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Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian, and Sp. Guest John Scofield @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

The Blue Note, NYC

The Blue Note, NYC

I was completely FREAKING OUT!  110% shaking like a leaf with excitement.  My friend was standing next to me just kinda staring at me.  It was physically noticeable.  With a genuinely concerned look, she asks me if I am OK.  Honestly, I might as well been on 100 Five-Hour Energy Shots and crack.  I was on the verge of hyperventilating.  That is how ridiculously excited I was.

Chick Corea took The Blue Note by storm for two weeks, from May 4-9 and May 11-16.  Playing with a brand new project featuring Eddie Gomez on bass & Paul Motian on drums, Chick celebrated the lesser known works of Bill Evans, the project simply called Further Explorations of Bill Evans.

Bill Evans

Bill Evans

For those of you who need some schooling, Bill Evans was a famous, FAMOUS Jazz Pianist/Composer/Arranger who…

“influenced a generation of pianists including: Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, John Taylor, Steve Kuhn, Don Friedman, Denny Zeitlin, Bobo Stenson, Michel Petrucciani and Keith Jarrett, as well as guitarists Lenny Breau, Ralph Towner and Pat Metheny.” ~Wikipedia~

In 1958, Bill Evans was a pianist in Miles Davis’ group.  Can you imagine?  I know Chick Corea and John Scofield certainly can.  Evans influence ran so deep with Miles, his talent so respected, that he wrote the liner notes for Miles Davis’ classic Kind of Blues; the best selling jazz album of all time.

Tonight, I got my chance to see two of my biggest musical heroes celebrating one of their musical heroes.  I found that exhilarating.  Of the 12 days Chick Corea played at The Blue Note,  I chose tonight specifically because John Scofield would be the special guest and I was geekin’ out.  Tonight’s Line Up:

FEATURING:
Chick Corea, piano
Eddie Gomez, bass
Paul Motian, drums
w/ sp. guest: John Scofield, guitar

The Blue Note

The Blue Note

At 69 years old, Chick Corea is still going strong.  Having become a fan of his music through my love of Fusion Jazz, Chick Corea has been on my radar for many, many years.  Most of you should recall Return to Forever, with it’s classic lineup of Stanley Clarke on bass, Al Di Meola on Guitar and Lenny White on drums.  If you haven’t heard of Return to Forever, you might want to stop reading and go check it out.  Seriously, get away from this article and go listen to the music instead of reading about it.  I don’t mind.

For weeks prior to his two week stint, Chick Corea was offering up free tickets to each of his shows through Twitter and via e-mail.  I entered twice a day, every day allowed, but alas, it looked as if I was doomed to pay the $65 for a table or $40 to stand at the bar.  Not a big fan of The Blue Note for these high prices but in this case, I would spend my savings account to see Chick and John play together in this intimate setting.  I mean, it was one of the world’s most famous jazz clubs, how could I complain?!

Stage Sign

Stage Sign with Eddie's bass below

The plan was to get there early and see if we could get a seat at the bar ($40) vs. getting a table ($65) plus a $5 minimum purchase (nothing there is under $7), plus tipping your waitress…you get my point.  Unfortunately, we just missed snagging a seat by one person. We were the first ones standing.  I took a trip upstairs, just figuring out they had restrooms and gift shop up there…and figuring out that this was where the Green Room was located.  I just don’t go to The Blue Note that often for shows so this was a fun discovery. Especially when I saw John come out of the Green Room and throw a smile my way.   People come from all over the world to stop in at The Blue Note, it’s gift shop stocked with all kinds of paraphernalia that  I wanted like the piano ashtray or the hanging poster of Lionel Hampton that isn’t even for sale.  When it does go on sale, my friend “E” and I will be fighting for it to the death.  After my explorations upstairs, we stand around for another 45 minutes.

