As expected our New Orleans stop has been outrageous from the start. I was worried about my chops being a little busted, as ironically, when you’re traveling around looking to play music, you get out of your practice routine and for me, especially if the performance venues end up being in the poetry or singer/songwriter category, I can go a few days without playing trumpet at all. My Taps routine has been a savior of sorts, as most every night I have at least played a quiet warmup routine and Taps.
But as it would turn out, I sat in pretty effectively with three different situations last night. The first was a trio in a dead club with a great band. It’s well outside of tourist season right now so there is such a thing as a dead club on Frenchman Street, but it pretty much has to be summer, and it pretty much has to be early in the week. Nonetheless, of course, the trio was killer. It was led by a fine bass player with a great voice, a big man who was working with a super talented guitar player and a great drummer. They let me sit in on three tunes; one a funk I didn’t know, Maceo’s “The Chicken,” and a blues. It was really cool, the band dug it and the small audience was appreciative.
The next one was a club called 30/90, also on Frenchman. A charismatic and talented drummer/brass player/singer/emcee named Gene was running a proper jam, so I signed up and got called to the stage for “Chameleon,” a one-chord funk freight train that can go anywhere from sublime to ridiculous, but I played a decent solo on it, which Debra captured on her iPhone. The non-musician washboard sit-in guy was right next to Debra, so you get an imperfect rhythm accompaniment that is hot in the mix. Oh well… There were lots of atta-boys from the mostly tourist crowd, and I felt good about my sound. So we’re back in business on the trumpet.
The last little jam was on the street after a set. The incredible trumpet player from a band we had just seen and I hung out a while outside the club and played a bit of blues in F. He is outstanding, and I think I played a respectable bit of rhythm for him.