A little poem: She / and they / just blew me away.
I’m speaking of Ida Blue’s recent appearance at Joe’s Pub, which was a phenomenon rather like the Aurora Borealis as redesigned by Robert Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and a dozen others. With Ida at the helm: she is not simply someone who is producing microwave renditions of old records.
And then there was the band: Kevin Dorn, driving it all with subtlety and ferocity mixed, drums; John Gill, National steel resonator guitar, played as only he can; three reed virtuosi: Dan Block, baritone sax, bass clarinet; Evan Arntzen, clarinet, tenor sax; Jay Rattman, bass sax. Dan Block said of this band, after the fact, “We were like three 747’s!” — no collisions, but much delightful polyphony and energy. Here’s what I wrote about the evening when it happened.
And here are the first six songs Ida and the band performed that rocking evening, in case you missed the earlier posting.
Now, for those who have been patiently or eagerly waiting (or both), more. Seven more, making lucky thirteen.
Pigmeat Terry’s BLACK SHEEP BLUES:
Robert Johnson’s COME ON INTO MY KITCHEN:
Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s STRANGE THINGS HAPPENING EVERY DAY:
Victoria Spivey’s IT’S EVIL HEARTED ME:
MR. FREDDIE’S BLUES:
Sister Wynona Carr’s touching I’M A PILGRIM TRAVELER (for me, one of the evening’s most memorable performances — very tender and candid. We are all pilgrim travelers):
Robert Johnson’s 32-20 BLUES:
Now, let’s assume you’ve enjoyed this dazzling show — albeit through my video camera — for free. How could you repay and support these musicians? One way would be to actually attend some live music in your neighborhood, which doesn’t have to be New York. You could also keep track of Ida Blue and friends here or here or show your love here. I know I provide music free for those miles away from it . . . but a group of people sitting in front of their computers and doing nothing else in the way of active support will mean that this art form has a harder time. End of sermon.
May your happiness increase!