Monday, February 18, 2019

Las Cruces NM 2019: Jazz 1

Canyon Quintet, Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society, Las Cruces, New Mexico. February 2019.

Beck, one of my temporary Las Cruces housemates, is a jazz fan in a major, major way. Beck listens to jazz all day, every day, which he streams from a radio station in California. He's an ardent support of the Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society. Because Beck is in his 80s and because he has adored jazz since his young adulthood, he has seen and heard a lot of musicians, in a lot of places.

Beck spent much of his life in central Missouri, and because I also lived there for a number of years, we can talk about various venues we both have known, and some artists we both know and like. (Example of a Missouri musician who Beck and I "know" and admire: Hilary Scott.)

Hilary Scott and band, Columbia, Missouri. December 2006.

Hilary Scott and band, Columbia, Missouri. December 2006.

Beck invited me to accompany him to the February gathering of the Mesilla Valley Jazz and Blues Society, at which the Canyon Quintet performed, as you can see below

There we met another Missourian-by-birth, a woman who has lived in Las Cruces for 20 or more years. She came up in Kansas City. She and I chatted about the "correct" pronunciation of Missouri: Muh-zur'-ee versus Muh-zur'-ah. I am of the former ilk, she of the latter. (It just occurred to me that this conversation might be the equivalent to the conversation natal Michiganners have when they put up a palm, thumb extended, to point to where in Michigan they call home.)

Speaking of Kansas City: Because it was February, thus Black History Month, the California jazz radio that Beck listens to devoted hundreds of playtime hours to black jazz musicians, which indirectly resulted in a spotlight on Kansas City jazz musicians.

One day, Beck expressed the wish to share a video of a jazz performance with me. Only mildly interested to begin with, I felt a tad alarmed when I sat next to Beck in readiness for said viewing, as I noted that the video was ONE HOUR! Thankfully, I received assurances from Beck that he would honor my limited attention span, and I could wander off when I wanted, no hard feelings.

Well, hell, it was a monster-good performance! This was my first exposure to Regina Carter, who worked her violin but good, in this 1998 (!) set at the Newport Jazz Festival:

Thank you, Beck!

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