Work is still crazy busy. There is much to do, still. I'm messing about with our horrible online system for uploading lecture notes that doesn't seem to work very well; email keeps crashing; I've much to do on the grant application; and I must soon wrastle in a serious way with the two reports that have now come in on the six chapters of the Garter book I sent to my wonderful editor.
But in the meantime, how is this as an occasion for maternal pride? Four young musicians, all of 14 years, playing up a storm at a jazz club on Tuesday night. Joel's school sponsors a regular jazz evening at Dizzy's in Richmond. Three of these boys (piano, drums, bass) have known each other since they were at kindergarten, and here they are, performing their first gig together. They are the Blue Manoeuvres, and even though this video, shot by the saxophonist's uncle, has bass, sax and drums all lined up in front of each other so you cannot see the drummer's wonderful, intense face, you do still get a pretty good look at the flying hands of the pianist (how did my son learn to *do* that? I mean, I hear him practising and all, but there is something about an audience, perhaps, and the clank of plates and glasses that produced something quite new). Nor can you see the faces of the four mothers beaming with pride at our clever boys, but it was truly a watershed event for the boys and their families.
After this we took them off to hear Branford Marsalis, by coincidence on the same night, giving them a taste of other things that are possible with this combination of instruments. Highlights were a Joey Calderozzo composition, "Hope", and an extraordinary adaptation, for soprano sax, of Henry Purcell's "O Solitude", as performed by the counter-tenor Alfred Deller, and heard by Marsalis on late-night radio. But unsurprisingly, the tune I remember best from the evening is this passionate performance from our boys.