My step-son (Blake) asked me to take him and a friend (Taylor) to hear Astral Project at Snug Harbor tonight. One of the cool things about Snug (and there are many) is that young people are allowed to come in to the club and hear the music, when accompanied by an adult. There aren’t many places that 17 year old aspiring musicians can go to hear good live jazz.
I hadn’t heard Astral Project live in quite some time. I was nice to be reminded how great they are. When I was about the age of Blake and Taylor, I spent a lot of time listening to Astral Project. Many of my early musical inspirations and revelations happened at Astral Project shows. I hadn’t thought about that music much recently, but tonight I was reminded how much the sound of this band is a foundational aspect of my musical and aesthetic DNA. I realized that most jazz drummers leave me flat, because I want them to be Johnny Vidacovich. I remembered a night in Dixon Hall at Tulane, when I heard Tony Dagradi, and his sound made me want to find a voice on trombone that is that personal and vibrant. They are really a special band, and it was nice to be reminded of that tonight.
I have been trying to do a good job of exposing Blake to good music, and giving him a chance to find the things that he likes. He returned the favor tonight by asking me to take him to a show that left me feeling just as inspired as it left him. I love the nights that remind us that music is fun.