It all started when I got a subscription to Blue Apron. My cooking has changed and above you see in example of one of my meals. It’s meatballs over rice and asparagus. It is a Blue Apron meal however I’ve learned to do some adaptations so they are more my own these days.
The biggest change though has been my overall approach to food. When I started it was followed the recipe and get it on the table which was how I had worked when I was working. Know that I am retired a different mindset began to take hold.
I have learned to approach food in a different way. For instance, when I was preparing this meal I have learned it to take pleasure in the small parts of preparing a meal. The smell of fresh cilantro is absolutely intoxicating. The crunch of the fresh asparagus well it is being prepared for cooking and how it smells is wonderful. Watching it turn greener as it cooks is an amazing transformation. Adding raisins to the ground meat mix adds just a little bit of sweetness to the meatball jus as the olives add a bit of salt. I tasted the rice mixed with the other ingredients and added the lime wedges for an amazing change in the taste of the dish.
Cooking has become for me almost a Zen experience.
It was the first full day of the jazz fest and I got so filled with music that the result was rather overwhelming. There is a point in me where I can’t listen to music anymore and appreciate it.
As I was walking to the stage on Hart Plaza, I saw Cassius Richmond playing the saxophone and doing a wonderful job as usual.
I was on my way to see the John Douglas Quartet at the Carhartt Amphitheater stage. They are one of the groups I see in Detroit at Bert’s warehouse on Friday night. So in this case, I knew what I was about to see. Somehow add a festival, the music just seems to be a little bit better. They did play one of my favorite songs which is “Softly as in a Morning Sunrise”. John Douglas is on the trumpet and the Alexis Lombre is on the keyboards. Ibrahim Jones is on the bass. I didn’t catch the name of the drummer. EditEditEditEdit
Next I went to another stage to see the Ken Cox reunion band. The musicians got up and told how much Ken Cox had meant to them because how much he mentored them all. All of that before I was out listening to jazz. A lot of well known local musicians played including Rayse Biggs(tpt), Djallo Djakte(drums), George Bohannan(tone), Shahidah Nurullah(vox) and Kamau Kenyatta(keys). There were others who also played . I really enjoyed the music and wish I had been around to hear Ken Cox when he was playing.
Then I went off to lunch before heading to a stage after lunch that was across the plaza. Although there are four major stages in a relatively small area the walking can be daunting especially through the crowds. I went to see the Stanley Cowell quintet featuring Billy Harper and Charles Tolliver. I had heard great things about this group and had never been to see them before. Actually the music was great and I really enjoyed it
I meant to stay for just a taste of the next act which was The Ron Carter Quartet. I didn’t especially like the performance they did on Friday night with before cellos it didn’t feel like jazz to me. I ended up staying for the entire act it was so good. In fact, I would say is this is my highlight of the day. In a quartet setting, the music was just entrancing. It was a place where I could move with music and really let it into me
The last act that I saw for the day was Roy Hargrove quintet with the Detroit Jazz Festival string orchestra. It looks like the artistic director wants to add strings to the jazz performances as something a little different. I have seen Roy Hargrove at the Dirty Dog Jazz Café just a few months ago. It was the kind of jazz I like. I stayed for two songs with the large string a compliment and decided I didn’t really like this approach for Roy Hargrove. Who knows it may be the way he’ll go in the future. It was just not my cup of tea. I have been at the jazz fest for about eight hours at that point and just had enough music.
Opening night of the jazz festival starts with a reception and a concert featuring the star headliners. This year was no different.
The weather for the weekend looks to be spectacular. The first evening was extremely windy though and most people were not quite dressed for the unexpected wind.In this picture, you can see the flags completely horizontal as the wind blows through the event. We were served appetizers and small bites. I had small bites of macaroni and cheese as well as chicken fried steak. There were also small desserts that were sort of bite-size and quite good including brownies and small cupcakes.Edit
I arrived late so when I went over to see the opening headliner of the Ron Carter Nonet, there were no VIP seats available. Yes, I buy the VIP tickets so I can get the close seats and catered meals. There was available fence space within the VIP seating and I could see rather well. I was not able to get a program so I only knew Ron Carter by name. There were also another bass, four cellos, keyboard percussionists. Chris Collins, the director of the jazz fest, did not introduce the musicians as is the usual practice. The mix of songs tended towards slow songs. Much of the music was bowed rather than plopped on the base which is in itself unusual. The music was different than I had expected but I did enjoy it.
