Wonderful things can happen at a jazz gig before a note has been played.
That was the case when the Ted Brown Quartet performed at Sofia’s on Jan. 13, 2011.
I had gotten there very early (my anxious parents always left the house too far in advance and arrived everywhere too early) and fell into conversation with a bespectacled young man seated at the bar. We spoke of the musicians and the music, and he extended his hand and introduced himself. “I’m Brad Linde,” he said.
I am embarrassed to say that I didn’t have an instantaneous flash of recognition, but as we talked I thought, “He knows his stuff; he’s a real player with a deep awareness of the music.” And then I said, “Do you have any CDs out?” He said, “Yes, one, it’s called FEELING THAT WAY NOW.”
As they say in the United Kingdom, the penny dropped, and I said — right off. “My God! I reviewed that CD for CADENCE and I loved it!” And everything was hilariously in balance: I hadn’t recognized him but I was able to bring him good news: he had not seen the review. A delightful interchange, wouldn’t you say?
And it was even more delightful when young Mr. Linde did two things.
It was his gentle urging that got Lee Konitz to walk in and sit at the bar to hear the music — making me think that we were in the presence of greatness.
And when Brad took out his tenor, I was warmed by the music he and Ted made — a series of heartfelt, friendly, apparently casual conversations. Not a Hollywood cutting contest, certainly not Young Warrior overpowering Old: more like father and son chatting about things that mean so much. (Brad has a loving reverence for his Jazz Fathers — performing with Butch Warren and Freddie Redd, for example!)
Here’s a sample of what Ted and Brad created on YOU STEPPED OUT OF A DREAM:
I’m writing this post not only to celebrate the cheerful, humble, expert Mr. Linde and his many endeavors — but to let New Yorkers know that more of this splendid music is coming our way in one week.
On Saturday, February 5, 2011, a quartet of Brad, Ted Brown, bassist Joe Solomon, and drummer Taro Okamoto will be playing from 9:30 PM to 1 AM at Tomi Jazz — that’s 239 East 53rd Street (lower level), between Second and Third Avenues. 646-497-1254 or http://www.tomijazz.com/. for more information. I have it on good authority that the delightfully gifted tenor saxophonist Lena Bloch, who played so beautifully at Sofia’s, will be there, too. Perhaps Mr. Konitz will come in and oversee everything as he did, as well. . . . You come, too!
ALL MONEY GOES TO THE MUSICIANS! PLEASE CLICK ON THE LINK AND BE GENEROUS!