Well, for a tour that began with intimations of disaster (a singer who was forced to drop out at the last minute, a brand-new bass player and trumpeter, a saxophonist with some broken teeth, a late-night brush with Johnny Law, a traffic jam of epic proportions), last week’s jaunt to San Diego actually went pretty damned well. Personnel: Damon Zick (soprano sax), Evan Francis (alto sax), Brian Walsh (tenor sax), Mary-Sue Tobin (tenor sax), Cory Wright (bari sax, piccolo), Dan Rosenboom (trumpet, piccolo trumpet), Josh Aguiar (trumpet), Josh Welchez (trumpet), Ian Carroll (trombone), Mike Richardson (trombone), Tany Ling (vox), Sam Bevan (bass), Dan Schnelle (drums), me.

We played two shows: one at Mesa College, and the other at Dizzy’s (both on Wednesday, November 3). We enjoyed highly appreciative and responsive crowds, a band that is sounding tighter than ever in its new-old incarnation, and a presenter who really took care of us (the one and only Jim Romeo).

After the Dizzy’s gig, a few of us crashed at Romeo’s gorgeous home in the San Diego hills, an experience that made me think that maybe there is a future in this jazz thing after all. Here’s the view we woke up to:

Anyway, a splendid time was had by all, and blah blah blah. Made it back to PDX without incident. Two days later I found myself in the Alberta Rose Theater, listening to the Quadraphonnes (featuring IJG saxophonist Mary-Sue Tobin) perform their much-anticipated “tone-color-melody” concert, a multimedia extravaganza that I was very honored to be a part of. This show was, as Ellington used to say, “beyond category.” You can hear most of the tune I wrote for the Quads (+ marimba, cellos, and rhythm section) in the below clip. (Apologies for the unsteady camera. I swear I wasn’t drunk.)

All in all, a fantastic week.

(Now to start preparing for our trip to Italy.)