On Saturday February 15th, Sax Drive played an afternoon house concert, hosted by band member Micaela Morey and her roommates.
An unexpected delight: our name in lights!
Knowing we’d have a small, intimate setting we treated the outing like a little party and as an opportunity to share info about some of our music as we went along. I intended to open things up for audience feedback or questions but totally forgot about it – a format I’d strive for next time we do such an up-close-and-personal sort of thing.
The house concert model was somewhat experimental for us and, while at this stage we relish every opportunity to play for the experience, it might be a better model for when we have a larger following. That being said, the idea is that the hosts invite as many in their circle as possible with the goals of hosting a party and supporting the band. In other words, the success of this kind of format really depends on the host’s efforts to cram people into the space. It doesn’t work so well if treated like a more conventional venue space that the band (or promoter) is then responsible for promoting. Of course, this means the dynamics of such an initiative have to be communicated clearly to the hosts so they know exactly what they’re getting into. In this case, I’m not sure that happened successfully. As a result, we had an audience of not more than a dozen or so, as engaged and appreciative as they were. The upside is that there was plenty of room for people to be comfortable. Also, despite the low attendance, several people there never heard the band before, they really enjoyed us and will subsequently support us – in short, we gained new fans!
On a more personal note, an additional benefit was hanging out with some of Micaela’s roommates and friends, who were gracious and enthusiastic hosts. We extend much gratitude to Will, Gabe and Andrea (who couldn’t be there because of her work) for opening their lovely home to us!
We debuted three pieces – older tunes that I wrote and recently adapted – bringing our repertoire up to about 18 pieces. “Cabin Fever” is a 12-bar blues that is made somewhat quirky by its use of diminished scale-based melody and harmony. “Calypso Factor” is an homage to Sonny Rollins and his composition “St. Thomas”, probably the first instance of a calypso jazz piece. “Candlestick Jumping” is our new nemesis technically: an uptempo swing tune based on rhythm changes (so-called because the prototype was Gershwin’s “I Got Rhythm”), which features a demanding unison soli in addition to fast solos based on those changes.
Here’s how we looked in the living room:
Here’s one of our new fans: