Monday, May 22, 2006

what I really do...

I can always talk about music and what I'm listening to much more than Rob wants to hear, more than Lyman has time for and much more than anyone besides me (mostly) cares. Sounds like fertile ground for a blog, right?

So this weekend Rob and I went to see Christian McBride's band at the Kennedy Center Jazz Club. It was a beautiful evening for the drive down GW Parkway and always good to get a night out of the house, the two of us doing grown up stuff. I'd been really psyched about the McBride show since I bought the tickets in March. I've got several of his recordings and they always sound great to me.

What can I say? There's just nothing like live music to distinguish those who have the chops from those that don't. And let me tell you---Christian, and every member of is ensemble, DEFINITELY has what it takes. I was actually speechless. I've never heard a bass articulate so precisely; his solos were pure heaven. The piano/keyboardist, Geoffrey Keezer, looks to be about twelve years old but he clearly has years of experience, shifting easily between his keyboards, his piano (at times playing both with one hand each) or quickly shifting settings on his laptop pc controlling some of the keys. Technogadgetmusicgeek Kathy was intrigued. The drummer, Terreon Gully, is simply amazing---

I was initially VERY upset to find that Ron Blake wasn't playing the sets for the night (he HAD been on the stand the two previous nights) but was thrilled for the opportunity to hear David Gilmore play on guitar. He and CM clearly have a shared vision.

This is the thing that surprised me---the set was short (KC Jazz Club is famous for that); maybe six numbers, so its not like they could dig deep in their repertoire. Most of the tunes were fairly straight ahead but a couple were fairly acid---something I don't typically get into. But that's the thing---sitting there, watching and listening to it happen---I definitely left with more respect---and interest---in acid jazz. Their take on Bitches Brew was INCREDIBLE.

The KC Jazz Club is a small room---about 40 "cabaret" tables seating 4 people each; nice venue for live jazz. But the crowd? Kind of weird---evenly divided between African Americans and older, white intellectual, snobby types. There were a couple of music geek kids---I felt a little out of place. I wonder how much that reflects the true demographics of jazz fans.

Being speechless doesn't come easily to me so on the drive home I rattled endlessly to Rob about what I thought---finally had to ask him which he disliked more---having to politely escort me to the concert or listen to me run off at the mouth all the way home. He said neither---he mostly disliked not being able to listen to ESPN radio on the way home. Did I give him a break? Nope.

And my last musical comment of the day---Rob gave me the new Paul Simon cd "Surprise" yesterday. I've listened twice and I'm not sure what I think except that its very rich in texture and spirit. His music has a way of growing into your subconscious (at least mine) and pretty soon you can't imagine not knowing/loving it.

My track recommendation for the day: Christian McBride's "I'm Coming Home" from "A Family Affair". You'll have to get up and shake what you've got.

No comments: