Best of 2005: Playing Music
This, the last in my exciting series of Best of 2005 posts, is probably of little interest to anyone other than myself and the people involved. These are the best experiences I had this year playing music. In rough order of occurrence. It occurs to me that maybe there’s some stuff I’m forgetting about from early last year. So it goes.
Robert Pearson. Robert is a remarkable pianist in
Susan Alcorn. Susan and I played a duet after she finished her solo set in Nashville this summer, and it was really nice. Several years ago we did some in a practice in
Chris Davis and Chuck Hatcher. We started playing together as a trio this year, I guess just played out once, but there are some recordings around. We were the Bloated Lackeys on that one show, but the name was in flux. This is the best place I’ve had to try out ways to express my affection for the Anthology of American Folk Music and Trad Gras och Stenar. Chuck and Chris have great frames of musical reference that I'm trying to soak in as best I can.
Cherry Blossoms. I got to sit in with the Cherry Blossoms a few times this year, playing tin whistles and stuff, and singing backgrounds once in a while. And they let me join in while they were recording with Josephine Foster, which for me as the guest was a delightful experience, one of those occasions when time just floats by blissfully.
Bluff. This always gets called Bluff Duo, but I think of it as just Bluff. Its Brady Sharp and me playing as a duet. We played on the Buzz and Click show in November, and I hadn’t been playing much, so I didn’t have a lot of lip to put into it, but I found a nice dodge by playing the clarinets without the mouthpiece. It makes funny noises, and they worked well with what Brady was doing and bought my lip some time.
Transcendental Crayon Ensemble Christmas/New Year’s show. I’ve been doing the Crayon Ensemble for years. Sometimes I find myself out of alignment with the energy required, but I was trying something new with my embouchure on soprano before this last show and was ready to see how that would work. When I’m not playing too frequently I have to warm up through the set, and late in the evening I got to a nice place on a version of My Favorite Things. We have some rotation with the drums and bass these days, and really everyone coming in is good, but on this show Greg Bryant was on bass and he is really adept at helping a horn player sound good. The other guys in the band continue to develop and change in interesting ways, like Andrew Tarpley hitting a strong stride as a soloist, or Zander Wyatt trying out new stuff.
Happy and healthy 2006 everyone.