Wednesday, January 11, 2006

SFJazz Pre-Season Listening Party

Yesterday Jayita and I attended the SFJazz pre-season listening party at the Herbst Theatre. It was supposed to feature Joshua Redman (the artistic director and front-man for the SFJazz Collective) talk about some of the music we'd be hearing in the coming season. Instead we were pleasantly surpised when the master vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson took his place after he came down with the flu.

As we listened to some of the Collective's music, Bobby chimed in with one story after another about the music, and the people making it. A couple of cool bits:
  • Bobby's sister Peggy (on whose passing he composed the song "Psalm for Peggy") was one of the Raylettes. She also happened to date the pilot of the plane that flew them between cities for their gigs. Once night during the flight she decided to go up to the cockpit to meet her beau, and found Ray Charles at the plane's controls (uh huh... yeah... the blind guy). And he (very matter-of-factly) told her that he did that every night after everybody had gone to sleep so it wouldn't alarm them. Oh yeah!!
  • Besides being an awesome drummer whose style Bobby likened to that of a "fencer", Brian Blade apparantly plays guitar really well.
  • Danilo Perez once said "Bobby and Brian... beans and rice!"
It was a wonderful evening just for the stories. This year, the Collective will be featuring the music of Herbie Hancock, and it even includes a song from the Fat Albert series. It's going to be a good season :)

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