I got the “vibe” the other night…well really before that in small bits, but full on the other night.
Hmmm now, should I skip ahead and keep not keep the suspense… hmmmm, Stretch the story is more like it.
Naw, ok the first meeting with the Smooth Jazz band. It was a bit surprising, I was under the impression from what I was told that this was brand new, meaning this was the first practice of the group. When I arrived at the rehearsal they had already put together four or six songs. Wow. I thought we were starting together but, I was already behind. Ok, not a big deal just some homework. Then I hear about a gig, after practice. I was not told direct about it, just heard, so I ask later via text. Is this just something for you guys ( I would have been ok with) or does it involve me? We want you in it if you are free. I was told. Ok, I say, I will make it work. I am under the impression this is a standard gig, we do a set or two, then bam…over. Maybe usually about 12 songs. However, to me, it was mostly unknown. I had no details. After a while, I read on the chat connection. We will play for two hours. I am thinking this will be a lot of songs needed, but there is still over a couple of weeks away. I hear something about needing 20-25 songs. Hmmm. Ok, some serious work will be needed.
I get the list of what will be practiced at the next meeting. Review the 6-8 old songs, then go over the 5 new ones. Ok, I do my homework. I find the songs, find the charts, transpose when needed. What key I ask. I am told the original keys. Hmmmm it was not very helpful, somewhat only.
Ok, practice session, I arrive at the right place this time. Last time I went to the wrong place. I missed part of the practice. Ok, I am there, I take a group picture in the hall. When looking at it I think. These young guys and the old man… not really a good fit.
We start with a review song. Once again I have an issue with one string tuning. The tuner says it is right, my ear says it is wrong. We play, it sounds bad. No one says anything, except me. I am not happy. I retune, we play just a bit, it sounds ok.
Next, We skip right to a new song. These guys have it, like they have been playing it a while. I am figuring out things. Stops, cords, etc. next song, same, but more so, because I was not told which version. Ok, I am making notes and changes, they are playing and talking like they have been through this song before. I get the sense they are all bonded. I am the outsider, I felt more comfortable with a Japanese group who spoke no English than with these guys, speaking English.
We moved on to another review this went ok. All seemed happy with it and the change up to make it more funky, the drummer’ Idea. So we are told we have only 30 min left our time was cut, but he, the leader forgot to say something. Ok. I say, ok, next Friday? Is there a chance to do one sooner, I feel I need to catch up with you guys. I am told, it is fine with me, but these other guys are working and their times change. Ok, I say… I am feeling a disturbance in the force, as it had been most of the evening.
Ok, we are off into the night. Bro hugs and all that.
Ok, my impression is that these three guys have bonded well and that at least the keyboard player and the Saxman have gotten together and went through/ over some songs. The songs they listen to, I am familiar with but not songs I tune into, seek out on the radio. I am not a big fan of Kenny G. But some of his songs are good. This guy is heavy Kenny G sound. Bruno Mars, talented guy but not a regular on my song list. These guys could be my grandsons. I have played with young ones, with no issues, but these guys felt…different.
I go home and layout my study plan until the next session.
The next day I receive an email. “We have decided it would be best since you have been very busy on other projects if we did the next couple of gigs without you and bring you in next year, once you get more comfortable with the songs. Ok, Good idea I say!
Hmmm, my “sense” screams re alert!
Ok, I think on things for a bit, an awhile later, I email back. “Yeah, good idea about my laying out for now. Just so I am clear. I should keep working on these songs and the new ones just not plan on giving until next year…or should I just pause until you call???” My thought “I might as well not waste time if this is not going to be a thing.” Better to find out now, clearly.
Having been in the Hollywood scene of many years. We developed a joke phrase, “we’ll give you a call!” Many artists get this when auditioning for a part. Thanks for coming in, we will review things and give you a call with the results/ if we will use you/ need you/ fit. There is some part in old Chinese Kung Fu movies where some youth is trying to get into the Shaolin temple. They wait for days, a monk comes out and says, thanks for coming please go home! It was over for them, fail!
So the “We’ll give you a call is the same thing” fail! The auditioning artist understands this. It is a polite brush off!
So I am told, “yeah, just hold tight on those songs, I will be reviewing things and seeing what works. probably will be making changes. I will keep you posted!” I had to laugh to myself … bam there it was! “We’ll give you a call!”
The Zensense is right-on again. Not a direct dump, but at my age one can read between the lines. It was not a good fit! Having that when playing is important. I could see that just from the photo I took.