Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Jamming in memory of Danny Pearl



Last Saturday night was Daniel Pearl World Music Day, honoring the late, great WSJ journalist. He was apparently a great guy and great musician and on or around his birthday, the world celebrates with special performances in clubs all across the globe. I think it's important to remember that he was a person -- and apprently a really special one -- andnot just some martyr, though he is that, too.

My friend Matt Roberts’ Ah-Q Jazz Arkestra plays every Saturday at the CD jazz CafĂ©.. same guys Dixie played with a few weeks ago. He turned last Saturday’s gig into a special open jam for this event.. lots of guests.. including, gulp, me. Becky also “performed,” giving a nice tribute to Danny Pearl. I have that on film too and need to get her okay to post it.

I brought along Dave Loevinger, my sax man and we went up and played three songs. I sang them all and I think it went well. I think learning Chinese and actually trying to speak it to people has liberated me singing wise.. I’m more ready to just let it belt. I’m not sure how great it sounds – though it definitely got better – but I was comfortable, which is a little shocking to me, to be honest and the feedback was good.

This was filmed on my camera, which takes nice videoa nd it’s much more convenient than lugging the vid camera, but it sure fill sa Flash card fast. I told Katherine, dave’s wife, to film the first song.. but of course, these first 5 minutes of our 25 minute performance were the shakiest. We got it going nicely right after this video runs out. Notice at the very end of the last verse I’m singing, they started playing a horn section riff.. I loved that.. and they kept it going rest of the song..

I also played a solo after Matt’s, which I think went well, and started playing riffs and fills on the turnarounds, and turned up my guitar, which I don’t think you can hear that well here.

Following this, we did Little Milton’s “That’s What love Will Make You Do,” which was really well received, and Dylan’s “Meet Me In The Morning.”

Later, Dave jammed a bunch more along with a steady stream of Chinese guest musicians, who reallyw ailed, as well as a great Russian trombonist… I went back at the end of the night and played two funk songs with about six horns, including a bari sax.. new terrain for me and I really enjoyed it… It was about 1 am and Matt said, “there isa great Hungarian band coming here at 1:30. WE have top keep people here for ahalf an hour. Let’s play some upbeat and fun stuff.” It was two altos, tenor, baritone and trombone, plus me and bass and drums.. I’ve never played with horns like that and it was really, really fun.

The first tune was a two chord vamp so comfort level was easy to reach and then I played what felt like a pretty wicked solo turned up LOUD. Next tune was a little more complex and I was hummana hummanaing, and skipped a solo but I think it went moderately well…

The night ended with a two song performance by a great Hungarian big band.. Soul What – http://www.soulwhat.hu/index.html.. What a surprise.. They came in at about 1:30 from another gig, setup and blew away three songs.. young band, great arrangements, great playing, great energy, sexy singer.. great capper to a really fun night.. the ladies went home early, but Dave and I were out to about 3.
Becky left at 6:30 am to run an 8 k race as part of the Beijing Marathon.. kids mercifully slept in a bit for me and I wisely switched from Tsing Tao to Perrier at some point after midnight, making the morning bearable.