Sax Drive, episode 7

Playing at Drom Taberna felt – and will probably always feel –  like a homecoming.  That’s where our band played its first gig in July 2019 and it’s where we played our seventh show on Wednesday, February 19th.

We haven’t reached the level of Heavyweights yet – i.e. the Heavyweights Brass Band – who pack the venue on the last Friday night of each month, but I’m confident we’ll get there.  Our Wednesday night crowd, although much smaller at around 50-60 people, was no less enthusiastic about our music.  We saw dancers up for the first time and to me, that means things are moving in the right direction, literally.

A three-hour time slot from 9pm to 12am meant meeting a challenge we had been working towards since our inception: a repertoire extensive enough to allow us to play three sets.   It worked out perfectly.  I planned to do a reprise of one of our charts at the very end but we really didn’t need to do that as it was pretty much on the nose at midnight when we started it.  I just felt it rounded out the set nicely.  Also, the tune, “Crescent City”, feels a little bit like a signature tune and a nice way to either start or end the night.

We debuted a laid-back bossa tune called “Deidra’s Dream”, the closest thing we have to a ballad and one of only 2-3 pieces that aren’t in some way upbeat or energetic.  It’s a sweet groove to wind down a little before closing things out (I’ve always liked the idea of a penultimate slow piece).  We’re going for a cool vibe on this one and expanding our palette of musical colours.  Not too far down the road I’ll probably add a bone fide ballad to our set.  Later this spring I’m planning to roll out more adaptations of older pieces that I think will suit the band really well, including more samba, more uptempo swing and a piece that combines both.

Our next gig is at York University’s Absinthe Pub on Tuesday, March 3rd, 9pm-12am.  Where students are drinking things can get a little wild. We’ll do what we can to ensure this is the case, even if it is only a Tuesday!


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