What a great evening of music last night. Egberto Gismonti at the Art of Jazz was a special event. Those of us who are big fans got to hear all the things we love about this artist. He opened with a short solo piano set. This was a very dynamic set of music where he was very physical with the instrument and then caressed soft beautiful sounds out of it.
Then, he was joined by the Pendrecki String Quartet augment by Jim Vivian on bass. This was some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard. The perfect combination of beauty, dynamics and masterful technique on all the instruments. This set was followed by duets with Jane Bunnett and Egberto still on piano. The highlight of their work was when Jane picked up her flute. I have always been a fan of Jane's playing but this was some of the best ever. One moment that touched me in particular was a solo piano response to a long intense section Jane just finished seemed like they were having a private (maybe public) conversation right there in front of us with Egberto giving his heartfelt response that seemed a bit like unrequited love to me like you might find in operatic writing.
This was a long night and the hits just kept on coming. Eventually we got to hear some guitar where Don Thompson joined joined him in duo on the bass as well as a Cuban choir that were visiting.
Also a highlight was music provided in solo by Trichy Sankaran on Mrdungum with his daughter Suba counting the tala for him. I was a little confused as to why he and Egberto never really performed together but it was still a great addition to the night.
All in all it was a great night.
This was all made complete for me by hearing him speak for 75 minutes on the day prior. This workshop was poorly attended and I had the chance to sit right in front of one of my musical heroes and listen to him talk about life and play examples of his piano and guitar styles.
One of my favourite topics he discussed was his concept that there are only two types of music; music he needs and music he doesn't need.
After a couple days of thinking about the many topics he discussed and our questions he answered I have realized that it was less a life changing experience for me and more a life affirming one.
Maybe I am on the right track...back to the basement.