I gave a concert at the Reykjavik Jazz Festival last Monday. I was presenting my new album "The Dream" with an Icelandic version of the quartet. Scott and I had 3 rehearsals with bassist Þorgrímur Jónsson and saxophonist Óskar Guðjónsson. When you change half the members of a jazz quartet the music unavoidable takes on a new shape with the personalities of the new members, (and these guys have great personalities). Therefor there was a sense of freshness and excitement around the performance.
We were performing at the Nordic House, a venue I had never particularly liked, so I decided to move things around a little. We started by setting up in a different part of the room than is usual, added some lamps to the band area so we could turn down the house lights, and employed large red spotlights available at the venue. That really set up the mood.
I had thought of this as the CD release party in Iceland and was planning on serving some drinks and snacks before. However, that was not popular by the in-house restaurant so I had abandoned that plan. 4 hours before the concert the manager of the Nordic House called me and told me that she had convinced the restaurant to give its permission since they were going to be closed anyway. 4 hours didn't give me much time to prepare and not to mention announce it. I thought it over for a few minutes and decided to go for it and serve drinks at least. So I got a few bottles, a white table cloth and plastic wine glasses, posted it on facebook and twitter and that was it. Instead of hanging around in a back room before the concert I was in front greeting people as they arrived, offering them a drink, much to their surprise. It created a nice relaxed atmosphere.
The house was pretty much full, the sound was awesome, lighting cozy and the band was right on. What joy it was to play in such a setting. At the end of the concert I invited people to stay a while, have another drink and chat with the band… and of course check out the new CD "The Dream". This was a great hang and I feel that everything I put into this performance paid off. I was so pleased with every detail (except a few bad notes on the piano) that 3 days later I am still jumping with joy.
This is why I play music.