We played the first gig of the tour tonight. It went very well considering that we made the record in May, and haven’t played together since. We ran some stuff at sound check, and the great musicians in the band did what great musicians do. Every cat in this band is absolutely world class, and it is a great pleasure an honor to make music with them. I’ll try not to assume that you know who I am talking about. The band is Hamid Drake on drums, Jeff Parker on guitar, Josh Abrams on bass and guimbre, Jeb Bishop and myself on trombones, and Napoleon Maddox on all manner of vocally created musical sounds.
Tomorrow we travel to Milan, where we play Sunday morning.
I have always heard about how these European festivals can turn into big musician hangs. Tonight we split a show with Kahil el Zabar’s Ethnic Heritage Ensemble with special guest Neneh Cherry. Ernest Dawkins and Corey Wilkes were in Kahil’s band, along with Matthew Kent and Franck Orall. Also hanging out were William Parker, Billy Bang, Nasheet Waits, Flip Barnes, Rob Brown, and Rasul Siddik, plus a bunch of other cats that I didn’t get to meet. We are all staying at the same hotel, and ended up at the bar across the street after the gig. Neneh told me that her father, Don Cherry (the great musician and trumpeter, not the hockey guy), used to play the the Dr. John record with the Meters as the band (“Right Place Wrong Time”) all the time. Pretty cool.