SETLIST (click to listen/download)
Solos: Ryan Keberle, trombone; Mike Baggetta, guitar
Solos: Jon Wikan, cajon; Mark Small, tenor sax
3) Induction Effect
Solo: Jonathan Finlayson, trumpet
Solo: Jason Rigby, tenor sax
Solo: Ingrid Jensen, fluegelhorn
6) Habeas Corpus
Solo: Christian Pincock, trombone
What a kick to have the evening open up with a set by Kyle Saulnier's Awakening Orchestra. This band hasn't been around all that long, but they are already impressively tight, executing Kyle's demanding and varied music with sensitivity, grace, and pinpoint precision. Kyle's music is very different than mine -- he is much more likely to reach for the jarring juxtapositions, abrupt transitions, extreme contrasts, but the results are very hip, personable and refreshing. It's nice to have occasional reminders that there are other people out there shooting for the same stars. It makes you feel less delusional... although, like a gathering of self-reinforcing conspiracy nuts, there's no guarantee that we aren't actually all of us barking loons.
That being the case, I don't think I'll let myself be institutionalized quite yet. Especially if there can be more nights like Saturday's big band double-bill. It's always a thrill to see how players I've grown used to hearing in completely different contexts sound when sucked into the Society vortex for the first time. Check Mike Baggetta's slashing sound constructs on "Ritual" (also augmented by some authentic lungcore low end, courtesy of Alex Hamelin on bari), and Jonathan Finlayson's intimate and fragile solo opening on "Induction Effect." Christian Pincock has played with us on a couple of previous occasions, but has never before had the chance to stretch out with a solo turn -- check his plaintive contribution to "Habeas Corpus." Jason Rigby was on our third-ever hit back in November 2005 -- you can, if you are so inclined, compare his solo on "Drift" back then to the one he blew Saturday night. This is not to neglect the reliably great Mark Small, Ingrid Jensen, and Ryan Keberle -- on "Phobos," "Transit," and "Ritual," respectively.
While this blog may be finally back from hiatus, the band is going to take a little break, whilst I try to come up with some new music, and also hopefully devising some new strategems for getting the music out there. (Perhaps the spirit of the late Rev. Falwell will offer up some tips from beyond the grave on developing one's evangelism chops.) At any rate, thanks again to Kyle and his crew for sharing the night with us, and thanks especially to all who came out to hear us. You guys are the best. See you again this fall.
POSTSCRIPT: As mentioned at the gig, this will be Society trumpet player Dave Rezek's last appearance with the group. Dave is one of the finest trumpet players I have ever worked with. He first began playing my music back in Boston, when we were both at NEC, and since we both moved to New York, he has made every single Secret Society hit save one -- and he only subbed out of that one because that was the week his wife was due. But Dave, Lori, and their 18-month old baby Seth will be leaving Gotham this summer for good, to return to their hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. I wish the three of them all the very best.