Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Great Gig on the Fly

A month ago, Ushi asked me to play at a gig he organized at Jazz Inn. Tim and I called a couple friends and created a short set. It was smoking, probably the best we've played. We played two Marley covers in deference to a bass playing friend who is unbelievably rigid and tight, despite coming from a funk/reggae background. On the surface, reggae seems pretty simple --I mean even potheads can play the shit. But the drumming is ridiculously complex. Tim chose to stretch "Exodus" to about ten minutes, and by the end, sweat was pouring from me, starting with my burning shoulders and forearms. I got my reprieve behind the mike. I'm really starting to get a feel for singing, though I am still not ready to look at the audience when I do. Ushi's funk band went first, and midway through their set, he called me up to take the vocals on "Superstition." I also sang again during the session that followed once the bands were done. We blazed through a fifteen minute version of "Born Under A Bad Sign," every one taking a solo, including Tim playing ragtime like piano runs with his elbows. I didn't even know he could play. Fronting the combination of Motoi on guitar and Aa-chan on bass was magic. Add Alama to the mix and satori is sure to be mine.

Monday night we went to Hi High on the pretext of a short meeting with the owner about this week's upcoming gig. Somehow, we all ended up on stage, Tim, Zach, and Cian on guitars, me on congas. A quick twenty minute set for a single salaryman flanked by three hostesses. As we played, a couple other guys came in, one of whom bought us beers. Feeling I should sit and talk with him awhile, I turned obligation on it's head by pretending I was a hostess like the two on either side of him. I copied their actions the best I could, clapping when he sang, complimenting him profusely, signing karaoke he suggested. I didn't go as far as wiping his glass or touching his knee. Maybe next time. I was having a hilarious time, and the two Filipinas got it, but he seemed clueless. I hope he doesn't read this, these memoirs of a gai-sha...

On the turntable: The Heart of Bluegrass"


Roberto Iza Valdes said...
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Roberto Iza said...
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