I decided to do something different today for a change of scene, change of pace. I am at the Snafkin Cafe for lunch. Once upon a time I could go down to my boat to sit by, the water have a meal, chill’n out, kick’n back, lounging etc, whatever you want to call it. Now being boatless a change is needed to do that. This is my first time coming here during the day and just to hang out. It is pretty quiet and nice, chatted a bit with the owners. One day I want to sail down here for lunch then back to Tajiri. Once the weather warms up.
I was told I had people coming in to look for me to be playing. It was my Japanese Sensei, I had forgotten I told her I was going to be playing here earlier this month and that it had changed. She came in with some others, I guess from the class, but I was not here. My bad for not remembering. I hope they still enjoyed the visit. I have spoken via email with her since then and apologized.
So here I am, chilling, seaside. There are only a few people here, everyone was quite surprised to see me. I got a nice small table by the window.
And the band played on…
Yesterday we, the Blues Band played at The Overheat club again. The night before or perhaps early that morning I get an email from the Doc., he had given me a couple of songs he wanted to do for the show. I said ok. That morning he gives me two more, and says I want you to sing this song, done slow. This is the same song I got pissed off about last show, being told to do it at the last moment on stage. However that was only part of my irritation. So I told him thanks for saying something before getting on stage, however if he wants it done that way he needs to sing it. His response was he is not ready. Ok, so I had to break it down to him (street talk for explain it). I said when I am being paid to play/sing, I do it however the employer wants. When I am doing something for free, I have the right to do it, play/ sing however I want. otherwise, I am not told how to do a song. When the band is working as Matsuo Blues Band and I am getting paid, I do as I am told. If I am not getting paid, doing something for free, with no benefit to me, then I do not have to do as told!
LZ thought I was being a bit mean. What if he tells you to leave then, what would you say? My reply was: BYE! So I had to break it down to her also. When band/ group is named after someone, the band members are backup for the “leader” it is all about him/her. The members are employees and have no say, because they are employees on a job. When a group is name for example The Sennan International Blues Band, then everyone is equal, No one is “told” what to do. It maybe suggested, discussed, but no one is ordered what to sing or play. Asking, requesting is ok, but I can also say no! There maybe a leader, but there is no boss, when there is a boss, the other members get paid and do as told. This group is call The Matsuo Blues band, it is about him, not the group. How many times have I heard him say to someone, that is my Bass player! If I am not getting paid, I am not an employee, who is told what to do. There is an etiquette line which has been cross. He may not be aware of never having been a professional working musician, mostly been solo and this is all just fun for him and maybe the Japanese youngsters he has played with before never said anything.
She got it then.
So did the Doc. He wrote back, oh, thanks for reminding me, he says. I have not paid you guys lately. I was thinking of paying you blah blah for the show today. I said ok, thank you, shacho! What other songs do you want done? The drummer who is part of this email, jumps in late and says ok, guys, let’s chill out. Your point is taken, let discuss this calmly and just go play and have a good time. I thought I was being very calm. As far as I was concerned it was settled…I had said my piece got resolution, understanding and it was done…and the band played on.
We had a new member join us, on piano that day. The Doc said he was a piano genius, he could play any song hearing it. He was to my ears just ok. I was not impressed. I could not hear well when playing at the time, but later I listened to a recording and the first two songs sounded muddy and there were some clashing or disharmonic cords. The final song was ok, for a first time playing for all of us song. I do not know if he will be a permanent member or just sitting in from time to time, like for the up-coming big Blues Festival we will be doing in April. It is nice to have the extra instrument, and he seems a nice guy, hopefully he will work on his Blues cords.
You can’t stop the music…
A few weeks ago, I went back to the Ozaki Jazz society gathering. It was a Valentine night session. I arrived just a little past the starting time. When i open the door at first i got a bunch of stares, from everyone, especially the new faces. Then I was surprised by applause from those who recognized me, others after a few quick whispers. That was quite shocking and somewhat embarrassing, at the same time a nice little ego boost. It was a weird experience. I entered and greeted everyone I knew including the owners who welcomed me. I took a seat at the bar in the corner to watch and listen. It was a slower night than last time so now as packed, still a nice crowd. As I hoped for I did not get called up right away and got a chance to relax and enjoy.
After several other I was asked to come up. I gave out the music I prepared and pulled up a few players to help out who were not already up on the stage. We did the first song easy, it had a nice groove and was enjoyable. I am more relaxed about being up there now and getting the groove I want. The next song, I had changed from what I said I was going to do and play piano. I liked the keyboard player that was there. We did a slow blues, I was surprised at the good response when I said what we were going to do and also a couple of other players joined in. Ended up with three guitars, keyboard, congas, and drum. The trumpet player sat this one out, and no sax player came forward. Ok on all accounts. The horn player tends to be somewhat flat and I am not a big fan of Sax unless they are good players. So it was well and good. After two songs I sat down so others could perform. Later I sang one song with another group of players and also did some harmonica with a couple of songs. It was a fun evening. In Japan everyone is given chocolate not just sweethearts as in America. There was candy on the tables and bar, and I was given extra to take home. I am not a big chocolate eater, so took it home for LZ.
I left but the music played on.