Tampere, travel, and the road hang

I am writing this from Milan, Italy. I am near the beginning of a tour with Hamid Drake and Bindu Reggaeology, that will take us to Austria, Spain, Belgium, and England.

Our first concert was last night in Tampere, Finland, as part of the Tampere Jazz Happening. They put on a great festival there. They treat the musicians really well, and program great music. I had the chance to hear sets or parts of sets by Donkey Monkey, Mostly Other People Do The Killing, Jazz Mob, Marc Ribot’s Sun Ship, the Dave Holland Quintet, and a couple of others whose names I am spacing at the moment. I love when our travel schedule around a festival allows us to hear some other musicians.

We played a long set as the club closer after the stage shows. It was a fun night, with people dancing and having fun. Jeff Parker is not with us for the beginning of this tour, and we miss him, but Hamid brought in Hervé Samb to play guitar, and Hervé is great. A very different player from Parker. There is already a move afoot amongst band members, that we’d like to hear them together. I don’t know that that will happen, but it sure would be fun to hear.

Today was a long travel day starting with an 8:30 am van ride for two hours to the Helsinki airport, followed by a short flight to Stockholm, and two hour layover, a longish flight to Milan, and finally to our hotel. It is probably good that tonight was a night off, because it was a long day of travel after a short night of sleep.

Once we got settled into our hotel, Napoleon Maddox, Joshua Abrams, and I had a nice long Italian dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. One of he joys of traveling with a great band is the time spent talking about music and life, and broadening one’s own perspective through the wisdom of one’s friends.

Tomorrow, we are off to Bolzano, Italy, then Vienna, Seville, Genk (Belgium) and London. Full details about the gigs are here: http://jeffalbert.com/?page_id=253 If you are in the area, please come say hello.