Like I said, some guys were playing music in front of the St. Louis Cathedral. They were playing jazzy versions of Christmas songs. “Santa Clause Is Coming to Town,” “Frosty the Snowman,” that sort of thing. Even though they were all playing the same song, they weren’t playing together. It’s like the saxophone player knew one version of Frosty and the trombonist knew another and the tuba player and guitarist knew different versions. They didn’t seem to care that they weren’t in sync. They were just doing their own thing. Together.
The saxophone player saw me watching them and told me to come sit down. “Come on, now. Come join us.” He patted the empty spot on the park bench between him and the trombone player. I sat down.
“You sing?” asked the saxophone player.
“Not well,” I said.
He laughed. “That’s just fine,” he said, “’cause we don’t play well.”
He counted down and then launched into an up-tempo version of “Let It Snow.” When they got through the opening, he turned to me and nodded. I sang.
“Oh the weather outside is frightful/But the fire is so delightful/And since we’ve no place to go/Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
The trombone player shook his head and laughed. So did the tuba player. But the saxophone player just nodded his head at me and kept on playing.
I guess I’m in a New Orleans band now. I think I’ll call the band Jackson Square Parkbench.
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