Thursday, March 01, 2007

Great becomings

Last night, the musical highlight of my year: guitarist Bill Frisell with violinist Jenny Scheinman and steel/dobro player Greg Leisz. At The Blue Note. (I'm happy to play here, at the real Blue Note, Frisell joked.)

The three entered the stage, sat close by each other, with Scheinman in the center, facing out. We had a table right up front, so we had a great view (except that Frisell turned inward, toward Scheinman, so that we couldn't see his hands--to the mild disappointment, I think, of the nice guitar-playing fellow from Kansas City--also named Bill--who shared our table). Frisell sat on the edge of his chair, perched on his toes. He had a small electronic box at his side and another at his feet, and after they sat, he was, it seemed, tuning his guitar, punching various buttons on the boxes. Leisz played a few notes, too. Were they just tuning up? It was hard to know. Eventually, a melody emerged. They played. So that set the theme of the evening, I would say: beauty emerging out of available means. Maybe one of them would wind up a music box, and so they would find their way with that, matching the rhythm. Reaching outward. Snatches of Monk's "Mysterioso" here. A repetiton of "Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie" there. If they couldn't find the way to an ending, they just moved on to another melody.

It was wonderful. Music that kept us all, like Frisell, on our toes. Listening. Never quite sure where we were going. But going. And loving every minute of it. Like when Scheinman and Frisell cracked up during one segue. Because what's the point of anything if it doesn't bring joy?

And then when I got home, a message on my phone: my first great nephew had finally made his entrance in the world while I was gone. So two pretty amazing things, in one night.

(Great nephew, you might ask? Or at least I hope you might. I'm the youngest of four children, and my siblings are, on average, a decade my senior. So I became an aunt for the first time at age eleven. And now that nephew has become a father. Ah, time!)

And, anyway, my sister is kind of young for a grandmother, if you ask me. See for yourself:

Debbie and Aiden

1 comment:

senioritis said...

I recognize the look on her face.