Don and I go back some years, when he taught a Trad Jazz combo at the University of New Orleans. Because I was Ellis Marsalis’ graduate assistant…and just WAY TOO COOL…I had MUCH more important things to do than attend Don’s every class. I was there MOST of the time. I learned the music. I transcribed and performed a Jelly Roll Morton transcription for my semester project. But at semester’s end, I was rewarded with a “C” on an otherwise SPOTLESS graduate record! Didn’t he know who I thought I was?!!
Shortly after I graduated (with a single C corrupting what would have been a 4.0 GPA), I worked a gig and Don was playing bass. The bandleader called an old trad tune that I didn’t know. I tried to hear my through it, but kept getting hung up on one chord (those trad tunes are notorious for that one “trick” chord.) I was shouting to Don, “Chord? Chord?”
He shot back, “If you’d have come to my class, you’d know that chord!”
I’m honored to play with him tonight and again next Friday, same time, same place. I probably STILL don’t know that chord, but I know I’ll learn it and MUCH, MUCH more when we play. Come to find out, we love a bunch of the same music. And we love music that makes people dance. And we love to sing. And he is one BAD dude. And again I’m reminded of how lucky I am and how much I LOVE being in New Orleans!
Come check it out…