Every one needs little things to look forwards to. This week I am singing with the Byron Jones Big Band on Wednesday evening in Newport.
Byron has been running the band for years, and combines some pro musicians with some keen amateurs and some students from the music college in Cardiff. How he does it amazes me - just getting everyone together is hard enough. But finding new music, new arrangements and new musicians when needed - as well as new enthusiasm when you hear the same old excuses. I am full of admiration for him. You can read more about his band here.
Anyway - every now and then I get to sing with the band when the real singers take a night off, and this week is one such week. Thanks to the hard work of Malcolm Jenkins and the South Wales Big Band Society the band have a monthly gig at Burleigh Hall inNewport, a sort of Jazz Cafe; this is where I get my gig.
I even got a rehearsal... though I only got to sing one of the eight numbers I will be doing 'live'. I think that means Byron is happy I can do all the others. As long as he's still happy afterwards.
In a period when church life is as hectic as it gets, and when I am encouraging the guys in the church to be more involved and to be sharers of their faith, I think it really matters (a) that I have some fun, (b) that they see I have a three dimensional life, and (c) not everythingI do happens in the large Victorian building ten feet outside this study window!
Now: all I have to do is remember the words, the music, the rhythm, the keys, the arrangements, the intros, the endings, the timing, the nuance, the feeling, the swing, the...
Oh blow that. Charlie Parker speaking of jazz improvisation said: "Know the changes, forget the changes". It holds for jazz singing. Know the songs, forget the songs: enjoy the moment.