Thursday, August 14, 2008

Irma Thomas + Joel Dorn + Mike Gordon 8/13/08

I found out about the Joel Dorn tribute after I bought tickets to Irma Thomas at Joe’s Pub and Mike Gordon at Highline. I was all set to blow them off for the Joel Dorn tribute, mainly due to Greg sending it around and saying attendance is required. It sounded like something I didn’t want to miss! But, as I was on my way to the subway, I suddenly turned and walked toward Joe’s Pub. I really wanted Irma, and my being was going to make sure I got there.

She was awesome! It was so nice to see her in such a small space. I’ve only seen portions of her show at Jazzfest, due to the crowds. I got a standing spot at the bottom of the stairs from the bar area stage left and had the best view of everything. I only like amazing wonderful singers and she really rates up there. They were performing songs from her new CD that she was really pushing. It does sound good, she’s many different piano players on it including Dr. John, John Medesky, Ellis Marsalis, David Tourknowsky, Tom McDermott, Marcia Ball, John Cleary, and someone else I didn’t know, the only one I didn’t know. She brought David T. and Tom M. with her as well as 2 backup singers. She had local talent, Rocky Bryant and someone else for the drums and bass.

She also told us which piano players were on which songs before she did them. David T. played most of it, but Tom M. did play a few. After she would tell us which piano player is on the record, I could tell the song was their style. The 2 Dr. John songs had just Irma and the piano. Marcia Ball’s song was so Marcia! John Medeski got to pick his song and it was great. The Ellis Marsalis was a good standard, she wanted to let us know she could do standards, and boy could she! The name I didn’t know had one of my favorite songs.

She really charmed me. What a classy, elegant, down-to-earth lady! That was very special to be somewhere so intimate.

It went til about 8:50, with the encore. I then got myself up to Lincoln Center, thinking I’d get there in time for the grand finale. It didn’t go down that way. I guess they did the best stuff early and I missed it. I really would have liked to see Mocean Worker, but it just wasn’t meant to be. I got there and they just brought out Wardell Quezergue. They said they wanted Aaron Neville to be there, but he couldn’t make it. So, they were going to have Quezergue conduct to a recording of Neville. Super Lame! Also, I am in no way a fan of Aaron Neville’s. I just never liked his voice. I know I’m in the minority on that one, it’s just the way it is.

Then, there was a good clip of Joel Dorn talking about Roberta Flack and how Clint Eastwood’s movie made her song popular. Then, Dorn’s non-musical son came out and gave a speech. Then they had a band on the stage, but showed a picture of Dave Fathead Newman and played a recording of a jazz tune. Then, this band who was onstage, and had Dorn’s other son up there started playing and the singing was bad. I couldn’t do that after Irma, so I left.

I was disappointed with the Dorn part I saw, but it was my own fault for not going earlier. I know I got the better thing for me, though. I am so so glad to have had that opportunity to see Irma like that.

I did kind of like the Lincoln Center Out of Doors setup. It is really like the Indoors setup, but it’s outside. There are tons of chairs and it you want to stand, you have to stay in the back. That was the only downside for me, but it was nice to see a bar and that you could actually drink outside. It’s also nice that you don’t have to go through any turnstiles or anything to be there. They also allow you to go inside to use the rest rooms, so indoor plumbing is an awesome feature. I think it’s pretty good for an outdoor venue. Also, the seats make it more of an occasion to see a show as opposed to hanging out which is what many of the free venues in NYC are about.

Now, you’re probably wondering what I was doing with a Mike Gordon ticket since I was never into Phish. He impressed me enough last jazzfest at the Maple Leaf with Marco and Vidocovich that I was interested in checking this out. I kind of bought the ticket on a whim when I was there buying for tonight’s Garage a Trois show. I got there at about 10:20 and they were already on. When I walked up I thought it was still the opener, The Bridge, because it was so grooving. I was glad to see it wasn’t so as I didn’t want to stay out too long. When they were just doing instrumental, it was awesome. They did ruin it by singing, but it was’t hard to get passed the singing and I did enjoy the 20 minutes I was there. After 20 minutes, I decided I got the taste I was looking for and that was enough.

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