I came prepared to my second jam session. This time I had three songs in mind, and although I hadn’t actually practiced them, I’d listened to the chords go by on my irealpro app. The men in the band said “Hi!” like I was a long-lost friend. Things were going to go better this time!
When they called me up along with a teenage (male) trumpet player, the band called “Blue Bossa.” I was confused, as I had written “Autumn Leaves, Ain’t Misbehavin’, or Maiden Voyage” on the sign-up sheet. Oh well, “Blue Bossa” would do. Next they called “Cantaloupe Island.” I might as well have written “any” on the list again. If I’d thought that I was at least a little familiar with every jazz song out there, I’d thought wrong. Cantaloupe Island was uncharted territory. I did my best. Unfortunately I didn’t check my irealpro app. (Cantaloupe Island is there, it turns out.)
After a feeble trip to the island, I turned around and said, “Before I go, can we do a song on my list?” I truly thought it was an easy list to contemplate, but no. They liked “Autumn Leaves” best, but the bass player’s book had it in the wrong key. I reluctantly but cheerfully gave up my phone to him. I would remember the chords, sort of.
The good news? My hands shook like they did last time, but my stomach didn’t hurt. This might have had something to do with the 95 degree room we were playing in. Trying not to sweat distracted me. My playing was as good or better than the first time. A guy eating at the cafe even said “Sounded good!” to me when I went back to my seat. My husband came this time, and we chatted with a friend.
The bad news? My playing could still improve, of course. And when I remembered that I hadn’t gotten my phone back from the bass player, I went up to the stage and made the “hang loose” sign by my ear, by which I meant “Do you have my phone?” but which, since he forgot he had it, he probably took to mean, “Call me, Hot Stuff.” Ah well. The dangers of being the only woman in a jazz world.