Everyone’s bliss is different. But for me, one version is being close to and recording a small group of creative musicians playing splendidly, listening attentively to one another in a quiet space in front of a rapt audience. It’s bliss when it happens, and also because it happens so rarely.
But it did happen in the lovely 1867 Sanctuary in Ewing, New Jersey, for two hours on September 21, 2019. The noble creators were Danny Tobias, trumpet, fluegelhorn, and Eb alto horn; Larry McKenna, tenor saxophone; Silas Irvine, piano; Joe Plowman, string bass. And here’s their first set: lyrical, controlled, passionate, swinging, deeply melodic.
They began with I’LL ALWAYS BE IN LOVE WITH YOU, which although it did not begin life as a swinging tune, Count Basie made it so — as do they:
What followed continued to make me and the rest of the audience happy, but if this quartet had decided that enough was enough with this single performance, I would have been satisfied. Slightly mystified, but smiling. But I am thrilled they continued.
The lovely MY IDEAL (check out the lyrics if you don’t know them):
Danny picked up his new / old Eb alto horn for MOOD INDIGO. Wait until the end, after the last notes, for his musicological commentary and a patented Tobias comic flourish:
Danny’s own HOW’S IT GO? — based on chord changes that were part of the common language when there was one:
Get up, stretch, find some snacks, and the second half will be posted shortly. I bless these four creators and thank them as well. Thanks also to Bob and Helen Kull, for making the 1867 Sanctuary a shrine for wonderful art. This post is for John Scurry, John Herr, Sam Taylor, Melissa Gilstrap, and R1, of course.
May your happiness increase!