16 July 2017

Daily duties

It was an orchestral practice interrupted to set up for a Tilt gig. I was sorry for the first, enjoying Mendelssohn and missing a Tchaikovsky symphony (no.2 - it's great). But duty calls in the form of a gig at Mercure Canberra, long known as the Ainslie Pub, for the Canberra Truffle Festival. Truffles in an adjacent room; bar through another door. We had the stately lounge for jazz and it was a blow from the first. Busy, some dancing, easy chatting and a few listeners. We played jazz and standards and blues and some modern with substitutions and polyrhythms and the like, and also some jazz-twisted pop tunes, not least a new one from Daft Punk. At least new to me. I'm a great believer that everyone should have something they recognise: when they do they come onside and are open to standards, Shorter, Miles, whatever. I sometimes wonder how we can get paid to do this, but they like it and so do we.

Then next day, the Smiths jazz blow. Strong on bassists. Brendan Clarke was playing as I arrived. Eric Ajaye was inside to play a gig after the jam session. The house bassist was Jace Henderson with fellow bandsters Josh Buckler, Hugh Barrett and Mark Levers. I played a few tunes with a singer, not least Honeysuckle Rose, then Beatrice again to finish off. Thanks again to Josh and co.

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