On the 30th Pandelis and I played in Nickelsdorf, which proved to be a creative struggle for me. This was exceedingly frustrating because if there’s a place you want to play in top form it’s at Nickelsdorf. Pandelis more than made up for me, he played his ass off. This, according to him, was probably motivated by the fact that Hans and a few friends lowered a Borsendorfer grand piano down the stairs of the Jazz Galerie by hand. Hans was so impressed with Pandelis’ music that, during an unaccompanied piano solo, he sat down next to me on the side of the stage (I was so surprised I nearly jumped) to tell me how incredible he thought Pandelis was as a musician. He had never heard Pandelis before and was rightfully impressed. Nickelsdorf means, “up late” in any language and we followed the credo with aplomb.
After this concert, Pandelis and I were faced with three days off- never a positive prospect while on tour. Money gets spent on the rooms and food that normally get covered (in Europe anyway) by the presenters. On the way to Dachau on Friday I contacted the architect, Michael Habernz, who is a friend and huge supporter of the music living in Graz, Austria, to see if he might be able to put us up for a night or two. He came back with the proposition of organizing a door gig for us in his hometown. Within less then twelve hours we had a gig on the following Sunday at the Stockwerk club. By pulling together and getting the word out with phone calls and e-mail we had a bigger audience and a better paid gig than the show in Ilmenau with just two days of notice. Granted, Graz is a larger city and has a regular history of presenters organizing concerts of this music, but the end result was still impressive and much appreciated. Maybe this is the way it goes, smaller concerts and home stays… Based on the way we ate at Michael and Erika’s the food might be better! The next day we traveled to Vienna and played at a free-improvisation jam session that’s been organized on Mondays by Marco Eneidi. Another chance to play on what was supposed to be a down day. We barely made it on time because we were having too much fun with the crew in Graz. We had our first real day off on the 29th and I used it to deal with some “office work,” and to visit Guenter and the Blue Tomato. That spot is another great one in Austria, a country with some serious action regarding great venues to play and places to hang out with friends afterwards.
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