1 May 2012

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Final duo concert with Paal Nilssen-Love took place in Baden, Switzerland on Saturday, April 28th. The gig confirmed my theory that it’s a necessity to establish a performance rhythm while on tour- that starting/stopping, days off, screw up the agenda, interrupt the flow of creative energy that’s mandatory to make the concerts work while traveling day in and day out. Paal and I left the Hungarian/Slovakian border at 4:30am on that morning and were driven to the Westbahnhof in Vienna to catch 8 hour train to Zurich where we missed our connection due to another train delay.

By the time we got to the hotel in Baden we only had enough time to eat a late lunch and head to set up for the double bill concert (with Donny McCaslin’s quintet) that evening. Yes, we were fried but even after being on the road April 18th, when I left Chicago, hitting the stage again on the 28th without a break was much more effective from a creative standpoint than having a day off to recover after long travels, as we did for the first half of the duo tour. The set Paal and I played was frenetic and focused, carrying the momentum that has built over each successive night since our show in Oradea; you could feel that the full house was knocked out, and the tour ended with an encore on clarinet and brushes that jumped in a dozen different directions in unison and in opposition, which somehow worked. The day after the concert Paal went back to Oslo and I traveled to Antwerp to spend the first part of some days “off” with Koen Vandenhoudt and Christel Kumpen, 2 innovative and imaginative organizers in Belgium. I’ve learned a ton from them in the short time I’ve been here, it’s been fascinating and important to get the organizer’s point of view about what works and what fails on the current music scene, musically and logistically.

In other news, it’s now official: http://pix724.blogspot.com/2012/04/chicago-jazz-festival-announces-artist.html