Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Notes from Camp: Day 3

There's not a lot of time to post this week, but I'll chime in whenever the muse hits me. Two thoughts from today:
  • Sure, most jazz fans know about the big-name artists--the Breckers, the Redmans, the Marsalises, and so on--but there are so many unsung heroes out there making incredible music while flying under the radar screens of too many people. So I invite you to check out the music of saxophonist Bobby Militello, our guest artist at camp tonight. He's made a lot of his living as a sideman (Maynard and Brubeck can't be wrong), but he carries a show and engages the crowd very well as a featured attraction. He has dazzling technique, a treasure trove of ideas, and a sweet, sweet alto sound (as well as a wealth of chops on the flute and that cool sing-and-play technique to go with them). It's a true honor to share the stage with him.

    He also gave a pre-lunchtime clinic for the campers today where he talked about the importance of getting in "the zone" while playing and offered advice on how to get there. He also encouraged everyone at camp, whether they'll be going into music or not, to strive for that one great performance that transcends oneself; it'll stick with you for the rest of your life, he promised.

    He'll be back tomorrow night as well, splitting a twin bill with trumpeter Jeff Jarvis; I can't wait.

  • It hits me on occasion just how lucky we are to have this type of situation in which to work and play every year. This great, personal, highly expressive form of truly American music that we call jazz is good for the soul; it really does great things for people. Sure, it's frustrating at times--what worthwhile endeavor isn't?--but the feeling of achieving that transcendent performance that Militello described above, or the look on the face of an aspiring young jazzer when they "get" a new concept are just so rewarding. This week takes a lot out of me, but it's pretty much the highlight of every summer.
But now I sleep. More tomorrow, if there's time.

Maybe I'm glad that I still don't have Kevmobile 1.1 after all: The Acura Integra was the most-stolen vehicle last year, according to a recent report.

Blowing out the candles: Happy birthday to Colin from combo (and camp).

1 comment:

Gary P. said...

... , or the look on the face of an aspiring young jazzer when they "get" a new concept are just so rewarding.

This summer has given me a glimpse of what you're talking about here. Two of the sax players in camp are Frisco ISD middle school students who are sitting in this summer with the community jazz band that I direct. It's very cool for me when they play all the way through a really hard lick for the first time or the band is really swingin' hard and screaming, and they just turn to each other and smile with a look that says "This is so cool."

I even had to email Kris after the concert last night... man, you guys were ON FIRE! But I did have to ask him what he was thinking when he kicked off Love for Sale... "Ya know, I don't think Buddy's band ever played this chart quite fast enough!" Great job!

It hits me on occasion just how lucky we are to have this type of situation in which to work and play every year.

Definitely. I also thanked him for putting together this camp and for all it does for the community. Last night in the audience was the first time in a long time that I've thought "I really need to go to this one year." I don't think I've really felt that way since the first camp when my lead trumpeting idol Roger Ingram was supposed to be on the faculty (before he got a call to go on tour with Ray Charles...). Maybe next year....