Friday, March 14, 2008

All things considered...

...I'd rather be in Detroit right now.

Did I just say that? Considering what I've seen of the ex-Motor City (numerous burgs in Tennessee, Alabama and other states challenge for that name now, along with a few sites in Canada and Mexico) over the years, that's roughly like saying "I'd rather be in Tehran."

But it's true, nonetheless. This coming Sunday is the day my friend R. puts on a concert there, and before my recent financial and health meltdowns, I'd planned to fly back for the show and some pre- and post-performance partying and music-making. A suitable group of players, including R.'s beautiful wife, had been assembled to make it even more fun.

Heck, I even bought an extra memory card for my digi, and had a pile of blank CDs ready so I could bring the various performances (which R. will be recording) home with me.

PARENTHETICAL IT'S-NOT-A-TOTAL-LOSS THOUGHT: He has promised to burn a set of discs of music and photos for me anyway, and send 'em out here. A good guy, as I've so often said.

So now I'm feeling a bit morose. I really wanted to be there. The man is fast becoming a giant musically; even if we weren't great friends, I'd want to hear him. That goes double considering the instrument he'll be playing, which I heard "live" back in 1967 and fell in love with.

R. is too kind to say so, but he might be breathing a small sigh of relief. One staple of his performances is letting the audience request tunes they want to hear in addition to his own predetermined tunelist; I never got totally specific about what I might call out for, but hinted at one point that he might consider doing some woodshedding on Frank Foster, some of whose great tunes written for Count Basie's orchestra might be a bit of a stretch for any solo artist, even him.

One day, I'll get my chance.

But not this weekend, doggone it, and I was looking forward to it, big-time.

I have a zillion recordings -- including some of R.'s best work -- but there is nothing in the world like being on the scene when great music is being made.

And to think there was a time when I took that for granted, because I had the incredible good fortune of spending a great deal of time around two of the greatest musicians ever to sit down to keyboards. I almost got used to hearing them.

No more, Jim. It's a musical desert out there now, and I'm thirsting to hear good sounds from top performers.

A substitute trip to R.'s home grounds is being planned, but that can't happen before midsummer at the earliest. Too far away.

Nonetheless, I hope R. rocks the paying customers on Sunday.

I know he will.


joan said...

What a shame. You'll regret that forever I imagine.

MrScribbler said...

Joan -- There will be other opportunities, I know. My main gripe is that I've had to defer too much pleasure for one reason or another lately.

John0 said...

I'll bet Jim will be there.
Sorry you couldn't make this event. Hopefully you'll get to a good one before too long.