Sunday, October 16, 2011

Another Night with a Different Jazz Legend

- and follow up photos from the first night with a jazz legend.

Four months removed from the concert where I saw Herbie Hancock perform and got the chance to meet him, it seems much farther away that it really is. I was recalling that night, as it was the first time I got to see a true jazz legend (Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell and Freddie Cole come close, but I wouldn’t consider them “legends” yet) in concert. It was not, however, my last.

On Friday night, Mrs. S and I made our way to Nashville to take in a concert featuring Sonny Rollins. This guy is ten years older than Herbie is, and he blows on a horn, so, yes, some of the edge is gone, but, wow! What a concert.

Here’s the stage set-up:

Schermerhorn Symphony Center stage, October 14, 2011, Nashville TN
He started off with a highly rhythmic original, B & K, moving smoothly into D. Cherry. He plays very solidly, moving around the stage slowly and calculatingly, which was good, because I would not have had a clue what to do if he passed out or, heaven forbid, fell off the stage. Then he took on a true jazz standard, My One and Only Love. That got a great reaction from the crowd, and I was happy to be able to listen to his take on a song I was vaguely familiar with (although I couldn’t think of the name of the tune to save my life). Then he did his trademark Patanjali followed by Nice Lady. Then he played to the crowd a little with Tennessee Waltz, followed by another recognizable standard, They Say It’s Wonderful. He closed out the show with Don’t Stop the Carnival, coming in at just about 90 minutes with no encore. That he played that long was amazing enough.

Sonny’s a truly class act and the music was unbeatable. The bass solo by Bob Cranshaw was one of the most remarkable solos I’ve ever heard, and the drum and conga duet “solo” was stunning. The guitar player was asked to keep one or two of his solos going longer than intended, so they did seem a little rambling at times, but there was nothing at all bad about them. His playing, and that of the entire supporting band’s, was phenomenal.

Unfortunately, as good a shape as Sonny is for his age, there was no autograph session or meet and greet or anything like that. So, here’s a picture of me receiving an autograph from Herbie Hancock back in June:

Herbie Hancock signing Eric's copy of "The Imagine Project"

And here’s me, Herbie and Mrs. S enjoying a group shot.

L to R: Eric, Herbie, Mrs. S (in case there was some doubt)
 Yep, I’m late to jazz, but catching up.