I'm a freelance writer by day and a working jazz musician by night, and often I am able to combine my two lines of work. This blog is for posting gigs & various rants about music and life in general.

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Tuesday, February 22, 2005

the way up

I seem to be making new friends in cyberspace all the time. Some are writing pals, some are music fans and musicians. It's all good. I love meeting new people, even if they're "virtual." Check out the links section on this page to see who I'm visiting these days.

So Sunday was the PMG (Pat Metheny Group) concert at the Chicago Theater. I hadn't been to this theater before, and it was amazing! Very old and very ornate. And huge. The sound was decent...it did seem to get a bit loud up in the balcony where we were sitting at times. But as always, this group was phenomenal. They pulled off the 68-minute composition just fine. In fact, Kevin overheard Lyle Mays saying how he had to concentrate 110% during that piece, else he might get off track.

Speaking of overhearing a band member talk to fans, that's what's so cool about jazz. These guys (and often gals) are accessible. They'll mingle with the audience after the show and no burly security dude will try to beat you up for simply asking a question. This was a big concert, and most of the band did pop out into the audience for a bit. This is a regular occurence at the Jazz Showcase (Chicago), too. And the Jazz Kitchen in Indy.

You see, to a select few these jazz icons are just that--icons--but to the rest of the world they're simply nobodies. That's because the media stinks and the radio stations only play canned pop music that has, for the most part, no talent and no integrity. I guess it's just as well that there's a select few that appreciate jazz--most folks wouldn't know what to make of it anyway. I'm not being snobbish. I'm tellin' it like it is. Sorry if I appear offensive. It's just my opinion and nothing more.

I've decided to talk about this because anything I write about this concert simply won't due it justice, so I advise y'all to try to see the PMG yourself. Tickets are admittedly pricey at times (we paid $67 each including the rip-off $12 Ticket Master charge) but it's a show worth seeing. Always.

Here's the lineup from the concert. Check out their bios.
>Pat Metheny >Lyle Mays >Steve Rodby >Cuong Vu >Antonio Sanchez >Grégoire Maret >Nando Lauria

And here's just a few random observations:

- To honor Metheny both Kevin and I wore striped shirts. (That's his style...check out just about any picture!)

- Antonio Sanchez looks like Luke from Gilmore Girls somewhat. Doesn't he?

- I think the girls like Cuong Vu. When he came out to talk to fans there were a bunch of girls all around him.

- The seats in the Chicago Theater were made back when people were shorter. I'm only 5'4 and I felt scrunched for the 3 hour duration.

- The PMG crew must be the fittest people in the world. There's always someone running out with a new guitar, and taking one that isn't in use anymore backstage. Although Metheny probably played 8 different guitars all night, there were never more than 2 on stage at a time.

- Nobody in the band ever just stands there with nothing to do. The non-rhythm section guys are all multi-instrumentalists and are always singing, shaking, blowing, or hitting something.

Want to see the PMG? Check out their tour dates!

That's enough for now. Gigs for the week are minimal:

Thursday @ Panache
w/ Kevin Hart & Donovan Hill, 7.30-10.00 pm

Friday @ the Hotel Pere Marquette
w/ The Fulton Street Gang, 5.00-7.30 pm

Saturday is gigless, which is fine b/c it's our anniversary! (5 years & going stong)

Have a great week, all!


Blogger js said...

Yah, I'll have to check it out. I'm gonna see if I can find a used copy of his new CD somewhere - I've never really listened to him much. Any suggestions on a PMG CD to start with?

9:39 PM  
Blogger Me said...

My first and favorite PMG CD is Rejoicing with Charlie Haden and Billy Higgins! I also have his Missouri Sky album but it still hasn't grown on me like the Rejoicing album.

I've decided to get online right now and get tickets!

Ronda (from Jazz Explorations)

8:36 AM  
Blogger jazzwriter said...

He's done so many different things. The guy is always working on a project of sorts, whether it's with his group or a trio, quartet, or sideman project. When he's not working on a recording he's on tour. Crazy life!

I think my favorite PMG album is the one he released 2 years ago, Speaking of Now.

Ronda, I don't think I have Rejoycing. I'll definitely check this one out.

8:56 AM  
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6:21 AM  

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