11 Days in Jamaica – Day 3

Saturday June 16, 2007

Lazy day today. Had a big breakfast, ran my 10 flights of stairs and went back to the room.

During breakfast, Lee asked me to play in a saxophone quartet. This is a different format for me. I haven’t played Classical since college. And never on baritone.

Our quartet consisted of our two alto players, Lee on tenor sax, and myself on bari sax. These guys have played around the globe, recorded extensively, and worked with some of the best musicians in the world. And here I was getting a chance to play with them. Lee whipped out a chart and away we went.

I felt like I had been thrown into the deep end. But I swam. The format forces you to use all of your skills. Most importantly, you gotta count. Everything else is based on that. All the nice harmony, tight unison, solos, and counter-melodies mean nothing if you can’t find ‘one’. We played a little over an hour in styles ranging from Classical to Jazz. What an experience!

After playing the quartets, I went back up to my room again. A cricket match was on. Cricket is very big here. On my previous visits I would watch it but could never figure out how this strange game was played. With no plans for the day and a whole room to myself, I vowed to learn cricket. West Indies was playing. Since we are in the West Indies, I rooted for them.

Just as I was learning about bowlers and fielders and targets, I heard the sound of a key card being slid into the lock and the door opened. Two ladies with their luggage were standing in the doorway. Apparently they had been assigned the room. A quick call to the front desk got things straightened out. But I had a funny feeling my time flying solo in this room would soon be over.

My suspicions were confirmed at dinner. Something told me to try the key card before closing the door. Sure enough, the light showed red, meaning the key no longer worked.

On the way to dinner I stopped at the front desk to see what was up. We ended up bringing Lee to the desk to get to the bottom of things. They got it taken care of and I got booted out of my room. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted. Now I’m sharing a room with two other guys. Fortunately it’s the two alto sax players. Eb in the house!

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