Sometimes it pays to shut up and just listen
So, there was in Greenwich Village with a bean and chicken wrap nestling steadily deeper into my belly and the sudden necessity to stand and deliver. Deliver introductions, fill the interstices between the truly talented people and try to keep the audience on my side. Not that I'm taking sides mind you!
First to play was a trio of lovely ladies who took their group name from an old folk song: "Three Sisters." Which, of course, they performed wonderfully. It's in the folk tradition so let's just say that there wasn't a happy ending to the tale told but greater unhappiness was in having a song so well performed come to an end. I'm embarrassed to admit that I didn't get their names so that I am able to give them the credit they're due. Their vocal harmony was glorious as was the flute accompaniment. I will track down their names so that I can post them soon.
Next came Tania Eshaghoff (that's a link, click it, click it now, this will still be here when you come back) who played piano and had a violinist to accompany her. Wow. First, as you can see if (IF! -Ed) you visit her web site, Tania is one of the most exotically gorgeous women it had ever been my pleasure to witness. It's probably not fair that a woman this beautiful is also so fabulously talented. I will not cut and paste huge gouts of description of her CD "Dancing With Souls" so follow the link. Not just that, buy the disc. I'm sure it will be a revelation to you as it was to me. I'm listening to it even as I write this.
She plays the piano out of a fusion of Persian musical traditions with her Western musical training. She plays with a dense, flowing, polyrhythmic verve that is, well, entrancing. The violin accompaniment was subtle and flowed through the bright drama of the piano like a stream twisting through gem-laden rocks. I am unable to do her music justice in words. It really must be heard.
So, do you now start to understand why I call this one of the best nights of my life? Here were artists I'd never heard before and I was overwhelmed. And then I got to meet Jake Armerding. If I didn't tell the story of my discovery of Jake before, I won't hesitate now.
I listen to streaming radio through iTunes and one of my favorite stations is Radio IO Acoustic. One fine day I heard Jake's song Ithaca which struck me as a pretty good song. So I tracked down the MP3 version available on Amazon.com, downloaded and listened to it a few times. Not just pretty good - damn good in fact. Good enough to get me to buy the disc. And I played it for friends, a couple of whom are the animus deii behind the IC benefit. They went the extra mile and got Jake to appear. So I got to meet him. I'm sorry to act like a drooling fan-boy but I think this is just so cool. To find someone's music on the Internet and then end up meeting him. This is part of the whole new world of music that the net represents and I couldn't be happier. But I digress.
I told Jake of the songs I particularly liked ("Ithaca," "Adonai," "Little Boy Blue (North of North Dakota") and he played them all. And others besides. He is a terrific musician as well as a talented song writer. My only gripe is that he beat feet out of the club before I could my CDs signed. Speaking of which, thank you, Tania!
There's more to this story but I find myself running out of blog steam this late evening. I will cobble together yet another installment tomorrow. Serial blogging. Hmm. There might be something to this.