Friday night we had the CD release party for the new Crack the Sky CD called Ostrich. I mentioned before that my usual horn section, The Retox Horns, is also the Crack Pack Horns when we play with Crack the Sky. We were able to record three songs for this CD and two of them were in the set for this show along with 4 other songs from the usual rotation. The gig was at Club 66 in Edgewood, MD and we played to a packed house of very excited people. Harford County, MD is my old stomping grounds so there were a lot of people I knew there.
Club 66 is a private BYOB club in an old VFW hall next to a working gas station. It’s not very fancy but it’s a very homey and comfortable place to play. They built a special stage just for the horn section with its own entrance from the green room. I call it a loft because it’s way up above the regular stage – even above the PA stacks. Crack the Sky always uses this room to tune up the show before going out to other venues but this weekend the other venue cancelled at the last minute.
Check out Happy, Happy, Happy from the new CD played live. The dude that’s putting his thumb up and pointing is showing you where the horns are.
Two notable things about this show. First, our usual trombone player, Jim McFalls, was unable to attend so we had one of his former students play. Darius Jones is an excellent up and coming trombonist who is now living in NY where he is getting a graduate degree at NYU He is also an adjunct professor at NYU. He did a great job with very little prep time and this is not an easy book by any stretch of the imagination. It’s a blow especially for brass players and there are some really tricky rhythms to deal with.
Second, I used the Cannonball tenor and it felt absolutely wonderful for this gig. I used the fat neck and the horn felt really big and open which is perfect for a rather loud gig like this one. Intonation was excellent and the horn felt very comfortable for me – like I’ve had it for years. My partner in crime, Dave Makowiecki (trumpet) said he really liked the sound of it and he’s been pretty vocal in the past if I brought something out that wasn’t cutting it. I remember an incident years ago where I borrowed a Keilwerth from a friend out to a gig. I played one song on it and Dave just turned to me and said, “No” so I put it away. 🙂 I had no such issues this time around although he did say he missed seeing my old, road-worn Mark VI.