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I was asked a couple of weeks ago to fill the guitar chair in a special program put on by the Northunberland Pops Orchestra. 30 piece band and arranged and conducted by David Tanner (formally of Lighthouse). We played at the beautiful restored Capitol Theatre in Port hope.
I have not done a reading gig for over 25 years. To say my sight reading skills were dull was an understatement. Most of the charts were simple enough. But I haven't had to play many diminshed, augmented, b9,b13 chords for quite some time. So there was some, shall we say, woodshedding time required.
Guido Basso was the featured soloist. Oh my god what tone that man has.
We did three jazz standards with him in a quintet setting in addition to the orchestra stuff. I've never played in a jazz bop band before. Let alone with THE preminent jazz trumpet, fluglehorn player in Canada. That was Scary...the man is a MONSTER!!!! chops and taste like god. But I loved it.
The other selections ranged from 3 Percy Faith pop tunes to a CanCan to selections from Opera and Classical pieces. The big number of the night was Concerto Dubois. This was written for tenor sax and piano by Phil Woods. David arranded the whole sonata for 30 pcs. And extended the Sax parts to include Guido's flugelhorn. This piece has time signature changes all through out. Things like going from twelve bars of 6/8 to three bars of 4/4 to one bar of 3/4 and then repeating that then coming into a 2/4 section. Most of guitar parts were doubling with the cellos of the trombones. So I had to read the lines and follow in time.
All this may sound like ho-hum to some of you in the sense of you might get to work charts everyday. But for me it was a real stretch and I was at the very limits of my capabilities. I have to say for a guy that have played mostly R&B, Blues and rock stuff for the past 25 years, I loved diving in the deep end and challenging myself. We had two rehearsals. The first on Saturday was quite possibly the most humbling musical experience of my life. I was sweating and thinking I never should have said yes to this. But I took the charts home and worked my butt off to have them make sense to me. Sunday morning's rehearsal was better and I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. I practised all Sunday afternoon and the show last night was better than I ever thought it could be.
Just thought i'd share this experience. It was really something.

Oh, for the record I used my Gibson 356 for everything except the standards stuff with Guido. I used my PRS spruce top hollowbody for that, nice warm jazz box tone. All through a Jim Kelley 30/60 reverb 1x12 combo with an Altec 417B in it. No effects, just a tuner.

Cheers
Pete
 

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Sounds like a positive experience.

Interesting how effective a deadline is at producing results isn't it?


I've played a few similar gigs and as you say, it's really something.


I'm sure you benefited from the challenge.


Great thread.
 

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Those are the true learning expierences, always walk away feeling better about things... :food-smiley-004:
 
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