The next band in the line up was the Soul Rebels, a group from New Orleans. And again, none of the members were introduced by name.
And the last act was George Benson who was introduced by name. Although, I enjoyed some of the music, I really think he falls more on the pop side of music rather than jazz. A lot of times, though, the jazz fest has performers to introduce a people to jazz and this may have been an example.
Today. Maybe I can find a program and have a great music day.
I stopped blogging since my main subject was the jazz events I saw. Recently several people asked me if I was still blogging. I said no and thought about it and the reasons I stopped. I found over time that I could not bring myself to be as honest as I wanted to be. I was afraid. Sometimes the musicians I liked so much had a bad evening and I couldn’t talk about it. So, all I was doing was the bare facts and no opinions.
One of the truths for me is that there are some very fine jazz musicians and I do not like their music. It is, after all, a matter of taste. Another truth is that I do not study jazz and am not an expert. So I just like what I like.
I decided to give it another try. I also have a new interest. I started subscribing to Blue Apron which is a meal subscription service. I have always loved goo food and my brother is an executive chef in another city. I was bored with my own cooking and was not sure how to change the way I cooked. Blue Apron has changed what I eat and how I prepare my meals. This is the first time in my life where my meals are intentional.
I’m eating things I never would have thought of trying. I get 3 meals a week for two people so for a single person like me, it takes care of six and sometimes more meals a week.
The sound is so right….
At the Whitley Bay Classic Jazz Party, held in the Village Hotel, Newcastle, UK, the musicians work hard at creating the fabled jazz ensembles of the past — Henderson, Morton, Ellington, great British hot dance bands, and more — with sheaves of manuscript paper and splendid results.
To balance all of this, there are jam sessions in the hotel’s Victory Pub where no arrangements are to be found, but the same devotion to the heroes of the past is evident. But the music is more loose-limbed, and the evocations more playful. Here are four samples — recorded late Sunday night, November 3, 2013 (or was it Monday morning by then?) after the closing set of the party. The man on everyone’s mind was “the dear boy” from Davenport, Iowa — honored by Andy Schumm, Bent Persson, and Andy Woon, cornet; Graham Hughes, trombone (appearing on all but the first, and…
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This was the setting for a jazz concert. It was a part of the Mayflower Jazz Series hosted by Maxine Michaels. It was in a magnificent backyard which included several decks on the house, a fire pit. walkways through the woods filled with local flora and fauna including deer, a meandering stream, places to sit and just enjoy the surroundings.
The concert itself took place in front of a massive tent which was erected over a basketball court. There were other tents for beverages light refreshments and vendors. All the food and beverages were complimentary. The weather was perfect. It was easy to just sit and enjoy.
Left to right as seen in this picture: Vincent Bowen(sax), Marion Hayden(bass), Rqmona Collins(vox) and Michael Jellick (keys). Also present and not see in this picture were Dwight Adams(tpt) and Gayelynn McKinney(drums).
The musicians were all well known in the Detroit area. The music was very good and in that environment was so relaxing. The musicians played for a set and during the intermission, a guest singer, Sydney Ellis sang several songs including “Summertime”. The song tends to be so over done that he here have been times when I have just left a venue during a poor rendition. This offering was so good the song was a fresh again I my mind.
After the music stopped for the break, I wandered around the grounds. I got up to the house decks and enjoyed the view( the second picture). The decks had quit a bit of seating and had enclosures with mosquito netting. The only distraction during the evening were the various bugs that chose the audience for dinner. I followed the meandering stream back down the hill.
The second set went well and I was feeling so good as I left or the evening after the set.