(Photo: Lindsay Beyerstein)
My week at this year's CMJ Music Marathon unofficially began a day early, with our bigband three-way Monday night at the Bell House -- this one of my favorite venues in town and a hotbed of CMJ activity later in the week. It's a pretty sweet room, as you can see from the photos, with totally unobstructed sightlines (no columns!) and a beautiful arched wooden ceiling that does wonders for the sound.
Speaking of which, I've very grateful to the Bell House's Jeff Stultz and Infernal Machines engineer Paul Cox for doing such an amazing job on the live sound -- and of course to the Bjorkestra and the Industrial Jazz Group for making it a memorable night of postmodern bigband music.
In case anyone was wondering... I was utterly unprepared for the ambush Stefan Zeniuk's Baritone Army sprang just seconds after our last tune had finished -- more bari sax players than I could count bum-rushed the stage, honking and wailing as they ran through the crowd. Josh, of course, jumped down to join them, heeding the call of his people. It made for a surreal and inspired epilogue.
Deepest appreciation to Search and Restore for helping us get the word out, and to everyone who came down to hear us play. We love you all.