Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The boys in the band

Last Sunday night, I went to Smoke, a jazz club on the Upper West Side to hear Chris Washburne's Latin Jazz Ensemble, SYOTOS. I wrote a review of this for Examiner.com. Jazz is in many ways a coded and secret world--- one of my long time loves was a jazz musician. I love their camaraderie. These boys are bonded, they genuinely like each other. They don't just play music together, they have deep, intense conversations that span the chromatic scale. The leader of the group, Chris, tells an interesting story:

He was diagnosed with a rare form of nerve cancer around his mouth. Terrible irony for a trombone player! He was told he had a 50/50 chance of surviving the operation. That he might never play again. As he went in for surgery, he told his bandmates, See You On The Other Side or SYOTOS. He survived and went on to become an even better musician than he was before. The best song of the night was a bolero, Passion, by Pedro Flores. I swear, at times, the piano, the drums and the conga were speaking the same language as the sea.

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