Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Doorman's Diary 7.6.12

Tonight is a live-recording night. The jazz group whose album will come from this had done this a year ago -- it was a disaster. At that session, the band leader was striving for the impossible: A perfect, error-free performance. If someone missed a note (including himself), he'd yell "STOP!!  Do it over!" Everyone was wound so tight. The music sounded stiff and two-dimensional. The recording engineer supposedly "did a crappy job." I think the recording guy ended up getting stiffed--at least on the editing and mixing end. With that swirl of a cluster in the past, I'm nervous. They play a couple of warm-up songs and were sounding O.K. -- except the trumpet player was sounding like a teenage-boy in puberty; he'd hold a note and then it would break. "Crap," I thought, "not the time for amateur-hour." The recording engineer says, "O.K., with the next song, we're recording." From that point on, the trumpet guy was on fire -- clear, forceful playing, with little twists to add sparkle when it was needed. He was sounding better than ever. The recording session seemed to go well. Our crowd appears to be new folks with a few familiar faces. An old guy who hobbled in with his distinguished-looking cane was singled out as a tenor who had tooted on the first of the 10 albums the group has recorded. With a club that has a dozen years of history and band members who've been in the scene for 30-plus years, I'm the wide-eyed dimple-cheek chump to many who enter this hallowed space.

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