Saturday, September 20, 2008

The Last train to Lansdale...

The R5 to Lansdale was barely out of Philly when we all turned into pumpkins, but it was worth not running for the 10:50 train.

I've never been part of a crowd that worked so hard to get encores, but we did and we were treated with respect. Prior to each the jazz men came out, took a long bow and walked off the stage, all in all we brought them back out 7 times for three encores. What a hoot! Maybe knowing we were headed to become pumpkins, Keith Jarret (born 1945), Gary Peacock, who is 73 this year, and Jack DeJohnette played this for their first encore (wish I could have found them playing it, but Brubeck is no slouch).

It is so past my bedtime. I will tag this later.

Oh yeah. My eyes were closed for much of the show, but I was aware and awake to the music.


  • five solid hours of sleep later...
  • KJ is the baby of the group of men who are willing to play for three hours.
  • These men who knew each other for a long time, came back together 25 years ago to form what is known as Jarret's standards trio. 17 recording dates, billions and billions and biiolns of shows later they are on the road celebrating these 25 years of friendship and love. No other way to stay together that long.
  • There were many many folk a the show who were in their 20's listening with so much enthusiasm that it gives me hope that jazz is alive and well.
  • How did this old guy stay awake past 10 Pm on a Friday night...Naked Chocolate Cafe on Walnut Street in Philly. Coffee and chocolate pastry is the answer. It was our first time there.
  • After one hour they moved away from their instruments, bowed silently, and left the stage... "please don't tell me this is over." The man with a red jacket and badge by the door told us there was more to come. We chatted about how wonderful sleep is, and eventually were talking about the prodigal son.
  • KJ said few things to the audience and only spoke into a microphone once. At 10:30 they left the stage. The audience stood and refused to leave. They came back and gave gave us a synchronised deep bow (how flexible are these old guys?) and left the stage. I kept my eye on a row of young fans sitting in the first row of a balcony directly behind the stage. They reminded me of the sports fans who lean over to give high fives to thier sport's idols after games. Most of us stayed with these young guys and cheered. The house lights were put on hold. Again they came out and gave a long synchronized bow bent over to the floor, pausing in submission to our appreciation their talents shared with us. They left the stage. We stood and cheered forbidding the lights to come on. Again they came out side by side and bowed to us. Then moved towards their instruments. The crowd roared and I knew I was going to be a pumpkin. They played the tune I linked to Brubeck. The crowd roared. It was around this time that KJ went to the microphone and said something like this... "This reminds me that this nation is lacking in energy. and I am not speaking of oil. Or non-oil." We stood and clapped keeping the lights off for several more bows and two more tunes.
  • The man with the red jacket smiled at us as we left the show and headed out to experience the big city late at night. We will be back.


  1. Saturday morning and finally with time to sit and listen to the Shenandoah link you provided. I've always loved that song for some reason and the music takes me back to both the Jimmy Stewart movie and my brother who died at 55, some 10 years ago now. Jazz and some Alison Kraus bluegrass were his favorites. My year is off to a great start with my own student who, it turns out, has a chromosone defect, is not autistic. I noted, with my heart, your own re-entry into such affairs. You're a good man, sir, and this is always a great visit...

  2. Thanks Jim

    what I did not write is this... the tunes in the last two have a great similarity... a longing, one for place, one for love. I just updated this post. Glad your year at school continues to go well, for the majority of moments mine has too.

  3. It sounds like a terrific show - so many encores is a tribute both to the audience and to the energy generated by the musicians.

    I'm a bit embarassed to admit that I'm just starting to listen to jazz. I'm an avid fan of many forms of rock, bluegrass - many festivals, blues - too many shows to count, and other forms of music but am a neophyte about jazz. Thanks for the links! Glad you had a nice evening.

  4. Kathryn-- don't see anything to be embarrassed about. Music has always been with me in a big way and my evolution to where I am now would be quite a lengthy blog post and would involve AC/DC (now that is embarrassing). Jazz first came to me as an undergrad, then faded and reemerged at this point in time.

  5. My next birthay is imminent and I will reach the half century mark. Many people of my age have a deep appreciation for jazz - so embarassment is perhaps the wrong word but sometimes I feel I should have gotten there by now.

    Oh well, I learned to appreciate scotch in college so I was ahead of the curve in that respect. It's a different path for each of us. Right now, I'm listening to a Weather Report album dating back to college.

  6. Fun! I enjoyed how much you enjoyed the evening. A great night.

  7. Kathryn-- was curious as to your age, now I don't have to ask. I know a lot of people your age who listen to the music they were listening to 30 years ago and nothing else. as with any journey, there are many paths

    Zorra-- and get this, our local public transportation was not taking money last night, the ride to Philly and back was free. it set the tone for a positive evening.

  8. LOL I listen to everything. My kids have made me a fan of some Hip Hop and I also like ska, punk, reggae, bluegrass, blues, world music, you name it - I just don't know jazz. I'm fortunate to have nieces and nephews in their 20s and kids in middle school to help keep my music knowledge current.

    The only reason the college albums are out again is that one of us got a turntable for Christmas. We have over 1000 chunks of vinyl to explore.

  9. Kathryn-- My LP's. as well as CD's for that matter, have been weeded over the years, though not so wisely at times... How can there be no Joni Mitchell albums? Insanity. I claim insanity.


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