Thursday, May 21, 2009
My mother and Babik
Last night I went over to see my mom and when I got there she was in the middle of telling my brother George the story of our going to see Babik, above, last week. Look, there is a poem starting.
I went to see Babik
The eeeeek was because the fiddler Geoff Perry was AWOL.
Note to out-of-towners: Babik is a gypsy jazz band that looms large in Buffalo. How large you can tell from their touring vehicle. Here is a picture of it.
My mother is Babik's No. 1 fan and knows the musicians personally. The concert we went to was Friday at Denton, Cottier and Daniels, which is the world's oldest Steinway dealer, which is the store where Leonard Pennario began taking piano lessons. Well, that was when it was downtown. Now it is out in Amherst and that is where I was with my mother because she had wanted to go.
But zut alors! As the musicians were setting up, she was getting more agitated by the second.
"I don't see Geoff Perry," she was fretting.
Which is a big deal because Perry and the guitarist, whose name is Stu, re-create the sound of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli. Babik is named for Babik Reinhardt...
... the son of Django. I will tell you this, if a time machine were ever invented, I would be zipping back to see Pennario circa 1958...
...but my mother would be blowing past me to go and hear Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli and the Quintet of the Hot Club of France. She is a die-hard fan!
So, not good, that Geoff Perry is not there. Not good! I am looking up at the stage as the musicians do that endless sound check that musicians do. And I am getting worried too.
Finally I went over to my friend Michelle who is vice president at Denton, Cottier. And I asked her about the situation. I was hoping against hope she would tell me Geoff Perry was in the men's room and he would soon come out.
No such luck! "Geoff is in Florida," she told me.
Well, I had known that. He moved there. But I was hoping he was coming back for this gig because when I had called him on his cell phone some weeks ago he had told me he would be coming back for occasional Babik gigs.
But now he is not here. And I have a bitter mother on my hands. And I am supposed to be the bitter one! Mary is Hebrew for "bitter." It did not matter that Dr. Jazz was filling in for Geoff Perry. That was no consolation. Dr. Jazz plays saxophone and that is a different thing entirely.
All I am hearing is: "I would not have come if I had known Geoff Perry was not going to be here."
Even though Dr. Jazz was great and sang "The Sheik of Araby" which is not a song you hear often these days.
So that was my experience with Babik last week. Eeeeek! And now my brother George was hearing the whole bitter rundown.
My mother will probably be talking about it for the rest of her life.
Why are mothers like that?