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Kakki: Yes, it has been my Joni list avocation ;-) to bring you all a recitation of Joni and other music reviews over the years but I have to confess I am almost stumped tonight after attending the Herbie Hancock taping. Ah well, I am getting older and concise articulation is perhaps no longer my forte - hee!
So my review of tonight will be all over the place but hopefully you will get the drift. (I am also exhausted so cut me some slack ;-) The overwhelming feeling is, my God, how did I get so lucky? I remember when I joined the list in 1997, none of us had seen Joni perform live in some 15 years and never expected to ever see her perform live again. When she did the '98 tours we thought we had died and gone to heaven. Then magically there were more events and art exhibits and the PWWAM taping and the 2000 tour and we were alive and thrashing ecstatically once again. Just have to say that once again I won the Joni lottery tonight at the Herbie taping. Lesli and I are the lucky girls.
But I digress...
We showed up - about 400 of us - and comfortably packed into a small sound stage. Lesli and Pete got front row seats and I got the back but was only about 35 feet away from the stage. I spotted Joni's good friend Charles Valentino ("Val") sitting on a couch nearby with Herbie's wife and daughter and thought this was a good omen. The stage director then somewhat breathlessly started telling us that we were in for some really big surprises tonight and that he has done 31 tapings with other artists but this one was going to take the cake, so to speak.
So Herbie and the musicians come out - King of Sax Bob Sheppard, Joni band mate Vinnie Coliauta, Marcus Miller on bass and amazing Lionel from Benin on lead guitar. They play and then everyone keeps talking about "surprises."
They do a Q and A from the audience with Herbie. One guy asks why Herbie decided to choose Joni's works for the last album. Of course, Herbie raved on all about Joni. Then he brings her out! She looked absolutely gorgeous. She was wearing a fantastic sort of print coat dress that I saw her in during the 2000 BSN tour which looks like silk jersey and shows the marbled bowling ball of earth and Krishna swinging on a crescent moon and the stars and comets. (I recall back then being amazed that she found the perfect Judgment of the Moon and Stars dress). She then performed the most astounding version of River - all jazz and Herbie inflected style. It was just stunning. Joni's singing voice is amazingly good right now - I felt like I was transported back in time. She then performed Tea Leaf Prophecy and then, surprise, Sonya Kitchell came onstage to back her up on Hana. Everyone was on their feet. I was thinking, well, at least in this setting there will not be anyone bleating out "I Love You, Joni" but yes there was! And it was her own best friend Val who yelled it out with a big grin on his face. It was great! There was some more Q & A with Herbie and now I was just mesmerized by his thoughts. Those who are inspired by Mr. Obama will truly feel quite the same listening to Herbie.
I must say with all affection that he likes to talk and expound as much as Joni and every sentence is a gem. Personally, I felt like I was listening to every lesson and word of wisdom ever imparted to me by my father. It may sound weird, but it was very affirming to hear a great like Herbie say so much of what my dad always said to me over the years, be it the true value of life or creativity. A few sound bites from Herbie - success is not measured by fame, celebrity, wealth or power but by how much you give, how much you encourage and by your compassion. He also said that other human beings are never the enemy - that only you can be the enemy and you have to "wake up"
Sonya came back on and sang a very jazzy rendition of All I Want. Yes, I was just pinching myself at this point.
Herbie also performed Watermelon Man, Cantaloupe and his mindblowing Maiden Voyage - right up there at the top of the most beautiful classical jazz composition you will ever hear. As an encore he brought in artist C Minus to play the turntable to Rockit.
Lesli and I talked by cell phone all the way home just ranting and raving.
You all can see it yourself on Yahoo on April 1st!
Kakki, the most Lucky Girl
Leslie: just got home flying high from the herbie taping. hell we owe you big time for the heads up. when i saw your alert on sunday night i got right on it. most of the nice folk i met in the line had replied on sunday night too.geez! 400 people there. kakki, pete(he's my sweetie) and i tried to sit together but they were getting low in seats. they asked us if we'd accept singles- it would be that or stand. so i waved by to kakki and followed the usher. She seated pete and i together in the front row.
Geez! herbie is so damn bright and i could see that twinkle in his eye. as usual he played his ass off, bringing something new and fresh to each tune. the band was killer- vinnie colialuta, sam shepard, flute sax and clarinet, lionel loueke, guitar and marcus miller on bass.
there's a lot to tell and i'm tired, i'll try ... kakki had tipped me that val, joni's dancer friend was there so she probably was too, but i hadn't seen her. her sequey was a question to herbie about why he'd chosen joni's work. and suddenly mid show she appeared.
she looked glamorous, slim, laughing easily like everything is ok with her. she sounded fabulous. . better i thought than at the kodak theater. or maybe it was just the acoustics. naw she was hitting her stride.
she started with river in good good voice, i was on the edge of my seat.
then, tea leaf prophecy
and hannah with sonia kitchell . i've seen joni alot over the years and she was on.
sonya then did ... oh god mind's blank- kakki help? bedtime for me
the good news is this is going to be on yahoo music , april 1st and you can see for yourselves bonne nuit lesli ps kakki looked really cute in a dress and matching patent leather ballet flats.