. It is pretty light at work right now, and since I have cleared everything off my desk and am waiting for other people to pull their shite together, I see no reason to twiddle my thumbs. One of my coworkers and I have a system whereby we alert each other via text of any work emergencies that arise while one or the other of us is away from our desk. It usually works pretty well, unless neither of us is at our desk. But in that case, everyone can just pretty much F off and wait for our return.

Joe

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