As I have stated before in this blog, the area around Palm Springs California is the "mother load" for outstanding musicians and outstanding live music. Another example that proves this statement is correct occurred on this past Wednesday night at the small, but wonderful "Cafe des Beaux-arts in Palm Desert, Ca. My friend Steve Madaio brought together three other highly experienced professionals for the night so they could play the kind of music that they love. In my opinion, the difference between musicians playing music to suit their audience compared to when they play music they love is remarkable! That's what the result was on Wednesday night. Steve got to showcase some of his great trumpet skills on up-tempo songs and also got to play one of the "Top 10 Great American Songs, Here's That Rainy Day" for me. Steve said he had not played this great standard for over a year, but he had no problem playing with his usual extraordinary emotional approach. Seems to me that when Steve plays the great standards, you somehow don't miss the lyric because you can heard it in Steve's sound. Few musicians have the ability to play more than just notes, but all the great ones have the ability to inject the emotion of the lyric into the notes. Steve is certainly one of the greats.
I also want to note that the bass player in the group, Bill Saitta, put on a really impressive display of why the stand up bass will never be replaced by the electric bass. His ability to solo on the stand up bass was wonderful to see and hear. In another posting, I will highlight the keyboard performer in this group who needs more than just a couple of comments!