Gig Journal

Steve Carter Quartet featuring Danny Harrington, Barley Pub, Dover, NH. 7/11/2010

Steve Carter, guitar; Danny Harrington, baritone sax; John Hunter, bass; PJ Donahue, drums

This gig journal is still in progress. Check back soon, because I'll be adding more sound clips and more commentary. -- Most recent update: April 7, 2011

The members of this quartet had worked together in various combinations before, but this was our first gig together as a quartet. We were all excited to be working together, and I think much of that excitement came through in the music.

The Room

The Barley Pub is a long room, with the stage at the back, away from the bar and most of the tables. It's the kind of room where the band can really let loose.

I set my Zoom H2 recorder up on a ledge right behind me on the stage, so it picked up way too much drums and guitar, so bear that in mind as you listen to the takes.

I'm going to come back to this journal later and write some details, but for now I just want to get a few of the takes up, with just a bit of comment.

This I Dig of You

This was the first tune of the night. For a group to cook like this right out of the gate is extremely rare!

Danny and I had played this tune together many times on our duo gigs, but this was the first time I'd played it with bass and drums. It's a Hank Mobley tune, and I love the original recording, which epitomizes some of the best jazz playing of the 50's.

Danny states the melody authoritatively, and comes out of the head and into his solo swinging hard, and manages to build his solo, chorus after chorus, with a wealth of ideas. Following a solo like that is pretty intimidating, but I was caught up in the energy. Notice that I start my solo by quoting Danny's last line. I never do that! I usually could not do it if I tried. But I had been carried along by the energy of Danny's solo, so somehow this line just came through me. I think I played a pretty good solo, but after the first chorus I lost some intensity.

Claudette's Way

Danny introduced me to many of the great tunes composed by baritone saxophonist Pepper Adams. This is my favorite Pepper Adams tune. Danny's statement of the melody, as always, is sensive and personal. I love the way John goes back to the introductory bass riff at the end of his solo, a nod of the head to the brilliance of George Mraz on the original recording. Each of us made a personal statement on this tune, which I found very gratifying.

We got off to a bit of a tepid start on this tune, but it got cookin'. I did some strumming on this tune, which I don't usually do (I usually comp with pick-and-fingers), and it fit in well with the strong backbeat that John and PJ were laying done. It's fun to play hard like that, which is something we never get to do on restaurant jazz gigs.

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