Lots of Music

It’s the holiday season. We’ve started getting Christmas cards, and we had our first snowfall last night. Got our own cards and we have to sit down and fill them out one night this week. We got the tree up and all the decorations this last weekend, and I got a chance to listen to some of the Bill Evans records I recently bought. The new piano is in the spot where there tree used to go, so the tree is in the spot where the old piano was. Looks very nice.

It’s been quite a week for music. First off, the LEFT HOOK got together last week for a rehearsal for the first time in ages. Our singer was working on the staff of a local state senator who was running for reelection (he won!) and then some other stuff including Thanksgiving so we only had one rehearsal in November. Now we’re back together and learning a bunch of new songs including some fun 80’s power pop numbers that came together quite nicely. This week when we get together the topic will be looking for new gigs.

Sunday Lizzy and Michelle sang Lessons and Carols with their singing group at the local Episcopalian church. Last year I was totally blown away by the level of the music. This year they were just as good, but it wasn’t a shock and surprise. Brilliant church choir (of which Lizzy is a member), backed up by the children’s chorus (of which Michelle is a member), a brass ensemble, timpani (particularly amazing) and pipe organ, all with custom arrangements by their Kapellmeister Phillip Stopford, performed in a cavernous stone hall with marvelous reverb.

A couple days later was the Christmas concert at Lizzy’s high school, and Lizzy was performing in the chorus. They were good, at a typical high school level, but after the Lessons and Carols it sort of paled by comparison. One thing I do like is that the music director is German, so they always have alot of the German composers – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Handel, Hayden that sort of thing.

But the highlight of the week was seeing Chick Corea at the Blue Note. For those of you who don’t know the Blue Note is New York City’s answer to the Tralfamadore Cafe. For his 75th birthday Chick has taken up residency there, performing for two months with a different band each week. I went with Jeannie and my origami friend Marc, who is also an avid fusion guitarist. Since it was the late show we spent the evening wandering around the village. Bruught back memories of when I used to work in the neighborhood.

The night we saw him it was with guitarist John McLaughlin, drummer Lenny White and bassist Victor Wooton. Chick was playing piano, Fender Rhodes and Moog synthesizer and the material was half Return to Forever and half Mahavishnu Orchestra, with a Miles and a Monk song thrown in for good measure. Needless to say the show was amazing. And we had great seats – I was literally sitting right next to Chick. I could’ve played the high notes on this synthesizer. Funny enough last time I saw Chick at the Blue Note, about twenty years ago, I had the exact same seat, although that time it was just piano trio, no other keyboards, and an upright bass.

Saturday we had jazz, and for a number of reasons, it’s been the first time the whole group has been together for a while. We’re working on getting together a bunch of originals to record an album in the new year. I’ve brought in six or songs that have all been very well received. I told everyone else to contribute on song if they can. Last session Gary came in with a new song, and it’s very good, a hard boppish number in the mode of Wes Montgomery. Fits right in and has something new to say.