I spent this afternoon and evening rehearsing with Wycliffe Gordon and the Starkville Symphony Orchestra Big Band (Starkville, MS). Wycliffe sent some challenging charts, but he he’s a pleasure to play for. He sets demanding standards for the band, but he has a relaxed vibe that makes rehearsals a lot of fun.
Not to mention that he’s a monster! Just when I think he can’t get more intense with the next chorus, he does.
Here’s the SSO Big Band trombone section (minus me, I’m holding the camera). On the left, closest to me is Cliff Taylor (band director at MSU), then Richard Human (trombone prof at MSU), and on bass trombone is Jason Begthol (who teaches brass at East Community College). All three are great players and it turns out that Cliff also scat sings really well. If you come to the show tomorrow night (November 31, 2010), you can hear him. The concert is at Bettersworth Auditorium at the Mississippi State University campus at 7:30.