What can I say: Stevie Wonder is a legend, and his music has intermingled with our lives for so many years. It was, of course, really cool to see him live – on one tune he didn’t even sing – the audience knew all the words! You can’t stay in your seats when he’s around, that’s for sure. He really enjoys himself on stage, and that really translates to the audience. Only 600 people there – I was hoping to get to meet him, but he stayed in the green room the whole time until he came out and played until 1am.
I was hoping to get a picture at the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival last week of Gregg Allman, but I was lucky to just get a seat, and it wasn’t close to the stage. Probably about 2,500 in the tent seated and maybe that many hanging outside, but we all felt lucky. Allman looks GREAT – perfect even. He’s still playing keyboards and guitar, but that voice of his sounds BETTER than ever. In fact, he doesn’t even need to play an instrument – he’s got fine players on stage with him, but n o b o d y sounds like him. I think there’s so much…. what’s the right word? Respect for everything that he has gone through, that he’s continued on – the “Midnight Rider” and his music still speaks to all generations. If you have a chance to see him while he’s on tour, it’s really worth it. Nola was hot, hot, hot, but fun. I also was really impressed with Trombone Shorty – he plays the trombone more like a trumpeter, and that’s a very difficult jazz instrument to play. I recommend seeing him too when he tours.
Speaking of tour…. I’m playing in Hollywood next week, May 25 at Catalina’s Jazz Club – please try and come if you can and tell your friends. Catalina’s is a great hang, and really THE jazz club in L.A. for a long time. Food’s good, parking’s good, and you never know who will drop in. We see actors, artists, political figures, musical legends even, and of course jazz lovers. Some people say it’s a great date night too. Please say “hi” afterwards, ok?
Great radio news: our latest CD, “UNDERGROUND” is doing really well at radio – showing up so far on 3 radio charts. Yeah! Some stations have consistently included it in their Top 10, and I did an interview last week and the host said they get good audience response every time they play a track. Another station said that for now each host is “claiming” a different track as theirs so that there isn’t too much overlap. They said eventually they’ll play everything on the CD. Wonderful too to be played on the syndicated Voice of America and the great Jim Wilke’s show, “Jazz After Hours”. All good news for me, Nasheet, Larry and JD of course. There is so much work that goes into every track – and passion too. Thank you for the support!
Take care and have a great week!