So 4 hours sleep later I was back on my way to JFK, thinking 1.5 hours for a domestic flight would be plenty. It was only just enough. Those queues! Sorry, "lines" as they call them here....
Bought a yoghurt and a carrot juice at the airport for a cool $13. Anyway, the next flight was a tiny plane. None of those overnight carry on cases fit the lockers, so all of those were taken off the passengers plane side to go in the hold. But, guess what? My tenor case fit, no problem in the overhead locker. It takes less space! Airlines please take note.
Once at Rochester I was met by a lovely lady, Julie. She took me to check in at the lovely Radisson I'd missed out on the night before and patiently listened to me moaning. When I arrived they kindly sent out for a sandwich. I got a grilled chicken and spinach panini, which was so big it could have fed a family for a week.
Day 2 (part 2)
Getting ready for the inaugural gig with the Dave O'Higgins Atlantic Bridge Quartet. The band name was to 1) distinguish it from my regular UK Quartet 2) mark the London - New York connection 2) pay homage to Bill Kyle's Atlantic Bridge group from the late 80s - early 90s which featured Joe Locke, Tommy Smith, Dave Stryker, Steve Hamilton, Andy Mitchell, Bill Kyle and myself at various stages.
The DOH ABQ comprises:
DOH - tenor sax
Jeb Patton - piano
Clovis Nicolas - bass
Luca Santaniello - drums
Luca and I have played together before, and it was on his recommendation the others got involved.
We were playing Christ Church, Rochester - a large reverberant space as you can imagine. I gave Andy, the sound engineer, the usual pep talk about keeping it as acoustic as possible and from the off he was totally on board. We topped and tailed everything at rehearsal, and the trio were absolute consummate professionals, concentrating hard and nailing everything. I was dying to let rip, but wanted to save the pent up energy for the show.
When we were hanging out back stage in anticipation with Sue Edwards, the UK promoter, I was anxious that the eerie silence pervading meant the venue was empty. It was a satisfying surprise to see 300 people waiting for our first note. Both shows were equally well attended and the gigs were a sheer joy, start to finish. The guys were swinging, listening, interacting and I felt that whatever I played they'd make it sound right. We played about 50% my originals and 50% standards. What a pleasure, and thanks so much to Jeb, Clovis and Luca especially for putting the band together. It's so special when this happens with such ease. The sound also was terrific, well done Andy. I had many very nice comments from people in the audience of all ages, and hopefully we can do this again sometime.
The essence of our sets was swinging jazz. What do you call it? Classic contemporary jazz? Sue commented "I don't get to hear much of this kind of music" which is interesting to hear....
After we went to unwind in a local bar. It was a "smoking bar" where indoor smoking was permitted. I couldn't go inside - I have no idea how we used to survive these smoky atmospheres every working night in the old days! So we sat outside exchanging stories and talking about music. It's amazing what a common force it is for bringing people together.
I put a brief appearance in at the hotel jam session afterwards, where loads of young kids were ripping up "Green Dolphin Street" and "It Could Happen To You". My jet lag kicked in and I couldn't make it past 12:30, but by this time all the travel horrors of yesterday had been expunged.