Yes, I really am THAT short! That's me in 4-inch heels!
Seven shows in, after a lot of driving and playing we finally docked at our home away from home, Hotel am Stadtpark in Hilden. Yes, I'm on the road again, this time in Germany and Austria, reviving for the last time our Christmas project "Christmas In July". The repertoire feels good, it's amazing what a difference a year makes in terms of songs settling in your voice. The Danish song is only half as scary as last time, the Swedish one is moody and smooth, and the Austrian one is dark but hopeful.
Our first leg led us from Franken (Bamberg, Burgthann) in the southern half of Germany to Austria (Gmunden, Vienna, Bad Zell, Vöcklabruck) back to Duesseldorf via a much dreaded overnight drive. The weather could really have pulled a number on our plans, but we were lucky. It didn't. The snow came and went just in time.
DISCLAIMER: Here comes the vocal geek paragraph. Feel free to jump to the next one if this stuff makes you yawn and scratch your head.
When I perform a show a day in a string of one nighters I always end up refocusing on body work. In the past the routine included 20 minutes of yoga. This time it's Feldenkrais. It's so easy to tighten up and then push through the tightness, only to tighten up some more. The PA shlepping doesn't exactly do wonders to muscle relaxation either, and it takes great discipline to be kind to yourself and do just enough to keep the energy flowing without adding to tightness with more pulling and pushing. At least it does for me. END OF VOCAL GEEK PARAGRAPH! Phew!
Overnight drives aren't what they're cracked up to be. Contrary to popular belief spending a night in a van with 4 dudes is really not that romantic. Also, it takes some serious uncrimping once you have reached your destination after spending it curled up in an off kilter fetal position that does nothing to alleviate your neck pain.
Luckily the Jazz Schmiede in Duesseldorf provides a couple of comfy couches backstage for the travel weary jazz warrior, and the guys made ample use of it.
And in the end we finished the first leg of the tour on a high note, with a lovely show, great sound (thank you, Lars!), a really nice grand piano and a great vibe in the house. On to the second leg! This time we stay in Germany, but instead of travelling up and down, we're going to work our way over sideways.
13.12.12: Jazzkeller Krefeld
14.12.12: Capio Klinik, Hilden
15.12.12: Klosterscheune Zehdenick bei Berlin
16.12.12: B-Flat, Berlin
17.12.12: Einklang Kulturloft, Hamburg
18.12.12: Live CV, Lübeck
21.12.12: Jazzbar Vogler, München
22.12.12: Jazzpoint Wangen, evangelische Stadtkirche