I meant to post this a while ago, but didn't get around to it for some reason (I'm not the best at this whole blogging thing). As some of you may have noticed back in June, the powers that be at Comfest contacted me and asked to use this photo of mine in the memorial section of the 2009 Comfest program.
It's from Honk Wail & Moan's performance at the Jazz & Ribfest in July 2008. At that time, things were going pretty well - Brian and Steve had decided to add a couple more horns to the band for this gig, and Brian had updated or reworked some of his arrangements to take advantage of that fact. We'd had a couple of productive rehearsals and the band was sounding good. It was a great day at the festival, and the band was really "on" - there was a lot of good energy, everyone was playing well, Brian's tunes never sounded better, and we had a small but appreciative audience.
I had my camera (as usual) and was trying to get some shots in any time that I wasn't playing. At one point I turned around and saw Brian standing there quietly, with one hand resting on his trombone. He looked like he had kind of taken a step back and was surveying everything that was happening onstage. There was a slight smile on his face, and he seemed pleased with how things were going. "Yeah," I could almost hear him thinking. "This is the way these tunes are supposed to sound - this is what I've been hearing in my head." All in all, it was a pretty good day - I think the photo says it much better than I can.
On the other hand, that weekend was unfortunately the last time I saw Brian. We played the Jazzfest, and then Dick's Den the following night - both great gigs. Then six weeks later, I was at his funeral - trying, along with everyone else, to come to terms with what had happened...
In any case, I'm glad I caught this shot of Brian, as well as some other good ones over the years. If you didn't catch them the first time, some more photos of Brian are on Flickr - just click HERE to get to them.
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Rumba Cafe Tuesday - hopefully there will be more to come soon from Honk Wail & Moan, the Brian Casey Composition Archive, and other Brian-related projects...
Rest in peace, Brian - we still miss you.