Welcome back to the tour diary. When I last left you, we were leaving Prague, Czech Republic. Two flights later and we were in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. I hadn't played at the Bimhuis, Amsterdam's most well known club, in 4 years or so. When I arrived at sound check, one of the people working at the club said that the last time I had played there, with the Mingus Dynasty, was one of the musical highlights of recent memory at the Bimhuis. I asked her why the guy who books the Bimhuis never returns my emails! (Unfortunately, this is typical of my career; I've given performances where I received standing ovations, yet I can't get a return engagement or a return phone call. I asked the woman at the Bimhuis to put in a good word for me. )
Next stop. Istanbul! As usual, we have precious little time to do any of the touristy stuff. I did get a few good meals and walked around a bit. Turkey is such a contrast to the other parts of Europe we had already covered. It makes me think that, although Turkey is one of the fastest growing economies in the region, it will probably never be allowed into the European Union. I don't think it's a religious thing so much as a cultural thing. Even though Istanbul is more European that you might imagine.
Lobby call was 4 AM, no big deal. I slept all the way to Zurich, Switzerland. We played in another venue I hadn't performed at in years, Moods Jazz Club. The house was packed and the music was well received. I think at that point, I was ready to get some sleep because the main thing I remember about Zurich was how comfortable the beds were in the hotel!
The next morning I went for a run, and after 40 minutes, realized I was lost. (I must have missed that turn at Albuquerque, ha!) I had to get a map from a nearby hotel. Fortunately, Zurich is a pretty small city, so I found my way back. And I still had time to use the swimming pool and do two interviews for the blog! Yes, that's right, I had three weeks to interview Rudresh Mahanthappa, Jerome Harris and David Fiuczynski, and I let it go until the last day of the tour. ( So those interviews will be forthcoming, in fact, I even interviewed our sound engineer and tour manager Ben Surman. Stay tuned for that.)
The last gig was in Basel, Switzerland, just a short drive from Zurich. Before sound check, I got two more interviews. And I'd say the last performance was the best, although they were all great, if I do say so myself. I will say that there are some unauthorized videos on youtube, although I don't think DeJohnette is somewhat ambivalent about that. (In fact, one performance on the tour, he stopped mid-song because somebody was openly videotaping without permission.) Generally, it's not a good idea to record a live performance without permission. But with everyone's phone being a camera and so forth, I guess people have fallen into the habit of taking video of everything within their vision. I think it's ok to have something up on youtube because it might help to promote the band. But I don't want to encourage the idea that you can freely record any concert. It's considered disrespectful. At least it used to be....
So the tour had to end, but after three solid weeks on the road, I'm glad to have been able to see my family. (And unfortunately, I have to head back out to Birmingham, U.K. for a short teaching stint with drummer Jeff Ballard. I'll let you know how that goes...... ) in the meantime, here are some pictures!
|Hip area of Istanbul|
|I ordered everything on the menu!|
|More of the hip part of Istanbul|
|Istanbul by day|
|Istanbul Streets 2|
|Istanbul Streets 3|
|I ate lunch here|
|Some kind of demonstration|
|A Streetcar named Abdullah|
|Bread was good|
|Eggplant, tomato and cheese, also good|
|Weird Police Golf Carty thing|
|Fuze at the venue|
|Fuze and Rusdresh discussing microtonality|
|Codfish was excellent|
|Jack cutting into a steak|
|Where we stayed, fancy schmancy|