A bit later, John Vaughn showed up. We talked over the charts that we'd exchanged: his Monk-ish eight bar melody and my piece Dream Etude. I was getting a bit neurotic about planning things out, but thankfully John reminded me that we would be improvising, and to just roll with things a bit more. Sage advice!
Our set started with bassist Robert Kuhlmann, having just had a cigarette, striding back into Gold Lion, a few minutes after 8PM, and stating simply, "...let's do it now..." We did, jumping right into some good improvised zones. I was feeling heavily into a call and response type of playing, along with thinking, as deeply as possible, about the words of Jack Wright, whose book The Free Musics I've been reading of late. Wright brings up many questions and insights as to what Free Improvisation really is made up of, and I couldn't help but be under their influence, at least a bit. Despite all of this, I feel as though I was able to be present and interactive with the bass and alto saxophone. This first section lead to Dream Etude. I've tried to play this piece live once before, but I'm still into trying it. It's really just a loose sketch; John and Robert did a really nice job with it. Hopefully the audience was feeling it as well. Next up came John's piece, on which he played soprano sax. I tried to swing it with some down Funk beats. At times, it seemed as though I was crossing up the rhythm a bit, lagging even. Things got a bit jagged here, I felt, but Robert kept things solid with his bass. I must take the blame for possibly dropping things a bit too much, for sure. That said, I kind of enjoyed the drama of the possibility of things completely collapsing. I have a tough time listening to recordings that I play on (no, really, I do), but I look forward to possibly hearing this section, just to get a grasp of how things transpired.
After these three pieces, Kuhlmann needed to stop due to some pain in his shoulder. I really didn't want to stop, so Exploring Miles! bassist William S. Jones joined us for a closer. I switched to brushes and played pretty spastic. William hit a deep pocket, and John wailed a bit more on the reeds.
This set had an effect upon me that's been lasting well into today. Deep lessons learned about improvisation, I think. Couldn't have asked for a cooler spot or finer players from which to have had them.
Below: Gold Lion drums, with beautiful, creamy Zildjian, borrowed from drummer Dax Compise, thanks Dax!