****** Musician's Meanderings******
Steve Hashimoto's Journey Journal – News From the Trenches – 10-12-2003:
First, the sad news. Judy Roberts' father, Robert Loewy, died last week, as
did the great jazz trombonist Carl Fontana. Condolences especially to Judy and
her family. And in the Asian-American community, critic/musician/journalist
Ted Shen (only 50 years old, sadly) and Dr. Lucida Rita, mother of my friends
Marc and Patrick Rita.
A couple of great lines...
The first comes, I think, from the business world, but it works equally well
when dealing with a leader, party planner, booking agent or client. "I fail to
see how a lack of planning on your part constitutes an emergency on mine."
The second is one I actually heard on a gig (identities omitted to protect
the guilty party). The leader had tried everything but the audience refused to
dance. He called fast tunes, slow tunes, swing, rock, r&b, disco, blues,
country, waltzes, and only one couple would dance. Being a conscientious leader he
felt bad and was visibly frustrated, but being a realist he just figured that
it just wasn't a dancing crowd and he'd done all he could. Then a woman came up
to the bandstand, and trying to be helpful, said, "Excuse, maybe you haven't
noticed but there are only two people dancing. Maybe you should try to play
something we can dance to." Now, mind you, this particular leader has a
reputation as being very easy-going and polite, but I guess she just pushed the wrong
button. He looked at her for a second and said, "And maybe you should have a
band of your own." The look on her face was classic -- like someone had passed
wind at a funeral.
The third I have on reliable word, from an eyewitness. Many of you know my
pal Joe Valentino, the drummer. Now Joe's not really an excitable kind of a guy,
but if you get under his skin he will get you. He was playing a gig with
Brian Patti (his regular jobbing gig), and there were two subs in the rhythm
section, on piano and bass (I won't name either of them). Both of them were playing
kind of busy and getting in everyone's way, so Joe took the piano player
aside (he knew him slightly, but didn't really know the bass player) and gently
tried to explain (I'm not being sarcastic; I truly believe Joe was just trying
to help) some things that the pianist might try to help settle the groove. The
bass player (remember, he's subbing on the band; it's really Joe's gig), who
didn't even know the piano player at all, immediately gets up in Joe's face.
Bass player: "Who the **** are you to tell this guy how to play?"
Joe: "I'm not tryin' to tell him how to do anything. Who the **** are
Bass player: "I played with (insert names of several famous, dead jazz
stars). I know every tune, and I can play them in any key!"
Joe: "Well, could you play just one of them right?"
And finally, two classic Alejo-isms (for you out-of-towners, Alejo Poveda
is a great drummer and percussionist here in Chicago, and is a very funny guy
-- many of his sayings have entered the everyday lexicon of the Chicago
On a large-band jobbing date, Alejo was playing drums and there was also
to be a latin percussionist, a guy with a reputation for tardiness. The gig
started at 7:30, but the percussionist didn't show until 8:45. The leader was
livid -- "What the hell happened to you?"
Percussionist: "I thought the gig started at 8:30."
Alejo: "You're still 15 minutes late, man!"
And a couple of months ago I called Alejo to check him out (Chicago
jobbing-ese for giving a sideman the particulars of an upcoming gig). Me: "Alejo,
we got a gig tomorrow."
Alejo: "I know. Green Mill, 9:00, percussion, cowboy boots, pink tutu and
Nazi helmet. See you there."
This week Steven Hashimoto will wear the tutu at:
SUN. 10/12: at INDIAN TRAILS LIBRARY, 355 Schoenbeck Rd., Wheeling, 2-3:30pm,
with Sueños Latin-Jazz Quartet (Dan Hesler, sax; Bob Long, piano; Heath
MON. 10/13: at KOPI CAFE, 5317 N. Clark, 8-10pm, with guitarist Pat Fleming.
THURS. 10/16: at LOYOLA UNIVERSITY, MERTZ HALL, Rogers Park Campus, 7:30pm,
in the pit band for a production of Stephen Sondheim's "Assassins". Subbing for
Julie Ponce; thanks Julie!
FRI. 10/17: at THE UNDERGROUND WONDER BAR, 10 E. Walton, 8-10:30pm, with
Robin Kay and band (Mike Levin, sax; Paul Coscino, piano; Pat Fleming, guitar;
Rick Vitek, drums); then, later on, as always, at THE GREEN MILL, 4802 N.
Broadway, 1:30-3:45am, with The Green Mill Quartet (Barely Winograd, bari sax; Bob
Long, piano; Rick Shandling, drums) for the After-Hours Jazz Jam Session.
SAT. 10/18: a High Society extravaganza. Thanks, guys.
SUN. 10/19: at LAKE ZURICH PUBLIC LIBRARY, 275 Mohawk Trail, Lake Zurich,
3-4pm, with Sueños Latin-Jazz Quartet (Dan Hesler, sax; Bob Long, piano; Heath
Chappell, drums); then, later on, at SIMON'S TAVERN, 5210 N. Clark, with The
Steven Hashimoto Quartet (Dan Hesler, sax; Zvonimir Tot, guitar; Heath Chappell,
Advance gig warning: Sueños Latin-Jazz Quintet at The Green Mill, Weds. Oct.
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