Anyone who has been reading this blog for awhile knows that I try to let you all know about gigs that local jazz saxman Jimmy Highsmith, Jr. has around town. One reason is that I want to give him props for his support of the Rochester community through benefits and in other ways. I consider Jimmie a friend now and was delighted to find an email in my Inbox on Sunday asking me to come by Dynamic Recording Studios that evening while trombonist Wycliffe Gordon laid down some tracks on Jimmie's new album. It was my first experience at a recording session. Jimmie and the band had already recorded their parts; Wycliffe was here for a gig at the Memorial Art Gallery with Whitney Marchelle. What was interesting was hearing Wycliffe lay down the solo on the title track of the album, It Is What It Is. He set up three versions of the solo. Each was completely different and each one worked (although one worked better), without music or a chart.
Jimmie had just had a root canal and had laid down his tracks with the bad tooth and was feeling bad about his playing. It was especially hard on him to have Wycliffe working with those tracks, which he was going to re-record on Saturday (we hope to be there for that as well), saying that it made feel like he was having company over and there are "dirty dishes in the sink and my drawers on the floor." But he and Wycliffe go way back. Musicians are always hard on themselves when it comes to hearing their own work. I'm really looking forward to going this Saturday and taking Dianna with me this time.