I broke down and went to Blue Note during regular hours. I haven't done that for a few years. Even though they book stuff I want to see, I usually skip it and hope it eventually shows up somewhere else. I decided it was time to see the Charlie Haden Liberation Music Orchestra and it would be a good week to do it.
I used my amex to buy a ticket online. The fees are minimal, and its their own simple system. I bought it at 4pm that day. If I know I'm going, its a good option because when you prepay, you don't lose the reservation. Otherwise, its important to get there early. I also put in my amex code to get preferred seating. I always skipped that step before, if I chose to buy early for a late night show. I was curious what would happen, and it was free. Really, I should have known it was going to be a seat in center row the inside middle section, right on the end near the aisle. I know a lot of people think that's a good seat, but I'm not crazy about it. I prefer to be back by the soundbooth, so I can stand. I was jealous of a couple of people up there who decided to stand so they could see better. I also hate how tight it is in there. It's just wrong. Still, I hate being at the bar even more, in spite of the price difference. It's too far away and hard to see anything.
The music itself was phenomenal and I'm very glad I went. I hadn't paid much attention to who was in it besides Charlie. I was very happy when I saw Steve Cardenas, Bill McHenry, Chris Cheek, and Curtis Fowlkes. I also saw some others I recognized, but didn't know their names. Now I know that anyone in there is a safe bet. These were some amazing musicians. They basically do their own arrangements on political type songs. Experimental, interesting arrangements. I also loved having a french horn in the house. He stood in between the trumpet and the trombone. When he did a solo, I realized I would probably guess it was a trombone if I heard it on a recording. It was all awesome and they played for over an hour, maybe 45-50 minutes or so. That was good and unexpected.
I definitely felt like I got my $'s worth and effort's worth. I don't think I'll make a habit of it, but something like that, which I don't tend to get an opportunity to see anywhere else is worth it.
Charlie Haden, bass/bandleader
Alan Broadbent, piano/conductor
Tony Malaby, tenor sax (Tues-Wed)
Bill McHenry, tenor sax (Thurs-Sun)
Chris Cheek, tenor sax
Loren Stillman, alto sax
Michael Rodriguez, 1st trumpet
Seneca Black, 2nd Trumpet
Curtis Fowlkes, trombone
Vincent Chancey, french horn
Joe Daley, tuba
Steve Cardenas, guitar
Matt Wilson, drums