Circumstances have caused me to ramp up my on going quest for better gigs. One recent audition with a 3 piece has sounded promising; but, as almost always, there’s a catch. This particular band has mostly been together for 35 - 40 years. Guitarist is BL. Drummer is a replacement for the original, about 5 years in. Original bass player has some life changes going on, which creates the opening. BL records everything, rehearsals, auditions etc. (a good thing); and I’ve now been through two sessions. Everything sounds great; but, here’s the catch. Original bass player is your common semi noodler, learn just enough of the tune, then play your own thing type of player. Fine. But, after 35 years, BL is so used to hearing those “versions,” that they have become the standard. So, they have these less than great rehearsal recordings, and BL wants me to play EXACTLY what’s on those recordings. Now, I will admit that first of all, I usually detest covering someone else’s cover; with a few notable exceptions. Second, nothing against this particular player, but, his lines are not great bass lines; and critically speaking, they tend to depart substantially and awkwardly from the rhythmic motifs that put people on the dance floor. I do play orchestra, and if a part is written down, I’ll play it. No problem. I will also learn reference studio parts pretty much verbatim. In fact, my take on covers is to learn the reference studio part in detail, and then “invent” appropriate (and subtle) variations for the context instrumentation and arrangements, maintaining the original sense of signature motifs. But, transcribing noodly “versions” to be played verbatim is just a bridge too far for me. So, think I’m going to have to take a pass. Which is a shame, because the recordings sound pretty great; and because there aren’t a whole lot of open gigs in these parts. Band Leader is always right, even when they’re not. Tucson is a tough town.