The Blue Note, With a Malian Sigh
I don't typically go to The Blue Note : it is expensive and prepaid, reserved or not, they make one stand in a long line and let people in order they arrived; in NY, I can see a great show for $20 and instead of waiting 15 min, one can easily replace an evening of jazz with one of blues, funk or mere bar trio impromptu. Still, Dee Dee Bridgewater performed from her CD of Malian Journey, the balafon, kora and djemb's brought me out and I worked through the line at the Blue Note and listened to American jazz reconnect with Malian sounds. The performance had storytelling (in the tradition of Griots, oral history keepers from 12 or 13 century), some sublime moments and I got to shake hands of the stunning Dee Dee. Mamadou Cherif Soumano tired from several days of performance, yawned, rubbed his eyes, and then proceeded to play kickass Kora. (In my dream-like state, I thought Habib Koite joined in the performance, but that was not the case I am told.) All music and music business is ultimately local and personal. One of the talented band members lives in the neighborhood so he walks over to his place between sets!