Universal Language of Cool

First of all, events of note:

  • Minnesota Human Rights Week. Featuring a play, “Speak Truth to Power,” with guest performances by Alec Baldwin, Pat Miles, Alan Page, Gloria Reuben, Martin Sheen, Bradley Whitford.
  • Ted’s Essay, “Just To Know,” was published in the University of Minnesota’s Reach Magazine, in the Summer 2007 edition. The magazine is sent to all alumni of the University of Minnesota’s College of Liberal Arts.

B3 Hammond Organ Night at the Artists’ Quarter, downtown St. Paul, MN, reminds me of Saxophone Jazz Club in Bangkok, Thailand. Or maybe Saxophone reminds me of that place in Jakarta, Indonesia…

artists' quarter

Then again, maybe it is something about jazz itself, something universal, that defies simple language. The experience of watching, listening, transcends borders, defies latitude and longitude. The Artists’ Quarter definitely has it, that quintessential element that IS jazz. Most of the light comes from small candles set in the middle of each round coffee table, which are scattered about the large room. The black walls are barely visible, and soon you are sitting in the middle of dark, infinite void. Nothing exists but you and glowing bubble of the stage – the beautiful, powerful-looking old electric organ. The bright green of the drumset gleams defiantly against the dark, the cymbals sparkling. The guitar amp sits, red light flickering softly, a sort of eternal patience, an arrogant but quiet power, watching, waiting. You get the feeling that you could simply sit there, watching the stage, watching the stage watching you and just looking so… so Jazz.

b3 hammond

And finally the music starts. That sound, that sound that can only be the organ. That beat, you have no choice to tap your foot, your hand. You twist at the torso, involuntarily, as the guitar player strings you out on some note, not letting you know where he’s going to go, a note that he could not possibly end with – were he to stop, letting that note reverberate in your head, you wouldn’t know what to do, would be lost in that dark abyss forever. But, another grimace, eyes closed, teeth gritting, and the band releases the tension, crashing all together back into the chorus, the unbearable tension disappearing as your body once again moves by itself with the irresistable beat.

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