Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The Doctor Is In!

Dr. Lonnie Smith

Johnny:  JORDAN

All of us can learn life lessons from legendary jazz musicians.

Joe once told me a story about seeing the great organist Dr. Lonnie Smith in concert at Smoke Jazz Club on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

Dr. Lonnie Smith at Smoke, NYC

Dr. Lonnie was about to play a song when he suddenly stopped and looked up at the audience.
He thought for a moment and smiled, then said, “You know, it’s funny.  Sometimes I sit at this organ and I have no idea what I’m going to play.”  Then he laughed.
That comment has really stuck with me.

In music, as in life, we have no idea what surprise is around the next corner.  The only thing we can really bring to the table is our good intentions, open hearts and minds, and our reaction to what the moment offers us.

I feel the same way about this tour.  I had only abstract visions about what I would encounter.
Like music, my experiences so far have left me searching for words to describe them.
I am thankful for the sounds, images, good memories, and new friends we made in Jordan.
We certainly attempt to document special moments on our video cameras and in photos, but technology never truly captures the magic of the living moment, especially in music.

Feeling the Moment

I know I am changing for the better through sharing music.  I trust I am not the only one the music changes.

Here is a small collection of images that are but small representations, mental bookmarks, of some of my memories of our time in Jordan...

All Aboard!

Jordanian Olive Trees - Rachael Ray, Eat Your Heart Out!
Mudman's New Axe - MUCH LIGHTER!
Veiled Serenity
Unanimously Approved
Cotton-Eyed Joy
Aaaaay! - Arthur Fonzarelli would be proud...
Backbeat - On 2 and 4
Peas & Carrots
Music - Always Plenty For Everyone

Our New Pal, JP @ Mood 92
Sally, Our Guest Conductor in Irbid
Heartfelt thanks and praise to Ambassador Jones and the US-Jordanian Embassy Staff:
Karin Ehlert, Reem Abdel Hadi, Haytham Hamad, Ramzi Abu Mohammad, Emad Al Mushati, and the many others who worked so hard and made it look so easy.
Our time here was short, but the ambitious programming and smooth handling of it made it feel so full and satisfying.
We hope to return soon...

Karin Ehlert (left) & JRB with UNRWA School Staff (and 2 mischievous students - boys will be boys!)

"Grateful, Grateful, Truly Grateful I Am.
Grateful, Grateful, Duly Blessed and Truly Grateful.”
~ John Bucchino

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