I am sure we all have them but my favorite is this .....a big city hotel had a very ambitious New Year's Eve event in their spacious and lofty lobby with a 6 tiered stage where a 16 piece band and multiple singers were to be the main event. I was booked to do a 90 minute warm up show in a jazz quartet led by a very fine French clarinet/sax player, his son on bass and - against my advice - his son's piano teacher girlfriend on keyboard. The place was crowded with at least a thousand people milling around and I climbed up to the top tier where the big band drummer's kit was and we set up there. The leader wanted to go get an insulin shot and asked the three of us to start off without him. "Lullaby of Birdland" is called and we start but after about 4 and half choruses, the female pianist just stops and looks at me. I whisper "WTF ?" and she says "I thought you would like a solo"..... "Yes", I said "but not half way through a chorus !!" at that she started to cry and ran to the side of the stage. Her boyfriend on bass then rushed off to console her. So about 20 feet in the air with lights on the stage, I am sitting there all alone. Luckily. within a minute the clarinet player reappears and after I quickly explain what happens, he calls "Sweet Georgia Brown" as a brushes and clarinet duo. We get going and after a chorus or two he spots the F&B manager all the way down at ground floor and decides to go kiss-ass and leaves me doing that brushes and bass drum vamp thing once again all alone, way up in the air near the ceiling with all the folks below wondering and great spotlights on me. He and the others did return but it got worse from there on .......
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