Two days of amazing performances occurred over the last week. First Jeff Gray and Joe Jackson put down the horn parts on ALL the songs in one mammoth session. Next Marilyn came in and magically, effortlessly and beautifully laid down the lead vocal tracks for all the songs in one four hour session. It sounds impossible. Ken Schubert, our engineer, was in near-disbelief.
Jazz seems to thrive in cities, and though we long ago abandoned the strictures of being just a “jazz band,” we still think of ourselves as urban creatures. Our Vermont tour this month challenged that. In the Green Mountain State, we found dirt roads, lakes, and fresh air—and of virtually no cellphone reception to remind us of big-city pressures. What a change! What a blessing! We played to tents and clubs full of Vermonters wearing overalls and Birkenstocks. We ate fantastic local cheese and drank Hill Farmstead beer. We slept under homemade quilts. And after we played the Village Green in Greensboro, we got recognized at Willey’s, the deli-hardware-gun-fishing-tackle-and-tractor-supply store. At the end of the tour, we six city slickers all agreed: we can’t wait to go back to Vermont.