Fast Citizens Chicago 9-1-2007

Flew into Chicago on an overnight flight from Oakland, got into town at 6 AM – two hours earlier than I thought I would, but not ahead of the actual plane schedule. Took the train in from Midway and walked the few remaining blocks to Keefe Jackson’s place in Pilsen. Took a nap for the rest of the morning.
Had a rehearsal that night with the Fast Citizens – Keefe, Josh Berman, Fred Lonberg-holm, Anton Hatwich and Frank Rosaly. Good to see everyone and we got right back in where we left off. So we’ll be on the road for the next two weeks and the kick-off was a set at the Jazz Fest on the Jackson St. stage. It was in the middle of the afternoon, about 2 pm, but thankfully not hot outside – actually we were all surprised with how the festival folk weren’t rushing people on and off the stage which can happen at other festivals. We played a full set, playing mainly tunes off our Delmark record, and two new ones: a short piece by Anton with a collective improvisation, and a new Jackson head that focuses on a big fanfare titled “Big News”. The set started out fast with Signs, I came out a little rough with the first solo, I think I was a little cold, could of took that solo back. The middle of the set was well done and paced for the afternoon, centered on Fred’s “Pax Urbanum”. The first section is being played a bit more relaxed and open than on the recording, which develops a nice shape to the rest of the piece.
We were done pretty early in the afternoon but were to play later that night at the Hungry Brain. I went over to Anton’s place in Bridgeport for the afternoon where e made come good food including a particularly tasty hummus while we listened to records.
At the Brain we played The rest of the songs from the album plus another new one by Keefe called “Easy” which features a line played by Fred that tends to turn the swing feel backwards. We had an open ended time to play and the set felt very good. Afterwards we split up into small groups with some other folk who came by including Jeb Bishop, Tim Daisy, Jaimie Branch, Matt Bauder, Jason Ajemian + the wild card of Harris Eisenstadt and Sara Schoenbeck who were literally stopping in overnight as they drive cross country from LA to their new place in NYC. I played in a quartet with Harris, Jaimie and Anton and then played a rough version of “Hold it High” with Dragons 1976.