10 June 2006


As punishment, Kent, Per-Ake, and I got nailed on the flights to Stirling with about 800 euros in overweight charges; thank you KLM. The rest of the band flew separately and arrived earlier, when we arrived in town it was almost time to begin the sound check. Luckily the festival crew was great to work with and extremely happy that the Tentet was performing. Then there was the added good news that we’d be playing two full sets instead of one, unusual for a festival gig. After the set up, half the band met at a pub for some espresso (in my and Peter’s case) and ale (for the other guys). Great to relax for an hour in a beautiful courtyard, to not be rushing somewhere with luggage, to be having a laugh with a group of people who won’t be sitting together again until?

The show in Stirling felt much more cohesive than the concert in Bergen, and I’m sure this was due in part to the fact that the band could actually hear everything happening within the ensemble. It’s been incredibly exciting to play next to Johannes and alongside the intensity of Paal and Michael’s percussion work; also to have another horn player like Per-Ake to drive things in the group from a more groove based standpoint. The Tentet
finished out the tour by playing some outstanding music on the 28th, now the challenge is to find a way to get everybody together again and play as soon as possible. Hard to believe, but 2007 will be the Chicago Tentet’s decade anniversary. Hopefully, reaching that marker will result in some solid interest in presenting the band during the course of next year.

Bed at 3am, pickup at 6am, flight to Lisbon. Somehow no overweight, but when trying to leave the airport by cab with Pedro Costa all of the taxi drivers refused to take the baritone trunk, even though it would fit in their station wagons if they would move one of the back seats. After arguing with a few of them in Portuguese Pedro told me, “They say that it’s against the law to fold the seat down.” That’s a new one. Then a driver in a standard cab walked over with some rope and explained that he could tie the baritone to the roof of his car. Somehow, it seems that in Lisbon folding a seat down is a ticketed offense, but tying a 30-kilo metal box to the roof of an automobile is a-ok. So we followed the rules of the road, roped the baritone to the top of the cab, and hoped for the best. As it would turn out, dealing with the baritone at the airport would be the metaphor for the rest of my week in Portugal.

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