I feel an obligation to write about every show that I attend. But, I’m at a lit of a loss as to how to report back on this night.
The KSBR Birthday Bash is an annual fundraiser for the local college radio station that has carved niche in the “Smooth Jazz” arena. I’d heard of the show in the past but never attempted to go. Well, last week a good friend asked if I wanted to go with him. His ticket was a gold VIP and we would be sitting with friends of his who were bringing dinner…..so, live music, free dinner, good seats AND good company. Pretty much impossible to turn that offer down.
Oh, I did have to bring desert…which my wonderful wife baked and packaged for me to take…bonus…
So, my friend Elliot and I arrived and parked at the close VIP lot and walked to the stage area. We got inside just in time for the national anthem preformed with an honorary color guard and a helicopter fly over from a police helicopter. We took our seats and dug into the amazing feast that my new friends had prepared.
I knew a few of the performers who constantly changed on stage. Pretty much each song was a different line up. But, not listening to much of that genre over the years I couldn’t tell you the names of pretty much anything they played. I did recognize Najee with Ricky Lawson (of recent Steely Dan) on drums. They did a knockout version of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On”. Peter White (who I saw clear back in the 70’s on guitar with Al Stewart) came out with Keko Matsui and Mindy Abair for a fun version of “Hit the Road Jack”. Likely the highlight for me was trumpeter Rick Braun doing a very funky version of Bill Withers “Use Me”. The most energetic and striking song of the night.
Not knowing the songs or many of the artists made it hard to really keep track of who did what, but overall it was a fun pleasant evening under the stars with good friends. And that’s really what I think that style of music is best suited for. Conversation, some wine, some food and simply relaxing. By that standard it totally met the objectives of a nice and appreciated gift of an evening given to me by a good friend.