I'd like some advice (possibly of the "stop being a dick" sort) about a situation I'm in with a very old and valued friend. We have been playing together for over 20 years and developed much of our musical outlook and thinking together. He is a pro musician and teaches jazz at a local college. I was a pro double bass player but about 15 years ago changed direction and pursued a career in an unrelated field. I've maintained my involvement in music to a lesser or greater degree over that time, mainly on electric bass. Over the last year I have really got back into playing and gigging and have got a double bass and got my technique together. I have played with this friend a few times in jam session type settings. Recently he has had a few high-profile jazz gigs and to my surprise has booked other bass players, without explanation. I have felt quite bad about this as I feel I can do as good a job as anyone on these gigs. I haven't mentioned anything to him about this. Last week he contacted me with the offer of a gig, but the music he wants to do is somewhat comedic in nature and certainly less serious than the music he plays on other gigs with other musicians. My feeling is that I'm now on his B or C list, and he will use other players for the top level gigs. I haven't made any decision or any moves or even spoken to him about this, but feel bad about him booking other players in preference to me and that the offer of this "comedy jazz" gig is somewhat condescending. I've tried to think through reasons this may be happening but just come up with answers that don't make me feel any better about the situation. Either he doesn't think I'm technically up to the top level gigs, or he doesn't like my playing so much, or he is booking players who are regarded as more "professional" and known on the scene so that it reflects well on him. And there have been times when the situation was reversed and I booked him on gigs even though there were musicians I could have booked who were technically more proficient and more known on the scene. I booked him because I liked the musical "story" he told, and wanted to help him get more exposure. I should say that the working environment around here is pretty much "freelance" and not regular bands with regular members, so booking different players for different gigs is by no means unusual. Not sure what to do. I don't know if I would feel comfortable doing the "comedy jazz" gig, but I love his playing and value our friendship, probably above the music. Any advice would be gratefully received.