Did a gig last night, straight ahead jazz, with a group that I've been working with for three years and the drummer sucked. He was so bad that I couldn't actually tell where 'his' downbeat was on several tunes. The band doesn't really have a regular percussionist but for the last six months we've had a really amazing, imaginative, and 'follow the leader' player. To their credit the keyboard and the saxophonist clung to me for dear 'rhythmic' life, but I was severely limited in what I could do. I had to hold the center and in some ways it was very illuminating. Keep it tight on the dots playing is something that I've been working on (trying to minimize - pocket playing). I knew that this sucky drummer was going to be there and the next time I think that I'll first ask them to get another player, and if that isn't possible then decline the gig. It may jeopardize my job but what the heck.