Sunday, October 02, 2005

I am starting to write about music again...

I stopped writing about music for a while because there are some ill-willed individuals who ready my blog and take what I write out of context and slander me. I think I have a rough idea who these individuals are. Shame on you! But then, a few people including krawdaddie (my man in N. Cali.) and Justin say that my strongest writing is music-related stuff. So I decided to write about music again.

First off, I attended the first annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival on Saturday. I saw Wayne Shorter, a legend that I always wanted to see and was delighted to have finally seen him. His quartet played a fine set of music that was just plain beautiful. It wasn't straight-ahead jazz; it was avant-garde pro-African music with unlimited room for improvisation. Wayne had trouble walking, but he had no trouble playing both tenor and soprano saxes, and he was fantastic! He gave a lot of room for his sidemen to imagine and execute his ideas. John Patitucci and Brian Blade (who also played in the Hancock, Brecker, Hargrove band together) knew and played off each other like husband and wife. Seeing those two intereact was worth the price of admission which, in this case, was free. You gotta give credit to the DC government and sponsors for putting this together. I just laid on the lawn, listened to Wayne, and started to daydream. It was the perfect music to daydream. After witnessing Wayne Shorter first-hand, I know now why's he's a legend. He will always be a momentus figure in the genre of the music.

Then, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band came on and did their New Orleans thing. I saw them once before some two years ago at State Theatre. These performances were very similar. But it was mainstream New Orleans street music that made everybody feel good. Most people stood up and started dancing. I still laid on the lawn and daydreamt. After 5 or 6 songs, they invited DC's own go-go godfather Chuck Brown to join them for a song called, "Who parked the car?" Chuck Brown shone on that song. Not only was his a great entertainer, he was also great singer, guitarist and frontman. It was my first time seeing Chuck Brown and he really lived up to his reputation and it was a truly eyepopping experience. After the song, he humbly said, "I haven't played this fast in like ten years." Clarence mentioned that Chuck is close to 70 years old. I just don't believe it. His energy and youthfulness makes him look like he's in his early 40's. I was starstruck.

Friday night I played a great wedding gig with some of the finest musicians in the name of the blues today: Big Joe Maher, Bill Heid, Whop Frazier, and Clarence Turner. Each one of them can hold his own as one of the leading players in the instrument. Despite some personality clash between Whop and Bill, the gig was pitch-perfect. Whop even said, "You're doing good for yourself. Only you can put such a lineup together cuz everybody wants to work with you." Well, it might have something more to do with that, but thanks Whop for his compliments. In fact, Joe and Whop hadn't seen each other for years and they chatted for 45 minutes for old time's sake before the gig in the parking lot. We talked about everything. It was like a musical fraternity and I was welcomed to the club. No wonder why Clarence said to me after the gig, "We were hanging with the big boys." Yes we were!

I finally got the proper respect that I deserved. So long midgets. Hold on I'm coming big boys.

To top the story off, my uncle Dave from LA called me Saturday afternoon and asked, "Guess who's buying a BMW from me now?"


"Danny Summer."

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