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We have threads about crappy, funny and scary things happening during a performance or at the hotel. How about your best experiences? Give us your best song on your best night; a tune that you love and play well. Include such details as title, arrangement, venue, and anything else that made that performance a proud moment.
My favorite Is "Girl From Ipanema" by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The arrangement is quite simple by John Berry in a Hal Leonard book entitled "Easy Jazz Favorites". I play an 8 bar solo that I stole from listening to Stan Getz's version instead of the written solo. Pretty basic stuff but I have been told that it comes through very well.
 

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My best solo that I've ever played is on DAT. It was "Superstition" and the chords were written as an ending jam at the end of the tune by my keyboard player who also played with Kirk Whalum. I had the Lenny Pickett altissimo going on on this occasion. The reed happened to be just right. When I listen to it I think "I can't do that now!!!" , but sometimes the conditions are just right for your thoughts to come out of the horn just like you intended. I'm glad I have my best recorded.
 

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I nailed a solo like I have never nailed one, including a G5 on a 2-bar break at the apex, while standing on a table, in a packed room, jamming with the James Brown Band in November of 2000. That solo -- or, more specifically, its results among the crowd -- got me invited to sit in with the JB's at their end-of-tour party later that week, at which there were a lot of local "big guys" who'd been invited to the party but not invited to play. Within a month I started getting called for gigs with aforementioned "big guys" in town, paying twice what I was making before.

That solo was probably the most important 24 bars of my career to date.

The second most important gig was the night before my wedding, with Tim Casey and the Bluescats, my current gig -- we actually had the rehearsal dinner at the gig, which serendipitously was in a large, classy, non-smoking joint. Not a single screwup, with all the inlaws there to watch. The band was killer, my solos popped, everybody danced. "The Musician She Was Marrying" got the big OK from her whole family. Whew.

I didn't do too badly at the "Pro Jam" at Cozy's in L.A. this past Monday night; I got asked for my card about a dozen times and actually got asked to play a gig in L.A. this weekend. (I regretfully explained that I was going back to Seattle the next day.)

Good things happen. I wouldn't be in this crazy business if the glory didn't balance the pain.
 

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Hey Lowell, you did the Hal Lenoard arrangement of Girl From Impanema? That's awsome, because so did I in my Jazz band. I didn't get to do the solo in that one though, was playing the Bari part. I guess my best solo was on Ain't Misbehavin (I think out of the same book actually), basically because its about the only High School Bari Sax solo you'll find. It was cued in lead tenor as well, but I went ahead and played it. But hey, it was big (only the piano, bass, and drums in the background), it was loud, and it was in the low register. What more could a Bari player ask for?

However, the best song and best night was when my jazz band opened for the Braschler's Branson commedy troupe, in which the audience was 90% people over 60. So all of those old people, and we break out into In the Mood. To see a lifeless mass of old people suddenly start dancinc in their seats like it was 1943 instead of 2003 all over again is something that I shall never forget.
 
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