Re: ...for the jazz cats ...
ref the guitar trio gigs....I play them all the time...use hands, brushes and sticks. If its a
place where people are talking etc we start by playing under the talking (so not to be too
in your face with the music) and try to draw the crowd in. If we get the crowd in our hands,
we end up playing louder than if they keep talking. At any rate, you can use hands, brushes
and sticks at very low volume levels, especially if you have the right cymbals. I always take
along a flat ride for very quiet gigs just in case (but the flat ride isn't my sound of choice generally). I have 2 rivets in mine and depending on the room, it often gets compliments for
the sound. Generally we find that playing at a volume where we can be heard yet people can still talk (if they want to) without yelling is best.
With respect to what tunes you might play....that could be anything at all depending on
what the guitar player wants to play. While it's likely to include standards, I wouldn't always
bet on it.
Maybe talk to the guitar player about what type of stuff you're going to play. Have Fun!