It’s been a busy year thus far…got to go on the road for a few shows with erstwile swing band Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, out to New Orleans for Mardi Gras (wow!) and then over to Kansas City and Buckeye, AZ. After all these years, they are still going strong and sounding great.
It was definitely a challenge to learn their book and step into the shoes of a brilliant pianist and arranger, Joshua Levy. Josh’s wife just gave birth to a beautful baby boy, their second kid, hence my opportunity to play with the band. Josh and I have a lot in common, we’re about the same age, married with children, piano players, only Josh has been touring the world with BBVD since he graduated from USC in ’96, while I’ve had so many diverse and varied experiences I couldn’t possibly begin to catalog them. I find it fascinating to imagine being in one and only one band for 15 years. Talk about job security! In talking with Josh I got the sense that he was also intrigued at what it would be like to be a freelance jazz musician. I for one, have enjoyed all (or at least most) of the different gigs I’ve been fortunate to do over the years, getting to meet and play with so many great players. I must admit, though, that it sure was nice to get a taste of what it feels like to be part of a band that has had has much success as they have had. They once played a halftime show at the Super Bowl, for crying out loud!
Most of the guys in the band have been together from the beginning, and they a close group of fellas, brothers even. As the new guy it could have been a bit awkward but all the guys couldn’t have been more supportive and encouraging, even to the point of flipping me shit like they did to each other ALL THE TIME. I really had a great time, and hopefully there will be more gigs with them in the future.
(pictures from New Orleans forthcoming)