Monday, 11 February 2008

Home Alone

Well not exactly alone, my oldest son is at home and my three cats. My other half has left me this evening for - a set of drums. I learnt to play piano at school - 10 years of piano lessons. I never had to take my instrument with me and these days I even have an electric piano with headphones so that I don't get on anyone's nerves if I hit the wrong note.

Drum practice set

What you see here is a practice drum set. We don't have the drums in our home as they do tend to take up quite a lot of room, so they are in the cellar. They would also be quite noisy to practice on so this is a sort of electrified thing to practice with.

When I met my husband I soon found that his music tastes were a bit different to mine. He had been to London when he was younger to learn English for a year, but I think he spent more time in the various London jazz clubs than at school. Anyhow after a couple of years I realised that Cannonball Adderly was not an American secret weapon, or John Coltrane was not some sort of long distance American locomotive, but they were jazz musicians. After almost 40 years of being married to a jazz fan (and not traditional jazz, oh no that is not welcome - it has to be be-bop and swing) I must be one of the people that are quite an authority on who plays with who, what they play and their style, without even really being a fan of the music. I have found out that my taste is mainstream, because whenever I am listening to the jazz my Mr. Swiss listens to and I tell him that sounds good, he tells me it is mainstream.

My husband did play with quite a few local jazz quartets before I met him and since over the years he played in a couple of formations (just listen to the expressions I am using, you can tell I have become an expert). One of the groups was the Monday Groove quartet as they would rehearse on Mondays. Then they had to change the day of rehearsal and so the group became the Friday Groove quartet. My husband on drums, his colleague on piano and the bass player (who is actually professional after finishing the jazz school in Bern) and another colleague that played trumpet. Now and again there were jam sessions with other musicians in the area. I remember his 60th birthday which he celebrated together with the pianist. They were both 60 in the same year and a party was organised in the jazz cellar which is at a local restaurant. My husband was one of the founder members of the jazz club which meets once a month. He doesn't go so much any more, but it became quite well known in the district and there were always good bands playing there. Anyhow the birthday was quite a success. Musicians were invited and it was one jam session until midnight. We still have the film and I did the master of ceremonies, introducing the people. We had food and drink and it was fun. It was decided the next party would be in 10 years time (then they will be 70 - I wonder how that will turn out).

Anhow living in a country town word does tend to get around who plays what in the jazz world and my husband was asked if he was interested in sort of playing a bit now and again, so he is off for a practice with a couple of other jazz lovers. Not so easy being a drummer. He got everything piled up in the garage to put it in the car. He won't be far away, but drums are not something you can carry to where you are going. Luckily No. 1 son was at home and could help to pack them in the car. When he arrives he will have to assemble them and before coming home will have to pack them up again. It would have been so much easier if he had learnt to play guitar or saxophone I suppose.

in the garage

This is only half of the drum set, the other half was piled up on the other side of the car.

In the meanwhile I will make myself comfortable with the computer and at nine o'clock in the evening my favourite tv programme "The Eastenders" will be on the tv. Problem is that televisions have got so complicated over the years and I just leave the tv to my husband that I will be a bit lost. He was giving me instructions how to turn it on , but we have a second set, a bit simpler, so i will be using that one.

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