Saturday, December 10, 2011


Steve Nelson
Steve, I just want to drop you a note to thank you and Mulgrew Miller for putting on two wonderful sets Friday evening at the Virgil H. Carr Cultural & Arts Center in Detroit. Man, it was cold as all get out last night, but inside the center it felt like summer.

Jazz concert promoter Bill Foster put together the all-star band. Bass player Bob Hurst and drummer Karriem Riggins rounded out the band. You and Miller should keep this band together. It seemed as though you guys have worked together for a long time.

I dug how you started the concert with two well-known songs played at quick tempos “Up Jumped Spring” and “It Could Happen to You”. Then giving the audience a breather with Monk’s “’Round Midnight” before playing “If I Were a Bell” at the fastest tempo I have ever heard it performed. Your buddy Miller was great. You were right pointing out Miller is a living master on the piano. No one in their right mind would refute that.

Bob Hurst is a genius on the upright bass. Wherever you took the music Hurst was right there. And I knew it would only be a matter of time before you let Karriem Riggins loose. You know as well as I do you cannot contain Riggins for long.

He exploded on “You and the Night and the Music” like a kid shaking a bottle of soda then removing the cap. For me that solo was the highlight of the concert. Steve, the band cooked all night long. You could tell that because Rebbecca Hope danced both sets.

Hope was the tall white lady wearing the printed green dress who yelled out as if she was having an orgasm when the band closed the concert with “Bags Groove”. Hope is a big time supporter of the music. All the local jazz musicians know and respect her. She goes to all the jazz concert big or small.

Steve, I know that you Miller, Hurst, and Riggins are busy, but sometime soon, you all should think about touring nationally and cutting an album.
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