Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Doorman’s Diary: 7.9-10.11

It was a holy trinity that graced the stage. Three seasoned musicians who’ve played together since before NASA invented space… well, maybe not that long but certainly a long time. Guitar, bass, and drums hailing from an out city known for hard work ethic, F-150s, community theater, and heavy drinking. They began their set playing mellow jazz that evolved into namby-pamby smooth jazz. The George Benson shtick may fly in the supper clubs back home, but The Doorman could see they were capable of far more, which they delivered in occasional hard driving tunes. The comfort found in three guys who know each other’s musical moves can pivot either way: the comfortable, familiar flow or the launch pad for testing each others mettle. The trio playing at the jazz club reminded me of a complex, conflicted friend in high school who played lead guitar in an acid rock band. In his heart, he wanted to play intricate jazz chords which he would but in the middle of electric ladyland, when what we yearned for were those ecstatic occasions when he’d lose it—shock of his combed-back hair falling in his face, lightning fast fingering, yanking the whammy bar, and popping the wah-wah pedal. Watching my high school friend play was frustrating because we all knew trapped inside that controlled demeanor was a gifted guitar maniac shackled by his own self doubt. The jazz trio that played left me with that same mix of admiration and three-hours-after-Chinese-food-emptiness.

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