Archive for August, 2015

Summer Practice

Wednesday, August 19th, 2015

The last time every member of NY Retro were in a room together at the same time was last spring.  Between Steve chasing the elusive dollar, Paul taking vacations and our young athletic bass player recuperating we haven’t been able to schedule a common time.  Last night we had 3 members in attendance .  It was a much needed break from breaking in our newest member, Paul, who’s had the best attendance record of anyone.  Since he’s been working so hard to catch up to guys who have been playing together for years I’m sure he deserved a break from the frustration of learning 4 hours of music for which arrangements haven’t been made yet.

We (the royal we) decided to run the 3 sets we’ve been neglecting.  Steve said a few days before that he didn’t think he had to leave for his 3rd job so it was doable.  After playing the classical set I asked him if he was free and he said he had to go.  That left time for 1 more set.  I had set up a recording document for the folk set so, we would skip the jazz set.

The classical set went well with only 2 major mistakes.  Those were brain freezes in the ends of 2 of the movements in the Cello Suite.  Steve’s performance in the classical set was inspired.  I especially liked the pedal hi hat he added.  I was pleased with my first string drone in the Recuerdo.  Leyenda had a brain freeze too but I was able to improvise some kind of melody until I figured out where I was.  The only mistake I caught from Mike was a ‘g’ instead of a ‘b’.  This proves that he really does practice our music on his own.  I still think we need to play together at least 4 hours a week.  Ensemble is an art form in itself.  It also helps to be prepared for the inevitable brain freezes that plague us. (Not necessarily the royal us).

The recording of the folk set had its glitches but, at least it happened.  These reality checks are important.  We played the songs slower than we used to.  Though my intonation was good my singing lacked energy.  This I credit to it being the first day I’d been able to close my jaw in a week from an infected tooth.  By the way guys, I’ve been diagnosed with arthritis in my right knee.  There was also a problem with my pedal board; some connection cut out and Mike thankfully stopped the recording.  We listened to it.  We used to be better.  I don’t know if the guys are going to work harder or give up.  If they think we can have a successful band with 2 hours of practice per season it’s time for a reality check.