Last evening I got to attend the free concert by the Branford Marsalis Quartet on the lawn at the Dallas Museum of Art with my son, his friendgirl, and folks from his soccer team. It was fantastic to see the appreciation these young people had for jazz. This note is to all of them:
Guys--I sure enjoyed visiting with you last evening. I love that you came downtown for an evening of jazz under the stars. Branford Marsalis created this music as a tribute to the jazz and art of the Harlem Renaissance. I hope you will be part of a new Renaissance.
I love that you tell me you like Count Basie. I got to see him perform three times, way back when I was in college, at an old highway roadhouse/dance club called the Pla-mor (play more!) Ballroom outside of Lincoln. The venue made it possible to stand within ten feet of Count Basie up there on the little platform stage.
It was a spiritual experience to watch the Count. He would be dressed in a double-breasted dark jacket and a hat like a ship's captain. His whiskers gave him the appearance of a serene walrus. His eyes were full of ancient soul and life wisdom and humor. The music was so full of gentleness and power! I knew then that I was just a little hippie chick pretending I was "grown up", and not really having a clue about life or art. May you all have such wonderful college experiences that the memory still knocks you out thirty years later.