Inside The Blue Note ~ Chick's Set Up

Inside The Blue Note ~ Chick's Set Up

Already weary from a long day’s work, standing in line outside for 30 minutes and another hour and a half inside, it didn’t take long for my friend to talk me into upgrading to a table so we could sit.  We had to wait until the rest of the reserved patrons were seated but we finally got a seat, in a decent spot for me to see Chick’s side view and John’s front view.  I was happy but, and this is a big but, we were HORRIBLY crammed into our seats, I was practically on top of my neighbor and I am a small little lady.  I felt like a sardine and my back was to the stage the way I was seated.  I turned and was grateful that I WAS a small human being and manipulated my way around to see the stage.  It is also about this time that I said screw the money and I made the MOST out of the awkward situation.  I ordered a glass of Cabernet Sauvignon and a scrumptious Flat Bread Salad with Grilled Chicken.  So much for the $40 budget, I think I walked out with a $130 bill that night…so worth every penny.

The Blue Note Bar Sign

The Blue Note Bar Sign

The stage was set with Chick’s grand piano to the left, Eddie’s stand up bass in front of that, Paul’s drum kit raged the middle of the stage and to the right of the stage stood John Scofield‘s stool and music stand.  The scene was set and everyone was waiting.  When they came onto the stage the venue erupted in applause.  I scanned the room looking for someone younger then me and my friend. I was hard-pressed and it made me weary.  I wished there were more young people who are willing to learn from a real musician instead of what was on their radio stations and MTV…barf music.  The set list that night was kind of hard for me, I picked up on 5 out of the 8 songs.  It was hard to tell where one ended and another began.  Luckily Chick’s website had the set list:

SET LIST:
Diane
Stella By Starlight
Song #1
Little Rootie Tootie
My Foolish Heart
Someday My Prince Will Come
Bessie’s Blues
Peri’s Scope

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Diane, a song by Erno Rapee and Lew Pollack, was fast and playful. A great opener, a great song to show case their talent immediately.  There was playfulness between John and Chick right off the bat.   John breaks into his first solo of the night.  What do you think it sounded like?  It was crisp and fast and he was up off the stool as if the music had lifted him right out!  This first song was easily 10 minutes, so long and lovely.  They each took their turn down the line soloing.  Chick was second and being that Erno Rapee was a virtuoso pianist, this song was written for Chick to rage it.  Then it was Eddie’s turn and then it got quiet.  Chick starts the twinkling on the keys…playing scales.  I can see his fingers with his head lowered and slowly Paul sneaks back in with the beat.  John gets up and out of his seat again as he plants another lucrative solo on us.  This was just the first song and I was satisfied.  Great wine, great food, great company, GREAT music.

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Stella By Starlight is a jazz standard, written by Victor Young, that I recognized immediately, but couldn’t grab the name when Chick gave it to us later. Chick started off plinking the keys.  So very slow, Miles Davis’ version has horns but there would be no horns on stage tonight.  With soft taps on the cymbals, Paul joins the songs.  It all seemed so very My Fair Lady, very lounge-y.  Eddie’s bass joined in with slow pulls of his bow here and there, so light and timid.  Just a gorgeous song.

Chick stands up and introduces the band to the audience. There is massive applause for each member.  “These are brand new Bill Evans songs composed a while ago,” Chick says.  “Happy belated Mother’s Day. The first song was called Diane.  We are doing song with ladies in the title….ladies tunes. We will be doing a few Thelonious tunes…”  And the music continues…

Eddie Gomez and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Eddie Gomez and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Song #1 is beyond me.  I had no clue what this song was and I still don’t.   John’s face was contorted into a knot as he played.  The main vein of the song was John on guitar with Chick coming in sporadically on keys.  Chick stopped to take off his jacket, taking a turn to smile at the audience as his back was to half of us.  My wine finally comes.  Even better.

Pounding on the keys with Paul’s drum backing Chick, Little Rootie Tootie, a Thelonious Monk song, was next.  A cute song that reminds me of Charlie Brown cartoons for some reason.  The piano section is just exquisite.  Chick was working up a sweat and dried off his key with the towel.  But it didn’t end there.  John picked up the melody and using his towel, Chick made strokes across the piano from one end to the other making the sounds he needs to banter with John.  This was so cool and lasted for a good three minutes.  My focus then went to Eddie on bass, plucking away as Chick inserts his two cents here and then abruptly ending.  Monstrous applause.

Eddie Gomez @ The Blue Note

Eddie Gomez @ The Blue Note

My Foolish Heart, another jazz standard by Victor Young, was to follow.  Mainly a solo piano piece, this was not to be Chick’s grand solo.  Eddie Gomez starts off very, very slow, dragging his bow across his bass.  With daunting pulls, he stood alone, his sound so deep and lovely.  I remember having to focus very hard as the table full of European tourists were drunk and talking loudly.  It is VERY hard for me to focus. I tried so hard. Luckily the manager came over and quieted them. It didn’t last long.  Did these people not know who they were watching?  I couldn’t believe their lack of manners.  This was not the show to be having a conversation and I was NOT the neighbor to be having a conversation by.  I only had to ask them once.  I was livid for a hot minute and I quickly let the music sooth me.  Heal my anger.  It didn’t take more then a few notes, a sip of my wine and a bite of my lovely salad to be put back into my happy place.  I fell in love with Eddie at this moment.  It was simply magnificent.

Eddie was playing this technically classical jazzy song all by himself and he had hooked me into a dream world as I closed my eyes and let his sound take me over.  There is something about how he played. I could have listened to it for hours. It was the most soothing part of the night. This was not jazz.  This was classical goodness and with the bass! So much appreciation!! It went on for quite some time…and then John comes back in…

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

As I sit there listening, I realize that the songs have been mashed up as Disney’s Snow White’s Someday My Prince Will Come was teased amongst the songs.  In my head I start singing:”A Dream That You Wish Will Come True”.  I also feel as though Norah JonesThe Nearness of You was teased by John.  I thought of my sister and wished she was there to hear this.

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

John Scofield @ The Blue Note

John Coltrane’s Bessie’s Blues brought us a new song, a new sound. Chick starts plunking the keys, pacing the song.  Straight Jazz.  Medium pulls on the bass strings, Eddie is very evident in this song.  Just a yummy jazzy song, all instruments playing at their leisure…that whole organized chaos vibe going on.  John pulled out a faster guitar here and during his solos, shredded his guitar with his face in a million different directions.  Chick’s fingers were moving fast as lighting.  John strums his guitar.  These two were just killing it and this became my favorite song of the night.  Eddie started playing so hard that you could hear his breathing over the music…his voice came out and he couldn’t help it.  And with an oh-so-bluesy ending, more applause and a huge smile on Chick’s face 🙂

Chick on Mic

Chick on Mic

The final song was Bill Evans’ Peri’s Scope.  I think that was the only Bill Evans song they performed to be honest unless that Song #1 is his.  This is not something that held back my happiness one bit. The night had been glorious and it wasn’t even close to being over.  A typical jazzy tune, John filling in for the horn section, it was lovely.  The piano was playful and John and Chick banter with their instruments. So upbeat, light. Soft taps of the cymbals and paced pulls of the bass strings. They were having fun and we felt it.

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, and John Scofield @ The Blue Note

I felt as if it were over as soon as it begun.  I was in love with what I had seen and actually needed more.  Right then.  But there would be no encore and I had been surrounded by overly chatty people, the old gentleman behind me was drunk and HUMMED the entire set.  These things didn’t matter! Within a few minutes I was up out of my chair and ready to go straight up meet these legends.   And that is exactly what I did.  To the Green Room…

John Scofield and TR @ The Blue Note

John Scofield and TR @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

Upon first meeting John, he asks me if I play guitar.  He asks my girlfriend the same question.  I believe he asks all the ladies this question as his follow up statement was “YIPPIE, I have girl fans.”  LOL!!!  The man was genuinely intrigued and a conversation began between the three of us that continued on for some time.  I lost track of my entire life during that time.  We spoke of the Montreal Jazz Festival, music, guitars, songs, NYC…to transcribe it would take forever and it’s times like these that I don’t need to write down for I will never forget these moments…

Chick Corea and TR @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

Chick Corea and TR @ The Blue Note (05.12.10)

Upon meeting Chick, he wasn’t as excited but wasn’t fan-blocking me or anything either haha.  We talked about the set, this is the point we discussed song titles and I missed a few as I lost my mind a little during this meeting as well.  There are some artists where I can talk to them like they are family but there are others I can’t even look in the eyes for fear I might explode or turn to stone.  Yeah, it’s like that.  Just so much love for their music, I almost can’t speak to them cause, really, want me to be brutally honest??  The person is so different from the music and I am terrified of changing my relationship with the music.  I don’t generally like to have big sit downs with artists I like.  But when I do, I PRAY they are as genuine as their music.

In this case, Chick and John were lovely people, Eddie and Paul included, even though I barely spoke three words to them having the attention of Chick for a few minutes and John for a few minutes…that was good enough for me.  My friend and I raged the Green Room area for a bit meeting Chick’s wife, who was covered in what I referred to as “glitter.”  She corrected me and said, “Fairy Dust.”  She was a kindred spirit for sure.  After about 30 minutes of straight chillen, my girlfriend and I left The Blue Note completely speechless.  As we walked down the street, neither of us talked but I knew exactly what she was thinking: HOLY SHIT!!  THAT – JUST – HAPPENED!!!

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Tweet Spot LogoBeing a straight up computer geek, it really does blow my mind how much Social Media has a direct influence on the physical world and visa versa.  Just as with Myspace and Facebook, I have been a member of Twitter since early on in it’s conception.  In terms of actually “Tweeting” though, I think I have been at it maybe a year?  Who knows but it’s the wave of the future people, embrace it, or not, but never judge!!  Last night, Twitter weaved its way into my nights adventure both in my physical world and my virtual world, giving me a night full of laughs!  Who knew…
H. Alan Scott

H. Alan Scott

For months, my friends and I have been meaning to check out our pal’s new comedy show at Comix called The Tweet Spot: A Twitter Game Show.   The brain child and host of the Tweet Spot is H. Alan Scott (http://twitter.com/halanscott).  I have lived in the city five, wow, 6 years now.  I can honestly say I haven’t come across someone who makes me laugh as much as he does.   I have attended other shows of his in the past and I advise you all to check him out either in LA or NYC where he splits his time!

This performance/act was so up my alley.  It incorporated the use of social media by way of the Internet and Twitter.  I was out of my apartment enjoying a live performance.  They asked me to scream and shout and ENCOURAGE playing with your phone at the same time.  I do that shit all day, everyday! And I am not going to lie, I learned some Twitter related guidance tips during this thing hahaha.
H. Alan breaks it down...

H. Alan breaks it down...

This is how it goes down: Popular Tweeters/Comedians read us some of their best 140 character tweets.  The audience is asked to shout “Retweet” if it’s good and “Unfollow” if it stinks.  There is also a portion of the game show called Hash Tag Dash, which incorporates a spinning wheel.  The comedians are required to come up with tweets  as fast as they can relating to the topic the spin wheel has fallen on.  The audience decides the winner.

H. Alan introduces himself: “As far as we know, this is the only game show of its kind…here in Chelsea!”  He lays out a case of Fresca in two rows, offering a can to those who want to come fill in the empty seats up front.  As he describes the rules of the game, he asks that we “respond emotionally!” with our Retweet/Unfollows.
The Tweet Spot (04.15.10)

The Tweet Spot (04.15.10)

The first segment of the show required the audience to turn and check out a tv that was mounted on the wall streaming The Tweet Spots tweets.  We ran through hash tag trends like #donttrytoroast and #Theresnothinglike.  The only one being retweeted: #donttrytoroastif yo momma sells apple pie in front of the apple store on Earth Day.   And the one we all cringed over, which ended up coming from one of our Tweeters of the evenings, #Theresnothinglike my mom smelling my hair right after I get outta the bath and right before I turn around and say “Hey!” We then discussed the lovely Twitter battle currently going on between Kim Kardashian and Demi Moore over the word “pimpin'” vs. “pimping”.  Both are idiots and H. Alan does a fabulous job making this battle way more entertaining then it truly is.
The Tweet Spot (04.15.10)

The Tweet Spot (04.15.10)

The time comes for the main portion of the show.  It’s time for the Tweeters/Comedians to perform their tweets and either get Retweeted or Unfollowed.  The lineup went as follows:
Sara Schaefer

Sara Schaefer

Sara Schaefer (http://twitter.com/saraschaefer1), a Blogger for Jimmy Fallon was first.  Her tweets are witty & charming and she veers off topic often. “Sorry, I am supposed to be saying my tweets, not coming up with new material,” she says!

My favorite tweet of hers went something like: I’m sorry but until they come up with an airfreshner that can go back in time and kill the mother and creator of all that is bad smells, then they all suck #airfreshner”
At this point H. Alan proceeds to show us a LOVELY Dixie Carter video that is probably the most insane, terrifying, hilarity I have seen in a while.  It was in my dreams that night ahhhhhhh.
Jessie Richardson

Jessie Richardson

Next up is Jess Richardson (http://twitter.com/jess-richardson)

My favorite tweet of Jess:  You would think that Marcia Gay Harden would consider changing her middle name from Gay considering her last name so closely resembles HARD ON!”
And “I am pretty sure Eddie Veddar’s cheek bones are made of apples.”
Derik Boik

Derik Boik

Derik Boik (http://twitter.com/derik_boik), was our first male up for the evening.  Where as the first two Tweeters had their tweets on paper, Derik was using his phone.  Way to stick with the theme!! And he seems to have a very dark sense of humor.

A few of my favorites: “My granddad’s so annoying! He’s one of those people who try to save everything. What’s the word? Not pack rat…… Oh, a Christian…”
And  “I’m taking my daughter to the zoo! We’re excited to see what her reaction to oppression is.”
And “I know this is dumb, but I just decided that if a girl had green genitalia, you would call it a “clitortoise.”
Mama Spell

Mama Spell

At the end of his tweets, Derik showed us some of his wonderful Twitpics from his time living in Tennessee?  Kentucky?  I can’t remember but anyplace that sells BUTTS and other items at the same place, creepy!

Sharon “Mama” Spell (http://twitter.com/mamaspell) was up next.  She was hilarious.

I loved: Fell asleep with my makeup on last night. This morning my pillows looked very surprised at me.

And “I am a La La La-aholic!”   ~~~~  Aren’t we all Mama, aren’t we all!!  🙂

Hal Sparks

Hal Sparks

And finally, the special guest of the evening, Hal Sparks (http://twitter.com/halsparks), as seen on VH1, MSNBC, and Showtime’s “Queer as Folk.” He had been tweeting on his Ipad the entire night, chiming in with little drops of humor throughout the performance.

Fav Tweet:  “Who else has though about peeing in their Brita and seeing if it works?”

Hash Tag Dash

Hash Tag Dash

The last segment of the show was The Hash Tag Dash, where comics line the stage in front of microphones.  They have to come up with funny tweets on the spot about a certain topic that the spinning wheel falls on. Some of the topics include #80sTweets, #thingsnottosayaftersex, etc.  Mama Spells won a few, there were ties, it was all funny 🙂
The Ochi's Lounge

Ochi's Lounge

The Tweet spot: A Twitter Game Show can be seen on the 3rd Thursday of every month at 9pm @ Comix.  The show is free with a one drink minimum purchase, plus you get Fresca’s & Peep’s! (Even though I saw NO peeps this time!!)

Ochi’s Lounge

Downstairs at Comix

353 W. 14th Street

New York, NY 10014

And the most beautiful thing about Social media, you can attend the damn show from your couch!!   If you can’t be there, you are able to follow along on all the night’s tweets at http://twitter.com/comixny or follow #tweetspot.

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