JOHN OSLER'S UPBEAT Admin
THAT MAGIC MOMENT
A MAGIC MOMENT
Occasionally we fall asleep and we miss that show that everyone is talking about the next morning. I have missed some chances to buy art before the art commanded museum prices. I had a chance to hear Chet Baker in LA and Bird in NYC. I didn’t find the time. Shame on me.
From time to time we follow our instincts and catch a rising star. This happened to me last week. I heard Aaron Diehl in a rare appearance in Detroit and at a rare place, the Dirty Dog Jazz Café, a small, intimate and respectful venue. This was a magical fit.
LAWRENCE LEATHERS YASUSHI NAKAMURA
Another superb fit was Aaron’s piano accompanied by drummer Lawrence Leathers and Yasushi Nakamura on bass. Pure chemistry. Together they tapped into some rich veins that run through the history of music in America. They introduced us to compositions by jazz musicians that have influenced them and piled on top their unique interpretations and skills. It was like having ice cream on the cake.
This was music worth listening to in a place where people listen. I wanted to put the evening in a capsule and give it to anyone who needed a lift. This was an experience that will live with me for some time, but for whatever reasons there was a light crowd, I thought at first that the lack of an audience would have dimmed the energy level of the trio. It didn’t. Those of us lucky enough to be there were treated to the trio’s best efforts. These are cats who saw an opportunity to play in an acoustically perfect environment with their pals. They soared and so did the few respectful and privileged listeners. There was something pure and cleansing about the evening similar to being alone in a pristine forest and hearing the wind in the pines.
Aaron at 29 years of age has accomplished a lot as a pianist and as a composer. He is one of the young artists who are constructing bridges between the generations of jazz artists and the future of the music.He has been noticed. Last week I wrote about Aaron as the “Real Diehl” and listed all the praise he has gathered. He is the real deal and came to our town and proved it. There is little doubt that Aaron will be a power in the development of jazz for many decades.
Those of us who caught Aaron at the Dirty Dog will be able to say ” I saw Aaron when he and his trio came to Detroit back in, I think, 2015.” For once I saved myself from accumulating a deep pile of regret.
This week, the pianist Ian Finkelstein will test our resolve to get off our sofas and be part of the reawakening of jazz in Detroit lead by the young lions. Rise up! Catch the next rising star.