Saturday, July 18, 2009

GET TOGETHER

Flutist Alexander Zonjic
Dear Alexander-

Thank you for inviting me to your album release party Tuesday evening at the jazz and supper club Seldom Blue. I had a ball. I decided to attend an hour before the party commenced. I was skeptical. I didn’t know if I’d be comfortable around diehard smooth jazz fans. As I mentioned during our conversation a few months back, at heart I’m a jazz-purist, but unlike some of my peers, I’m receptive to smooth jazz music.

Of course, you know, at times, purists are snobs and judgmental. Most feel that you guys aren't real jazz artists. For years, I felt that way, and I never defended smooth jazz artists when my peers criticized your peers.

After talking with accomplished smooth jazz artists and hearing others perform live, I now understand you guys are just as serious and passionate about your music as Coltrane, Davis and Monk were. I am no longer reluctant to defend smooth jazz music. Enough about the legitimacy of smooth jazz. Back to my comments on the wonderful album release party.

Most of the musicians that contributed to your album came to Detroit (the D) to support you as well as to play selections from “Doin’ the D”. Alexander it was the first time in my career as a jazz journalist I’ve been in the company of so many smooth jazz all-stars. I hate I didn’t get a chance to talk with you. You’re surrounded by well-wishers before you took the stage.

Alexander, I set in the front row within arm reach of the Motor City Horns. . You probably didn’t see me because your eyes were shut while you performed. Here’s what I enjoyed most about the party. It was definitely your night, but you gave your guest-stars the spotlight. Honestly, the party felt like a showcase for them. I have to acknowledge your selflessness. What an appropriate way to convey your appreciation to those musicians for their participation. I had several favorite moments.

First, was Dwight Sills, the keyboardist for Pieces of a Dream. Dude was the most animated guest soloist. He was hopping about as if he was walking on hot cold. He was a seasoned show-boater for sure, and his antics worked right down to the outlandish military inspired custom-made suit he wore. Next, was guitarist Ken Navarro who stole the show. Jeff Lomber was good too, but he wasn’t nearly as animated as Sills was or absorbed into his soloist like Navarro was. Lomber deserve a gold star for the production work on “Doin’ the D”.

Vocalist Maysa was the crowd favorite. She looked delicious in that green wrap blouse with her amble tits looking as if they would pop out at any given moment, but they behaved, and she wailed. Billie, Dinah, and Sarah would’ve envied her performance. If Maysa keeps her chops strong soon she will be in the same league as jazz most celebrated vocalists. You can bank on that.

Alexander, your flute work was memorable. I never imagined the flute could be played so rapidly. Whenever you heard a solo you liked, you’d yelled oh yeah! You behaved like a cheerleader. I should mention Kenny Brooks, the drummer. He kicked butt too. If Roy Haynes were a smooth jazz drummer, he’d sound like Brooks lick for lick.

Your party was a hit. Next you an album release concert I could convince some of my jazz-purist peers to accompany me. It’s a long shot, but worthwhile I feel. I believe you could convert them.

Continue to swing,
Charles
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