Report from Rotterdam
Usually when we travel around Europe, especially northern Europe, the breakfast buffet is quiet like a library. Breakfast buffets are almost always included in the room over here, and some are really quite nice. But the patrons seem to have little to nothing to say to their breakfast partner and not to appreciate that they’ve arrived at a station in life where they could, if they wanted, eat croissants with jelly until they threw up. It’s like instead of asking for the Grey Poupon, they discreetly write it on a note and give it to the Grey Poupon provider. Then we show up. And we are LOUD relative to the room; we’re there to crack each other up over our croissants. So when you get probably the largest concentration of jazz musicians in the world together for a few days, breakfast at the hotel is LOUD like a jet engine, with every table pretty much just bellowing away on some funny story or another.
And that, as much as the music, is what I thrive on so much about what I do. When I was a kid in high school, I listened to records for hours every day; I was kind of a one-off in my little hometown in Oregon, to put it charitably, and these records were like messages from my home planet. Herbie Hancock, George Duke, Weather Report, Chick Corea, Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Pat Martino, on and on; these were the people that were speaking my language, and I just loved what they were saying. So to end up spending the last 30 years with these intensely funny people from my home planet is DAMN GOOD FORTUNE; I get a huge kick out of the roar coming out of the breakfast room at the Hilton when Northsea is on.
Gig was pretty good last night; when the shit was working, we rocked it pretty hard! I unfortunately spent a fair amount of time walking around my rig making accommodations for sustain pedals the festival provided that didn’t work, re-booting after a couple brownouts, and so forth. Fun, though, and always a big old crowd of true believers. One of my favorite things about Northsea is all the little venues sprinkled around town and all the parents bringing their kids to come experience some real music. Holland has always been exceptional that way.
Note to the man sitting behind me on the flight to Prague:
Dear man sitting behind me on our way to Prague: