What a magical night of music! I went to see Hiromi perform at Yoshi's in San Francisco, this time with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Simon Phillips, both musical legends. As always, Hiromi's brilliant, beautiful, fiery and creative playing brought me to tears, not once, but twice. In her I see the culmination of my life's goal of achieving musical fluency and total freedom. Admittedly, I am well along the path, considering that I'm a mere mortal, but I long to attain the level of technical, philosophical and expressive prowess displayed by demi-gods and goddesses like Hiromi and her cohorts.
From sublimely delicate to head bobbing funk to wild, multi-metered abandon, the music was thrilling and inspiring. I didn't want it to end! After the concert, I had the opportunity to spend time speaking with the musicians, and gained an even higher level of respect for them. So many of the brilliant artists that I've met over the years are not only incredible musicians, but they possess astute general intelligence as well, are steeped in musical history, able to identify composers, performances, conductors, including knowledge of dates, eras, the minutiae of recordings and speak with authority about musical genres outside of those for which they're famous. I spoke for 20 minutes to both Anthony Jackson and Hiromi about the Rachmaninoff Etudes Tableaux and Concerti and sang melodies with them from various classical works. The range of their knowledge is nothing short of astounding. Being in their presence energized me and at the same time made me feel like a slacker; like I just need to work harder, smarter and become the musician and person I believe is laying somewhat dormant within me (underneath the busy work that occupies too much bandwidth in my brain). I want to be able to wax eloquent on the distinctions between the Horowitz and Argerich recordings of Rach #3; to retain more of the history of music (which I did learn at one point) and the people to whom that history is attributed; to remember Opus numbers and, for that matter, names of tunes! So embarrassing when I can't remember commonly known titles...sigh...
But, not to bash myself too harshly for not being a musical lexicon, the overriding theme of the night was inspiration. Once again I was inspired to do more, be more, and always to embrace the blessings at hand. Can I get an AMEN!??