Jazz in Paradise, July 26, 2014

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Sydney Ellis and Mike Jellick. Marion Heyden, bass, was also playing.

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.

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By then, the sun had set and the paths were lit so walking in the uneven grounds were not a problem. I got back to my table just in time for the second set.

The second set went well and I was feeling so good as I left or the evening after the set.

Mike Jellick Trio at Motor City Wine after Big Fun

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After Big Fun at Cliff Bells, I went over to Motor City Wine to see the Mike Jellick Trio since I had not even lasted for one set at Cliff Bells. I had a little argument with myself over it since I have been so very, very tired and not sleeping well. I thought I could stay for one set and just maybe I would satisfy my wish for some live music and get home early enough to get some good sleep.

When I walked in, the band was on break. I got my blood orange soda and settled in at a table to wait for the music. When the band return and started to play, my body finally relaxed to hear the music I like so much.

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Wednesday Night at Northern Lights Lounge

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Last night, I finally got out for some music. I went to see the Michael Jellick Trio at Northern Lights Lounge. I hadn’t been for a couple of weeks and even though I was really tired from work and a sleepless night the prior night, I decided I needed some music to relax and get away from some problems I carry home from work with me.

As I walked in, I could hear Miles Brown on the bass and Jesse Kramer on the drums. As I walked to a table and sat down,I could hear the complex rhythms of the two instruments combined and I had a different perspective for the moment. These are the moments I live for when listening to music.

I ordered some beef nachos for dinner and leaned back to listen. This time I recorded most of the evening. I have realized that I am such an intense listener and get so lost in the music that I have a hard time recalling just what was played. Or, if I really pay attention to what is played, I don’t feel the music. Tonight, I wanted to feel the music.

The first complete song I heard was “Yes or No” (Wayne Shorter on Juju album). First, I was hearing Michael Jellick play the melody on the keys clearly and beautifully. Then, once the melody in firmly in mind going into the improvisations that I like so much. Going further and further out and still within the song’s framework. By recording, I was much more able to appreciate Miles Brown’s solo on the bass. Then, a melody phrase to hook back into the music and more improv leading to Jesse Kramer’s great solo on drums. And , back into the melody and more improv to the end. Part of what I like about the experience is how cohesive and well these musicians play together.

I felt like the next number was not new to me and could not place it. This one had some funk to it and the rhythms were so different than the previous number. Something about this one for me made me feel good. Since the break came after this one, I left while I was feeling so good.

Adventurous Jazz

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Last night, August 22, 2013, I finally got out for some music. I went to Motor City Wine to see the Michael Jellick Trio. This one is a gig rather than a jam so it is much more unified event without trying to integrate many musicians.

It was a small crowd which is ambiguous situation for me. It means much less ambient noise. I worry the bar owner will cancel. Last night, it allowed the musicians to experiment a little. I had planned to go to Cliff Bells after one set but the quality of the music kept me for the second set.

The sound here is such that it is a good listening event. They did “One Day My Prince Will Come”. The way this group does it has made it one of my favorites. When I hear the first few notes, I begin to smile. Each time, the intro is different and it is a new song each time. After the number, I was thinking how much I liked it when a friend sitting with me commented on how beautiful it was.

This trio has an amazing calming effect on me. It makes for great sleeping when I get home. Michael Jellick plays with so much complexity that my brain gets tired. Last night, the musicians were on an experimental playground. Michael was changing the volume inside some of the numbers. Michael also did a lot of tempo changes last night. The other kept up with all the changes making for a great sound.

The drummer, Jesse Kramer, kept up with all of it. During one number he used his brushes three ways for three different sounds matching Michael’s play with volume. Last night he used some sticks that had another different sound. After the evening was over, I talked to him and found out it was many little bamboo skewers taped together. Most young drummers do their solos as long and loud. Jesse shows a subtlety and comprehension not usually seen in young drummers.

Eric Nachtrab is relatively new to this trio and is a good fit. His solos are not too long. I am slowly seeing his musical character revealed . Most important though is that he completes the group unified sound.

So, my brain was worn out when I left for home and I was happy,

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A small clip from early in the evening….