(A musing after spending 72 hours straight listening to live music, a classical soprano vocalist, an 11 year-old violinist prodigy and a jazz trio, the Pat Metheny Trio in the winter of 2003)
You cannot see her, but sometimes if you are lucky, you can hear the voice of the lady singing through the hands of those from whom she demands complete allegiance. She is elusive, and even the best cannot persuade her to alight very time she is called. But you would spend your life and break your heart to beg her to stay after hearing her just once. Through these masters, all of them, from the soprano to the young violinist soloist to this ecumenical triumvirate, she had us on her knees in her presence. There are times when she will let you listen to her sing and for a moment, one moment, you know the truth that connects heart to heart. So elusive, and the only thing that lasts.
I love jazz because it is in my blood. It is the only original American art form. It is sacred. The greatest musicians are jazz artists.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 listening to my father's records of Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Ben Webster, Coleman Hawkins, Lester Young.
I met Sonny Stitt, Wayne Shorter, Branford Marsalis, Joey Calderazzo, Michael Brecker, Cannonball Adderley, Walter Booker, Dave Liebman, Joe Lovano, George Benson, Mike
Stern, Stanley Turrentine, Billy Harper, Skip Hadden, Charlie Haden.
The best show I ever attended was Joe Lovano with Soundprints at the Wexner Center in Columbus Ohio in 2014.
The first jazz record I bought was Miles Smiles.