Listening to Louis Armstrong play, Bobby Hackett reportedly said to an observer, “Do you know how hard it is to make melody come so alive?” Hackett knew, because he made such transformations happen for forty years of picking up the cornet. I am sure that both Bobby and Louis would deeply admire the mastery of tenor saxophonist Larry McKenna, a legendary figure I got to meet a few weeks ago at a downtown New York restaurant.
Larry had made the trip (by Bolt bus!) from his Philadelphia home, and he was quietly dazzling — along with the sensitive playing of David Wong, string bass, and Aaron Seeber, drums.
Such beauty might sound easy, but it isn’t easy to create. So we salute Mr. McKenna, graceful, quiet, modest, yet building castles of feeling and sound right in front of us.
May your happiness increase!