As I write this, I am sitting in the excellent Atlanta international airport. What a contrast to the appalling Miami airport! Quick, polite, friendly, efficient…everything that that other farce isn’t.
Last night we had our end-of-tour celebration dinner at Georgia Shrimp Co, a restaurant/jazz club in the Atlanta suburb of Peachtree. The house band played a set before a small combo of our musicians took over for another set. As the night went on more and more people rotated through and played, anyone who wanted to sit in did so and was welcome. Members of the house band also jammed with us, and it was great fun. Even I was allowed to sit in for one tune. Everyone there was super-friendly and encouraging. The venue had advertised us, and an audience had come in to listen. Thanks to Neal Wauchop and the band for the warm welcome, we had a great time.
Back at the hotel we had a short debrief and made some presentations to the band. A couple of silly novelty “awards” for some people and, most importantly a medallion to commemorate the tour – hard earned and richly deserved. They were a wonderful group to travel with and excelled themselves both as individuals and as an ensemble.
Today we fly out of Atlanta. First stop is Seoul and then on home to Sydney. We have one last gig, maybe the most important of the tour: Jazz Camp in Sydney. Show starts at 7:30.