Tuesday, December 9, 2008

all is hip and funky in the MFJQ

Well after 6 years of prodigality, I have returned to my roots. Throughout jr. high and high school, I lived, ate and breathed jazz. I was in zero-hour jazz band, I was in numerous jazz combos (including one which took 1st place in the AAAA division at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival), and I spent an ungodly amount on concerts at Seattle's wonderful Jazz Alley. I have continued to be a consumer and lover of jazz ever since, but have had precious few opportunities to play. I have a ton of fun in the rock band I play for, but jazz is something that I've been missing for years now like some kind of precious, lost teddy bear. Enter my friend, Mat Foley.

Last week, I was working at my recording job at the Madsen Recital Hall and a buddy from one of my classes, Mat Foley, came up to me and asked - knowing that I was a drummer - how my jazz chops were. My ears immediately perked up, and I informed that jazz was my bread and butter. He then asked if I could sit in with his combo at a gig that Friday. I just about crapped my pants with excitement. I asked if it was cool to bring a friend, and when given the green light, I got my good and incredibly talented friend, Tyler Nickl in on the action.

I had heard Mat play rock, and had jammed with Tyler countless times, and on top of that, I found out that a sax player whom I had heard and been impressed by before was going to be playing with us. I couldn't have been more excited.

The gig was at FroYo, a new frozen yogurt place in Provo (yeah, that sentence was a mouthful). Friday rolled around and as we all showed up for the gig, it looked pretty sparse. I didn't give it much thought, because all I cared about was playing some stinkin' jazz. As the night progressed, however, more and more and more people continued to filter in, out and through the room. And it wasn't just a good turnout (quantitatively speaking), but the also a great audience (qualitatively speaking). They were attentive, interested, expressive and into it.

Tyler and I settled into the combo, which already played well together, as if we'd always played with them. It was so incredibly natural. It was like the locked-in groove that Ty and I have when we play together was designed to fit right into the Mat Foley Jazz Quintet. Also, much to my pleasure, we supplimented our jazz repretoire with a healthy dose of blues and funk. It was so incredibly fun. The audience members who had watched the MFJQ before seemed to take to me well and apparently the band did as well, because at the end of the night, they told me that if I wanted the position, I was their new drummer. I accepted, chomping at the bit.

We have a show next tuesday, December 16th, at Muse Music, and now have a standing, monthly gig at FroYo. Hope you all can come out and see us! I'll try to get some pictures and video up soon.

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