I had the marvelous opportunity to experience two keyboard masters over the last several days. I did sound for Bruce Katz and his band at Godfrey’s on Friday as well as took in two sessions with the great Bob Dorough at Moravian’s Foy Hall on Wednesday and Thursday.
Bruce is the penultimate rock and blues organist and boogie woogie pianists I have had the pleasure to hear at Godfrey’s. And, he plays the bass for the band, too. Firey leads that make him rise off the stool, tight arrangements with his drummer and guitarist. Simply amazing. He loves to play Godfrey’s as does his band. Nice to be part of the show, doing sound. Rock and Roll!
Bob Dorough. Now in his 90’s and he remains as quick as it gets.
He did a school show on Wednesday that I got to sneak in on. He’s known for his “Schoolhouse Rock” series on TV, and today is when I got to hear and witness his genius in songwriting and musicality in the arts/educational field. Great playful excursions into math, history, grammer (?!) with sophisticated musical/theatrical hooks. Brilliant …and wonderful to see him interact with 400 fourth through eight graders and engage at a very cool level.
The Thursday show was with the LV Jazz Collective, a bunch of concerned jazz dudes I can call my friends from the mutual respect in our fields, and Bob Dorough, the serious jazz musician. It was nice to see the respect these cats have for Bob, and how gracious a human he is. Jazz is a language that breaks down pretention, in spite of being a highly evolved form of music.
The show was wonderful with an exuberance of leads, vocals, lyrics and drum solos. Jazz concerts have a nice feel to them with applause after intelligent solos. It was nice to have good friends in the audience. Yes, a too small audience. Such is the state of the art.
What struck me, in the course of the evening, was the respect I got from all of the jazz dudes, folks who remain my musical icons (oh, how I wish I could solo like that!), including the Steinway piano man John Zeiner. I am from a different planet as far as musical styles and technique, but we all bathe in the common experience of making live music. That’s pretty good company, and I am honored to be considered as a compadre in their circle.
I took several years of piano instruction, encouraged by my mom as a kid. I still regret I didn’t plow on through my teens, but thankful I was introduced to the keyboard as a child. It was the gateway for my becoming a musician. Thanks, Mom. We celebrated the last few days.