Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Last Week

A couple of items from last week:

On Wednesday Robo drove up from Florida to hear Bill Frisell at the 5 Spot, down the street from my house. Frisell is on tour playing duets with pedal steel player Greg Leisz. It was a nice evening - it's always great to reconnect with the other half of RoboCromp (someone at the 5 Spot took us for brothers), and I wanted to see Frisell - I've been impressed with him since the beginning of his recording career. However, I'm not crazy about the country/folk/Americana direction he has taken the last few years. And I felt kind of like an outsider at the 5 Spot - a saxophonist surrounded by 250 guitarists. And all of those guitarists loved the show. I enjoyed myself - it was a well-performed evening of music with several truly beautiful moments. But it was obvious to me that I wasn't getting what almost everyone else was getting out of the music. What to me was an evening of pleasant, relatively simple music was, to most of the audience, a transcendent experience.

I don't have any profound conclusions to draw from this. It was just interesting to me how this music affected people in the audience in different ways.

And on the same day, we lost another New Orleans R & B legend. Eddie Bo died, a few weeks after his often-partner, Snooks Eaglin. I was fortunate enough to see/hear Eddie quite a few times in his hometown. Depending on his mood and the requests of the tourists, he could be so-so or stunning. Just before he went on stage one evening, I introduced him to Scott Hooker, and let him know that this great Atlanta piano player had come to hear him do some old school Professor Longhair-type stuff. Eddie responded with smoking versions of "Big Chief" and "Tipitina." Check out "Every Dog Got His Day" from 1960 - one of the great NOLA singles. So long, Eddie.

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