Tuesday, January 20, 2009

In a jam

So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly to LaSalle Avenue. Lastnight I was at my friend Gary's house till 2 a.m.! He had the jam session to end all jam sessions. Even I participated. I played two Chopin etudes and a Chopin waltz.

My friend Phil Neuhaus, the trumpet player, asked me if I practiced every day.

"Yes," I said, beaming.

Because I do! I have practiced 10 minutes a day for three days. You ask me if I practice every day, the answer is yes!

Had Phil asked me that question last week, the answer would have been quite different. Now, the situation being what it is, I am like Leonard Pennario. I practice. And lastnight, I got through my three pieces, from memory, with no problem. One thing that helped was, people were talking. I am not only like Leonard Pennario, I am like Eric Satie. Satie liked people to talk while he was playing and so do I.

Howard played drums lastnight the way he did the night before. Here is a picture of Howard on drums and our friend George Caldwell sitting down at the piano. You have to have a glass of red wine in hand when you ascend to the piano bench. That is the rule at our jam sessions.

Now we give you George on drums and Gary on piano.

Here is our friend Lou on congas. Lou was also at Dick and Decoda's party on Sunday. He helped me find the bathroom. We had to walk through the whole house looking for it and it took about an hour.

Lou brought along his Schnauzer, Uncle Lou.

Here is Guy on piano, Peggy singing, Howard on drums and Phil playing his horn.

Gary Marino at the piano.

Below is George and his wife, Connie. They got married last year. Their first date was at our house! It is true. Howard and I had a jam session at our house every Monday for about five years and Connie and George went there on their first date. He was in town playing piano for "Cooking at the Cookery," a great show about Alberta Hunter.

Here is a picture of Alberta Hunter.

Click here to hear my favorite Alberta Hunter recording. This is off the record "Amtrak Blues." I own that record and I believe I have listened to that track 500 times.

Back to our jam session lastnight. Our friend Elijah, on the stairs, listened rapturously to Howard's artistry.

On the way home lastnight it looked like Mars.

What a night! It is lucky for my physical and mental wherewithal that today I have no partying to do.

Tonight, I can work on my book.

And, for 10 minutes, practice my Chopin.

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