It seems that summertime in New York presents with more options for great jazz and music that is to my liking than at other times during the year. This summer it is really the case for me.
As my frequency changes and intensifies ( along with everyone else’s on this planet!) I’m finding that the literal vibration and energy of music I love is increasingly exciting and moving to me.
For example, last weekend I so loved the musical creations of the Vincent Herring Quartet appearing at The Kitano that I felt I couldn’t miss the opportunity to experience them again the next night!
The quartet was comprised of Vincent Herring on alto saxophone, David Williams on bass, Lewis Nash on drums and Mike Ledonne on piano. What I perceived as unusual and excellent about this combination of musicians was the balance of mastery each player possessed on their own and especially in combination with the others.
Three out of the four players had worked together for years as a regular grouping with the legendary pianist Cedar Walton. After the first measure of the first piece of music on the first night they were completely entrained with each other.
When Vincent introduced one of the pieces he told us that the quartet had not had time to rehearse together. I never would have guessed that to be true from the subtly and nuance of each song. They were simply one of the very best combinations I’ve seen yet.
It was indeed a rare treat for me.
Last night, instead of writing this piece I was listening to a totally different kind of thrilling music. I have always wanted to go to a Klezmer concert and early in the summer I noticed that the Jewish Museum was having a Klezmer group perform.
I was so excited to go but the tickets were completely sold out by July 4th. I persisted and called the museum. Even though I was first on the waiting list for tickets, I really didn’t think I’d get to the concert so I made plans with a friend to enjoy a Restaurant Week lunch and a visit to MOMA ( The Museum of Modern Art).
To my surprise I got the call from the Jewish Museum as soon as they opened in the morning.
So, Thursday was filled with a lovely luncheon with my dear friend at the French Restaurant Benoit. Then we saw a Walker Evans photographic exhibit and a huge exhibit about the Swiss artist and architect Le Corbusier.
Both exhibits were really interesting and so filled with beauty that I felt saturated with visual stimulation after awhile.
I walked through Central Park from the bottom on Central Park South ( East 60th Street) up to the Jewish Museum located on Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street. Being in my beloved Central Park always grounds me and adds to my happiness.
Then I sat in the first row in the auditorium to hear my first Klezmer music. I thought that the music would take the minor and bittersweet cadences of Jewish prayer and music and add joy to it.
That is exactly what I experienced with the very fine musicians of The Isle of Klezbos. They played for almost two hours. Here is a sample of their music from U Tube. In this video the musicians are the same with the exception of the bass player . There was wide variation in the rhythms , the mood and complexion of the songs that were played.
Finally, here is a slide show of my two musical events, lunch at Benoit, the two exhibits at MOMA and one little picture of the construction Gibralter, by Alexander Calder that made my heart laugh. Enjoy!