Did you ever have one of those experiences playing where not only everything was clicking but the music took on a whole 'nother level - where it felt like the music was playing you rather than you playing the music? Preferably not substance- or ego- induced where you were the only one who thought so, but where the whole band and the audience is completely blown away by what just went down with the music? I've been blessed to have had a couple, and they are a big part of the reason I play, on the chance that I might experience that again. First time was with a reggae band, playing a NYE gig at a beloved hippie coffeehouse (Borsodi's in Isla Vista). Our regular sax player couldn't make it, and we got a sub who was a truly brilliant young player (heck, we were all young). We were playing the Black Uhuru song "Leaving for Zion" and Chris, the sax player, just took off... and the band followed, and then we were all airborne without losing the grounding of the groove. The groove... just got HUGE. And we played and played. I found myself wondering how we were going to end it - there just didn't seem to be a way, the groove and the solos and the dancers just kept BUILDING and GOING... I think, for me, that's actually a flag for the experience - those times I think "how the heck are we going to end this? It has a life of it's own..." The other notable time was playing with a ecstatic World Music fusion band, Dreamtime Continuum. This was the most "Grateful Dead"- like band I ever played in - not because we played any Dead tunes, but because it was extremely improvisatory and went far more by feel than by thinking, and because when it worked it was brilliant and when it didn't it was kind of flat, but the "brilliant" outweighed and made up for the "flat". We were playing, people were dancing. Again, the groove and the energy were enormous - a great juggernaut of groove. I had the thought "we've probably been playing this tune for 20 minutes - might want to wrap it up, but how?..." and looked at the clock for the first time since we started. We'd been playing that groove for nearly an hour, and people were still deeply into it. I looked over at our Tabla player (a very ecstatic kind of guy in his own right) and yelled "Hey Jeff - how do we end this thing?" His response was one I carry with me to this day - he said "We'll know it's over because we'll all be on the floor naked and screaming..." What are your stories?